The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is disturbed by the violations of human rights and the increasing political repression in Russia, said ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyynis at a press briefing on Friday, April 4, reports Ukrinform.
“The human rights situation in Russia and the incidents of political repression in that country are causing deep concern, ” he said.
Perebyynis said that according to Freedom House, Russia belongs to the category of “non-free countries,” and is considered a “consolidated authoritarian regime.” He also pointed out that last year the human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International described the human rights situation in Russia as the worst in 25 years.
Perebyynis added that Russian human rights organizations report that more than 70 political prisoners are serving sentences in the Russian Federation today. However, he pointed out, “this figure is far from complete, because, as we know, nonconformity is seriously punished in Russia. And with the current paranoid hysteria, Russian authorities find it everywhere: in singing, dancing, paintings, books, statements of citizens of the Russian Federation,” he said.
He also mentioned the search and seizure of archival materials from the Ukrainian library in Moscow and the cases of Litvinenko, Khodorkovsky and Magnitsky that “shook the entire world.” Perebyynis also called attention to other persecutions in the Russian Federation, including the so-called trial of the opposition politician Alexey Navalny and the “amazing for the XXI century” decision by Russia’s prosecutor to prohibit the publication of his materials in social media.
“Obviously, the Russian government is so afraid of the truth about what is happening in Russia today that it is ready not only to destroy the opposition physically but also to eliminate any available information, even on the Internet,” he said.
Pereybynis stated that the denial of the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Ukraine, the kidnapping and abuse of Ukrainian military, the disrespect shown for the national symbols of the Ukrainian state, the blocking of Ukrainian media, the brutal murder of a Crimean Tatar simply because he protested against the Russian occupation of Crimea are all elements of the “democracy” that Russia is now imposing on a part of Ukrainian territory,
“Therefore any attempt by the Russian Federation to distort the situation by claiming a defense of human rights in Ukraine is nothing other than an attempt to cover up its own problems in this area. The Holy Scripture provides the best description for this specific situation: before you look at the speck in your neighbor’s eye, remove the log from your own eye,” he concluded.
Translated by Anna Mostovych