war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.



1. Strategic vision of the KHPG development

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) as a legal entity began to function from November 1992. It was created by ten Memorial Society activists to provide legal, psychological and any other help to persons, whose rights were violated, regardless of their race, skin color, citizenship, sex, ethnic origin, language, religion, place of residence and their views and opinions. For 23 years, KHPG has become one of the most authoritative and influential non-governmental human rights organizations in Ukraine.

Main trends of state and society development in Ukraine

The occupation of the Crimea by Russian forces, the artificially organized separatist movements in the East which gradually turned into armed aggression, and the full-scale military conflict with the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts made human rights issues secondary. In the best case their resolution was put off to future peacetime, in the worst – amendments to legislation and practice seen, with some exception, exacerbated the present situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms.

One can say overall that the new administration has often neglected the principle of rule of law and violated the Constitution, with their actions governed by political expediency. Draft laws are being produced aimed at making the fight against separatism more effective. These including the draft laws ‘On preventive detention’; ‘On amendments to the Criminal Code [on increasing liability for crimes against the foundations of Ukraine’s national security’; ‘On measures against separatism’; ‘On a special regime for pre-trial investigation in the area of the anti-terrorist operation [ATO]’; and others. All of these are in breach of the Constitution and international human rights standards.

There has effective been no movement on other needed reforms in the human rights sphere – to the judiciary, criminal justice, education, etc. The law on reinstating confidence in the judiciary did not achieve the aim of replacing heads of courts. 87% of them were re-elected to their posts democratically in accordance with this law. Unsuccessful reforms in other fields – pension, medical and others – need real reform of these spheres again.

The use of force which defenders of Maidan were forced into in Kyiv; the death of a considerable number of people; the general excitation and euphoria of the first days after the revolution; and a large number of weapons in peoples’ possession led to a steep reduction in immunity against violence. Dominant during those days were the demands of people with weapons who said that only their orders must be obeyed; document checks of everybody; arson attacks; lynch law; posts or corridors of shame; harassment of the relatives of prominent members of the Party of the Regions; and sometimes people being beaten up for no reason at all. The police were disorientated and passive. Members of artificially organized separatist movements in Donbas and in Kharkiv began carrying out acts of violence, only much more often and much more brutal, imitating the corridors of shame and carrying out terrible beatings of Euromaidan supporters. As already mentioned, leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics [DPR, LPR, respectively] made it a daily thing to persecute first pro-Ukrainian civic figures, then later simply anybody whom they didn’t like or who objected to their actions. People disappear without traces each day with it later becoming known that they have either been shot, or are being held in the basements of official state buildings [the SBU, police and others] seized by the separatists – in Slovyansk; Luhansk; Donetsk; Horlivka and other cities. The condition for their release has been ransom – whether a certain amount of money, or a car or their property. Robberies, searches, appropriation of cars and other property have become everyday occurrences.

Prisoners have been held in terrible conditions, often without light, without being taken outside, in unsuitable premises where they were extremely badly fed and not provided with medical care. They have been tortured and some beaten to death. In the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts the right to life and freedom from torture and arbitrary arrest have become illusory. The militants tortured and kill people. They treated Ukrainian enforcement officers captured as prisoners of war just as badly, torturing, beating and tormenting them.

This led to an analogous backlash from Ukrainian enforcement officers, especially some volunteer battalions such as Aidar (and most complaints are just against fighters of this defence ministry battalion); Azov; Dnipro-1; Donbas, Shakhtarsk. Some of those fighting have considered that they can treat prisoners in the same manner as the separatists. Cases have been recorded when captured separatists have been tortured, even to death. There have also been abductions of people with demand for ransom; seizure of cars; robberies, because the fighters considered that they could rob separatists’ homes. Detention by the enforcement bodies of people who seemed suspicious, with the use of force against them, has become an everyday practice.

One can also observe an increase in hatred towards the separatists, triumph when their rivals are killed, and the circulation in social networks of the photos of the bodies of enemies. This growing general brutality creates the conditions in which torture and other forms of violence thrive. When the mood in society changes in this way, the same inevitably happens inside of the state authorities. The attitude of the police to detainees accused of separatism or terrorism has been brutal with the public’s tacit consent. Numerous cases of beatings or even torture of detainees in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been recorded. All this is a major concern.

According to the mission of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, by the end of October 2015, about 8,000 people were killed and more than 17,000 injured as a result of the armed conflict.

In general, the situation seen in 2010-2013 has remained with a crisis of state institutions aimed at protecting human rights, first and foremost the law enforcement bodies and courts, exacerbated. Enforcement of court rulings remains a major problem, including the rulings of international bodies. The government has not moved far in this sense since the Yanukovych period. The positive potential of the Criminal Procedure Code is not being properly used. What is more, the law enforcement bodies have learned to bypass its norms which in their opinion hinder their work.

Another major problem remains the ineffective investigation into complaints alleging torture and ill-treatment either by police officers or Penitentiary Service staff or with their inaction, tacit consent or encouragement. The prosecutor’s office is extremely bad at carrying out its function of providing an effective, thorough, speedy and impartial investigation into such complaints. The cases of unlawful use of force during the events on Kyiv’s Maidan on 30 November, 1 December and 11 December, as well as the mass killings on 18-20 February have still not been properly investigated. Nor has there been investigation of the abduction of people, the beating of Euromaidan activists in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, as well as other crimes, torture and killing of civilians and soldiers, and other crimes against their life and health, and crimes linked with infringement of property rights.

Terrible crimes in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts previously unseen in Ukraine which were carried out by separatists – politically-motivated forced disappearances; extrajudicial executions; arbitrary arrests and torture of hostages; seizure of administrative buildings, etc., have been against a background of inaction, tacit consent, or even worse – the help by officers of local offices of the police, SBU and prosecutor’s offices. Unfortunately, instead of defending human rights, law enforcement bodies were more often active players in the infringements.

A new problem for the country has arisen, that being internally displaced persons [IDP] from the Crimea and Donbas. As a result of the occupation of Crimea and military aggression in Donbas, large groups of people from those regions were forced to leave their homes. According to UNHCR sources, by 1.09.2015 Ukraine had a total of 1 438 000 IDPs. Additionally, about 500 000 IDPs do not register at all. There are 535 000 IDPs in the Donetsk oblast, 263 300 in the Luhansk oblast, 185 600 in Kharkiv oblast.

Under these conditions, KHPG considers that the main indicators of their success are positive changes in the state policy in the field of human rights inspired by organization’s activities.


KHPG believes that its main strategic objectives in current situation is to intensify its proactive influence on the state and society in order to prevent infringement of human rights and facilitate creation of democratic and rule of law state and development of Ukrainian civil society. KHPG vision is to strengthen proactive influence on the state and society, in order to prevent violation of human rights in Ukraine and help build a democratic and legal state and civil society development.

KHPG mission  is to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms from the state bodies’ encroachment but also to help state realize and safeguard human rights and to facilitate development of the rule of law state in Ukraine.

KHPG main goal  in accordance with its Statute is to encourage and promote proactively full observance in Ukraine of human rights enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution and international treaties and covenants.

Our overall objective  is to facilitate implementation by the state of its positive obligations related to human rights and point out the cases where state does not create necessary conditions for realization of human rights or does not react to violation of human rights as well as to promote court reform and reform of criminal justice system.


2. Conception and model of the KHPG activity

Strategic objectives which KHPG is to solve to realize its strategic vision:

  • expand our influence on state bodies through:
    • development of cooperation with international partners;
    • holding successful strategic litigations;
    • impact on the law-making and reforming process;
    • development of contacts with those people working in public administration bodies and judicial system, whose values are similar with ours and who oriented to reforms of European nature.
  • expand our influence on public opinion through:
    • successful defence of human rights in concrete cases;
    • work of our public reception office and strategic litigations centre;
    • rendering free legal services;
    • educational and aware-raising programs;
    • development of PR function;
    • volunteer programs;
    • cooperation with non-governmental organizations with the same goals and values.
  • expand our influence on professional community through:
    • contributing court and criminal justice reforms;
    • rendering high quality educational and information services;
    • increasing the number of successful litigations, including strategic.

KHPG is governed in its work by the following values:

  • Humanity and compassion
  • Tolerance
  • Professionalism
  • Transparency and openness
  • Mutual confidence
  • Creative self-organization of its staff

KHPG development is based on improvement of a work of each structural unit and on development of programs to achieve better efficiency in realization of KHPG mission and strategic vision as well as improvement of KHPG management system and development of organizational capacity.

Model of KHPG activity

KHPG created its own model of human rights protection. It uses this model in its work. Protection human rights means to run simultaneously in three directions:

1. Defence of victims of human rights violations in specific cases.

2. Civic education and enlightenment on human rights, collection and distribution of information and knowledge on human rights.

3. Monitoring, analysis and improvement of the human rights situation in Ukraine.

All three areas are closely interlaced, the work only in one direction, generally speaking, cannot be efficient. If one works only with the defence of individuals, then the human rights organizations will be doomed to the non-stop fight with the state under the condition of the legislation, which continued to violate human rights, and people’s ignorance of their rights and their protection tools. The legal enlightenment and teaching human rights, the knowledge of one’s rights, national and international tools of their protection are needed for the successful defence of rights and for the creation of the rightful atmosphere. Analysis of the situation of human rights involves the analysis of the legal system, of the judicial and administrative practice, compliance with the international agreements in the field of human rights, the practice of international bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights, the observation of the legislative process, the initiation of the necessary changes in the law and practice. But any analysis will be insufficient, if not will be based on the specific practices of defence of victims.

Thus, for the implementation of programs aimed at protection human rights KHPG must act simultaneously in three directions, which are inseparably interconnected (see Chart 1):

Of the full range of human rights KHPG usually selects several key rights and freedoms, which are currently the most up to date, and implements work with them in the described model. Consideration of individual rights KHPG combines well with the analysis and monitoring of the activities of certain government bodies, considering in this case all the rights and freedoms are violated by these bodies. Accounting main trends of state development, KHPG provides the following programs in 2016-2019:

1. Human rights defence through KHPG Public Reception Office (PRO)

2. Human rights defence through KHPG Strategic Litigation Centre (SLC)

3. Monitoring, investigation and legal proceeding the most serious violations of human rights in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts

4. Human rights protection of internal displaced persons in Ukraine

5. Civic campaign against torture and ill-treatment

6. Defence of the rights of vulnerable groups with focusing on prisoners, drug users and people who live with HIV/AIDS as well as asylum seekers and migrants

7. Defence of freedom of expression, access to information and right for privacy; increasing transparency and openness of work of public administration and local self-government bodies

8. Struggle against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and hate crimes

9. Struggle against political persecutions in Ukraine

10. Protection of the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings.

11.  Security services in a constitutional democracy: oversight and accountability

12. Police reform

13. Dissemination of information and knowledge on human rights and basic freedoms in Ukraine, civil education and aware-raising activities.

14. Monitoring implementation of decisions of international bodies.

15. Study of history of human rights movement in USSR and Ukraine and history of political repression in USSR.

To improve its performance KHPG should also take care of its organizational development: to improve the organizational structure, management system, fundraising and communication (internal and external), to improve the knowledge and skills of the staff, to ensure the conditions for it to work effectively, to attract young professionals who sharing the values and goals KHPG. We also need to develop a network of human rights organizations, and to provide to the members of the network resource support, as well as to create and develop specialised networks, each of which focuses on one key right or several interrelated rights.

Thus, KHPG program activity should be also assessed by such criteria as development of its internal directions (see Chart 2).     

KHPG structure and management

KHPG now is successfully operating organization with 22 full-time staff, 28 part-time staff and some ten volunteers. KHPG consists of eight main structural units which implement KHPG program and exercise support and coordination of KHPG’s work (see Chart 3).

In accordance with the SIDA recommendations KHPG has changed the composition of its governing bodies and management. A new KHPG Statute has been prepared and registered. The main Statute’s organ is the General Assembly, which meets at least once a year. The General Assembly elects the Board and Chair of the Board, approves the policies of the organization, its annual budget, the reports of the Board and Director, annual financial report and balance. Main governing body is KHPG Board which defines main directions of organization activity and makes key decisions on its development.

KHPG Board meets at least once in three months. KHPG Board appoints a Director who is in charge of implementation of Board decisions and efficient day-to-day organization work and management. KHPG Director carefully maintains and stores its financial records and strictly follows all accounting norms and reporting procedures for each project and for the organization as a whole. It was confirmed by regular audits and checks which were undertaken by our donors or their designated representatives. Lists of Board members, heads of structural units see in Attachment 1.

KHPG financing and fundraising

KHPG has a wide experience in implementing and managing projects, funded by the international organizations. During the last three years KHPG turnover amounted to (in thousand UAH): 2013 – 7 618.0; 2014 – 10 440.0; first six months of 2015 – 7 542.538. More detailed information on the KHPG financing in 2013-2015 and the donors is presented in the following table:

Title of the project


Project period,




Enhancing legal opportunities for vulnerable groups in society to defend their rights (subgrant for support of the KHPG PRO)


30/09/12 – 31/08/14

€ 9 350


Development of legislative and organizational framework, based on international human rights standards, to defend human rights, with emphasis on fight against ill-treatment


21/09/12 – 20/09/14

€ 209 980


Monitoring and advocacy of effective implementation of international and regional commitments of Ukraine in the field of combating torture and ill-treatment


01/01/14 – 31/10/14

120000 UAH


Legal aid networking for vulnerable groups


18/12/13 – 17/12/14

800000 UAH


Rendering urgent assistance to IDP from the Donbass and the Crimea, who left their places of residence as a result of military actions


15/06/14 – 31/08/14

174468 UAH


Rendering urgent assistance to internal displaced persons from the Donbass and the Crimea, who left their places of residence as a result of political persecution and military actions

France Embassy

01/10/14 – 31/12/14

€ 5 000

Creation of human rights defence mechanisms in Donetsk and Luhansk region


15/12/14 – 28/02/15

$ 19 000

Creation of human rights defence mechanisms in Donetsk and Luhansk region


01/03/15 – 39/04/15

$ 8 240

Observance of human rights in the penitentiary system of Ukraine with the accent on observance of the right to health protection and medical assistance


01/09/14 – 31/08/15

477000 UAH

Campaign for transparency and openness of the Ukrainian state


21/12/12 – 20/06/15

€ 75 067,38

Civic campaign against torture and ill-treatment


12/06/14 – 11/06/16

€ 260 000

Providing Information and Analysis of Human Rights in Ukraine


01/05/14 – 30/04/15

$ 47 200

Institutional Support for 2014


01/01/14 – 30/12/14

$ 99 000

Monitoring and defence of the rights of prisoners to medical care

U.S. Embassy

01/07/14 – 31/03/15

$ 13 774

The Strategic Advisory Group on MIA and Police Reform in Ukraine (PoR-SAG)


01/01/15 – 30/11/15

$ 150 000

Core Support


01/01/12 – 31/12/15

€ 1 080 000

Human Rights Defence of Internal Displaced Persons in Ukraine with focusing Kharkiv oblast


20/06/15 – 19/06/2016

€ 1 789 055 (KHPG – € 109 000)

Protecting Human Rights Through Improved Access To Legal Aid (subgrant for support of the KHPG PRO)

DFATD, Canada Government

01/05/15 – 31/12/2015

€ 10 000

Legal assistance to IDPs and conflict-affected population in Ukraine

Delegation of the Danish Refugee Council

01/07/15 – 31/12/2015

1 014 060 UAH

European civil monitoring of human rights in the Eastern Ukraine

German Foreign Affairs Ministry

01/07/15 – 31/12/2015

€ 26 674


Chart 3 KHPG structure


3. Strategy and Risk management

Strategy of KHPG activity in 2016-2019 

Strategy of KHPG activities in 2016-2019 is presented in the separate table – Results Assessment Framework (RAF). RAF includes indicators of effectiveness of KHPG activities for monitoring and assessment.

Analysis of strategic risks of KHPG 2016-2019





Risk factor

Risk mitigation strategy

Responsible person

Reluctance of President and Government to change the internal state policy towards human rights observation





Organizing the wide informational campaign to force the government to admit the necessity of change the internal state policy. Cooperation with international organizations and bodies as well as Ukrainian civil society for pressure on the power.

Yevgeniy Zakharov,


Gross interference of the state into the KHPG activities, political persecution





Using all legal defence mechanisms both nationally and internationally

Yevgeniy Zakharov

Worsening political struggle, war intensification





Using the situation for the assertion of human rights values. The information campaign on the necessity to observe human rights, even in emergency situations. Development of recommendations to public authorities, law enforcement agencies as well as to the opposition. Demonstration on how to avoid human rights violations

Yevgeniy Zakharov,


Lack of funding





Increased fundraising activity. Developing financial plan and try to follow it.

Yevgeniy Zakharov, fundraiser

Lack of cooperation with state bodies in the sphere of Human Right





The campaign to force the state bodies to cooperate in the sphere of human rights. Developing communication strategy and try to follow it.

Yevgeniy Zakharov, PR-manager

Lack of cooperation with regional and international partners





Development of the communication strategy and follow it.

Yevgeniy Zakharov, PR-manager

Insufficient knowledge and skills of partner organizations





Developing the educational programs for partners

Yevgeniy Zakharov

The growing economic crisis, default in Ukraine





Monitoring of economic situation in Ukraine. Preventive and operational activities for saving KHPG funds

Nelli Fursova, economist

Lack of qualified staff





Effective personnel management. Developing the educational programs for KHPG staff

Deputy director on human recourse

Lack of internal communication





Development of the communication strategy and follow it.

Deputy director on human recourse

Corruption within the organization





Develop Anti-corruption policy that all employees will have to sign. Carry out an external financial audit every year.

Maria Shutaliova, Head of the Internal Audit Commission

Financial Plan

Results of fundraising for financing of the strategic plan are given in the table below. The total amount of funds that have been received and, we hope, would receive by KHPG in 2016-2019, is 36 187.7 thousand UAH. While in 2016 the number of confirmed contracts signed with donors without institutional support SIDA, is approximately 9 638 thousand UAH, in 2017 – 5 106 thousand UAH, in 2018 – 1 196 thousand UAH. In the calculations, we were taken exchange rates € 1 = 26 UAH, $ 1 = 23 UAH.






National Endowment for Democracy

$ 37,000

$ 37,000

$ 37,000

$ 37,000

Open Society Institute (Budapest)


$ 30,000




European Commission (combat torture)

€ 90,000

€ 26,000   

€ 120,000

€ 120,000

European Commission (right to a fair trial)



€ 26,000

€ 26,000

U.S. Department (through Warsaw Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights)

$ 40.5,000      

$ 81,000

$ 81,000

$ 81,000






U.S. Embassy





Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and

Development (DFATD, Canada Government)





Delegation of the Danish Refugee Council





German Foreign Affairs Ministry






11 811,900 UAH

10 631,000


6 872,400 UAH

6 872,400 UAH

According to this table total amount for 2016-2019 is 36 187 700 UAH.

4. Strategic objectives within the KHPG programmes and projects

4.1. Human rights defence through KHPG PRO

PRO is engaged in the first direction of KHPG activity, i.e. defence of human rights in specific cases, consulting on human rights issues and rendering legal help. In 2013-2015 KHPG considered about 3000 written complaints and a huge amount of oral complaints and complaints via KHPG web-sites and pages in the social networks.

Main directions of further development of PRO activity:

– Creation of permanent consultative and information units in six regions of Kharkiv region;

– Regular consultations of PRO team in six regions of Kharkiv region (besides those where function permanent units);

– Field receptions in the towns and villages of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– Opening and support new PROs in Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– Development and improvement of volunteer work;

– Further training of consultants working in PRO;

– Intensification of coverage of human rights defence activity in printed and electronic mass media;

– Strengthening of connections with law enforcement bodies and partner human rights NGOs.

4.2. Human rights defence through KHPG SLC

SLC was created within the framework of campaign against torture and cruel treatment. In 2012-2014 it rendered legal aid to more than 199 victims a year: assistance in judicial procedures and legal representation. Legal aid is rendered not only in Ukrainian courts but also in ECHR and other international bodies. From 2006 SLC lawyers won in ECHR more than 90 cases concerning tortures and cruel treatment, unlawful detention, extraditions, violation of a right to a fair trial in torture context, etc.

In 2010-2013 KHPG expanded the SLC mandate: included include rendering aid to victims of criminal prosecution based on political motives and special type of victims (minors, asylum seekers, drug users and people living with HIV/AID).  

KHPG plans to expand the SLC mandate in order to include more issues related to war crimes against servicemen, prisoners of war and the civilians who remain in or live near the conflict zone of Donbass by providing legal aid to them through applying to the European Court of Human Rights.

4.3. Monitoring, investigation and legal proceeding the most serious violations of human rights in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions

Civilians who due to different reasons were not able to leave the occupied territories of Donbass face everyday risk to their life and/or health. Every week high-explosive shells destroy their homes. While it is true that occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not under effective control of Ukrainian authorities, Ukraine did not set up effective remedies capable to provide the protection of civilians’ rights who are still staying in or near the conflict zone.

Strategic aim of this program is defence of the rights of the civilians who remain in or live near the conflict zone of Donbass by providing legal aid to them through applying to the European Court of Human Rights.

For achievement of this aim it is necessary to perform the following tasks:

To collect of evidences of the:

a) presence of Russian Federation agents on the occupied territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

b) effective cooperation between regular Russian Federation forces and DPR, LPR militant.

Also, it is necessary to fix:

c) the quantity of killed and injured civilians on the mentioned territories;

d) the quantity of the destroyed homes and other civilian’s property and character thereof, approximate amount of the losses;

After it is possible to draft applications to the ECtHR and subsequent support thereof.

For performance of these tasks it is necessary to conduct the following activities:

1. Cooperation with victims of the violations in order to get full information about the quantity of killed and injured civilians on the mentioned territories and facilities to provide them with an aid;

2. Cooperation with inhabitants of the region in order to gather full information about the Russian Federation’s involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine;

3. Support of victims during cooperation with Government’s agents;

4. Elaboration of the strategy of cooperation with Ukrainian authorities in order to activate the procedures of compensation for those whose rights (or their’ close relatives) were violated;

5. Support of victims during acquisition of documents that are important for the compensation procedures;

6. Drafting applications to the ECtHR and subsequent support thereof;

7. Monitoring of observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the territory of the military conflict

We hope to receive the following results. As currently ECtHR is the sole body able to actually protect violated rights of civilians of Eastern Ukraine, we can justifiably expect that rights of dozens of people may be objectively renewed by the decisions of ECtHR. The victims of violations or their close relatives (in case of death o victims) may get pecuniary recompense for their losses. Moreover, by communicating with the target group we will collect the actual information about the killed and injured civilians as well as information about destroyed homes of civilian’s and approximate amount of losses. We will be able to receive eye-witness and witness evidence of the level of Russian Federation participation in the armed conflict in Ukraine.

4.4. Human rights protection of internal displaced persons in Ukraine

The main tasks to be solved are issuing and reissuing ID documents, jobs, accommodations, providing social and medical support, social and psychological rehabilitation. The IDPs are in a serious need of accommodations to live, in food supplies, personal hygiene items, clothes, help with finding jobs, as well as informational and consulting help on the duties of the authorities helping the IDPs.

KHPG intends to inform IDPs in eight regions (Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Kiev and Kiev region, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions) about the procedures of providing their rights and fulfilling their needs by state authorities and local authorities according to the law; transfer necessity things to IDPs in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions; support for volunteers in these regions in transporting IDPs and the things they need – food, hygiene products, medicine, clothes, household things etc.

4.5. Civic campaign against torture and ill-treatment     

KHPG plans to continue its activities combat torture and ill-treatment. We will focus on five interconnected main directions:

a) Analytical, research and legislative work and lobbying:

- analysis of the official statistics data relating to police abuse, torture, unlawful detention (including detentions without court warrant), illegal methods of inquiry and violation of the right for defence;

- researches on: effectiveness of investigating of complaints on torture and other forms of ill-treatment on the part of law enforcement, its results and liability of perpetrators of the crimes; on complying with the requirements of the Code of Criminal procedure on fixation of the moment of factual detention and all following actions carried out with the detainee; complying with the by-law requirements on fixation of injures of detainees;

- participation in preparation of legal regulation drafts particularly: setting detailed rules on treatment with detainees in police custody since the moment of physical apprehension of a detainee; methodic of investigation of cases of torture based on international standards of effective investigation of complaints on torture, particularly, recommendations of Istanbul Protocol

- lobbying implementation of: detailed rules on keeping of detained persons in police custody; implementation of international standards of effective investigation of complaints on torture;

b) Participation in reformation of law enforcement bodies and judiciary:

-  developing the reformation process through activity of the Civil Councils at the Ministry of Interior and at the State Criminal Executive Service;

- participation in commissions on selection of police officers and prosecutors;

- monitoring of openness and transparency of the selection process and its results;

- advocating changes of approach to inquiry methods from coercive ones aiming to confession to those based on criminalistics and evidentiary law 

c) Development of system of legal aid to victims of torturer and cruel treatment:

- instituting a phone call centre for victims of torture; and

- cooperation with the Ombudsman’s office on the matter both of timely informing about the facts of torture and obtaining evidence in specific cases of torture;

d) Development and strengthening of NGO network for prevention of torture:

- enhancing the network of lawyers providing legal assistance for victims of torture in terms of promptness and coverage;

- promoting NGOs activists for a membership Advisory Commissions on supervision above penitentiary institutions;

- cooperation with organizations of medical specialists on collecting evidence of torture;

f) Educational activity and raising public awareness on problem of torture:

- training activities for law enforcement officers, particularly for newly recruited police officers;

- preparation and publishing editions in area of prohibition and prevention torture;

- establishing united database of tortures and ill-treatment opened to public.

4.6. Defence of the rights of vulnerable groups with focusing on prisoners, drug users and people who live with HIV/AIDS as well as asylum seekers and migrants

Our planned activities in the framework of this programme may be divided to the following directions:

a) Monitoring and reporting cases of violations of right to a fair trial and other HR of the vulnerable groups. We will monitor the following categories of victims: detained, accused and convicted persons; drug users (DUs); and people who live with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) as well as asylum seekers, migrants, foreigners and stateless persons.

b) Developing the system for legal, medical and other aid to victims. We will continue to provide legal aid to victims and expand work on strategic litigations: to include new aspects of defence of vulnerable groups (i.e. appealing disciplinary measures against prisoners in administrative procedures and protection of prisoners as victims in the case of ill-treatment by the administration; defence in criminal proceedings on  illegal acts with drugs with a focus on the recognition of illegally obtained evidence as inadmissible, falsification or provocation of evidence, using the vulnerable state of the defendants of this category; protection of prisoners of war); to enhance a permanent network of lawyers able to participate in strategic litigations.

c) Analytical, research, law-making and advocacy activities. We plan to hold legal, sociologic and other research concerning root causes of hindering access to justice and violations of the right to a fair trial and its consequences, to prepare and advocate analytical materials, drafts law and recommendations on implementation of international standards and case-law in domestic practice, including follow-up reports on execution of the ECtHR judgments v. Ukraine in the area.

d) Awareness-raising and educational activities. We plan to hold educational events for target groups – judges; lawyers, state officials and HR activists; to publish academic and reference literature on the right to a fair trial and defence of vulnerable group, including case-law of the ECtHR; and to carry on information campaign for general public through press-conferences, discussions, TV-programs on finding the project.

e) Monitoring the establishments of the SPSU. We plan to develop the mechanism of monitoring the penitentiary establishments on the base of cooperation with the MPs.

f) Developing and strengthening a network for defence of access to justice and defence of the right to a fair trial. We plan to strengthen the specialised network of lawyers, HR activists and other professionals for defence of access of vulnerable groups to justice, the right to a fair trial and other related HR as well as to improve their abilities and skills in implementation of HR standards at domestic level. Particularly, we are going to realise the inmates’ right for complaining to court disciplinary penalties imposed on them, to achieve adversary proceedings and exercise the right to defence in cases against convicts on crimes against the penitentiary administration or violation of rues of serving the punishment. As well defence from provocation of crimes and use of anonymous witnesses will be the matter in the cases against drug dependent people.

4.7. Defence of freedom of expression, access to information and right for privacy; increasing transparency and openness of work of public administration bodies and local self-government bodies

KHPG programme on monitoring and defence of freedom of opinion and rights for privacy will develop along three main directions:

– preparation of draft amendment to basic laws on information (Laws “On information”, “On access to public information” and “On personal data protection”), and other information laws and lobbying of these amendments in the Ukrainian Parliament;

– Preparation of draft laws and regulations concerning access to archive information and lobbying of these drafts in the Ukrainian parliament;

– Monitoring of practical implementation of law “On access to public information” by the state and law enforcement bodies;

– Defence of privacy of communications, analysis of Ukrainian legislation, drafts law and practice of wiretapping and other forms of communication interception in comparison with decisions of the European Court on Human Rights according to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

4.8. Struggle against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and hate crimes

Main directions of development of this KHPG program:

– Monitoring of hate crimes (all cases) and hate speech (by the state bodies) in Ukraine in order to assess the scale of hate crimes in Ukraine;

– Defence of victims of hate crimes;

– Analysis of situation with vulnerable groups of population whose members are main victims of hate crimes (foreigners of non-European appearance and Ukrainian citizens of non-Slavic appearance, Roma, Crimean Tatars, LGBT community, DU and PLHA groups);

– Systematic analysis of national legislation and its implementation in relation to hate crimes, preparation of recommendation on amendments to legislation and changes in its implementation;

– Preparation of recommendation on prevention of hate crimes;

– Wide dissemination of information about hate crimes in Ukraine.

4.9. Struggle against political persecutions in Ukraine

Due to of Russia’s aggression, balance between protecting national security and territorial integrity and protection of human rights has been violated to the detriment of human rights. Political persecutions re-emerged in the country. On the one hand, the state persecutes some radical national-patriotic groups, on the other hand there are a disproportionate persecution of so-called terrorists and separatists, without convincing evidence of their crimes. In these conditions, KHPG will conduct the following activities:

– to inform Ukrainian public and international community about political persecutions, conditions of living under custody of its victims and protest actions;

– to render legal defence of victims of political persecutions, to provide other assistance to victims when necessary;

– to organize actions aimed to stop political persecution, for example, public protests against political persecutions in Ukraine.

4.10. Protection of the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings 

In the framework of this program we plan to conduct monitoring of access to justice and the continuous analysis of the decisions and judgments of courts of general jurisdiction in Ukraine in criminal cases.

All monitoring and analytical work will be conducted concerning the following aspects of criminal proceedings: adversarial proceedings and equality of arms (in presenting evidence calling and questioning  witnesses, involving experts for proving a party’s position) at all stages of criminal proceedings, impartiality of court presumption of innocence, public hearing, the right to defence, recognition of unlawfully obtained evidence inadmissible, reasonable time of proceedings and reasoning of judicial decisions, agreements with a prosecutor on the admission of guilt

Analysis of the decisions and judgments of courts of general jurisdiction in Ukraine in criminal cases will be carried out on the basis of the United State Register of Judicial Decisions.

We will conduct initiating and monitoring disciplinary (lustration) processes against judges disregarding clear evidence of torture in course of criminal persecution.

4.11.  Security services in a constitutional democracy: oversight and accountability

This KHPG program will develop in the following main directions:

– Monitoring of human rights violations by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU);

– Analysis of SBU activity in the struggle against terrorism and separatism;

– Analysis of SBU activity in the area of protection of state secrets and other secret information;

– Analysis of SBU activity in the area of protection of personal data;

– Analysis of legislation and its implementation concerning functioning of SBU and State Department on Telecommunications and Protection of Information;

– Preparation of recommendation on amendments to legislation and changes in its implementation concerning SBU activity and civil control under SBU activities;

– Wide dissemination of information about violation of human rights by the SBU and organization of its public discussion.

4.12. Police reform

The police reform process began in March 2014.  Since then there have been the following results:

A police development strategy was created and discussed in different circles, with the participation of the public, national and international experts.  This strategy was adopted on Oct 22, 2014.

A new system was also drawn up and introduced in Lviv for assessing the work of police bodies on the basis of the public attitude.  Two sociological studies were carried out to test this system with assessments of police work received and compared from residents of Lviv and the Lviv oblast (1600 respondents in all).  There was also an anonymous questionnaire of police staff from the Lviv oblast, with 300 respondents.  A comparison of the results of the two surveys, one in September 2014, the other in July 2015 made it possible to assess the changes in the attitude of the public to the police in each part of Lviv and Lviv oblast. Overall, the level of trust had more than doubled, increasing from 19% in 2014 to 41% in 2015.  An analogous survey was carried out in February in Kharkiv and the Kharkiv oblast.

A new model for local police stations was tested in Sambir in June-July 2015, then in a further 9 police stations from August.  From Feb 2016, it was tested in the Lviv, Kyiv and Kharkiv oblasts, then later in the Khmelnytsky and Volyn oblasts.

Further development of the Sambir model has been hampered by the lack of additional funding for patrol cars and petrol. Under this model the police have become more efficient.  In rural areas swift response units for the first time ever arrive swiftly when called.  There has been a significant change in the functions of the duty police officers who work in close contact with swift response units.

A new progressive law on the National Police came into force on Nov 7, 2015, replacing the old law on the Police. Despite a few failings, this law enables the further development of the police.

The next stages in reform will involve deepening the changes to the National Police; restructuring the work of the crime bloc; bringing detectives who combine the functions of operations officers and investigators; changes to the system for police education and medicine. Amendments urgently need to be passed to legislation on criminal misdemeanours and a simplified procedure for their investigation and consideration in court.  This would significantly reduce the load on investigators since such misdemeanours are current 50% of all offences.  Other amendments to legislation are also needed to enable further police reform.  The next step in development of territorial departments of the National Police should be to introduce a ‘bush model’ where the entire oblast is divided into several such units, with a central police department responsible for investigating serious and particularly serious crimes, while all others would be dealt with in the other police stations of the given structure.

4.13. Dissemination of information about human rights and basic freedoms in Ukraine, civil education and aware-raising activities

We plan the following actions to further improve work on wide dissemination in Ukrainian society information about human rights and their violations and about results of the KHPG projects and programs:

– Regular update and improvement of work of the main KHPG web-site ( and its specialised web-sites: (“Against torture!” – site for victims of torture and cruel treatment), (virtual library on human rights),  (virtual museum and archive of dissident movement in Ukraine);

– Preparation, printing and dissemination of all informational materials and books prepared by the KHPG (at least 24 books per year).

Within the framework of the KHPG program devoted to civic education and teaching human rights we plan following main activity:

– Regular update and improvement of work of the KHPG web-site with daily update;

– Annual five days long school on human rights with 25 participants;

– Regular public discussions on actual issues of the state policy concerning human rights and developments of civil society in Ukraine; 

– Development of methodic and scenarios of human rights teaching in schools and colleges/universities.

4.14. Monitoring implementation of decisions of international bodies

Very important direction of KHPG work is monitoring of implementation in Ukraine of decisions and recommendations of international bodies on human rights (ECHR, UN bodies, etc.). KHPG main objective is to develop the mechanisms of due implementation of decisions of international bodies and making responsible Ukrainian officials guilty for the non-compliance. To achieve this objective, we plan:

– To study other countries experience in implementation of decisions of international bodies on human rights;

– To analyse the situation in execution of decisions and recommendations of the international bodies, to reveal the problematic issues s in the matter;

– To create a database of state officials guilty of failure to implement these decisions;

– To monitor cases of making somebody answerable for human rights violations; 

– Monitoring of implementation of amendments in legislative acts and changes in practice in accordance with international recommendations;

– To initiate investigations related to specific decisions of international bodies on human rights concerning Ukraine;

– To widespread among public bodies the information about decisions and recommendations of international bodies on human rights and about progress of their implementation in Ukraine.

4.15. Research on history of dissident movement in USSR and Ukraine and history of political repression in USSR

Within the framework of this KHPG program we plan:

– To complete preparation of the list of persons repressed by political motives from 1953 until 1988 (more than 3000 names) and to publish it;

– To collect archive documents on dissident movement in USSR and Ukraine to continue the oral history program (interviews with former dissidents);

– To develop a physical and electronic archive of dissident movement in Ukraine;

 – To update weekly (1-2 new materials per week) virtual museum and archive of dissident movement in Ukraine (web-site;

– To translate biography references and interviews with dissidents from Ukrainian into English and disseminate these materials through the site http://archive,khpg,org;

– To facilitate implementation of better access to archive documents on political repression in archives of the Ministry of Interior and the State Penitentiary Service;

– To prepare, to publish and to disseminate two issues a year of magazine “From archives of VUChK/GPU/NKVD/KGB”;

– to create and demonstrate exhibitions devoted to history of human rights movement in Ukraine;

– To organize in various Ukrainian cities public discussions “Whether Ukrainian people have the right to know truth about their past?”; during these discussions we shall disseminate KHPG publications on history of political repression and discuss the issues of access to archives and history of Ukraine in XX century.

– To prepare, publish and disseminate at the average ten books per year devoted to resistance to totalitarian regime in USSR.

Attachment 1

List of KHPG Board members

  1. Vsevolod Rechytsky – Chairperson of the Board
  2. Olga Bagaley
  3. Volodymyr Kaplun
  4. Alexey Korotaev

5.   Vadym Voskresensky

Heads of the main KHPG structural units

  1. Director – Yevgeniy Zakharov
  2. Chief Kyiv office manager, Deputy Director – Oleksandr Pavlichenko
  3. Public Reception Office – Luidmila Klochko
  4. Strategic Litigation Centre – Gennadiy Tokarev
  5. Information Centre – Yevgeniy Zakharov
  6. Library – Olga Zviagintzeva
  7. Publishing House – Oleg Miroshnitchenko
  8. Print Service – Oleh Shatokhin
  9. Administrative Department – Nelly Fursova
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