Ukraine accuses Russia of violating rights of indigenous peoples

The Ukrainian political party the “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” intends to approach the UN, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO and the OSCE, and various national parliaments, to urge them to condemn Russia’s “systematic violation of the rights of indigenous peoples”. A draft of the corresponding resolution will be put on the agenda of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on 14 May.

The document was authored by MPs Refat Chubarov, Oksana Yurynets and Artur Gerasimov. They want to call on international institutions to condemn “the oppression of indigenous peoples in Russia”.

The peoples in question are those of North Caucasus, Idel-Ural, Siberia and a number of other Russian regions, the MPs explain. They believe that the “political and assimilating pressure” on these peoples has intensified since 2014.

According to the resolution, the indigenous peoples are persecuted for their political convictions, including “their stance on Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Crimea”. Furthermore, the document talks about “killings and assassinations of people who stand up for… the rights of indigenous peoples”, and claims that Russian law enforcement prevents the holding of peaceful protests, and that national organizations and societies are banned from operating.

Russia’s Accounts Chamber reported last year that around 80% of Russia’s indigenous minority peoples’ organizations were not involved in government support programs. According to the department’s estimates, between 2013 and 2018, 2.8 billion rubles (around $42.7 million) was spent on events to support these organizations, with 1 billion rubles coming from the federal budget. This means that 85% of the subsidy was spent without any involvement of the indigenous peoples themselves.

  Ukraine, Russia, Poroshenko, Europe, Crimea

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