EU Court condemns Russia for repression in Transnistria

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Russia to pay compensation to two residents of the Transnistria region in Moldova occupied by Russian troops. The two men had been convicted by an unrecognized regional court for anti-Russian statements.

The European Court ruled that Russia, as the de facto controlling power in Transnistria, is responsible for the illegal actions of the separatist authorities.

Russia must pay around 40,000 euros in damages to Oleksandr Lypovchenko and Oleg Halabudenco, BalkanInsight reports. Ukrainian Lypovchenko was arrested in 2015 after criticizing the Transnistrian regime, and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by the unrecognized court in 2016.

The other claimant, Halabudenco, has Moldovan nationality and was, among other things, a lecturer at a university in Tiraspol. He was arrested and jailed in 2016 on charges of taking a bribe from a student. He was released after posting bail, but that was later revoked. In the meantime, the man had left Transnistria and did not return because he was afraid of the regime.

The European judges ruled that the Russian Federation must pay 26,000 euros to Lypovchenko and 6,500 euros to Halabudenco in damages, and 4,000 euros to each claimant for costs and expenses.

However, Russia announced in March 2022, shortly after the military invasion of Ukraine, that Moscow will no longer abide by rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.