The Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal (International Criminal Court) Fatou Bensouda has prepared the annual report on the preliminary investigation, published on November 14, where the appeal of Ukraine to investigate the situation in Crimea was considered.
“The information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on February 26 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. The law of international armed conflict would continue to apply after March 18, 2014 to the extent that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol factually amounts to an on-going state of occupation.”
According to the report, a determination of whether or not the initial intervention which led to the occupation is considered lawful or not is not required. For purposes of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, an armed conflict may be international in nature if one or more States partially or totally occupies the territory of another State.
The report also highlights the oppression of the Crimean Tatars in the territory of the annexed Crimea by occupation authorities:
“Under the application of Russian law throughout the territory of Crimea, members of the Crimean Tatar population and other Muslims residents in Crimea have also reportedly been subjected to harassment or intimidation, including a variety of measures such as entry bans to the territory [Crimea], house searches, and restrictions on their freedom of expression, assembly and association.”
The court decided to continue the collection of evidence on this issue next year.
September 8, 2015, Ukraine filed an application about crimes committed against humanity and war crimes committed by the Russian Federation and terrorist organizations of DPR / LPR (Donetsk/ Luhansk People’s Republics), which led to grave consequences, and mass murder.