Russian Federation - November 2022
Executions and imprisonment await Russian soldiers
Human rights watchdogs warn that Russia is imprisoning military conscripts who refuse to go to the front or protest lack of food, water, or support in combat as part of a larger effort to force unwilling soldiers to fight and refuse surrender. In a separate incident, the Russian mercenary group Wagner fighting in Ukraine distributed a video of the execution of one of its members, Yevgeny Nuzhin, with a sledgehammer, saying Nuzhin had defected during his captivity and citing an interview conducted by a Ukrainian journalist while Nuzhin was in custody as proof. After either having been captured or surrendered in September, Nuzhin was returned to Russian custody as part of a prisoner exchange in November, although the circumstances of both his capture by Ukraine and return to Russia remain unclear. Wagner head Yevgeniy Prighozin celebrated the video and the execution.
Sources: Current Time, Meduza, Reuters, The Insider
LGBTQIA+ “propaganda” law strengthened
On 24 November the Russia State Duma passed a law declaring a broad and vague range of media and information to be illegal “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships.” Expanding a similarly vague 2013 law that applied only with regards to minors in Russia, the new law empowers the state to issue fines up to USD 6,600 for individuals and USD 82,100 for legal entities for violations, as well as 15 days of arrest and deportation for foreigners.
Destruction of infrastructure a war crime
Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure are likely to lead to blackouts throughout the winter and require the evacuation of an unknown number of Ukrainian civilians, the Ukrainian government warned this month. The attacks have also necessitated the rationing of water and electricity. Rights groups have said Russia’s persistent and targeted attacks on critical civilian infrastructure amount to war crimes.
*The negative impact on democracy in Ukraine in this instance is a result of Russian action.
Sources: Reuters, New York Times, Amnesty International