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UN And Growing Need For Sustained Pressure Towards De-Occupation Of Crimea



Five years ago, specifically, on 27 March 2014, Nigeria joined the global community at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, to adopt resolution 68/262, which re-affirmed the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine.
This UN General Assembly resolution followed the brazen Russian aggression against the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
The resolution, in specific terms affirmed that the referendum held on 16 March 2014, by Russia in Ukrainian Crimea and the city Sevastopol has no validity, and cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the city of Sevastopol.
Similarly, the UNGA resolution urged all States, international organizations and specialized agencies to disregard any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on the basis of the above-mentioned referendum.
In November last year, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley during a debate at UNGA took a swipe at Russia for stopping three Ukrainian ships from using the Kerch Strait, escalating tensions between the two nations.
Haley accused Russia of taking outlaw actions against Ukrainian ships in an incident at sea and vowed that sanctions punishing Russias annexation of Crimea would continue.

Outlaw actions like this one continue to make amicable settlement impossible, she said. The United States will maintain its Crimea-related sanctions against Russia. Indeed, further Russian escalation of this kind will only make matters worse.

She said Russia had acted illegally, and arrogantly, when it blocked three Ukrainian ships traversing the Kerch Strait as they sailed from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol on the Azov Sea. They opened fire on the fleet, injuring six sailors. The ships and at least 23 sailors were taken custody by Russia.

Sundays outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory is part of a pattern of Russian behavior, Haley said, citing the conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine.
What we witnessed this weekend is yet another reckless Russian escalation, she added.

Similarly, Jonathan Allen, the deputy chief of Britains UN mission, said Russia was trying to consolidate its illegal annexation of Crimea by building the bridge linking Crimea and Russia, and forcing current confrontation.

We do not and will not recognize the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia, he said. We continue to fully support Ukraines sovereignty and territory.

Statement by Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affair on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of sanction said, despite the sanctions imposed in response to Russian actions and the clear demands of the international community, the Russian Federation has not abandoned its occupation of Crimea. On the contrary, continuing blatant violations of basic human rights in Crimea and the militarization of the peninsula has become the tip of an iceberg of Russias ongoing massive campaign of breaches of norms and principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, international humanitarian, maritime and human rights law.
These brazen actions of the Russian Federation prompted the General Assembly to adopt resolutions 71/205, 72/190, 73/263 Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine and 73/194 Problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
In these resolutions, the General Assembly condemned the temporary occupation of Crimea and urged the Russian Federation, as the occupying power, to uphold all its obligations under applicable international law.
Ukraine has however restated that it will continue to take all necessary steps under international law to counter Russian aggression, protect the rights of Ukrainian citizens, restore its territorial integrity and ensure that Russia makes full reparation for the injury caused by its internationally wrongful acts.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses a strong protest in relation to the decision of Severo-Kavkazskiy district military court of the Russian Federation dated 22 March 2019 on the unlawful conviction of the citizen of Ukraine Pavlo Gryb to 6 years of prison on the basis of fabricated accusations in terrorist activities.
The Russian side has blatantly violated norms and principles of international law  from the brutal kidnapping of Pavlo Gryb in Gomel city (Republic of Belarus) on 24 August 2017, to the failure to provide information on his location for a considerable period of time, unlawful detention in the cities of Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don, denial of medical assistance up to the unlawful sentence.
All testimonies provided by Pavlo in the course of court hearings, about intimidation, physical influence and psychological violence on the part of Russian law enforcement bodies were defiantly discarded by the court.
By this court decision the Russian side flagrantly violates human rights, in particular the right to a fair trial and right to life. As a consequence of received serious diseases and a critical health condition Pavlo Gryb might not survive the transferring and detention in inhumane conditions of the Russian penitentiary system. Pavlo Gryb requires continuous medical assistance, regular complex medical examination and stay in a specialized medical facility.
We demand to rescind the unlawful sentence in case of Pavlo Gryb, provide him with the constant medical assistance and ensure his release and unhindered return to Ukraine. We call on the international community to increase the pressure on the Russian Federation, the aggressor state, in order to stop grave violations of human rights and release the unlawfully sentenced citizen of Ukraine Pavlo Gryb.
Ukraine will continue to exercise all possible political and diplomatic tools to release Pavlo Gryb and all citizens of Ukraine illegally detained under politically motivated charges on the territory of the Russian Federation and the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
In February 2014 Russian forces entered Ukraines Crimean Peninsula and occupied it militarily. In March 2014 Russia announced the peninsula had become part of the Russian Federation following a sham referendum that violated Ukraines constitution.
The UN General Assemblys Resolution 68/262 on the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine of March 27, 2014, and Resolution 73/263 on the Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (Ukraine)of December 22, 2018, called on states and international organizations not to recognize any change in Crimeas status and affirmed the commitment of the United Nations to recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine.
In April 2014 Ukraines legislature (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a law attributing responsibility for human rights violations in Crimea to the Russian Federation as the occupying state. The United States does not recognize the attempted annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Russian law has been applied in Ukraines Crimea since the Russian occupation and purported annexation of the peninsula. For detailed information on the laws and practices of the Russian Federation, see the Country Reports on Human Rights for Russia.
A local authority installed by the Russian government and led by Sergey Aksyonov as prime minister of the state council of the republic of Crimea administers occupied Crimea. The state council is responsible for day-to-day administration and other functions of governing. In 2016 Russias nationwide parliamentary elections included seats allocated for purportedly annexed Crimea, a move widely condemned by the international community and that contravened the Ukrainian constitution.
Russian authorities maintained control over Russian military and security forces deployed in Crimea. Russian security services continued to consolidate control over Crimea and restrict human rights. Occupation authorities imposed and disproportionately applied repressive Russian Federation laws on the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.
Human rights issues included: disappearances; torture, including punitive psychiatric incarceration; mistreatment of persons in detention as punishment or to extort confessions; harsh prison conditions and removing prisoners to Russia; arbitrary arrest and detention; political prisoners; pervasive interference with privacy; severe restrictions on freedom of expression and the media, including closing outlets and violence against journalists; restrictions on the internet, including blocking websites; gross and widespread suppression of freedom of assembly; severe restriction of freedom of association, including barring the Crimean Tatar Mejlis; restriction of freedom of movement and on participation in the political process; systemic corruption; and systemic discrimination against Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians.
Russian-installed authorities took few steps to investigate or prosecute officials or individuals who committed human rights abuses, creating an atmosphere of impunity and lawlessness. Occupation and local self-defense forces often did not wear insignia and committed abuses with impunity.


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