Executive Summary of the research of the Judiciary System to Ensure Justice In the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
Immediately after the Revolution of Dignity, the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the RF) annexed the Crimean peninsula and started promoting the divide of Ukraine. The imbalanced state authorities, weakness and lack of motivation of the law enforcement prevented them from stopping the activities of militants coordinated by the RF, including the seizure of key state authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
As a result, the Ukrainian government announced an anti-terrorist operation (hereinafter – the ATO) in the East of Ukraine. Even in the absence of a declared war, there is now a large-scale armed conflict. Though it takes place on Ukrainian land, it is in fact international.
The so-called Minsk agreements were an attempt of political regulation of the conflict. In general, they reduced the level of hostilities but preserved the conflict.
Most courts, prosecutor’s offices, internal affairs bodies (police), as well as penitentiary institutions in Donetsk and Luhansk regions found themselves in the occupied area and ceased operations in 2014. Only some of them were evacuated and started working in other cities. State authorities in the government-controlled areas took over the powers of the bodies that had stopped working.
For two years, a group of Ukrainian experts supported by the International Renaissance Foundation studied the impact of the aggression of the Russian Federation on the justice system in Ukraine, challenges faced by the state, and its response.