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broadcast recording 19 June, 12:05

Edu­ca­tors, doc­tors, pub­lic uti­lities in the occu­pied terri­to­ries — whom does Ukraine consi­der colla­bo­ra­tors and is it fair?

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The conversation is held in Ukrainian.
The conversation is held in Ukrainian.
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Immediately after the outbreak of the Great War, the Criminal Code of Ukraine introduced an article that establishes liability for cooperation with the occupying power (collaborationism). Human rights activists believe that the state practice of prosecuting people for collaborating with the enemy is imperfect. For example, courts often hand down disproportionately harsh sentences in relation to what a person has done. Law enforcement agencies, among other things, lack the resources to conduct quality investigations, as they are currently overloaded with cases of war crimes committed by the Russian Federation.

But people in the occupied territories still do not understand why they can be considered collaborators, and Russian propaganda convinces them that all residents under occupation are enemies of Ukraine. And while Ukraine clearly states that it will prosecute those Ukrainians who work in the occupation administrations, other categories of workers do not understand whether they will be held accountable for their work. 

According to international law, the occupying power must ensure that life in the occupied territory continues as it was before the occupation. And people who worked in education, utilities, healthcare, the State Emergency Service, etc. should continue to work. But in fact, the Ukrainian law enforcement and judicial systems already have open cases against such professionals due to the imperfection of our legislation. 

So, is Ukraine fairly prosecuting citizens for alleged collaboration with the enemy, how many such verdicts have been handed down so far, and what should the state improve?



Support Docudays UA team & Hurkit Charity Fund gather of the Defense Forces of Ukraine. The goal is to secure for yourself a group of colleagues with documents and an evacuation vehicle of the 109th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We ask you to support the initiative with a donation and publicity.
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Alyona Lunyova

advocacy director of the ZMINA Human Rights Center

Oleksiy Arunyan

journalist at the Graty media outlet

Noelle Calgoun

Deputy Chief Monitor of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission

Serhiy Gorbachev

Education Ombudsman of Ukraine


In the Human Rights Programme, we have tried to trace the causal relationships between the processes launched by the Russian aggression and make sense of their impact on our future.