Ombudsman says Putin’s ‘deportation’ decree an attempt to ‘intimidate’ in people in occupied territories

28 April, 05:52 PM
Dmytro Lubinets (Photo:Dmytro Lubinets/Facebook)

Dmytro Lubinets (Photo:Dmytro Lubinets/Facebook)

A decree signed by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on April 27 that allows for the forced displacement of residents of occupied territories in Ukraine who refuse to take Russian passports “is an attempt to intimidate and exert pressure on Ukrainians in areas occupied by Russia,” a Ukrainian official has said.

Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets wrote on his Telegram channel on April 28 that Ukraine does not recognize forced passportization or automatic acquisition of citizenship by Ukrainians in the temporarily occupied territories, and that such actions do not constitute the basis for loss of Ukrainian citizenship.

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Lubinets also referred to Article 7 of the Rome Statute, which defines the deportation of population as a crime against humanity with international criminal responsibility, and claimed that Putin’s decree was aimed at obtaining Russian-style documents from Ukrainians in the occupied territories.

Moreover, Lubinets reminded that the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory is determined by a corresponding law, which establishes that the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine is an integral part of Ukraine and subject to the Constitution and laws of the country. He called on the international community to condemn the actions of Kremlin officials, and emphasized that they “will receive an appropriate assessment at the International Criminal Court”.

On April 27, Putin signed a legally meaningless “decree” regarding the “legal status” of residents of the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya, and Kherson oblasts of Ukraine. According to it, they will be considered foreigners if they refuse to receive a Russian passport. If the Russian regime deems them a “threat to national security,” they are at risk of deportation.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized the forced displacement of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide in a resolution passed on April 27. The situation remains closely monitored by international organizations, including the United Nations and the European Union.

Additionally, on March 17, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Putin and the Russian “children’s ombudsman” Maria Lvova-Belova, who are accused of illegally deporting children from Ukraine to Russia during the period from Feb. 24, 2022.

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