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Ukraine wins case against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights

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The European Court of Human Rights has unanimously ruled that Russia is responsible for violations of human rights and freedoms in the temporarily occupied Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Margarita Sokorenko, Commissioner for ECHR at the Ministry of Justice, announced this decision.

The court found that Ukraine had substantiated systematic violations against Ukrainians since the occupation of Crimea began in February 2014.

According to Sokorenko, the ECHR’s decision «nullified» Russia’s decade-long claims of «respect for human rights in Crimea.»

«This judgment is the first in which an international court has recognized the Russian Federation as responsible for a policy of large-scale and systematic violations of various human rights and freedoms in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol», — she wrote.

Specifically, Ukraine demonstrated that Russia introduced administrative practices of ill-treatment and illegal detentions in occupied Crimea, coerced changes of citizenship to Russian, conducted systematic searches, forcibly relocated individuals to Russian territory, persecuted religious leaders, discriminated against Crimean Tatars, closed Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar classes and non-Russian media, and prohibited peaceful assemblies and protests.

Sokorenko believes the ECHR’s decision will be a crucial step toward holding Russia accountable under international law.

Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets also commented on the ECHR decision, calling it «proof that the Russian Federation is despicably lying about human rights in occupied Crimea»:

«This has been ongoing since 2014, with Ukraine filing the first complaint, followed by the second and third in 2015 and 2018, respectively.»

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