Donetsk, Jul 22 - DAN. Suppression of freedom of expression and persecution of dissenters in Ukraine after the government overthrow in 2014 has become system policy of Kiev authorities, said member of the Donetsk People’s Republic parliament committee on education, science and culture Miroslav Rudenko, in comments on Russia’s filing its first ever complaint with the European Court of Human Rights against another state, Ukraine.

On Thursday, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that the complaint covered ten basic categories of violations such as Kiev’s responsibility for the death of civilians, illegal deprivation of freedom and cruel treatment of people including in Donbass, suppressing freedom of expression, persecution of dissidents, discrimination against Russian-speaking population, depriving DPR and LPR citizens of the opportunities to participate in the elections to central government bodies, Malaysian Boeing crash (due to failure to close air space over the zone of fighting) etc.

“The suppression of freedom of expression and persecution of dissenters in Ukraine after the February 2014 coup became system policy of the post-Maidan authorities,” Rudenko said. “I personally knew journalists and activists who suffered as a result of Kiev’s policy which rather looks like the practice of state terrorism.”

In this connection, he mentioned Severodonetsk journalist, editor-in-chief of the Slav Brothers newspaper Vladislav Popov, who had to flee his home in venerable age in order to avoid Ukrainian Nazis’ repressions. “The forced separation from his family had a negative impact on his health; Vladislav Popov succumbed to severe illness in May 2015,” the parliamentarian said. On June 18, 2014, masked attackers kidnapped Mariupol-based journalist, editor of the I Want to the USSR! newspaper Sergey Dolgov. His fate is still unknown; most likely, the journalist died in a secret prison of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Rudenko also reminded about the murder on April 16, 2015 of journalist and writer Oles Buzina by supporters of the far right organization C14. The murderers were never punished. On top of that, head of the Galitskaya Rus Scout Federation Kirill Arbatov was found hanged in Zakarpatye (region) on August 4, 2018. “It is but a short list of Ukraine’s opposition journalists and activists whose fates were ground down by repressions and persecution by Kiev authorities,” the parliamentarian said.

He recalled the murder in Donbass of Russia’s First Channel cameraman Anatoly Klyan, VGTRK sound engineer and correspondent Anton Voloshin and Igor Kornelyuk and Russia Today photo journalist Andrey Stenin. International reporters were persecuted too: Ukrainian armed formations killed Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli in May 2014.

“The incumbent regime in Ukraine has to be influenced in all possible ways, drawing the attention of the Minsk Agreements guarantor countries and various international agencies including courts. Ukraine is pursuing a criminal policy, and Europe, instead of closing its eyes to crimes against people, must acknowledge it,” Rudenko said in connection with Russia’s lodging the complaint with the ECHR.

Russia’s complaint notes violations of ten articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and protocols thereto, including right to life (Art 2), prohibition of torture (Art 3), right to liberty and security (Art 5), freedom of expression (Art 10), right to respect to private and family life (Art 8), prohibition of discrimination (Art 14) etc.*jk