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Russia files complaint against Ukraine with European Court of Human Rights

The Russian government has filed its first-ever interstate complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) — and it’s against Ukraine.

The Russian Attorney General’s Office announced the complaint on Thursday, July 22, publishing a lengthy list of grievances against Ukraine. Among other things, Moscow believes Kyiv should be held responsible for:

  • Deaths during riots in Kyiv and Odesa amid the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, as well as civilian casualties resulting from the ongoing war against Russian-backed separatist in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region;
  • The deaths of the 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which Russia attributes to Ukraine’s failure to close airspace over the war zone;
  • The alleged suppression of freedom of speech and persecution of dissidents;
  • Discriminatory policies against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine;
  • And Crimea’s water blockade.

“The claim is intended to draw the attention of the European Court and the entire world community to the gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Ukrainian authorities,” the statement from the Russian Attorney General’s Office says.

The statement also calls for a “proper investigation” into Russia’s allegations and for the “restoration of peace and harmony on the territory of Ukraine.”

This stance was echoed by the Russian Foreign Ministry. “We expect the ECHR’s unbiased and non-politicized stance on the Russian complaint as well as a thorough investigation by the court into the files and evidence provided by the plaintiff state,” the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by the state news agency TASS.

In response to the case, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Malyuska said that “inevitable defeat” awaits Russia at the ECHR. “Russia has confused the ECHR with a show on Russian television — in the complaint to the court, they laid out all the myths of Russian propaganda,” Malyuska wrote in a Facebook post. 

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