the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula

  • Russia Against Ukraine Before the European Court of Human Rights. The Empire Strikes Back?

    Author: Milena Ingelevič-Citak
    Institution: Jagiellonian University
    Published online: 30 December 2021
    Final submission: 5 December 2021
    Printed issue: 2022
    Source: Show
    Page no: 23
    Pages: 7-29
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/51/ppsy202206_1.pdf

    In July 2021, Russia submitted its first inter-state complaint against Ukraine to the European Court of Human Rights. It was an unexpected and intriguing step of the Russian government, especially since many of the presented allegations are linked to the events that initiated the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Referring to the hostilities that began in 2014, the international community was, in principle, unanimous in assessing who the aggressor was. The focus of this research is the strategy of the Russian Federation in its recently initiated legal battle before the Strasbourg Court. This paper presents an attempt to outline the possible motives for taking such a step. Moscow's position on this case is particularly puzzling, as some of the allegations concern the Crimean Peninsula, widely recognized under international law as territory occupied by Russia. In spite of that, doubt arises about the strategic objectives of the Russian authorities in the conflict with Ukraine; the question is whether the actions taken by Russia fall within the scope of its previous strategy or if there has been a new turn in the matter. The first part of this paper outlines the background of the given conflict, the second details Russian policy after the annexation of Crimea, and the third, which is crucial for the formulating of conclusions, presents considerations on Russia's possible motivation and goals in filing a complaint to the European Court Human Rights. The research was conducted mainly based on the merits of the complaint, the statements of the representatives of Russia and Ukraine in the matter, the author's observations, and practitioners' considerations.

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