On 11 September, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg held the first hearing in the case Ukraine v. Russia regarding human rights violations in Crimea.

The hearings concerned the case on the application of Ukraine dated 13 March 2014, the ECHR reported.

Thereby Ukraine claims that "Russia exercises control over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which is an integral part of Ukraine, since 27 February 2014".

Russia is accused of violation articles of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, namely: right to life, right to liberty and security, freedom of expression and movement, and right to a fair trial.

At the same time, Russia rejected the accusations on its liability for annexation. According to The Guardian, representatives of the Russian Federation tried to stop the transition of the case to the next stage – the collection of direct evidences.

Ben Emmerson, British lawyer, who represents the Ukrainian Government, reported to the Court that Ukraine lost control of Crimea on 27 February "as a result of a military invasion of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, aided and abetted by pro-Russian political and paramilitary proxies in Crimea."

Mikhail Galperin, Russia's Deputy Minister of Justice tried to convince the Court that at the time of the annexation, Ukraine lacked a constitutionally legitimate government to which the local authorities in Crimea should have subordinated. According to him, Ukraine's leadership was not democratic.

"Radio Svoboda" writes: "Superior positions in the Government, including position of the Minister of Defence, were held by fascists of “Svoboda” political party and “Right Sector" - Mikhail Galperin said”.

Michael Swainston, British lawyer, who represented the interests of Russia, alleged that Ukraine was only trying to promote their propaganda and that the case was political and not covered by the ECHR jurisdiction.

According to Ivan Lishchyna, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, knowing that the Strasbourg Court is not entitled to consider direct issues of the occupation and annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian party hopes only to establish the fact of losing its “effective control” over the peninsula and determine the date of the event.

At the end of the three-hour session, the Presiding Judge announced that the decision would be delivered later. According to Ukrainian observers, this will happen no earlier than the middle of next year.

It was previously reported that the ECHR cancelled the consideration of the case “Ukraine v. Russia”, prescheduled for 27 February.

The European Court of Human Rights has registered ten times more applications against Ukraine than against Russia regarding the consequences of Russia's aggression. 7,267 applications against Ukraine are registered, of which 60% relate to the consequences of the Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine and violations of human rights in the occupied Crimea.

Photo by "Hlavkom"