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Now it is difficult to answer, whether there is a specific way to «measure» the level of collaborationism — a human rights defender

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Estimated Reading Time: 2 min

Now it is difficult to answer the question of whether there is a specific way to «measure» the level of collaboration among individual people in the de-occupied territories.

Julia Gorbunova, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch in Ukraine, told about this during a conversation for the English-language podcast Ukraine Calling on Hromadske Radio.

According to her, this issue causes some concern:

«I’m sure they’re genuine cases of collaboration when people or groups, organizations are officials, especially, you know, work to accommodate the occupying power. They provide sensitive information or do other kinds of acts that qualify as collaboration, but then, on the other hand, they’re people who even in international law have again something Rachel alluded to no choice. It’s a place where they live, and they continue doing what they’ve been doing. You know, a good example is teachers. So I think they’re 30,000 teachers in Crimea and when we get to the conversation about transitional justice and reconciliation and reintegration, it’s very important to keep in mind what will happen to all these people who just continue doing their work».

Also, the human rights activist says that she is not sure that she can clearly answer the question of whether it is possible to rate collaborationism on a scale from 1 to 10:

«But I think that keeping that large number of people who remain in occupied areas, whether they occupied in 2014 or occupied more recently. It’s important to distinguish between those people and real collaborators who should be prosecuted and also going after small cases like that really overwhelms the system and creates a backlog of cases and then the cases, that need to be dealt with are kind of on the, you know, don’t get to be prosecuted quickly».


You may also read or listen the full conversation: Talking about collaboration we need to focus on the great harm caused, not just the people who were in a vulnerable position — human rights defender Rachel Denber

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