PACE: The 'hybrid annexation' of the Donbas has already occurred

The Parliamentary Assembly on the Council of Europe (PACE) believes that it is impossible to talk about the conduct of elections in the Donbas during the escalation of the conflict

PACE’s rapporteurs on the situation in Ukraine, Kristina Zelenkova and Marilouise Beck, reported that recent escalations of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine have made it impossible to even  talk about holding the elections in the Donbas. They made the statement during session of the political and legal committees of the Assembly dedicated to the situation in eastern Ukraine which took place in the framework of PACE in Strasbourg.

According to Zelenkova and Beck, who recently visited the cities of Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and Mariupol, Russia’s influence in the Donbas has significantly increased. "According to our information, five 'Ministries' have been established in the Kremlin, which in fact run and oversee the so-called LPR and DPR,” Beck stated. She called the current situation in the occupied territories the "hybrid annexation", which became an inevitable consequence of the hybrid war that Russia is waging against Ukraine.

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Nils Muižnieks also stated that these territories are gradually coming under Russian control and are being isolated from the rest of Ukraine. "Regrettably, if it goes on like this, a huge grey zone will emerge in the center of Europe where the human rights mechanisms exist,” said the EU Commissioner as he talked about his Donetsk observations.

As of April 14, 2016, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded over four thousand ceasefire violations in the Donbas.

  Ukraine, Russia, Donbas, PACE