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Violations of International Humanitarian Law and International Crimes in Eastern Ukraine: Religious Persecution

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Violations of International Humanitarian Law and International Crimes in Eastern Ukraine


RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents compelling evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law perpetrated in Eastern Ukraine since March 2014.

As of the time of publication of this report, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine has resulted in at least 7962 deaths; countless injuries; widespread destruction and illegal appropriation of property; arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment; inhuman treatment and torture; and the displacement of over 2.5 million civilians.

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), an independent, nongovernmental monitoring and advocacy organization based in Brussels, has collected evidence through field research in Eastern Ukraine and open-source materials. This evidence has been analysed using applicable international law and practice, and set against an overview of the context and history of the conflict. IPHR’s fieldwork was conducted in the framework of Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) project.

IPHR submits that, based on the evidence collected by its team, there is a reasonable basis to believe that the following war crimes have been perpetrated on the conflictaffected territory, mainly by separatist forces but also by Ukrainian government forces and pro-Ukrainian paramilitaries:

  • Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
  • Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives;
  • Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack would cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment, and which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;
  • Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings, which were undefended and were not military objectives;
  • Inhuman and/or cruel treatment;
  • Denying fair trial rights to prisoners;
  • Unlawful confinement of civilians;
  • Torture;
  • Wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body and health;
  • Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
  • Murder/willful killing;
  • Appropriation and destruction of property (in some cases amounting to excessive and wonton appropriation and destruction of property); and
  • Pillage.
IPHR equally submits that there is also a reasonable basis to believe that a widespread and systematic attack has been taking place against the civilian population of Eastern Ukraine, pursuant to the organizational policy of the separatist movement, and that the following crimes against humanity have be perpetrated as part of this attack:
  • Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
  • Torture;
  • Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health;
  • Murder; and
  • Persecution on political and religious grounds.

Evidence documented in this report has been analysed and presented using the framework of international treaty and customary law relating to conflict and mass atrocities, i.e. international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Although the conflict has undoubtedly attained the intensity of a non-international armed conflict (NIAC), there is mounting evidence that it may also qualify as an international armed conflict (IAC), based on evidence of direct involvement of members of Russian armed and security forces, and evidence of control exercised by the Russian Federation over the separatist forces.

Civilians, who have been perceived as opponents of the separatist movement, have been subjected to a widespread and systematic attack, carried out through illegal imprisonment, torture, murder, other inhumane acts and severe violations of fundamental rights. Similarly, there is evidence to suggest that leaders and vocal followers of faiths other than the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate are subjected to persecution.

International Partnership for Human Rights believes that pursuant to the common aspirations of peace, security and justice, it is imperative to conduct full and thorough investigations into these events and bring those responsible for international crimes to justice before an independent and impartial tribunal guaranteeing the full respect for fundamental fair trial rights.

4.4.3 EVIDENCE OF DESTRUCTION AND APPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY

Evidence suggests that there have been a large number of cases of unlawful destruction and appropriation of property and pillage across the conflict-affected territory of Eastern Ukraine. It is beyond the scope of this report to document all such cases. Instead, we have identified the most representative examples to give an indication of the gravity and extent of these offences in the region.

4.4.3.1 BUILDINGS DEDICATED TO RELIGION

There is strong evidence that churches and other buildings or structures dedicated to religion other than those belonging to the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate have been subject to attacks, [376] serious damage, [377] appropriation [378] and pillage [379] by separatist forces in the course of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. In some cases, religious icons and personal effects of the clergy were appropriated or destroyed. [380] In other cases, religious premises were appropriated in their entirety and used to hold Orthodox religious ceremonies, [381] stockpile weapons, and prepare and launch attacks. [382]

 


 

There is no evidence that the religious buildings damaged or appropriated by separatists had at any point been directly used in hostilities by the Ukrainian army or pro-Ukrainian paramilitary forces, or had become military objectives by offering a definitive military advantage. Moreover, there is no evidence that any intention of or attempt at compensation had ever been made to the dispossessed clergy. There is also evidence that in some cases, these violations were motivated by reprisals against religious organisations perceived as being “proUkrainian,” [383] or as part of a policy of religious persecution. [384]

4.5 PERSECUTION

4.5.1 OVERVIEW

Strong evidence has emerged from Eastern Ukraine that persons and groups perceived to be in opposition to the separatist movement have been systematically targeted and discriminated against on political grounds by separatist forces and leadership. Furthermore, there is evidence that leaders and vocal followers of faiths other than the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate are targeted and discriminated against on religious grounds by the separatist movement. When perpetrated as part of a widespread or systematic attack on the civilian population, the severe deprivation of fundamental rights on political and/or religious grounds may amount to the crime against humanity of persecution.

4.5.4 EVIDENCE OF PERSECUTION ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS


There is persuasive evidence of a separatist policy to persecute leaders and vocal followers of religions other than that of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. This policy has manifested itself in regular attacks on places of warship and religious gatherings, as well as murder, abduction, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and other forms of ill treatment perpetrated on religious grounds.

This policy has resulted in a de facto ban on religious worship on separatist controlled territory of Eastern Ukraine for anyone other than followers of the Orthodoxy of Moscow Patriarchy. Evidence suggests that all faiths other than the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate have been targeted. Furthermore, it is clear from victim and witness testimony, perpetrators’ statements and other evidence that individuals have been targeted because of their membership in these religious groups. [466] Religious leaders, vocal devotees and military unit chaplains within targeted groups are most likely to fall victim to persecutory acts. Most of the evidence collected by our team relates to attacks on various denominations of Christianity. [467] Nonetheless, there is evidence that members of non-Christian faiths are also targeted. [468]

Persecutory acts include international crimes that have been discussed elsewhere in this report. There is evidence of at least four cases of murder perpetrated on religious grounds. After their abduction in Slaviansk on June 8, 2014, by separatist fighters, the Slaviansk Transfiguration Church pastor’s sons Reuben Pavenko and Albert Pavenko and two of the church’s deacons, Viktor Bradarsky and Vladimir Velichko were beaten and murdered by separatist fighters whilst in detention in the former Security Services building in Slaviansk. [469] The names of other clergymen, especially those belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, have been found on separatist “execution lists” [470] Others were threatened with death if they continued their religious activities. [471]


Four Evangelical Christians were murdered by separatists in Slovyansk

There are numerous cases of arbitrary detention and ill treatment of individuals on religious grounds. Some have been detained and ill treated for continuing to profess their faith. [472] Others have been targeted for defending their members’ right to public worship. [473] In other cases, membership of non-Orthodox churches has been automatically equated with “pro-Ukrainian” politics, leading to arbitrary detention and ill treatment on that basis. [474] In some cases, the ill treatment amounted to torture. [475]

In one such example, a Donetsk-based pastor was hung up on a rack, forced to wear a mask and suffocated or had his lungs “burned” with ethanol. [476] The same victim and a number of others were subjected to mock executions. [477]

Property belonging to religious organisations or their leadership is regularly vandalised, appropriated and used to prepare or conduct attacks. For example, the Prayer Marathon organised by the Donetsk Council of Churches [478] came under attack on numerous occasions, during which the organisers’ tent, religious symbols and other possessions were vandalised or thrown into a nearby river. [479] In another case, a Ukrainian Orthodox Church was shot at, its windows were shattered, and the icons, literature and other ecclesiastical objects were burned in the churchyard. [480] Churches have also been taken over and declared “Orthodox,” [481] or used by separatist forces to store weapons or launch attacks. [482] Appropriation of Church properties is conducted by separatist armed forces [483] as well as its civilian leadership. [484]

 

pastor Sergiy Kosyak

 

In other instances, Mass and other forms of worship have been broken up by armed separatists and forbidden under threat of death or serious injury. [485] Executive acts by the separatist leadership, such as the DPR “unsanctioned meetings law” has also been used to prohibit public worship. [486] Such acts, in conjunction with the abovementioned crimes have contributed to a prevailing climate of intimidation, harassment [487] and religiously motivated verbal abuse, [488] and have led to a serious deprivation of the targeted faith-groups’ fundamental right to exercise their religion and peaceful assembly. [489] This religiously motivated attack has also led to the forced displacement of targeted group members – either following a direct threat to life [490] or from a genuine fear of persecution. [491]

There is a reasonable basis to believe that these persecutory acts were not isolated events, but were committed pursuant to a separatist plan or policy. Article 9 of the so-called Donetsk Peoples Republic’s Constitution entrenches the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate as the dominant faith in the region, [492] while Article 21 grants separatist authorities the right to outlaw and suppress all other religious groups. [493] Moreover, there is evidence that senior members of the separatist movement have led or were present during a number of the above-stated violations. [494] There is also evidence of the Moscow Patriarchy’s complicity in this persecutory policy. In August 2014, its leader Patriarch Kirill wrote an open letter in which he called the war in Donbas a religious war accusing “uniates” and “schismatics” of taking up arms against the Orthodox clergy. [495]

The Russian Orthodox Army and the Most Glorious Legion of Don appear to be the main implementers of this persecutory policy. Both fight under religious-themed banners and proclaim themselves as the defenders of Christianity and of the Russian World. [496] The former, led by Cossack Babai (Alexander Mozhajev), has connections to the Moscow Patriarchate [497] and the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation. [498] Its motto is “Warriors of the faith, brothers of the Great Russia, we will unite the whole Southeast,” and flag depicts a Christian cross. [499] After its formation in February 2014, it proclaimed Igor Strelkov (Girkin) as its leader and operated from the occupied city of Slaviansk. [500] It also appears to have had support from the Moscow Patriarchate-controlled Lavra in Slaviansk, from which the initial attacks on the city appear to have been launched. [501]

 

The Most Glorious Legion of Don is a battalion made up of Cossack affiliates from the Rostov-on-Don region of the Russian Federation. [502] In his “address and order” to the Cossack community, the battalion leader Nikolai Kozitsyn defined the armed conflict as “an occupation of Ukraine by the Poles, Romanians and Hungarians who exploit it for resources and aim to exterminate the local Slavic population.” [503] There is little doubt that this religious persecution is taking place as part of the separatist movement’s widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population.

 

4.5.5 CONCLUSION

 

In light of the evidence presented in this chapter, there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of persecution has been committed by separatists on the territory of Eastern Ukraine since March 2014:

  • Against actual or perceived opponents of the separatist movement on political grounds; and 
  • Against leaders and vocal followers of religions other than the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate on religious grounds.

 

6. GENERAL CONCLUSION

From March 2014 up to the time of publication of this report, an armed conflict has been taking place on the territory of Eastern Ukraine, resulting in over 7962 deaths, many thousands of injuries, widespread persecution, imprisonment, ill treatment and torture, the displacement of over 2.5 million civilians and other sources of immeasurable suffering. In order to document the human rights violations and crimes perpetrated as part of this conflict, IPHR has been conducting field missions to parts of the conflict-affected area as well as desk research into open-source information. Having analysed the evidence with reference to international humanitarian law and international criminal law, we submit that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the following war crimes have been perpetrated on the conflictaffected area:

  • Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
  • Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives;
  • Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack would cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment, and which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;
  • Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings, which were undefended and were not military objectives;
  • Inhuman and/or cruel treatment;
  • Denying fair trial rights to prisoners;
  • Unlawful confinement of civilians;
  • Torture;
  • Wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body and health;
  • Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
  • Murder/willful killing;
  • Appropriation and destruction of property (in some cases amounting to excessive and wonton appropriation and destruction of property); and
  • Pillage.
Additionally, we submit that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a widespread and systematic attack has been taking place against the civilian population of Eastern Ukraine, pursuant to the organizational policy of the separatist movement, and that the following crimes against humanity have be perpetrated as part of this attack:
  • Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
  • Torture;
  • Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health;
  • Murder; and
  • Persecution on political and religious grounds.
We believe that pursuant to the common aspirations of peace, security and justice, it is imperative to conduct full and thorough investigations into these events and bring those responsible for international crimes to justice before an independent and impartial tribunal guaranteeing the full respect for fundamental fair trial rights.


See FULL TEXT OF THE REPORT

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References:

 

376 E.g.: the Prayer Marathon organised by the Donetsk Council of Churches came under attack on numerous occasions, during which the organisers’ tent, religious symbols and other possessions were vandalised or thrown into a nearby river. FILE 60 witness 0060-K-579.

377 E.g., a Ukrainian Orthodox Church was shot at, its windows were shattered – FILE 153 witness 0153- K-641 .

378 E.g.: Kind News Church of Slaviansk. See video shot and made available by the pro-Russian combatants: YouTube, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljFKNeuL6qQ (last accessed: 9/07/2015); the Evangelical Church of Shakhtarsk was used to deploy attacks – FILE 148; Bethany Baptist Church – See Institute of Religious Freedom, “Хронология террора: боевики "ДНР" и "ЛНР" преследуют христиан Донбасса” August 6, 2014, available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1456%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Item id=61&lang=ru; (last accessed: 9/07/2015).

379 E.g., the New Generation Evangelical Church in Horlivka was looted for computer equipment and legal documents. See Institute of Religious Freedom, “Хронология террора: боевики "ДНР" и "ЛНР" преследуют христиан Донбасса” 6 August 2014, available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1456%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Item id=61&lang=ru; (last accessed: 9/07/2015).

380 E.g., the New Generation Evangelical Church in Horlivka was looted for computer equipment and legal documents - See Institute of Religious Freedom, “Хронология террора: боевики "ДНР" и "ЛНР" преследуют христиан Донбасса” 6 August 2014, available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1456%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Item id=61&lang=ru; (last accessed: 9/07/2015).

381 E.g., the Kind News Church of Sloviansk – See video shot and made available by the pro-Russian combatants: YouTube, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljFKNeuL6qQ (last accessed: 9/07/2015).

382 E.g., the Evangelical Church of Shakhtarsk was used to deploy attacks – FILE 148; Bethany Baptist Church – See Institute of Religious Freedom, “Хронология террора: боевики "ДНР" и "ЛНР" преследуют христиан Донбасса” 6 August 2014, available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1456%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Item id=61&lang=ru; (last accessed: 9/07/2015).

383 E.g., on June 17, 2014, 30 combatants from the separatist ‘Vostok’ battalion stormed the Evening Light Christian Rehabilitation Center in Donetsk and detained 27 worshipers, accusing them of collaborating with Ukrainian volunteer battalions. See FILE 60 - testimony of 0060-K-579, 0150-K-639. See also: ProChurchInfo, “Похищенных в ребцентре Донецка людей отпустили”, June 19, 2014, available at: http://prochurch.info/index.php/news/more/29617 (last accessed: 9/07/2015); In October 2014, the Oplot battalion occupied the Petrovsky Church of Christ in Donetsk accusing its leadership of collaborating with Americans – See AlJazeera, “In rebel-held Donetsk, religious intolerance grows,” March 17, 2015, available at: http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2015/3/in-rebel-held-donetskreligious-intolerance-grows.html (last accessed: 9/07/2015); See also the case of Evangelical Church of Victors in Druzhkivka – See Dankor Online, “Итоги года: религиозные преследования на Донбассе и в Крыму “, January 13, 2015, available at: http://www.dancor.sumy.ua/news/mosaic/144911 (last accessed: 09/07/2015).

384 See section 4.5 of this report.

466 E.g., 0146-K-636 was accused by his torturers of proselytizing on behalf of a religious sect and told that “there shall only be one religion in this land.” FILE 146; Father 0082-K-602-2 was lectured by one of his captors on the truth of Orthodoxy and the heretical nature of other religions. FILE 82.

467 Including the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Roman Catholic Church; Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate; Protestant and Evangelical Churches; the Donetsk Council of Churches, comprised of some 60 churches of different Christian denominations.

468 E.g., FILE 2 witness 0002-K-502 testifies to the detention and abuse in custody of a “Hare Krishna” follower. There is evidence that in April 2014, leaflets signed by the “People’s Republic of Donetsk” were distributed demanding that all Jews living on occupied territory should register and pay a new tax or leave the territory. See BBC, “Pay new tax or leave” pamphlet revives old Donetsk Jews fears,” April 19, 2014, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27086345 (last accessed: 15/06/2015); JerusalemPost, “Fearing rebels, Donetsk’s Jews flee Mariupol,” October 9, 2014, available at: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Fearing-rebels-Donetsks-Jews-flee-Mariupol-374913 (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

469 See Interview of Col. Igor Rybalchenko, Vice News, «Missing Civilian Bodies found in Mass Graves: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 63),” July 31, 2014, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBsEkF_GY0E (last accessed: 10/07/2015) – their bodies were found with evidence of brutal beatings in a mass grave near a local children’s hospital.

470 E.g., FILE witness 147 - 0147-K-637; FILE 82 witness 0082-K-602.

471 E.g., Evangelical Church of Torez; Evangelical Church of Shakhtarsk FILE 148 witness 0148-K-638.

472 Some 14 organizers of the Prayer Marathon in Donetsk have been illegally detained and subjected to inhuman treatment, occasionally amounting to torture: see FILES 60, 82, 146.

473 E.g., 0060-K-579 was detained and subjected to brutal beatings and inhuman treatment for attempting to dissuade separatists from breaking up the Prayer Marathon in Donetsk. FILE 60; 0060-K- 579-2 was detained by DPR forces for 20 days for questioning the separatists’ authority to order a halt to Horlivka Seventh Day Adventist church mass. The Seventh Adventists Church in Ukraine, «Вооруженные люди в Горловке похитили адвентистского пастора из молитвенного дома во время святого причастия”, September 28, 2014, available at: http://www.adventist.org.ua/news_vk_gorlovka2014_pohitili_advent_pastora.html (last accessed: 10/07/2014).

474 For example, on June 17, 2014, 30 combatants from the separatist “Vostok” battalion stormed the Evening Light Christian Rehabilitation Center in Donetsk and detained 27 people worshipers, accusing them of collaborating with Ukrainian volunteer battalions – See FILE 60: Witness 0060-K-579; See also FILE 150; 0150-K-639 on ProChurchInfo, ”Похищенных в ребцентре Донецка людей отпустили,” June 19, 2014, available at: http://prochurch.info/index.php/news/more/29617 (last accessed: 10/07/2015); In October 2014, the Oplot battalion occupied the Petrovsky Church of Christ in Donetsk accusing its leadership of collaborating with Americans. See AlJazeera, “In rebel-held Donetsk religious intolerance grows,” March 17, 2015, available at: “ http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2015/3/in-rebel-helddonetsk-religious-intolerance-grows.html (last accessed: 10/07/2015); See also the case of Evangelical Church of Victors in Druzhivka – DankorOnline, “Итоги года: религиозные преследования на Донбассе и в Крыму”, January 13, 2015, available at: http://www.dancor.sumy.ua/news/mosaic/144911 (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

475 E.g., FILE 82; FILE 18; FILE 73.

476 FILE 146 witness 0146-K-636.

477 FILE 146 witness 0146-K-636; FILE 82 witness 0082-K-602-2.

478 The Council brings together 60 churches of different denominations.

479 FILE 82 witness 0082-K-602; FILE 146 witness 0146-K-636; FILE 60 witness 0060-K-579.

480 FILE 152 witness 0152-K-640.

481 E.g., the Kind News Church of Sloviansk.

482 E.g., the Evangelical Church of Shakhtarsk was used to deploy attacks; Bethany Baptist Church; The New Generation Evangelical Church in Horlivka was looted for computer equipment and legal documents. See Institute of Religious Freedom, “Хронология террора: боевики "ДНР" и "ЛНР" преследуют христиан Донбасса,” August 6, 2014, available at: http://www.irs.in.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1456%3A1&catid=34%3Aua&Item id=61&lang=ru; (last accessed: 9/07/2015).

483 E.g., A separatist force led by Igor Strelkov took over the Kind News Church of Sloviansk, using it to store weapons which were discovered there after the City’s liberation. See recording of Church leader Igor Dudnik CBN, “Ukraine Protestants Target of Russian Orthodox 'Jihad'?,” available at: http://stories.cbn.com/ukraine-protestants-target-russian-orthodox-jihad (last accessed: 13/07/2015).

484 E.g., On 8th July 2014, the acting Director of the Donetsk Christian University, 0150-K-639, was given an order from the “Ministry of Donetsk People’s Republic” to vacate the property within two days, leaving all items except for personal belongings behind – FILE 150.

485 On September 27, 2014, armed separatists broke up a mass at the Seventh Day Adventist church in Horlivka. The congregation was ordered to leave and were told by combatants that “this is Orthodox land and there is no place for sects.” FILE 60. Similarly, in August 2014, during a service at the Pentecostal church in Donetsk, separatist gunmen ordered a halt to the service and forbade the congregation to come back to the church in the future. See VICE News, “Secret Protestant Churches in Donetsk: Ukraine's Religious War,” March 2015, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhEe2PSaEW0 (last accessed 10/07/2015).

486 FILE 146 witness 0146-K-636. This law was relied on to justify the breaking up of the Prayer Marathon by the Donetsk Church Council.

487 E.g., on May 23, about 15 gunmen from a local separatist group destroyed the Donetsk Council of Churches prayer tent, took all the equipment and threatened to shoot anyone who came to pray there. FILE 60.

488 There are numerous examples of faith organisations being publicly labelled as “sects” in a pejorative sense and their members as “uniates”, “schismatics” and “satanists.” E.g., FILE 146 and 82, witnesses 0146-K-636 and 0082-K-602; See also Moscow Patriarch Kiril’s letter calling for religious war: ChurchBY.info, “Опубликованное и удаленное Послание Патриарха Московского Кирилла Вселенскому Патриарху Варфоломею о преследовании православных христиан на Востоке Украины,” available at: http://churchby.info/rus/964 (last accessed: 10/07/2015); see also: World, “Ukraine: Christians threatened with firing squads and pastors held hostage,” October 3, 2014, available at: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/ukraine.christians.threatened.with.firing.squads.and.pastors.held.hostag e/41224.htm (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

489 See Articles 18 and 21 of the ICCPR; Article 9 and 11 of the ECHR.

490 E.g., 0151-K-639-2, a Catholic priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ parish in Horlivka, was arrested and held captive for ten days by pro-Russian combatants. Upon release, he was threatened with execution should he ever return to Horlivka. FILE 151.

491 Most Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Partiarchate clergy in separatist-controlled territory had to be evacuated from the region due to their names appearing on the “execution lists.” FILES 60, 82. Most of the 10,000 Donetsk Jews have fled the conflict-affected area for fear of religious persecution. Jerusalem Post, “Fearing rebels, Donetsk’s Jews flee Mariupol,” October 9, 2014, available at: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Fearing-rebels-Donetsks-Jews-flee-Mariupol-374913 (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

492 Article 9 of the DPR Constitution of May 16, 2014, states, “The leading and dominant faith is the Orthodox faith ... as professed by the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). The historical heritage and role of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) are recognized and respected, including as a main pillar of the Russian World doctrine." http://dnrespublika.info/%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BF%D1%83%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0% B8%D0%BA%D0%B5/konstituciya-doneckoj-narodnoj-respubliki/

493 Article 21 of the DPR Constitution of May 16, 2014, states that “... nothing in this Constitution limits the Donetsk People’s Republic’s right to protect the public from the activities of religious sects according to the law.”

494 E.g., the takeover of the Kind News Church of Sloviansk was led by Igor Strelkov (Girkin).

495 Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s letter calling for religious war, ChurchBY.info, “Опубликованное и удаленное Послание Патриарха Московского Кирилла Вселенскому Патриарху Варфоломею о преследовании православных христиан на Востоке Украины”, available at: http://churchby.info/rus/964 (last accessed: 10/07/2015); see also: World, “Ukraine: Christians threatened with firing squads and pastors held hostage,”October 3, 2014, available at: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/ukraine.christians.threatened.with.firing.squads.and.pastors.held.hostag e/41224.htm (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

496 See: FILE 82; See also: Bigmirnet, “За веру и СССР: Русская православная армия на Востоке Украины,” May 19, 2014, available at: http://news.bigmir.net/ukraine/817240-Za-very-i-bilyu-slavy-SSSRRysskaya-pravoslavnaya-armiya-na-Vostoke-Ykraini (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

497 The Russian Orthodox Church has a special Synodal Committee for the Cooperation with Cossacks; - the official address of the Synodal Committee is The Moscow Patriarchate, The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Committee for Cooperation with the Cossacks 115419 Moscow, Don area building.

498 The group is part of the Council for Cossacks Affairs under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation. Decree 835 of President of Russian Federation from August 9, 1995.

499 See FILE “Chevrons.” 500 NBC News, “Meet the Russian Orthodox Army, Ukrainian Separatists' Shock Troops,” May 17, 2014, available at: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/meet-russian-orthodox-army-ukrainianseparatists-shock-troops-n107426 (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

501 Some of these priests, alongside priests from Novosibirsk, appeared to have taken part in the illtreatment of detainees. See FILE 87.

502 See this organization’s website: http://vvd2003.narod.ru (last accessed: 10/07/2015).

503 Russian Historical Library, “Атаман Козицын о перемирии 5.09 между ополченцами и Украиной,” available at: http://rushist.com/index.php/articles/2531-ataman-kozitsyn-o-peremirii-5-09-mezhdu-opolchentsami-iukrainoj (last accessed: 10/07/2015).


 

The Institute for Religious Freedom, Ukraine

  

Institute for Religious Freedom
irs.in.ua

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