Russian Deputy Minister of Justice Mikhail Galperin and British lawyer Michael Swainston have been blacklisted by the Ukrainian site Myrotvorets. This database created by local activists with the support of the government late 2014 aims to list the "enemies of Ukraine" and reveal their personal information.
Mr Galperin was added to the database after he denied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) the claims of Ukraine regarding alleged human rights violations committed in Crimea by Russia. As for Mr. Swainston, head of the UK legal team, he was named because of his so-called "justification of Russian aggression" and "manipulation of information of great social significance". ".
The case, submitted to the Court by Kyiv in 2014, addressed a number of issues, including whether Russia had "controlled" Crimea at the end of February 2014 on the eve of the referendum on attachment of March 16, 2014.
List of "enemies of Ukraine"
The Myrotvorets platform has become infamous for publishing private information of people whom it considers to be "enemies of Ukraine", including personal addresses and private phone numbers. In 2015, the former Ukrainian legislator Oleg Kalashnikov and the journalist Oles Buzina were murdered in Kiev after the disclosure of their information by the site in question. Many others were also subjected to threats and intimidation.
Reporters Without Borders and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists have in the past called on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to publicly condemn this brutal campaign, but to no avail.
Myrotvorets has already asked the Ukrainian authorities to consider the statements made by MM. Galperin and Swainston in proceedings before the ECHR as "conscious acts against national security, peace, security of humanity and the international legal order of the country, as well as other violations of the law".
"Politics of fear"
"Unfortunately, this is just another example of the fascist politics of fascism used by certain factions within the ruling Ukrainian authorities," said Alan Bailey, political commentator and activist in the United Kingdom. "Anyone who dares to speak publicly and critically" of the Ukrainian authorities "may appear in the database and have their personal information exposed to an audience among which there will most likely be people who wish him harm", he added.
Stressing that "many European countries and international organizations had asked Ukraine to remove this database", but that the authorities refused to do so, Mr. Bailey said that this refusal was part of the current policy of the country.
"It's enough to talk positively about certain topics, to say that Crimeans are happier as members of the Russian Federation, which they are obviously … and you risk becoming an obvious target listed by the Myrotvorets website. Mr. Bailey concluded.
According to geopolitical analyst Ollie Richardson, Myrotvorets owes its existence largely to the support of the Ministry of the Interior of Ukraine.
"Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who got his job thanks to the 2014 coup and has since held it," Richardson said, "needs both Myrotvorets and" tame "groups. as the National Corpus (Ukrainian ultra-nationalist party, ed) who remain at hand, ready to be used not only against any internal force that would show sympathy for Russia … but also against the so-called "enemies of the "State" external reminding Ukraine, for example, that it still buys Russian gas (Europe, ed) but at twice the cost, "he continued.
The Myrotvorets site list "clearly aims to intimidate people and to silence them. The inclusion of another senior Russian official for defending Russia's interests in Strasbourg will have the effect of reminding all those who do not enjoy the protection of the state that public expression of their views could have consequences, "said Marcus Godwin, a British political analyst.
"This case, as well as the court case itself, is a propaganda exercise. To be effective, propaganda must be constantly repeated. Silence is his greatest enemy. These judicial cases make it possible to disseminate in the Western world again and again the lie that Crimea is under Russian occupation. The same tactic is used with MH17 and the Skripal case, "concluded the observer.