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European Court rejects Russia’s 2021 сomplaints against Ukraine

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fully rejected all of Russia’s grievances against Ukraine in a complaint it filed in 2021, including accusations that Ukraine was guilty of the MH17 crash.

As follows from announcements by Ukraine’s Justice Ministry and the ECHR’s press office, on 18 July, the ECHR issued a ruling in the case “Russia v. Ukraine” stemming from an application filed against Ukraine by the Russian government on 22 July 2021. The application contained 10 groups of accusations.

“The European Court of Human Rights has decided, unanimously, to strike the application out of its list of cases,” the Court stated.

The ruling notes that Russia ignored multiple requests from the court and did not participate in the process after it ceased Council of Europe membership.

In April 2022, Russia submitted over 2,000 document packages to support its claim but ceased communicating with Strasbourg. In particular, it ignored the court’s May request to translate the documents and did not respond to a November letter asking if Russia was still interested in pursuing its application.

Given the consistent lack of response, the Court decided that “the Russian Government no longer wished to pursue their application.”

However, the Court emphasized that Russia’s grievances against Ukraine were unfounded in every respect.

The Court “found no grounds relating to respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which would require that it should nonetheless continue examination of the case,” the ECHR stated, adding that the Russian complaint largely duplicates 8,500 previously submitted individual complaints. Investigative reporting found many of those to be “procedural spam” generated by lawyers connected to the occupation authorities.

The ruling is final.

The story started when Russia filed the first inter-state complaint against Ukraine to the European Court of Human Rights over 10 groups of accusations in the summer of 2021. It accused Ukraine of being responsible for the deaths of those on board the Malaysia Flight MH17, downed by a Russian anti-air missile above eastern Ukraine in 2014, of cutting off the water supply to Crimea, of “killings, abductions, forced displacement, interference with the right to vote, restrictions on the use of the Russian language and attacks on Russian embassies and consulates.”

Russia requested application of the “Rule 39” regarding the supply of water to Crimea, obliging Ukraine to restore water supplies. However, the ECHR refused provisional measures.

Despite Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe shortly after launching its full-scale war against Ukraine, the European Court of Human Rights decided to continue considering lawsuits against Russia.

Ukraine has four applications pending against Russia in the ECHR.

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