Russia has no legal right to call in the army in the Crimea, both from the point of view of international law, this territory is considered occupied, and so the Russian Federation is liable in accordance with the IV Geneva Convention, which stipulates that the country-occupier should not force the inhabitants of the occupied territories to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces.
This is stated in the report of the international Human rights organization Human Rights Watch, dedicated to the army draft in Crimea and punishments imposed on people who are trying to avoid this call, Russia should also not promote on the Peninsula voluntary service in the army.
HRWatch Director for Europe and Central Asia Hugh Williamson said that Russia is urging residents of the Crimea to serve in the army, “violates international law”.
In Ukraine also believe that the call of the Crimean army of Russia “flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.” “The conscription of inhabitants of the occupied territories, the army of the occupying power, as well as continuing on the territory of Crimea propaganda service in the armed forces violated article 51 of the Convention on the protection of civilian persons in time of war, and the movement called the citizens of Ukraine from the occupied territory to the territory of the Russian Federation violates article 49 of the Convention”, – stated the Crimean human rights group.
In Russia, the Crimea is considered part of the country in accordance with the results of the referendum in 2014 on the voluntary accession of the Peninsula to the Russian Federation. Therefore, the residents of Crimea are considered Russian citizens, who, accordingly, are subject to appeal under the General procedure. However, the Ukraine and the majority of UN countries consider Crimea occupied by Russia in violation of international law Ukrainian territory. Therefore, in HRWatch and Ukraine claim that Russia is the “occupier” and therefore covered by the provisions of the Geneva Convention.
In accordance with the HRW report, in which the data of the Ministry of defense of Russia, in the Crimea in 2015 were drafted into the Russian army from 18 to 19 thousand people, including more than 3 thousand in the course of the spring draft in 2019. In the autumn draft, which began October 1, 2019, it is planned to call about 2,800 residents of the Crimea. The majority of the residents sent to serve in a military unit located outside.
International human rights defenders gathered information on more than 70 occasions, the punishment for evading conscription into the Russian army in the Crimea. For the most part, we are talking about fines. Human Rights Watch stressed that these penalties from the point of view of international law is also illegal.
IV Convention on the protection of civilians
Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war, also known as the IV Geneva Convention, adopted 12 August 1949.
It operates under the auspices of the International Committee of the red cross (ICRC).
In 1993, the UN Security Council has included this Convention is part of customary international law, making it binding not only for signatory countries, but all the other countries involved in military conflicts.
The Geneva conventions require parties involved in the conflict to distinguish between civilians and the direct participants of military actions to ensure protection of the population.
In article 51 of the Convention States that “the occupying power cannot compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces.” “Any pressure or propaganda in favor of voluntary enlistment to the army is forbidden”, – the document says.
“The occupying power will be able to submit to compulsory work only such protected persons who are over 18 years of age, and only on work necessary either for the needs of the occupying army, either for work associated with utilities, food, housing, clothing, transport and health of the population in the locality occupied. Protected persons cannot be forced to perform any work, which forced them to take part in military operations.
Moreover, “engaging in forced labor should never lead to the mobilization of workers in the organization, wearing a military or paramilitary nature”.