OSCE launches special mechanism on cases of arbitrary detention of civilian Ukrainians by Russia

Thursday, 29 February 2024

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has decided to use the so-called Moscow Mechanism in response to the arbitrary detention of civilian Ukrainians in occupied territories by representatives of the Russian army and the occupation administration.

"I welcome the invocation of the Moscow Mechanism by the overwhelming majority of OSCE States to address Russia’s arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians. I anticipate that invoking the OSCE Moscow Mechanism will assist us in determining the true scope of this crime and establishing facts," Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, wrote on Twitter (X).

Kuleba noted that this is the first time any international mechanism has been used in connection with this issue.

He stressed that during this war, Russia had taken thousands of Ukrainian civilians hostage in occupied territories, and he has long called on the OSCE, the UN and other organisations to respond to this situation.

"They are the most vulnerable and internationally overlooked group. I continue to urge all international organizations, NGOs, and media to pay more attention to Ukrainian civilian hostages held by Russia. We will continue to make every effort to free them all, and I am grateful to our partners for their strong support in this regard. Every single Russian crime must be investigated and the perpetrators held accountable," Kuleba added. 

The Moscow Mechanism can be launched at the initiative of 10 or more OSCE participating states. Based on the results of its work, the mission prepares a report and recommendations for the country's authorities, the OSCE and the international community on possible options for responding to the identified problems. 

In the spring of 2023, 45 OSCE member states initiated the use of this mechanism to investigate the deportation of children from the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine.

In 2011 and 2020, it was used against Belarus in connection with repressions against those disloyal to the Lukashenko regime.

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editors.