Council of Europe (CoE)
Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 5th anniversary of the state coup in Ukraine and its consequences
Following the 2014 state coup, which the United States and several other countries openly supported, Ukraine has been falling ever deeper into political chaos, corruption, lawlessness and aggressive nationalism.
Over the past five years, Ukraine has been engulfed in violence and crimes committed on political and ideological grounds. Most of these crimes were not followed by appropriate legal action. The case of the snipers who shot people on Maidan has not been objectively investigated, and the tragedy in Odessa in May 2014 has not been solved.
Contrary to their declarations of commitment to democracy and human rights and freedoms, the Ukrainian authorities are actually hunting down those whose views differ from the official position. Many independent Ukrainian media outlets and journalists, including editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti Ukraine Kirill Vyshinsky, have been victimised and persecuted.
Attacks on human rights activists and public figures have become regular. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, over 50 crimes were committed in Ukraine against civil activists in 2018.
The notorious website Mirotvorets, which contains the personal data of some 120,000 people who do not accept Kiev’s policy, has not been suspended.
Kiev continues to promote the division of Ukrainian society on ethnic and ideological grounds. Militant chauvinism and xenophobia have become part of the official policy. Nazi henchmen and collaborators, in particular Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevich, Yevgeny Konovalets and Andrey Melnik, are glorified at the government level. According to the annual report of the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Ukraine is a leader in anti-Semitism and intolerance against Jews.
The discrimination against language, educational and cultural rights and freedoms of Russian speakers and other national minorities in Ukraine has reached an unprecedented level.
Kiev has heinously interfered in the country’s religious affairs, trampling the freedom of religion, the choice of confession and the mysteries of faith. By establishing the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Kiev authorities have deepened the existing split of Orthodoxy in Ukraine and have divided Ukrainian citizens into “us” and “them.” The green light has been given to a violent re-division of church property and the liquidation of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose clergy have been openly threatened with violence. Dmitry Yarosh, a member of the Ukrainian parliament and an adviser to the President of Ukraine, is openly calling for a “hunt for Moscow priests” who should be “destroyed with love” because “Ukrainians are merciful.” Such incitement can lead to grave consequences, including a bloody religious war.
All of this is taking place against the backdrop of a smouldering armed conflict in Donbass. Kiev is ready to rekindle it any day so as to regain control of the region, no matter how many people may suffer in the process. According to the UN, over 12,000 people have been killed, hundreds are missing and hundreds of thousands of people have become internally displaced. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities maintain the trade, economic, energy and transport blockade of the southeastern regions, which is further aggravating humanitarian problems.
The legal arbitrariness and lawlessness in Ukraine have not been censured by its Western partners, which inspires the ruling regime to make new undemocratic moves violating moral principles and the norms of civilised behaviour. Kiev has no scruples about segregating Ukrainian citizens and denouncing those who have to seek employment in Russia. At the whim of the powers that be, millions of Ukrainians working in Russia have been denied the constitutional right to take part in presidential election at Ukraine’s diplomatic missions in Russia.
The Ukrainian authorities have shown a comparable lack of consideration for their international commitments at the OSCE by prohibiting Russian observers to monitor the election process in Ukraine as part of the ODIHR mission.
We again urge the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe to provide an unbiased assessment of the developments in Ukraine and to call on the Ukrainian authorities to resume compliance with the law and to faithfully honour their international obligations. Kiev’s refusal to comply with these norms can have irreversible consequences for Ukraine and Europe as a whole.