The Ukrainian authorities have failed to prevent or investigate numerous human rights violations committed by violent groups in 2018, perpetuating a feeling of impunity among their members which risks encouraging further attacks against human rights activists, political opponents and ethnic minorities.
Independent journalists and media companies, especially those who are accused of disseminating “pro-Russian” views, have increasingly come under pressure by both the authorities and members of violent groups.
Ukrainian authorities should take decisive steps to stop the surge of violent attacks by ensuring effective, impartial and transparent investigations of all cases. Those who are suspected of being involved in violence should be brought to justice in fair trial proceedings. The authorities should also unequivocally recognise the important role played by civil society activists, and fully respect the right to freedom of expression, including media freedom, and victims of violence should be provided with access to adequate remedy.