Kremlin-controlled "courts" in the Russian-occupied Crimea in July 2020 handed down nine guilty verdicts in cases targeting local men evading conscription for military service with the Russian army, a rights watchdog reports.
Another eight criminal investigations were opened on similar charges, according to the Crimea Human Rights Protection Group.
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A total of 125 criminal indictments for draft evasion, forwarded to courts, have been reported as of late July.
Military draft in Crimea: reactions
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in April 2020 expressed its resolute protest over yet another conscription to Russian military service in the occupied Crimea.
- Such actions by Russia "constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits Russia, as an Occupying Power, from forcing protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces". "It is also forbidden to pressure and propagate in favour of voluntary military recruitment, as well as to move persons under protection outside of the occupied territory," the statement read.
- The European Union (EU) earlier said drafting residents of the Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula in the Russian army violates international law.
- "The Russian Federation is bound by international law, and obliged to ensure the protection of human rights in the peninsula," an EU spokesperson said in an April 13 statement.
- Since the start of Crimea occupation by Russia, occupying authorities have illegally drafted for military service about 22,000 local residents, according to the Prosecutor's Office for Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC).