ECHR makes decision on first case on Russia’s occupation of Donbas, to announce on Jan. 25

9 January, 07:34 PM
A drama theater destroyed by the Russian army in the temporarily occupied Mariupol, March 16 (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

A drama theater destroyed by the Russian army in the temporarily occupied Mariupol, March 16 (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has made a decision on the first case regarding Russia’s occupation of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, Margarita Sokorenko, Ukraine’s commissioner for ECHR affairs, wrote on Facebook on Jan. 9.

The actual content of the decision will be announced on Jan. 25.

The diplomat specified that the case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia concerns human rights violations by Russia in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts since 2014. The case also mentions the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014.

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“As a lawyer who has been dealing with this case since 2014 and I know how much effort was put into this case, what evidence base Ukraine submitted and what arguments Russia had in response – I can say the ECHR will proceed to consider the case on its merits,” Sokorenko said.

The ECHR began hearings on the case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia on Jan. 26, 2022.

Legal confirmation that Russia is liable for the events in the Donbas will allow Ukrainian citizens and entrepreneurs to seek compensation through the ECHR and investment arbitration for the damage caused.

A final decision on the merits will take at least two years, since the interstate case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia is the largest ever considered by the ECHR in terms of the amount of evidence and the number of violations.

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