In a statement to the TASS news agency, the ECHR revealed that Russia requested the court invoke Article 39, a provision that allows measures to be placed before any hearing or decision. In particular, Moscow asked that Ukraine be forced to cancel restrictions on Russian speakers and demanded that Kiev "end its water blockade of Crimea."
These propositions came as part of Russia's first-ever interstate complaint against Ukraine. Moscow's case deals with a wide range of issues stemming from the 2014 Maidan uprising in Kiev and the subsequent war in eastern Ukraine. In particular, it states that the Ukrainian authorities are responsible for the deaths of civilians and accuses them of cruel treatment.
One of the most serious accusations against Ukraine deals with Kiev's actions in trying to create a drought in Crimea, the peninsula that was reabsorbed into Russia in 2014. The Ukrainian government constructed a makeshift dam on the North Crimean Canal, which previously provided 85% of the region's water supply. It connected the area to the River Dnieper, the fourth-longest river in Europe.
In the time since, Crimea has suffered from serious water shortages, with some places being forced to restrict tap usage to just a few hours a day.
According to Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, the complaint was filed as a "last resort measure," noting that Moscow's patience had finally run out.
"The complete impunity of the Kiev regime, which literally reveled in it, as well as the inaction of international structures, which turned a blind eye to the numerous atrocities, have simply untied Kiev's hands," she explained.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office, the appeal is intended to "draw the attention of the European Court and the entire global community to the blatant and systematic human rights violations by the Ukrainian authorities," noting that Moscow supports restoring "peace and harmony" in Ukraine.
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