“We have documented reliable allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses, committed by a paramilitary formation, the Crimean Self-Defense, as well as by members of the police, and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Most of these violations, which include arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances, have not been effectively investigated by the authorities,” said Fiona Frazer, U.N. Mission’s Chief in Ukraine.
The Russian Federation automatically recognized all Ukrainian citizens as Russian after the annexation. More than a hundred thousand people refusing this imposed citizenship have been since deprived of fundamental civil rights such as the access to basic health care.
“The lack of Russian Federation citizenship limited or prevented their access to employment, health care protection, and property and political rights with serious consequences. A Ukrainian woman, for example, who had been living in Crimea for 10 years but was registered in Kharkiv, died in 2015, after a public hospital refused to treat her,” said Frazer.
Russia invaded the Crimean peninsula in 2014, taking advantage of the unrest in Kyiv and of the consequential power vacuum created after former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled office. Russian forces are still denying entry to a thorough UN investigation in the Black Sea peninsula.