MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova thinks that the bill proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Ukraine’s indigenous people blatantly violates the rights of the country’s Russian-speaking population, calling on the UN and the Council of Europe to react to this initiative.
"It is sad to witness, how the suppression of rights of the Russian-speaking population in some countries is getting even worse. Not only are their rights and freedoms violated, they are blatantly trampled upon and ignored," the human rights commissioner told TASS.
"I am calling on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic and Ukraine’s Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova to react to this blatant violation of rights and freedoms of an enormous number of people," Moskalkova added.
The commissioner recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin had deemed this approach unacceptable, noting that it violates the norms of the current humanitarian law, and expressed solidarity with the Russian head of state. "To discriminate against Russians in Ukraine is to consider the lion’s share of their own compatriots second-rate citizens," she said.
She pointed out that there are over 100 different nationalities and ethnicities peacefully coexisting in Russia, adding that "the status of indigenous small nations helps preserve their culture, study their native language and helps them to be involved in traditional crafts".
About the bill
On May 18, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced the introduction of the bill on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine for the protection of their rights. According to the bill, the indigenous people of Ukraine is the autochthonous ethnic community, formed on the Ukrainian territory, which carries the language and culture, has traditional, social, cultural or representative bodies, considers itself an indigenous people of Ukraine, constitutes an ethnic minority in the Ukrainian population, and does not have a state entity outside of Ukraine.
This definition means that Russians cannot be considered indigenous people in Ukraine. The bill also defines indigenous peoples of Crimea, which include Crimean Tatars, Karaims and Krymchaks.