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Special issue Transfer by the Russia parts of its own civilian population into the occupied territory of Ukraine

Crimea beyond rules. Special issue. Transfer by the Russian Federation parts of its own civilian population into the occupied territory of Ukraine

 The occupation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 painfully influenced on system of democratic values, which underlies the state-building logic of most countries of the world. Its undeniable postulates are used to justify discriminatory and criminal actions of the Russian Federation authorities in Crimea. Applying of peaceful democratic standards to the situation of occupation and numerous violations of the civil human rights leads to a distortion of legal reality and more systematic violations of human rights. One of these violations became the stimulation of work migration from the Russian Federation to the Crimea. The Republic of Crimea authorities, together with the Russian federal authorities simulated the lack of personnel in Crimea. Were taken a number of measures to simulate that lack. The main measure was being the Russian Federation citizen for employment.

After the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation spread its legislation on the peninsula. In addition, the occupation authorities, as well as executive authorities of the Russian Federation, deliberately took measures to provide key spheres of the peninsula with specialists from the Russian Federation. In the sectors of public, local and judicial authorities, this process is carried out in two ways:

1) direct appointment to the post of judges, senior officials to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea and the Government of the city of Sevastopol, the FSS, the prosecutor’s office, heads of municipal authorities;

2) establishing of special requirements (in addition to being Russian citizen) for applicants of government positions:

– work experience in the Russian Federation executive bodies from 1 till 4 years;

– knowledge of the Russian Federation legislation.

In such way the entire population of Crimea was excluded from participating in public policy of the peninsula due to federal government measures. Because even those who accepted the Russian Federation citizenship and received a Russian passport do not satisfy the requirements of experience and knowledge of the law.

In other spheres, the situation also is critical – the knowledge of Russian law is required, and the possibility of hiring citizens of other countries, including Ukraine, is negotiated separately. Often, job postings imply the potential candidate`s Russian citizenship. This means that Crimean Ukrainians who refused to accept Russian citizenship will be able to get job in Crimea in exceptional, rare cases.

Thus, the Russian Federation authorities took measures that ensured permanent work migration from the Russian Federation to the Crimea:
1. maximally limited the ability of Crimeans to became public servants;
2. practically excluded the opportunity to find job for Crimeans who didn’t receive Russian Federation citizenship;
3. stimulated work migration by posting information on vacancies on the territory of the Russian Federation;
4. conducted the creation of favourable conditions for moving to Crimea – providing housing for work migrants;
5. established a special regime for business and other activities in the free economic zone for 25 years.

The results of that policy were shortcoming – according to the Crimean Employment Centre data, two-thirds of those registered at the employment centre are people with higher education, especially lawyers, economists and accounting specialists.

To make up for the personnel shortage state employment services spread the information on vacancies in Crimea on many other subjects of the Russian Federation. These actions can be justified by standpoint of the standard logic of public administration. However, as mentioned above, Crimea is a special case. Stimulating work migration to Crimea from the Russian Federation is nothing more than a deliberate change of the demographic composition of the occupied territory. Such actions were carried out by Nazi Germany in the of occupied Norway, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and the USSR territories, by Israel on the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, by Turkey in Northern Cyprus, by Morocco in Western Sahara, also on the territories of the former Yugoslavia and during the armed conflict in Abkhazia.

The leading international organizations – the Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Court of Justice of UN, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – all these precedents have been clearly condemned as violations according to the rules of international humanitarian law.

Thus, the IV Geneva Convention is aimed, inter alia, preventing the practice of moving the population from the territory of the occupying state to the occupied territories. The same principles are fixed in Customary International Humanitarian Law.

According to the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, such actions of the occupying state are qualified as a war crime. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court also recognizes such acts as a war crime, which falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. In this regard, moving by the Russian Federation its population to the territory of Crimea is the subject of regulation by the norms of international humanitarian and criminal law and should receive an appropriate international legal assessment.

Read the full version of thematic review “Crimea beyond rules. Transfer by the Russian Federation parts of its own civilian population into the occupied territory of Ukraine”.

See also

Report of the International Expert Group. “26 February criminal case”. Part 1
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