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Russian Human Rights NGO Opens Office In Ukraine

Evgeny Arkhipov

Evgeny Arkhipov

Russian human rights activists opened a branch of the NGO Antiment in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, today, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The main aim of the NGO -- whose name roughly translates as "down with bad cops" -- is to fight police corruption.

Evgeny Arkhipov, chairman of the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, told an RFE/RL correspondent that the human rights situation in Ukraine is getting worse, but the experience of Russian activists may help the country to counter this trend.

In addition, Arkhipov believes that the office of the Russian NGO in Kyiv will provide an international platform for Russian citizens in order to better protect their rights.

According to Russian authorities, about 66,000 Russian citizens are hiding from prosecution abroad.

An increasing number of Russians have received refugee status in Ukraine in recent years. Among them is Olga Kudrina, the head of the Ukraine branch of the Union of Russian Political Emigrants. Kudrina fled Russia in 2006 after being sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for hanging a banner from a Moscow hotel calling for then-President Vladimir Putin to resign.

Arkhipov said that despite the improvement in Russian-Ukrainian relations at the highest level, Russian human rights activists have a better chance of escaping political persecution by acting from the territory of Ukraine.

He noted that there are a number of Ukrainian NGOs ready to help Russian human rights activists.