[JURIST] Prosecutors in Ukraine on Monday announced charges [Interfax-Ukraine report] against 18 top Russian officials over the annexation of Crimea in March 2014. During a press conference Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko [112 UA profile] announced the charges [UA Today report] stating that those named were suspected of committing “particularly grave crimes against Ukraine’s national and public security, peace and international order.”
Russia and Ukraine have been in conflict since the annexation of Crimea [JURIST backgrounder] in March 2014. In July a 56-page report [JURIST report] by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International alleged that Ukrainian government officials and Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine have subjected citizen to “prolonged, arbitrary detention,” torture, or other forms of inhumane treatment, including refusing necessary medical attention. In June the UN human rights office reported that the human rights situation in Ukraine remains troublesome [JURIST report] following two years of conflict with Russia. In February Russia filed suit [JURIST report] against Ukraine over Ukraine’s default on $3 billion in bonds. A Ukrainian official said in January that the nation plans to sue Russia [JURIST report] in the International Court of Justice on claims of financing terrorism. In August a Russian military court sentenced [JURIST report] two Ukrainian activists to substantial jail time for the charge of conspiring to commit terror attacks. In March of last year the EU committed to stand by its policy of refusing to recognize Crimea’s annexation [JURIST report]. In February 2015 Russian liberal political activist Boris Nemtsov was shot in the back four times [BBC report] in the middle of busy downtown Moscow. Nemtsov was openly politically opposed to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its role in Ukraine.