Disinfo: Ukraine, not Russia, is the perpetrator of human rights abuses in Crimea

Summary

While expressing concerns over the Crimean Tatars’ fate, Kyiv is basically trying to suffocate Crimea by water blockade of the peninsula.

As an inalienable part of Russia, Crimea fully honours the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. Kyiv’s accusations regarding the situation with ethnic minorities in Russia’s Crimea are unfounded. Over the past six years, Russia has been actively contributing to enhancing social and economic, cultural and religious rights of ethnic minorities living in Crimea. The efforts of Russia’s authorities on strengthening inter-ethnic peace and harmony are evident for any unbiased observer.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the human rights situation in Crimea.

As the occupying power, Russia has the legal obligation, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to ensure that the civilian population in Crimea has access to basic necessities such as food, drinking water, and medical services (see Part III, Section III). The Convention's applicability in the case of Crimea has been affirmed by the UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

The appalling humanitarian situation in occupied Crimea is a direct result of Russia's actions there, according to top human rights watchdogs including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the UN Human Rights Council. In a comprehensive study of abuses perpetrated on the peninsula between February 2014 and December 2018, the Kyiv-based NGO Crimea SOS recorded 144 instances of politically motivated criminal prosecution, 15 forced disappearances, at least 20 killings committed by the occupation regime, 290 counts of torture, and 372 arbitrary arrests (pp. 8-9).

The notion that Russia "fully honours" its ECHR commitments on a territory it illegally occupies is quite stupefying. In January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights recognised as "partly admissible" Ukraine's claims pertaining to human rights abuses committed by the Russian occupation regime on the peninsula. In particular, the Court found there was "sufficient prima facie evidence" that the occupying authorities repeatedly violated Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and noted that "the above allegations were consistent with the conclusions set out in a number of reports by intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations" (pp. 5-6).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/01/2021
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Human rights, Crimean Tatars, Crimea
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In 1991 Lithuania needed “sacred victims”

Lithuania is denying the obvious. It could not recognise truth because during events of January 13, 1991, in Vilnius, it was the provocation of Lithuanian nationalist against people of Lithuania.

These events in Lithuania are interpreted as the arbitrariness of the Soviet army. But in these times Lithuania was not independent of USSR, its independence was not recognised by any other state.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative about Independence movement of Lithuania and events of January 13, 1991.

Lithuania proclaimed independence on March 11, 1990. Moscow tried to foil the secession with an economic blockade. When that proved ineffective, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius, attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing civilians standing as human shields there. The events of January 13, 1991, and the offences committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented.