The “green men” who fanned out across Crimea in early 2014, establishing control over key infrastructure and clearing the way for once-marginal political actors to seize the reins of power, were the vanguard of a forced political change that has led to grave human rights abuses across the Crimean peninsula.

Firmly in control of the executive and law enforcement bodies, the so-called Crimean authorities ostensibly implemented the law of the Russian Federation but in reality created a hybrid system where Russian law is subsidiary to the whims of “self defense forces” and “republican authorities.” Those forces derive their power from their weapons rather than from the support of the local population.

In an environment where brute force rules the day, the international community has lost access to basic information about political, economic, and social developments on the Crimean peninsula. As a result, human rights abuses, now a regular part of life in Crimea, are left unreported or poorly understood.

Freedom House and the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center are proud to present Andrii Klymenko’s report, Human Rights Abuses in Russian-Occupied Crimea. His work makes an important contribution to our understanding of what has happened in Crimea since the Kremlin forcibly seized the peninsula in February 2014, setting off a crisis that is transforming security calculations in Europe and Eurasia.