Ukraine 5 AM Coalition appeals to the authorities and international community on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the war

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For ten years, Ukraine has been in a whirlwind of upheavals, starting with the events of the Revolution of Dignity, followed by the occupation of Crimea, then parts of Donbas, and ultimately, Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russian armed aggression has had a significant impact on the life of our country, on each and every one of us. Ten years of war and occupation of a part of Ukrainian territory have resulted in significant negative consequences for the state and its citizens. Destroyed cities and shattered destinies, undermined faith in the security system, in law and order as well as in the rules by which the world has lived for over 80 years. The war unleashed by Russia is claiming thousands of lives of Ukrainian civilians and military, provoking global environmental and food disasters. At the same time, the war has become a challenge for the global human rights protection system, adherence to standards that should guarantee respect for human life and dignity. The effectiveness of a democratic political regime as opposed to a dictatorship. The effectiveness of the democratic political regime in contrast to dictatorship is also questioned.

Russia disregards agreements and standards  enshrined in international treaties, deliberately undermining respect for recognized democratic values. Indiscriminate shelling, deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure, inhumane treatment and torture of prisoners of war and civilians, thousands of civilian hostages, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, forced mobilization and passportization of residents of occupied territories, indoctrination of Ukrainian children, mass deportations, and forcible transfers — these are just some of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia and its army on the territory of Ukraine. Unfortunately, this list is difficult to exhaust. 

We realize that we cannot protect human rights without our state. Our statehood cannot be defended without weapons and military support from allies and the international community. Without de-occupation of Ukrainian territories, we will not be able to protect millions of Ukrainian citizens from the tyranny and abuse of the aggressor state. Any attempts to persuade Ukraine to negotiate on Russian terms will only lead to the continuation of mass violations of the rights of Ukrainian citizens and numerous international crimes.

Therefore, with each war crime committed, our striving to ensure effective accountability for the most serious crimes and for those who committed them only reinforces and grows stronger. We understand that the path to justice is complex and lengthy. We must strengthen the state institutions responsible for investigating and holding accountable those guilty of more than a hundred thousand documented war crimes. We must unite efforts with the state to develop effective measures to support and assist everyone affected by the aggression. We must remember that a human being and our common future should always remain in the focus of the path to justice. 

Human rights organizations of the Ukraine 5 AM Coalition call on the Ukrainian authorities:

  • to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and ensure harmonization of national criminal legislation with international law;
  • to develop and implement a comprehensive and systematic approach to supporting victims of armed aggression, especially those who have become victims and witnesses of international crimes. They should promptly receive the necessary assistance without the need to wait for reparations from the aggressor state;
  • to develop and adopt the necessary regulatory and legal framework for the reintegration of residents of temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, establishing conditions for the restoration of the state and life in the liberated territories.

We also call on the international partners of Ukraine:

  • to continue providing military support to Ukraine to stop the aggressor and liberate all occupied territories of Ukraine, as only the restoration of Ukrainian control over these territories will guarantee the preservation of lives and the observance of human rights;
  • to continue working on mechanisms for the release of civilians who are deprived of personal freedom as a result of armed aggression against Ukraine (civilian hostages) and the return of individuals deported to the territory of the Russian Federation, including children, and persons held in places of detention in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
  • to intensify sanctions pressure on the aggressor state and introduce effective mechanisms for monitoring compliance with sanction restrictions;
  • to support the establishment of an effective accountability mechanism capable of ensuring effective justice for all of the most serious crimes committed during Russian aggression against Ukraine, and to strengthen the capacity of national and international justice systems;
  • to provide coordinated and comprehensive support to the Ukrainian state and civil society organizations, based on an assessment of real needs with an understanding of the existing national legislative framework, its capabilities, and limitations;
  • to encourage and urge legislators to improve Ukrainian legislation regarding the development of the capacity of the national judicial system to ensure effective accountability  processes for the most serious crimes.