An NGO investigating war crimes, the first Ukrainian winner

The symbol is strong. The Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), an NGO documenting war crimes attributed to Russian troops, became the first Ukrainian Nobel Peace Prize, awarded alongside representatives of Russian and Belarusian civil society. The decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee caused shock and joy among the members of the CCL, a reputable organization but little known to the general public.

“When we heard the news, we were stunned,” Civil Liberties Center spokeswoman Anna Trouchova told media. “We see this award as recognition of our business. »

Founded in 2007, the organization is led by human rights defender Olexandra Matviïtchouk. She “gathers incredible people around her and does immense work in the field of human rights,” Alissa Malytska, a member of the NGO’s board of directors, told AFP.

Document, help and denounce

The Center for Civil Liberties rose to prominence after Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula. The NGO has launched an international campaign demanding the release of Ukrainian prisoners who are victims of arbitrary detention by the Russians and the separatists.

After the start of the Russian invasion in February, the CCL began documenting war crimes attributed to Russian troops by kyiv. In particular, he sent mobile groups to the scene of crimes, while working to facilitate the return to Ukraine of “tens of thousands” of Ukrainians forced to leave the war zone to Russia. “We have already recorded more than 20,000 crimes,” said Anna Trouchova.

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