The Russian Federation Files an Inter-state Complaint against Ukraine with the European Court of Human Rights
  1 Files

On 22 July 2021, the Russian Federation filed an inter-state complaint against Ukraine with the European Court of Human Rights under Article 33 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The complaint concerns the following main groups of violations:

- the responsibility of the Ukrainian authorities for civilian deaths, unlawful imprisonment and ill-treatment of people, including those that occurred in the Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv and in the Trade Unions House in Odessa in 2014, as well as in Donbas during the so-called "anti-terrorist operation";

- the practice of suppressing the freedom of speech and persecuting dissidents by banning media outlets, online platforms, persecuting journalists (from Russia, Ukraine and other states), politicians and ordinary citizens;

- the policy of discrimination against Russian-speaking residents, impeding the use of the Russian language in public life, first of all in secondary and higher education as well as consumer services;

- the policy of discrimination against Russian companies and entrepreneurs;

- causing death, injury and destruction of property as a result of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine of the adjacent territory of the Russian Federation;

- depriving residents of certain territories of south-eastern Ukraine of the possibility to participate in elections to national authorities;

- blocking the North Crimean canal as the main source of fresh water for the Crimean peninsula;

- attacking diplomatic, consular and other missions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine;

- crash of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight on 17 July 2014 due to the Ukrainian authorities' failure to close the airspace over the area of hostilities, and causing the deaths of 298 people – all passengers and crew members;

- refusal to render necessary legal assistance to Russian investigative authorities in the investigation of the crimes committed.

The complaint seeks to bring the attention of the European Court and the entire world community to gross and systematic human rights violations committed by the Ukrainian authorities, place numerous criminal acts on international legal record, make the Ukrainian authorities end these crimes, duly investigate them and promptly bring the perpetrators to justice, restore peace and accord on the territory of Ukraine.

Some of the Russian Federation's claims concern violations committed by the Ukrainian authorities directly against Russian citizens, including those resulting in injuries and deaths. A significant number of Russian citizens have been subjected to ill-treatment, their property has been destroyed or damaged, Russian businesses have been discriminated. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have been conducting hostilities in the immediate vicinity of the Russian border thereby jeopardizing the lives and health of Russian citizens residing in border areas and forcing thousands of Ukrainian citizens to seek refuge in the Russian territory.

The complaint of the Russian Federation contains a detailed description of the unconstitutional change of power in Ukraine and the advance of nationalist actors to Ukrainian public authorities, which served as the main trigger for the ensuing mass violations of the Convention and its Protocols.

In its complaint, Russia also requests the ECHR to apply interim measures pursuant to Rule 39 of the Rules of Court to oblige Ukraine to immediately end flagrant violations such as blocking the supply of fresh water to Crimea, restricting the rights of national and linguistic minorities, including the right to free access to secondary and higher education in their native languages, banning Russian-language television and radio broadcasters, restricting access to Russian-language online platforms and printed media.

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