The European Court of Human Rights recognized that part of the Ukrainian Donbass has been under Russian control since May 2014. This means that thousands of lawsuits relating to crimes committed in these areas can be considered against Russia. This was reported by the Reuters agency.
The court in Strasbourg decided that its jurisdiction allows considering complaints about the events in Donbas, considering three lawsuits by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia. Two of them concern human rights violations in separatist-controlled territories, and one concerns Moscow’s alleged fault for the Malaysian Airlines airliner crash in 2014. Then the passenger “Boeing” was shot down by a Russian anti-aircraft gun located on the territory controlled by the separatists. 298 people died.
Russia denied the possibility of consideration of claims, saying that it does not control the separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. However, the court ruled that Moscow had a significant influence on the military strategy of the separatists, provided them with weapons and conducted artillery fire at the request of the separatists, which means that they can be responsible for the events that took place on their territory.
Now the court will consider the merits of the case of Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia. In addition, the way will be open to thousands of other cases awaiting this decision.
However, court hearings are likely to drag on and be complicated by Moscow’s position on participation in the work of the ECHR, DW notes. After being expelled from the Council of Europe, Moscow does not consider itself obliged to bear responsibility for the violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In addition, even if the ECHR makes decisions, Russia does not plan to implement them. In June, a law came into force in the country rejecting all court decisions made after March 16, 2022.