Ethnic, religious, sexual minorities now suffering more discrimination in occupied Crimea and Donbas
The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency reports that human rights activists have issued a report entitled "In the Crosscurrents: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Ukraine" that finds discrimination has significantly increased against minorities in occupied Crimea and Donbas. Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Trust, presented the report at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.
"In the occupied territories – in Crimea, in the territories controlled by Russia-supported separatists - discrimination against certain groups has increased significantly, as stated in the report, against the Crimean Tatars, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, Roma, and [other] religious minorities... in these occupied territories," Petrova said.
The report also details that the protection of vulnerable groups has improved in the rest of Ukraine. Romani people remain the most disadvantaged, discriminated group in Ukraine as a whole, according to the report.
Petrova also refuted claims that discrimination against the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine was the reason for the annexation of Crimea and the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. "Our goal is to establish if the ethnic and language discrimination against Russian-speaking people was the reason [for] this war. We have found there was no such ... thing… This conflict is in the other category, it is what some politicians would call a hybrid war," Petrova explained.
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