March 4, 2024, 16:22

Launch of OSCE moscow mechanism to address arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians by russia: why it is important for Ukraine and how it will help to prove russian crimes

On February 29, 2024, the OSCE launched the moscow mechanism to address the arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians by the russian federation. In the near future, a group of independent international experts will begin an investigation into crimes committed by russia against Ukrainian civilians.

This mechanism was discussed at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

The mission’s broad mandate is to establish facts of detention in the occupied territories and to investigate related crimes, such as torture or inhuman treatment. The report created based on the results of the investigation will become an important tool for documenting and proving russia’s crimes at the international level.

During the discussion, Olha Reshetylova, Head of the Media Initiative for Human Rights, noted that the advantage of the moscow mechanism is that it works very fast and the report will be finished within a month of work by independent international experts.

“It was important for us that this process take place, that the moscow mechanism be launched to address another russian crime, which is a crime against humanity, because in our opinion it is of a systemic nature. And this is one of the first steps according to our algorithm for the potential release of civilians detained by russia,” said Olha Reshetylova.

The launch of the OSCE moscow mechanism to address russia’s arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians is a small victory in the international arena and a step for the further release of civilian hostages.

“The report itself does not guarantee anything. The most prominent guarantees lie in the advocacy for this report, its legal and any other kind of support. And this is a task for Ukrainian NGOs, for the Ukrainian state, as well as for our international partners, so that this report will continue to work. But since the moscow mechanism is very highly valued both in the expert environment and in the legal community, the conclusions that will be expressed there will obviously have an impact on the investigation and will obviously have an impact on the release of these civilians. Since it will make the situation, which is obvious to us here in Ukraine, obvious to the whole world,” explained Olha Reshetylova.

In addition, Yelyzaveta Sokurenko, coordinator of the war crimes documentation department at ZMINA Human Rights Center, expressed the hope that the introduction of the moscow mechanism will increase the pressure on russia to disclose information about the people it is illegally detaining and provide more opportunities for the International Committee of the Red Cross to gain access to the detained Ukrainians in the russian federation. 

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