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March 5, 2019

Intolerance to Ukrainians Increased Significantly in Russia – Council of Europe’s Report

The level of intolerance to Ukrainians in Russia has increased significantly since 2014, after the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s military aggression, which caused armed conflict in the east of Ukraine. 

It is indicated in the report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) established by the Council of Europe. 

“The level of intolerance towards Ukrainians has increased significantly since 2014 as a result of the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and Russian military interference leading to armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. This is mostly of a political nature, depicting Ukrainians as enemies of Russia,” the report says. 

The document indicate that Russian officials and politicians use significant amount of racist statements, especially during the election campaigns. Their main targets are migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia, Muslims and Ukrainians. 

“Similarly, homo/transphobic hate speech features regularly in the discourse of public figures, politicians and religious leaders. Intolerant public discourse remains unchallenged and unpunished,” the Commission notes. 

Nevertheless, the ECRI informs that despite the anti-Ukrainian rhetoric of the recent years, the attacks on Ukrainians are rare, “possibly because they are hard to identify.” 

The authors of the report noted that the document covers the situation as of June 22, 2018. 

It should be reminded that in January, the Committee of the Council of Europe expressed concern with the infringement of the rights of representatives of Ukrainian minority in Russia, who express thoughts contradicting Russian policy concerning Crimea and the conflict in the east of Ukraine.