Full text of Ukraine’s case against Russia in UN court

Photo: UN Court

Photo: UN Court 

2017/01/18 • Crimea, News

The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. published a press release regarding Ukraine’s suit against Russia, which was submitted to the court beforehand. 

This document is the first one which enumerates all the claims and demands that Ukraine made against Russia in this resonant case. 

Here we provide the full text of the document.

Ukraine institutes proceedings against the Russian Federation and requests the Court to indicate provisional measures

In the late afternoon of 16 January 2017, Ukraine instituted proceedings against the Russian Federation with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism of 9 December 1999 and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 21 December 1965. Both States are parties to these two instruments.

In particular, Ukraine contends that, following the Orange Revolution of 2004, it has been subjected to increasing degrees of Russian pressure and intimidation. According to Ukraine, since 2014 the Russian Federation has escalated its interference in Ukrainian affairs to dangerous new levels, “intervening militarily in Ukraine, financing acts of terrorism, and violating the human rights of millions of Ukraine’s citizens, including, for all too many, their right to life”. It states that in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Federation has instigated and sustained an armed insurrection against the authority of the Ukrainian State. Ukraine considers that, by its actions, the Russian Federation is in violation of fundamental principles of international law, including those enshrined in the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (“Terrorism Financing Convention”).

Furthermore, in its Application, Ukraine contends that, in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and City of Sevastopol, the Russian Federation has “brazenly defied the U.N. Charter, seizing a part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory by military force”. Ukraine states that, “in an attempt to legitimize its act of aggression, the Russian Federation engineered an illegal ‘referendum’ which it rushed to implement amid a climate of violence and intimidation against non-Russian ethnic groups”. According to Ukraine, this “deliberate campaign of cultural erasure, beginning with the invasion and referendum and continuing to this day”, violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“CERD”).

With regard to the Terrorism Financing Convention, in paragraphs 134 to 136 of its Application,

“[134.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, and through other agents acting on its instructions or under its direction and control, has violated its obligations under the Terrorism Financing Convention by:

  1. Supplying funds, including in-kind contributions of weapons and training, to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DNR, the LNR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals, in violation of Article 18;
  2. Failing to take appropriate measures to detect, freeze, and seize funds used to assist illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DNR, the LNR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals, in violation of Articles 8 and 18;
  3. Failing to investigate, prosecute, or extradite perpetrators of the financing of terrorism found within its territory, in violation of Articles 9, 10, 11, and 18;
  4. Failing to provide Ukraine with the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal investigations of the financing of terrorism, in violation of Articles 12 and 18; and
  5. Failing to take all practicable measures to prevent and counter acts of financing of terrorism committed by Russian public and private actors, in violation of Article 18.
[135.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation bears international responsibility, by virtue of its sponsorship of terrorism and failure to prevent the financing of terrorism under the Convention, for the acts of terrorism committed by its proxies in Ukraine, including:

  1. The shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17;
  2. The shelling of civilians, including in Volnovakha, Mariupol, and Kramatorsk; and
  3. The bombing of civilians, including in Kharkiv.
[136.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to order the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations under the Terrorism Financing Convention, including that the Russian Federation:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally cease and desist from all support, including the provision of money, weapons, and training, to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DNR, the LNR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals;
  2. Immediately make all efforts to ensure that all weaponry provided to such armed groups is withdrawn from Ukraine;
  3. Immediately exercise appropriate control over its border to prevent further acts of financing of terrorism, including the supply of weapons, from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Ukraine;
  4. Immediately stop the movement of money, weapons, and all other assets from the territory of the Russian Federation and occupied Crimea to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DNR, the LNR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals, including by freezing all bank accounts used to support such groups;
  5. Immediately prevent all Russian officials from financing terrorism in Ukraine, including Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Vice-Chairman of the State Duma; Sergei Mironov, member of the State Duma; and Gennadiy Zyuganov, member of the State Duma, and initiate prosecution against these and other actors responsible for financing terrorism;
  6. Immediately provide full cooperation to Ukraine in all pending and future requests for assistance in the investigation and interdiction of the financing of terrorism relating to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DNR, the LNR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals;
  7. Make full reparation for the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17;
  8. Make full reparation for the shelling of civilians in Volnovakha;
  9. Make full reparation for the shelling of civilians in Mariupol;
  10. Make full reparation for the shelling of civilians in Kramatorsk;
  11. Make full reparation for the bombing of civilians in Kharkiv; and
  12. Make full reparation for all other acts of terrorism the Russian Federation has caused, facilitated, or supported through its financing of terrorism, and failure to prevent and investigate the financing of terrorism.”

With regard to CERD, in paragraphs 137 to 138 of its Application,

“[137.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, including the de facto authorities administering the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea, and through other agents acting on its instructions or under its direction and control, has violated its obligations under the CERD by:

  1. Systematically discriminating against and mistreating the Crimean Tatar and ethnic Ukrainian communities in Crimea, in furtherance of a state policy of cultural erasure of disfavored groups perceived to be opponents of the occupation regime;
  2. Holding an illegal referendum in an atmosphere of violence and intimidation against non-Russian ethnic groups, without any effort to seek a consensual and inclusive solution protecting those groups, and as an initial step toward depriving these communities of the protection of Ukrainian law and subjecting them to a regime of Russian dominance;
  3. Suppressing the political and cultural expression of Crimean Tatar identity, including through the persecution of Crimean Tatar leaders and the ban on the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People;
  4. Preventing Crimean Tatars from gathering to celebrate and commemorate important cultural events;
  5. Perpetrating and tolerating a campaign of disappearances and murders of Crimean Tatars;
  6. Harassing the Crimean Tatar community with an arbitrary regime of searches and detention;
  7. Silencing Crimean Tatar media;
  8. Suppressing Crimean Tatar language education and the community’s educational institutions;
  9. Suppressing Ukrainian language education relied on by ethnic Ukrainians;
  10. Preventing ethnic Ukrainians from gathering to celebrate and commemorate important cultural events; and
  11. Silencing ethnic Ukrainian media.
[138.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to order the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations under the CERD, including:

  1. Immediately cease and desist from the policy of cultural erasure and take all necessary and appropriate measures to guarantee the full and equal protection of the law to all groups in Russian-occupied Crimea, including Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians;
  2. Immediately restore the rights of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and of Crimean Tatar leaders in Russian-occupied Crimea;
  3. Immediately restore the rights of the Crimean Tatar people in Russian-occupied Crimea to engage in cultural gatherings, including the annual commemoration of the Sürgün;
  4. Immediately take all necessary and appropriate measures to end the disappearance and murder of Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea, and to fully and adequately investigate the disappearances of Reshat Ametov, Timur Shaimardanov, Ervin Ibragimov, and all other victims;
  5. Immediately take all necessary and appropriate measures to end unjustified and disproportionate searches and detentions of Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea;
  6. Immediately restore licenses and take all other necessary and appropriate measures to permit Crimean Tatar media outlets to resume operations in Russian-occupied Crimea;
  7. Immediately cease interference with Crimean Tatar education and take all necessary and appropriate measures to restore education in the Crimean Tatar language in Russian-occupied Crimea;
  8. Immediately cease interference with ethnic Ukrainian education and take all necessary and appropriate measures to restore education in the Ukrainian language in Russian-occupied Crimea;
  9. Immediately restore the rights of ethnic Ukrainians to engage in cultural gatherings in Russian-occupied Crimea;
  10. Immediately take all necessary and appropriate measures to permit the free operation of ethnic Ukrainian media in Russian-occupied Crimea; and
  11. Make full reparation for all victims of the Russian Federation’s policy and pattern of cultural erasure through discrimination in Russian-occupied Crimea.”

Ukraine also filed on 16 January 2017 a Request for the indication of provisional measures. It states that the purpose of the Request is to protect its rights, pending the determination of the case on the merits.

With regard to the Terrorism Financing Convention, in paragraph 23 of its Request, Ukraine requests that the Court indicate the following provisional measures:

“(a) The Russian Federation shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute under the Terrorism Financing Convention before the Court or make this dispute more difficult to resolve.

  1. The Russian Federation shall exercise appropriate control over its border to prevent further acts of terrorism financing, including the supply of weapons from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Ukraine.
  2. The Russian Federation shall halt and prevent all transfers from the territory of the Russian Federation of money, weapons, vehicles, equipment, training, or personnel to groups that have engaged in acts of terrorism against civilians in Ukraine, or that the Russian Federation knows may in the future engage in acts of terrorism against civilians in Ukraine, including but not limited to the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” the “Luhansk People’s Republic,” the “Kharkiv Partisans,” and associated groups and individuals.
  3. The Russian Federation shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that any groups operating in Ukraine that have previously received transfers from the territory of the Russian Federation of money, weapons, vehicles, equipment, training, or personnel will refrain from carrying out acts of terrorism against civilians in Ukraine.”

With regard to CERD, in paragraph 24 of its Request, Ukraine requests that the Court indicate the following provisional measures:

“(a) The Russian Federation shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute under CERD before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.

  1. The Russian Federation shall refrain from any act of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons, or institutions in the territory under its effective control, including the Crimean peninsula.
  2. The Russian Federation shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the Crimean Tatar people, including suspending the decree banning the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and refraining from enforcement of this decree and any similar measures, while this case is pending.
  3. The Russian Federation shall take all necessary steps to halt the disappearance of Crimean Tatar individuals and to promptly investigate those disappearances that have already occurred.
  4. The Russian Federation shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the ethnic Ukrainian people in Crimea, including suspending restrictions on Ukrainian-language education and respecting ethnic Ukrainian language and educational rights, while this case is pending.”

 

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  • Terry Washington

    Never mind the ICJ- Ukraine needs to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC(International Criminal Court) ASAP- the prospect of Putin and his henchmen spending the declining years of their lives in the dock at The Hague should give the “fish eyed Chekist” some sleepless nights!

    • туфтуф

      Russia and China do not recognise the Hague’s jurisdiction. Such a verdict would be impossible to enforce and therefore would be just empty words.

      • Quartermaster

        It doesn’t matter if they recognize it or not. If they refuse, then world simply cuts them off and they live as best they can cut off from the rest of the world.
        You’re stupidly foolish to think that someone can defy the rest of the world without consequences. But you’re Putinist troll, and that explains much.

        • туфтуф

          Which world? Thats more than half of the globe. Lol

          • Quartermaster

            Land, yes, but neither in population or economically.

        • туфтуф

          Cut off 2 largest country in the world? Lol

          • Quartermaster

            Yep. It can be done. That you’re an ignorant troll and don’t know this is your problem.

          • туфтуф

            Ok. Lolz

      • Alex George

        Neither did the Yugoslavs. Including the ones now in a Hague prison.

        • туфтуф

          Yugoslavia was no credible force. Russia and China, with the view of having formed a military alliance (CIA was constantly warning the West long before it was officially announced via Xinhua) , represent the most powerful military block the world has ever seen.

          • Alex George

            Of course Yugoslavia was a credible force. My point is that the Yugoslav officials who committed war crimes thought they were immune from prosecution because Yugoslavia would never give them up, and it had powerful allies, particularly in Russia.

            Those officials are now in prison, or hiding in exile.

            And no, there is no alliance between Russia and China, nor has Xinhua announced anything of the sort.

          • туфтуф

            No. Yugi was a tiny non nuclear country. Russia is a force to be reckoned with not cus it can destroy the world 6 times with its nuclear power, but cus it causes FEAR in the West. I worry if my milkman will be late. Russians are fearless.

          • Alex George

            You can dodge as much as you like, but it doesn’t change the truth.

            The war criminals in Yugoslavia thought they were immune from prosecution. They are now in prison or hiding. War criminals in Russia or working on its behalf will end up the same.

            The world doesn’t fear Russia, they despise it. And Russia will hand over all the war criminals for trial.

          • туфтуф

            Yugi was a small defenceless country illegally attacked by 28 countries. Had nato entered Kosovo, that would have been its funeral. Ground troops were so afraid to enter that they waited for the Serbian army to withdraw (youtube videos exist). Useless cowards.

          • Alex George

            Even if that were true, you are still just trying to dodge my point.

            The Yugoslav officials who committed war crimes thought they were immune from prosecution. Not just because of Yugoslavia, but because of Russia. But they were handed over. The same will happen to anyone who commits war crimes in the Donbas. .

          • туфтуф

            War crimes or not, how can the judgement be enforced? John J? Lol

          • Alex George

            Because Russia itself will hand over those responsible.

          • туфтуф

            I suggest we write a lletter to the cangaroo court. But how can they enforce their decision? Send John J to apprehend KGB? On the other hand, we can live our lives happily cus there will be much time to cry over the rump ukroland. Things will soon get much worse.

          • Alex George

            they don’t need to. The Russians themselves will hand over those who commit war crimes in the Donbas. Just as the Yugoslav government did to those who committed war crimes there.

          • Quartermaster

            Russians are human beings. They fear the same things any other human fears.

          • туфтуф

            Prejudice.

          • Quartermaster

            You’re ignorant and nekulturny to boot.

          • туфтуф

            I meant Yugi was a non nuclear power. Nato attacked many countries in its history, but NEVER a nuclear power. They cnt deal with the poor NK, let alone with a serious country led by serious men.

          • Quartermaster

            You can’t decide what you mean. Russia is not led by a serious man. It’s led by a mafioso out for his own benefit. His country is just a means to an end for him.

            NK is simply living on borrowed time. Kim simply rants to get attention. Putin isn’t much better.

          • туфтуф

            Uninformed, are we? Well, not everyone can read mandarin. We have food supplies in London for 2 days. Imagine if such news appeared in the Sun. A stampede which wld make a nuke superfluous.

          • Alex George

            Sorry, but now you are just babbling. My point was this:

            The Yugoslav officials who committed war crimes thought they were immune from prosecution because Yugoslavia would never give them up, and it had powerful allies, particularly in Russia.

            Those officials are now in prison, or hiding in exile.

            And no, there is no alliance between Russia and China, nor has Xinhua announced anything of the sort.

          • туфтуф

            No

        • туфтуф

          But Russia and China make offers one cnt refuse. Big dif.

          • Alex George

            Most of Russia’s offers are refused these days. It is nothing like the USSR. Comparing it to China is ludicrous.

          • туфтуф

            But Russia has the largest comcentration of nuclear balistic missiles in Crimea and controls the Med from there and from its 2 permanent based in Syria. No bird can fly over the Med without Russia say so. That IS power.

          • Alex George

            Nukes accomplish nothing. Everyone knows the Kremlin will not use them unless Russia is invaded, which nobody needs to do .

            “No bird can fly over the Med without Russia say so. ”

            Sorry, but that takes the prize for stupid and ignorant statements.

          • туфтуф

            Change of theme: US intel agencies shared the ISIS camps coordinates ìn Syria with their Russian colleagues. They can expect pin point airstrikes any moment. Fugees in Western Europe pose a serious security threat cus they feel betrayed by the West. They perceive the US as being the leader of the political West and can wreak revenge on the US minions. Violent mussie protests in Sweden, military in the streets of Oslo.

          • Alex George

            The Russian air force has almost zero capability to do pin-point strikes, so it doesn’t matter whether it has co-ordinates or not.

            It is true that Russia lacks the detection and surveillance capacity to even find the insurgents, and has to go cap-in-hand to the West to get it. But that by itself is not enouhg – it also needs sophisticated weaponry to be able to hit them, and it hasn’t got them

          • туфтуф

            So ISIS will win. And God forbid, spread terrorism outside Syrian borders. That compromises security in Europe….

          • Alex George

            ISIS will not win in Iraq, but it will win in Syria where it is the ally of Assad and Putin.

        • туфтуф

          Ok. But how to enforce a kangaroo decision on KGB? You dodge the question not cus you dnt know the answer, but cus the answer does not exist. Only a child can compare Russia with Yugi. The nice thing about you is some angelic innocence.

          • Alex George

            Actually its you who are dodging the issue.

            Sooner or later, those who commit war crimes in the Donbas and in Crimea will be handed over by their own people.

          • туфтуф

            But Crimea is Russian. It flies the flag, hosts nuclear fleet, is turned into one of the best fortified places on Earth. And you think some rag tag army can take it away? NATO was powerless let alone poor Ukraine.

          • Alex George

            Crimea is not Russian. It is Ukrainian.

            The whole world recognises that Russia has no more right to be in Crimea than Hitler did to annex European countries in 1941. The Russians will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Breaking news: Russia not ready to trade the recognition of Kosovo for that of Crimea, saying that Crimea is anyway Russian.

          • Alex George

            Of course it will say that, . But it will leave, and hand the Crimea back.

          • туфтуф

            Breaking news: Gleb Babich, the commander of the Ukrainian 169th military training centre Desno, says that the attack on Donbass will cost 40 k dead ukro soldiers.

          • Alex George

            Breaking news, no he didn’t. no he isn’t, and you are just an old windbag.

          • туфтуф

            Not dodging. A kangaroo court must have instruments of coersion, nigh force to be able to bring the entire Russian secret services to account. As l deem it impossible, l, along with the Chinese, call it a kangaroo court although l recognise its world wide jurisdiction, but only over small defenceless states.

          • Alex George

            Yes, you are dodging.

            Sooner or later, those who commit war crimes in the Donbas and in Crimea will be handed over by their own people. The Kremlin will hand them over.

          • туфтуф

            Parroting. There must be a mechanism of enforcement. Right now, it is more likely that the illegal pressie of the rump Ukraine will find himself in the dock. There s no one to protect him.

          • Alex George

            Yes you are parroting. The mechanism of enforcement is easy – the Kremlin will hand them over to Hague investigators, just like Yugoslavia handed over its war criminals

          • туфтуф

            KGB to hand over KGB? Ludicrous notion. Lol

          • туфтуф

            Explanation: I didnt call the pressie illegal out of disrespect, but cus the Drumpf doesnt recognise him as such and demands new election in accordance with the democratic principles of the civilized world.

          • Alex George

            And yet another attempt to change the subject.

            Sooner or later, those who commit war crimes in the Donbas and in Crimea will be handed over by their own people.

          • туфтуф

            I hope so. It is true that war crimes took place in Donbass. But those with little clout will be tried and imprisoned. Others will either be tried in absentia, or not at all.

        • туфтуф

          Yugi was weak. Those who compare Russia and China to yugi need to take the frying pan from their heads. It can fry ones brain, especially in combo with Vicky’ cookies.

          • Alex George

            Its not a matter of comparing countries. The Yugoslav war criminals assumed that they could not be touched because Yugoslavia was a Russian ally and would not recognise the Hague’;s jurisdiction. But there came a time when both the Yugoslav government and the Russian government refused to protect them .

            The same will happen with those who commit war crimes in the Donbas. However long it takes, eventually their own people will hand them over.

          • туфтуф

            John J will kidnap P and bring him to a court which 2 great powers dnt recognise? Ur making me rofl.

          • Alex George

            What on earth are you talking about now?

            What I wrote is correct – Those who commit war crimes in the Donbas will face trial. And when the time comes, Russia won’t protect them.

          • туфтуф

            I hope u and l will be the judges. Lol

  • Turtler

    It is glorious to read. It’s just sad that it has come to this. Well…. all I can say is this:

    Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens may Fall.