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.

Open Letter: Save the Council of Europe

The Kremlin, in association with its political friends, is trying to get rid of this sanction without in the least changing its policy. This would mean that the Council of Europe would give up its normative foundations.

October 2, 2018

With the annexation of the Crimea and the unexplained war in eastern Ukraine, the Russian leadership has trampled on the principles of the European peace order. As a result, Russia was deprived of voting rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This is a matter of self-respect for this body, which should ensure respect for human rights, the mutual renunciation of violence and the equal sovereignty of all European states. Now, the Kremlin, in association with its political friends, is trying to get rid of this sanction without in the least changing its policy. This would mean that the Council of Europe would give up its normative foundations.

OPEN LETTER. We, the undersigned, are strongly concerned about the possible demise of the Council of Europe, which can take place very soon.

In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine the Council of Europe suspended the voting rights of the Russian delegation. In its turn, Russia has turned to blackmail, having suspended membership fees to the Council of Europe and boycotting participation in the Parliamentary Assembly.

In order to triumphantly return to the PACE in January next year without implementing demands contained in a number of PACE resolutions, Russia and its supporters decided to act by the principle: if you can not change the policy of the Council of Europe, change its rules.

If changes to the current sanctions rules are made, it will be virtually impossible to apply sanctions in the future AGAINST ANY MEMBER STATE.

Such changes, resulting in the unconditional return of Russia to PACE, will have the following negative impact on the Council of Europe and situation with human rights in Europe:

by allowing Russia to succeed in blackmailing, the CoE will compromise and discredit itself. A weak Council of Europe will lose its authority and influence in those parts of Europe where it is needed the most;

without the capacity to apply sanctions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will become a toothless organization, stripping itself of the only tool which could motivate an offender of the CoE’s declared values - democracy, human rights and rule of law - to correct its policies;

it could trigger a full-scale crisis in the organization.

We call upon the ruling elites of all CoE Member States not to allow the demise of the organization. History will judge harshly those who give in to blackmail from undemocratic societies where the rule of force is above the rule of law.


Toomas Hendrik Ilves, fourth president of Estonia (2006-2016)

Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament, Lithuania

Eitvydas Bajarunas, Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid threats, Lithuanian MFA,

Andrius Kubilius, Member of Parliament, Prime Minister of Lithuania (1999-2000, 2008-2012)

Beatriz Becerra, Member of the European Parliament, vice-chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Spain

Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

Anna Maria, Corazza Bildt, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden

Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal

František Kopřiva, Deputy, Czech Pirate Party, Representative to PACE, Czech Republic

Jan Lipavsky, Member of the Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Czech Republic

Werner Schulz, former MP and MEP, Germany

Hanne Severinsen, Danish Helsinki Committee, Former MP and PACE, Denmark

Marieluise Beck, Former Bundestag Member, Germany

Danylo Lubkivsky, Former Deputy Foreign Minister, Ukraine

Markus Meckel, Former Foreign Minister of the GDR; Vors. Stiftungsrat Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, Germany

Paweł Kowal, Former member of the European Parliament, Poland


Sonja Adelheid, member, Bündnis 90/die Grünen, Germany

Hannes Adomeit, Senior fellow, Institute for Security Policy, UKIEL, Germany

Willem Aldershoff, former head of unit, European Commission, Analyst international affairs, Belgium

Jessikka Aro, Journalist, Finland

Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Swedish citizen, resident in the USA

Dalia Bankauskaite, Head of the Media program at the Vilnius Institute for policy analysis, Lithuania

Kamil Basaj, Info Ops Project Manager, CEO at @Disinfo_Digest, Poland

Steven Blockmans, Senior research fellow, CEPS, Belgium

Olaf Boehnke, Advisor, Alliance of Democracies, Germany

Tim Bohse, Political Scientist, Germany

Simon Bracey-Lane, Research Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UK

Aleksandar Brezar, Editor, National RTV of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT), Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pascal Bruckner, philosopher, France

Simas Čelutka, Head of European Security Programme at Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, Lithuania

Iulian Chifu, Professor, researcher; Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center Bucharest, Romania

Carmen Claudín, Associate senior researcher CIDOB, Spain

Evan O’Connell, European Affairs commentator, France

Halyna Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Ukraine

Eugene Czolij, Ukrainian World Congress, President, Canada

Haroldas Daublys, Head of Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union’s support group for Ukraine, Lithuania

Danilo Elia Rai, Public broadcaster of Italy / Journalist, Italy

Urve Eslas, Adjunct fellow, CEPA, Estonia

Yevhen Fedchenko, co-founder, Ukraine

André Fesiak, Independent Researcher, France

Petr Fojtík, Analyst, Czech Pirate Party, Czech Republic

Roland Freudenstein, policy director at the Martens Center for European Studies, Belgium

Ralf Fuecks, Center for Liberal Modernity, Director, Germany

Anna Garmash, Head of "Ukraine Action" (NGO), France

Alyona Getmanchuk, director, New Europe Center, Ukraine

Anke Giesen, Lecturer, Germany

Paul Goble, Former US Government Specialist on the Non-Russian Peoples of the Formber Soviet Space, USA

George Grabowicz, Professor, Harvard University, United States

Gustav Gressel, Senior Policy Fellow; European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany

Iulian Groza, Executive Director, Institute for European Policies and Reforms, Moldova

Pavel Havlicek, Analyst at Association for International Affairs (AMO) in Prague, Czech Republic

Berta Herrero, MEP Advisor, European Parliament, Spain

Maryna Iaroshevych, Director of the Ukrainian World Congress Mission to International Organizations, Belgium

Jakub Janda, Director, European Values Think-Tank, Czech Republic Kornely Kakachia, Georgian Institute of Politics, Georgia

Julia Kazdobina, Head, Ukrainian Foundation for Security Studies, Ukraine

Tamar Kintsurashvili, Director, Media Development Foundation (MDF), Georgia

Lino Klevesath, political scientist, Germany

Jana Kobzova, Advisor, Alliance of Democracies, Belgium

Petr Kolář, Občané pro - Citizens for Czech Republic

Peter Koller, The Greens, Germany

Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Belgium

Jacek Kucharczyk, President, Institute of Public Affairs, Poland

Kostiantyn Kvurt, Head of Board at Internews Ukraine, Ukraine

Philippe De Lara, assistant professor of political science at Paris 2 university, France

Marius Laurinavicius, Senior expert, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, Lithuania

John Lough, Associate Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Programme, Chatham House, the United Kingdom

Jeff Lovitt, New Diplomacy, Chair, UK and Czech Republic

Oleksiy Makukhin, Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Ukraine

Oleksandra Matviychuk, Head of Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine

Daniel Mazur, Project Manager; Charles University, Czech Republic

Martin Mycielski, Brussels Correspondent, Gazeta Wyborcza, Belgium

James Nixey, Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

Ghia Nodia, Chairman, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD), Georgia

Robert van der Noordaa, investigative journalist, the Netherlands

Malvin Nygård, businessman, Norway

Oxana Pachlovska, Professor, University of Rome, Italy–Ukraine

Massimiliano Di Pasquale, Journalist and writer, Italy

Tetiana Pechonchyk, Human Rights Information Center, the head of board, Ukraine

Nicolas De Pedro, Senior fellow, Institute for Statecraft, Spain

Christian Pieper, Judge, Germany

Iryna Pieper, Teacher, Germany

Tetiana Pushnova, Independent media consultant, former Chief Producer of international TV Channel UKRAINE TODAY, Ukraine

Antje Rempe language teacher; president of the Partnerschaftsverein Charkiw-Nürnberg, Germany

Igor Reshetnyak, Researcher, EPFL, Switzerland

Ben Robinson, Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UK

Giedrius Sakalauskas, Res Publica, Lithuania

Olaf Saxegaard, Consultant, Norway

Alya Shandra, editor, Euromaidan Press, Ukraine

Anton Shekhovtsov, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Ukraine

Kristian Magnus Skarsvåg, IT consultant, Norway

Maria Slesazeck, DRA e.V., Germany

Vladimir Socor, Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation, USA / Germany

Susan Stewart, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Germany

Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director, Defending Democracy, Belgium

Dovile Sukyte, Policy Analyst, Eastern Europe Studies Centre, Lithuania

Sergiy Sydorenko, Editor, European Pravda, Ukraine

Joanna Szostek, Lecturer, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Wolfgang Templin, Publicist, Germany

Lasha Tughushi, Chairman of the Georgian national platform, EaP Civil Society Forum, Georgia

Reinhard Weißhuhn, Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft, Germany

Robert Werner, CEO, Germany

Kataryna Wolczuk, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, United Kingdom

Anna Yavorska, Advocacy Officer, Open Dialogue Foundation, Belgium

Volodymyr Yermolenko, philosopher, journalist, editor at, Ukraine

Borys Zakharov, Humanitarian Studio Khvylia, Head of the Board, Ukraine

Bjørn Johan Berger, Norway

Anzhela Prazdnichnykh, Belgium

Malvin Nygård, Norway

Dr. Ječmínek Jan Martin, Czech Republic

Antonina Demenko, Norway

Even Jahr, Norway

Jaroslav Froněk, Czech Republic

Irina Loaberg, Norway

Ondřej Moravčík, Czech Republic

Andreas Umland, Senior Fellow, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Germany

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