Update on the human rights situation in Ukraine:1 February — 30 April 2023
16 June 2023
This update focuses on key human rights developments in Ukraine, including in territory occupied by the Russian Federation. It covers the period from 1 February to 30 April 2023. OHCHR’s regular biannual report, covering the period from 1 February to 31 July 2023, will be published in September 2023. Although civilian casualties have decreased compared with the previous three months, intense fighting along the frontline, as well as the high concentration of explosive remnants of war in areas over which the Government of Ukraine regained control in the autumn of 2023, continued to inflict a heavy toll on the civilian population. On 27 April 2023, the President of the Russian Federation signed a decree purporting to provide that people residing in the occupied areas of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions would retroactively be considered “foreigners” as of 30 September 2022, unless they had obtained Russian citizenship. While the decree does not impose Russian citizenship, it obliges Ukrainian citizens who reside in occupied territory to comply with a number of requirements that may put pressure on them to apply for Russian passports. It further exposes certain categories of residents to risks of deportation or forcible transfers. Incidents of violence against members and supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (“UOC”) increased during the reporting period. Moreover, several regional councils banned the activities of the UOC.