Human rights violations in Ukraine : EU sanctions six individuals under Global Sanctions Regime

The Council decided today to impose restrictive measures on six individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in the Russian Federation and in the territories of Ukraine that Russia has temporarily occupied, including violations of freedom of opinion and expression.

The individuals listed today include prosecutors and judges active in courts established by Russia’s occupying force in illegally annexed Crimea. They took part in the politically motivated court proceedings against Vladyslav Yesypenko, a journalist who was sentenced to 6 years in prison, and Nariman Dzhelyalov, a Crimean Tatar.

The Russian regime is using the judiciary of the country as a tool in numerous serious human rights violations. The justice system is not independent and is used to systematically and severely violate the human rights of individuals opposed to the ruling regime by violating their freedom of opinion and expression.

Furthermore, today’s listings include two members of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) that either took part in torturing Vladyslav Yesypenko, or conducted the investigations in his case, and those of members of the Crimean Tatar community, and of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Crimea.

EU restrictive measures under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime now apply to a total of 67 individuals and 20 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

The EU does not recognise the attempted illegal annexation by Russia of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as well as parts of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine, which violate international law including the UN Charter. The Union remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and is dedicated to fully implementing its non-recognition policy.

The EU is concerned about the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in the territories of Ukraine that Russia has temporarily occupied in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.


On 7 December 2020, the Council established a global human rights sanctions regime which applies to acts such as genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations or abuses (e.g. torture, slavery, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests or detentions). The EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime underscores the Union’s determination to enhance its role in addressing serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide. Realising the effective enjoyment of human rights by everyone is a strategic goal of the Union. Respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights are fundamental values of the Union and its common foreign and security policy.