What Lavrov’s Lies Mean for Ukraine
Voltaire reportedly said that those who can persuade one to believe absurdities will lead one to commit atrocities. In contemporary politics Russia’s stance on Ukraine represents a cardinal example of the enduring validity of his remark.
Nurse held prisoner for revealing the Russian soldiers Russia claims are not in Ukraine
Unlike other civilian hostages sentenced to 14 or 17 years for a pro-Ukrainian flashmob or critical blog entries, Halyna Hayeva, really did pass on information about Russia military men receiving treatment in her hospital. Since Russia continues to deny its active military involvement in the war in Donbas, this was enough for the Kremlin-backed ‘republic’ to ‘sentence’ her to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Donbas reintegration law poses human rights risks & doesn’t help hold Russia to account
A contentious bill on reintegrating occupied parts of Donbas could be passed by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on Thursday despite warnings from major human rights NGOs that it poses serious dangers unless important amendments are made
Freed Donetsk religious scholar: Many in Donbas want a return to Ukraine but are afraid
Renowned religious specialist and freed hostage, Ihor Kozlovskyy believes that many locals who once actively supported the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] would now like a return to Ukrainian control, but fear that they could end up imprisoned unless an amnesty is passed. Kozlovskyy was giving his first interview since his release almost two years after he was seized in Donetsk for his pro-Ukrainian views.
UN hammers Russia over human rights abuse in illegally occupied Crimea
The UN General Assembly has passed a vital resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea which recognizes that Russia’s illegal occupation is an international armed conflict and gives victims of abuse wider scope to defend their rights. Ukrainian human rights organizations played a major role in drawing up the document which refers to binding international law and covers abuse that had previously received too little attention.
What Ukrainians Really Think: 10 Key Insights from Ukraine’s 2017 Opinion Polls
A close examination of a range of recent national opinion polls—on topics like corruption, the health care system, migration, and Russia—show that the Ukrainian public is less optimistic and West-centric than the country’s leaders. Additionally, there is a wide gap in opinions between the residents of different regions, and between various generations.
Council of Europe will share responsibility for grave human rights violations if it gives in to Russia now
Crimean Tatar leaders, the sister of Russia’s youngest Ukrainian political prisoner and prominent Ukrainian human rights organizations have warned the Council of Europe against compromising its own values by giving in to pressure from Russia. There can be no grounds for reinstating Russia’s voting rights within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] while Russia continues its occupation of Crimea, military aggression in Donbas and escalating human rights abuse
Legal experts demolish the allegations against Mikheil Saakashvili as his associate jailed
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General cane up with apparently serious allegations on December 5, as well as some intercepted telephone conversations, to back the aborted attempt to detain Mikheil Saakashvili which made headlines throughout the world. While Saakashvili remains at liberty, his close associate Severion Dangadze has been remanded in custody, without bail, for two months, with this only fuelling concerns expressed by legal specialists about the legal substance to the accusations.
Ukraine Politicians Embrace Extreme Rhetoric
Despite some major reforms, Ukraine still suffers from widespread corruption and a malfunctioning court system. In this environment, politicians on all sides have been rushing to claim that they are the true leaders in the fight for corruption
Council of Europe will betray its human rights mandate by giving in to Russia, Mr Jagland
The Council of Europe is considering reinstating Russia’s voting rights which were withdrawn after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014. Crimea remains under occupation with ever-mounting human rights abuse, making the reference given to the Council of Europe’s ‘human rights mandate’ as excuse for removing sanctions seem particularly disingenuous.
Poland’s right-wing government poised to seize more control of the judiciary than Yanukovych achieved in Ukraine
Poland’s ruling party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość [PiS] is set to gain effective control over the National Council of the Judiciary and influence over all judicial appointments in the country. Many of their moves seem ominously reminiscent of the methods used to gain control - and he hoped, to maintain it, by Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yanukovych
Poroshenko accused of following in Yanukovych’s tracks over retrograde law
A law recently passed and signed by the President in blitzkrieg fashion strips the heads and deputy heads of local state administrations of their civil servant status, with this removing any requirements for their appointment on a competitive basis, and restrictions on political party affiliation.
Ukraine’s Challenges Are Very Real, but Now Is Not the Time for the West to Let Up
Four years since its Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine is fighting for its survival as an independent and viable state. The country is struggling to hold together and resist Russia’s interference and pressure—in the military, diplomatic, economic, and media spheres. But simultaneously, an internal contest is occurring that will determine the political, institutional, and civic future of Ukraine.
Ukraine launches spiral of illegality with abduction & expulsion of Georgians linked to Mikheil Saakashvili
Ukraine’s authorities acted in breach of Ukrainian legislation in forcibly removing Georgian nationals from Ukraine on October 21 and November 17, with consequences that are now virtually impossible to restore by legal means. This is the stark message from Valeria Lutkovska, Ukraine’s Human Rights Ombudsperson after investigating the so-called deportation of Georgians linked with Mikheil Saakashvili, former Georgian President and now fierce critic and aspiring rival to Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.
Here’s One Way Ukraine Can Hold Russia Accountable Now
Several events in the last few months have shifted the terrain for Ukraine’s internally displaced persons in positive ways, providing new avenues for political and legal justice for Ukraine’s 1.6 million IDPs
Seven things you should know about pro-Kremlin disinformation
Pro-Kremlin disinformation can look like just another news story - important keys to not being manipulated from EU vs. Disinfo
UN Warns Of Humanitarian Impact Of Increased Hostilities In Eastern Ukraine
The United Nations has raised "extreme" concern that an escalation of fighting near water infrastructures in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk could lead to a deadly chlorine gas disaster.
Deutsche Welle ‘satire’ seems to dispute Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine
Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s first satirical clip in a new series has aroused anger among many Ukrainians. The humour for a country which has seen such huge human loss since early 2014 seems at very least questionable, and many feel the first ‘Zapovednik’ clip places in question Russia’s military intervention both in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine.
Decommunization trials in Lithuania and Ukraine, while Russia defends Soviet past
A court in Vilnius has sentenced Yuri Subbotin, a Lithuanian citizen of Russian descent, to 14 months’ restricted liberty for at least one post in which he praised Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the Soviet regime. The norm in Lithuania is similar to one of Ukraine’s decommunization laws, however the penalties are much less severe
How to End the War in Eastern Ukraine
The recent US debate about Russia has focused mainly on Moscow’s disinformation, propaganda, and interference in our elections. But Russia’s aggression against Ukraine remains the original sin and the biggest threat. It’s not just Ukraine’s survival as an independent, democratic state that is on the line, but the future of an international order based on the rule of law rather than the law of the jungle.