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today 25.07.2014 14:16
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Politics and human rights

Whose war?

25.07.14 | Halya Coynash
The shooting down of MH17 has led to harsh words used about Moscow’s very major role in providing the arms and military technology, men and training for artificially manufactured unrest (and bitterly real bloodshed), but left terminology, like ‘civil war’ and ‘separatist’ largely intact
News from the CIS countries

Moscow court convicts Udaltsov and Razvozzhaev on ‘riots’ charges

25.07.14
Leonid Razvozzhaev, the Russian asylum seeker abducted in Kyiv and taken to Moscow has been convicted, together with Left Front activist Sergei Udaltsov of ‘organizing mass riots”. The men’s "patriotic position" in supporting the Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas did not prevent a guilty verdict which most observers see as politically motivated
The right to liberty and security

Lviv journalist taken hostage for a second time

25.07.14
Yury Lelyavsky, a freelance journalist reporting for ZIK has once again been taken hostage by Kremlin-backed militants. According to a friend and fellow journalist Vlad Yakushev, this time he was seized in the Luhansk oblast where the anti-terrorist operation is underway
Implementation of European Law

Ongoing saga over bulletproof vests v. EU legislation

25.07.14
There is still no resolution in the absurd saga involving efforts by Polish volunteers to bring bulletproof vests and helmets to Ukraine to help save Ukrainian soldiers’ lives.
Politics and human rights

Russian Media hype over ban on parliamentary communist faction [Updated]

24.07.14 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s LifeNews has found a new crusader “for the truth” against the “nationalist-fascist regime in Kyiv” in the figure of Petro Symonenko’s whose communist party faction in parliament dissolved on Thursday.
The right to liberty and security

Donetsk journalist Anton Skyba abducted by Kremlin-backed militants

24.07.14
On Tuesday evening, July 22, Kremlin-backed militants abducted a freelance journalist working for CNN. He was taken to the SBU building which the militants have seized
The right to a fair trial

Nadya Savchenko appeal hearing due on July 25

24.07.14
It is likely that Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko will not be allowed to attend the hearing, perhaps to avoid her describing how she was forced into Russia after being captured by Kremlin-backed militants
Politics and human rights

No Sanctions Game Changer?

23.07.14 | Halya Coynash
Tough words and stern warnings from EU leaders after the shooting down of MH17 resulted in yet more tough words and imprecise warnings at Tuesday’s EU meeting. This is despite unequivocal US reports suggesting that the blame lies fully with Kremlin-backed and Russian-armed militants and signs that vital evidence has been tampered with
The right to liberty and security

Whereabouts of four Crimean civic activists still unknown

23.07.14
Four civic activists known for their opposition to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea have not been seen since they disappeared back in May. Friends and colleagues are convinced that they were seized by the Russian security services
The right to liberty and security

Nigerian student among latest to be abducted by militants

23.07.14
Adighibenma Wayne, a Nigerian student studying at the Luhansk Medical University, is one of 5 people from African countries to have been abducted by Kremlin-backed militants in the last week. Judging by one Russian report, the militants are using the men they abduct for forced labour.
News from the CIS countries

Putin signs law allowing 5 years imprisonment for protest ‘infringements’

23.07.14
Among the bills signed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on July 22 was one which seriously toughens penalties for “infringement of order” in holding or organizing public events. A person who has incurred administrative penalties more than twice in six months could face imprisonment for up to 5 years if charged with the same ‘offence’. Otherwise they face large fines.
Freedom of expression

Yalta man could face year imprisonment for flying a Ukrainian flag

22.07.14
Russia, together with its occupation regime in the Crimea, clearly defends only the “right” of Kremlin-backed militants to raise Russian flags. In other cases, as with a peaceful protest in Yalta involving a Ukrainian flag, the full repressive weight of Russian law is invoked.
Freedom of expression

10 foreign journalists detained by armed militants near Donetsk morgue

22.07.14
The journalists, now released, had been trying to establish whether the bodies of those killed in the Malaysian MH17 disaster had been brought to the morgue. The militants are believed to have shot down the plane and are now seriously hampering the investigation and recovery of bodies
Freedom of conscience and religion, Terrorism

Four murdered members of a Slovyansk evangelical church laid to rest

22.07.14
The funeral has taken place of four members, two deacons and the sons of the Pastor of he Slovyansk evangelical Church of the Transformation tortured and killed by Kremlin-backed militants from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Politics and human rights

Will the West sleep through this final wake-up call?

21.07.14 | Halya Coynash
The black boxes from the MH17 disaster are in Kremlin-backed militants’ hands, the man able to change this, Vladimir Putin has done nothing. Noises have been made by EU countries about ‘considering new sanctions’, yet France’s sale of Mistral war ships to Russia has not been cancelled, and no other specific measures indicated

  

Articles

Russia resurrects Soviet ways in treatment of the Crimean Tatars

Halya Coynash
Enforced exile is always a personal tragedy. In this case, however, a ban has been imposed on Refat Chubarov, head of the Crimean Tatars’ representative body and this is an affront to all Crimean Tatars. It is also a test and challenge to western countries who claim commitment to rule of law and human rights while wanting business as usual with Russia

The EU’s Opaque Dealings with Ukraine

Halya Coynash
The decision to extend a ceasefire which one side was not respecting was doubtless taken under pressure from the EU, and not widely understood at home. Trust in the president, and in the EU, will be undermined if the latter fails to make good its threats of sanctions this time. The same applies if negotiation arrangements lack transparency

Russia’s FSB launches first Crimean show trial

Halya Coynash
Five days after Ukraine’s presidential elections gave the lie to Moscow’s claims of a far right ‘junta’ in which the nationalist Right Sector is lead villain, four Crimean opponents of Russian annexation, one a prominent film director, have been accused of a Right Sector ‘terrorist conspiracy’

The Kremlin’s Propaganda Coup in Donetsk

Halya Coynash
There has still been no adequate response from the west to the effective seizure of control in Donetsk by the Vostok Battalion comprised mainly of well-armed and trained fighters from the Russian Federation

Call for joint Ukrainian-Russian human rights mission for Donbas

Representatives of human rights organizations in Ukraine and Russia have addressed an open appeal to the Ukrainian and Russian Human Rights Ombudspersons and the Chairperson of the Russian Human Rights Council under the President, Mikhail Fedotov.

Where are the sanctions?

Halya Coynash
There were overt – and successful – efforts to disrupt the elections in two regions, and there are now large numbers of trucks with armed fighters crossing the Russian border into Ukraine. Only the ’grave consequences’ for Russia are yet to be seen.

Russian Clamp on Crimean Tatar Remembrance

Halya Coynash
The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People has been forced to cancel the huge remembrance gathering in the centre of Simferopol on May 18. Russian repressive measures under annexation have now extended to remembering victims of the Deportation