KIEV – Recently, Moscow and Kiev clashed in court, with Ukrainian representatives accusing Russia of “human rights violations” in Crimea, while Russian officials dismiss the accusations.
In early September, Russia and Ukraine clashed at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg (France). The Kremlin considered the case without “legal content” and accused Kiev of wasting court time.
Russian Deputy Justice Minister Mikhail Galperin, along with UK attorney and royal adviser Michael Swainston, have been added to the Myrotvorets (Peacemaker) website – a famous database launched by Ukrainian “activists” with government support at the end of 2014 and charged with listing the “enemies of Ukraine” and revealing their personal information.
Galperin was added to the database after refuting Ukraine’s statements about alleged human rights violations in Crimea by Russia in the ECtHR.
The case, presented to the court by Kiev in 2014, asked the ECtHR to rule on a number of issues, including whether or not Russia had “controlled” Crimea at the end of February 2014, before the March 16 referendum. 2014
The popular vote, following the Maidan coup (Ukrainian coup d’état on Maidan Square) in Kiev in February 2014 that toppled the country’s elected government and saw the rise of nationalist elements, saw the predominantly Russian population of Crimea vote overwhelmingly for reintegration into Russia.
In 2015, former Ukrainian politician Oleg Kalashnikov and journalist Oles Buzina were killed in Kiev after their information was leaked through the Mirotvorets website, while many others faced numerous threats and attempts to intimidate.
Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists appealed to then-Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to publicly condemn the campaign of intimidation, but the request was in vain.
Myrotvorets even called on the Ukrainian authorities to consider Galperin’s statements during ECHR proceedings as “conscious acts against Ukraine’s national security, peace and security of humanity and the international legal order, as well as other legal violations.”
Bold inscriptions representing accusations against British lawyer Michael Swainston read: “The attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. Justification of Russian aggression. Manipulation of information of great social importance.”
The political activist further stated that Ukraine refused to destroy the database, even after calls from several countries and international organizations, and that this is a sign of the policies currently being used by the country.
“All you have to do is talk positively about things like how Crimeans are happier now as part of the Russian Federation, which is evident […] and it is likely that a target marked as a member of the Myrotvorets site is likely to be found. “concludes Bailey.
However, according to geopolitical analyst Ollie Richardson, Mirotvorets owes its continued existence largely thanks to the support of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.
In the opinion of British political analyst Marcus Godwin, the Myrotvorets List is clearly targeted and intimidates people to silence them, and the inclusion of another high-level Russian official to declare Russia’s legal case in Strasbourg will have the effect of reminding the all of us, who have no state protection, that there may be consequences for the public statement of our opinions.