Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea): ECHR declares application partly admissible 19.01.2021


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has declared complaints brought by Ukraine against Russia concerning a pattern of human rights violations in Crimea partly admissible.

“In its decision in the case of Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea) the Court has declared the application partly admissible. The decision will be followed by a judgment at a later date,” the Court said in a press release.

The case concerns Ukraine’s allegations of a pattern (“administrative practice”) of violations of the European Convention on Human Rights by the Russian Federation in Crimea.

The Court found that the facts complained of by the Ukrainian Government did fall within the “jurisdiction” of Russia on the basis of effective control that it exercised over Crimea as of that date.

When coming to that decision it took into account in particular the size and strength of the increased Russian military presence in Crimea from January to March 2014, without the Ukrainian authorities’ consent or any evidence to prove that there was a threat to Russian troops stationed there under the relevant Bilateral Agreements between them, valid at the time. It also found the Ukrainian Government’s account coherent and consistent throughout the proceedings before it; they had provided detailed and specific information, backed up by sufficient evidence, to prove that the Russian troops had not been passive bystanders, but had been actively involved in the alleged events.

Consequently, at this stage, the ECHR declared the complaints filed by Ukraine against Russia concerning a pattern of human rights violations in Crimea admissible.

As a reminder, the case originates in two applications against Russia lodged with the Court by Ukraine on 13 March 2014 and 26 August 2015, respectively. Both applications concern events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. On 11 June 2018 the two applications were joined and given the new name Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea).

Ukraine lodged a number of other inter-State cases against Russia, and there are more than 7,000 individual applications concerning events in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine and the Sea of Azov.