Sunday, December 9, 2018

Kyiv to Focus Attention on Moscow’s Violations of Rights of Peoples inside Russian Federation

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 9 – The International Affairs Committee of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada held a roundtable on Friday devoted to “the violations of the rights of the indigenous peoples in the Russian Federation” and plans to take additional steps to call to the attention of the international community these violations. 

            Hanna Hopko, the chairman of the committee, told the meeting that “Ukraine as a country and Ukrainians as a political nation which has been able to break out of imperial imprisonment must help those who also desire such freedom” (

            “The significance of this event,” she continued, “is hard to overrate because since the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of military actions in the Donbass, the view that in general we aren’t concerned with what happens there ‘beyond the line’ has been very widespread.” 

            Thus, this roundtable, Hopko said, “is the beginning of a new era in the foreign policy of Ukraine. And this is a very important continuation of the revolution of Dignity. You ask what kind of help can this be? The most important thing Ukraine can offer is the dissemination of information about those crimes which the Kremlin clique has committed.”

            The chairman added that the presence of Sergey Vystosky, a member of the parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe underscored that intention.

            At the session, participants talked about the history and current stae of the indigenous peoples and national minorities in Russia and also about the national liberation movements in many of them. Rafis Kashapov, who has received political asylum in Britain, talked about the Idel-Ural movement. Others talked about the North Caucasus.

            The meeting also focused on the rights of ethnic Russians and their violation in various regions by the Kremlin. The Ukrainian parliamentarian concluded the session by saying that her committee would prepare draft legislation to ensure that the work of the roundtable will continue and expand. 

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