Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the Filing of its Memorial in its Case against the Russian Federation in the International Court of Justice
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, posted 12 June 2018 18:10

On 12 June 2018, Ukraine submitted its Memorial to the  International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) documenting serious violations of  international law by the Russian Federation.  The Memorial, accompanied  by voluminous evidence, establishes that the Russian Federation has  violated the International Convention for the Suppression of the  Financing of Terrorism ( “Terrorism Financing Convention”) and the  Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination  (“CERD”). 

Ukraine’s Memorial catalogs Russia’s brazen and comprehensive assault  on human rights and international law in the territory of Ukraine, and  the tremendous toll these acts have taken on the Ukrainian people and  the whole world.

In joining the Terrorism Financing Convention, the Russian Federation  pledged to suppress the financing of terrorism, but in Ukraine it does  the opposite.  Illegal armed groups in Donbas have perpetrated horrific  acts of terrorism against civilians using arms from the Russian  Federation.  And Russia has violated its international obligations by  failing to prevent Russian officials and other Russian nationals from  providing these weapons to known terrorist groups.

 Just last month, on 24 May 2018, the Joint Investigation Team  (“JIT”) examining the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, of which  Ukrainian investigators and prosecutors played an important role,  determined that the Buk missile system which downed the MH17 was  transferred to illegal armed groups in the Donetsk region of Ukraine by  the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade through the  uncontrolled segment of the Ukrainian-Russian state border.

With this and other Russian support, these groups attacked MH17,  taking nearly 300 innocent lives; unleashed deadly barrages of rocket  fire on Ukrainian cities, including the assaults on a checkpoint near  Volnovakha and residential neighborhoods in Kramatorsk, Mariupol, and  Avdiivka; and planted bombs that have ripped through patriotic marches,  popular nightclubs, and other peaceful locations.

The Russian Federation has likewise pledged to eradicate racial  discrimination, but does the opposite in Ukraine.  In Crimea, which  Russia illegally occupies, Russia maintains a policy of racial  discrimination and cultural erasure directed against those ethnic  communities that dared to oppose its purported annexation.  Russia has  trampled the political, civil, and cultural rights of these communities,  including through the ban on the Mejlis, the representative institution  of the Crimean Tatar community; disappearing and murdering Crimean  Tatar and Ukrainian activists; banning cultural gatherings and  suppressing media outlets; and restricting opportunities for children to  be educated in their native languages.

Ukraine initiated its case against Russia in the ICJ in January  2017.  In April 2017, the ICJ issued provisional measures, ordering the  Russian Federation to refrain from limitations on the ability of the  Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions,  including the Mejlis, ensure the availability of education in the  Ukrainian language, and not to aggravate the dispute before the Court.

Ukraine in its Memorial demands that Russia cease its violations of  the Terrorism Financing Convention and the CERD immediately and pay  financial compensation to Ukraine for the harm suffered by Ukraine and  the Ukrainian people as a result of Russia’s violations.