The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Slovakia considers the Russian Federation’s aggression towards Ukraine an international crime against peace. A military attack and other forms of pressure on the country’s leadership in order to force Ukraine to recognize the annexation of Crimea, to give up the opportunity to freely decide on inclusion in European and transatlantic structures, or for other reasons formally stated by the Russian Federation, is contrary to international law. All states of the world are obliged to use other non-violent options for solving international conflicts, which will not have devastating consequences for the civilian population.
The Russian Federation, a successor of the Soviet Union, accepted and confirmed the sovereign equality of states, the principle of non-use of force or the threat of force, the principle of the inviolability of borders and the territorial integrity of states, the principle of peaceful settlement disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and respect for human rights in the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1975 in Helsinki. All these principles, as well as many other international obligations, are being violated by unprovoked aggression.
Current information also points to violations of international humanitarian law. Children in particular are unacceptable victims of aggression. Reports of attacks on civilian targets, civilian infrastructure, dwellings, but also on the civilian population itself must be thoroughly investigated. The perpetrators of war crimes must be held accountable in accordance with the rules of international law.
Recalling the legacy of the Helsinki movement, whose foundations are built on respect for the basic principles of international relations, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Slovakia calls for an immediate end to acts of violence against Ukraine and the restoration of respect for peace and non-violence.