Recognising Russia as the Occupier Allows to Hold It Fully Responsible for Human Rights Violations on the Occupied Territories

January 22, 2018

Verkhovna Rada has adopted the law on re-integration of Donbas in the second reading, where among other things it named Russia a military aggressor and occupier. Now, Ukraine has legally defined what everyone has been talking about since 2014 — the war was named war, Russia — the aggressor, and "LNR/DNR" have to be eliminated from our vocabulary altogether — now this is occupation administration.

Recognising Russia as the occupier allows to hold it fully responsible for human rights violations on the occupied territories. And the fact that Ukraine's stand is now legally documented can strengthen our position in the International Court of Justice. In April 2017, the court has already ruled on the provisional measures in regard to Russia — on ensuring the rights of Crimean Tatar population, on refraining from discriminatory actions against the citizens of Crimea. However, this decision was provisional and did not have significant legal force. Yet, it was still used as a basis for United Nations General Assembly Resolution adopted in December 2017.

And most importantly, on December 4, International Criminal Court in Hague, published its Report on Preliminary Examination Activities in the case of Ukraine vs. Russia. It qualifies the events in Crimea and Donbas as international armed conflict. In this context, the law is also important, as it strengthens Ukraine's position.

Mykhailo Pashkov

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes

Born in 1958 in Roslavl, Smolensk oblast, Russia


Smolensk Institute of Pedagogy, Faculty of the Russian Language and Literature (1979)

Moscow Institute of Youth, Faculty of Journalism (1986)

Kyiv Institute of Political Science and Public Administration (1991)

Ph. D. in Philosophy; the author of more than 50 publications

1979 – 1989 — worked at different positions in district, regional and republican newspapers in Russia and Moldova

1991 – 1994 — worked in scientific institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

1994 – 1998 — Diplomatic Service at the Embassy of Ukraine in the Russian Federation

Since December 1999 — Razumkov Centre's Leading Expert

Diplomatic Rank: First Secretary. Most recent position in state structures — Chief Consultant, Analytical Service of Ukraine's NSDC Staff

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