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Actual researches of legal and historical science (Issue 32)

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13 May 2021

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17.05.2017 22:22
Author: Yurii Sheliazhenko, LL.M., postgraduate at KROK University of Economics and Law
[Section 1. Theory and history of the state and law. History of political and legal studies. Philosophy of law]

Founders of Ukrainian Independence in 1991 proclaimed right and obligation of Ukrainian people to build democratic state to guarantee rule of law, reality of human rights and sovereignty of the individual [1]. Unfortunately, latest controversial measures for the protection of state sovereignty are deeply infringing personal autonomy, human rights and democracy in Ukraine. 

By the decision of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine "On the imposition of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)", enacted with Presidential Decree No 133 on 15 May 2017 [2] [3], all providers must restrict access to popular social network Vkontakte, mail service Mail.ru and search engine Yandex.ru, used by millions of Ukrainians.

That decision formally based on Law of Ukraine on Sanctions [4], but doesnt include concrete motivations demanded by Article 3 of that Law and doesnt meet with principles of sanctions imposition, prescribed by that Law, such as legality, transparency, objectivity, proportionality and even effectiveness. 

Unmotivated restrictions isnt transparent, as well as informal explanation that forbidden services supposedly encouraging radical activism. Claiming that named services is threats to national security of Ukraine is not objective because no real threats were proved. Total restriction of those services is disproportional, because temporary comfort of neglecting doesnt worth of loosed permanent safety of critical reception. As for effectiveness, in the experts view it is technically impossible now to impose demanded sanctions. Instruments of suppressive internet control, of course, can be imported from Chinas, Turkeys or other authoritarian regimes in a short time, undoubtedly jeopardizing individual freedom.

Internet censorship violates guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [5] everyones right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. In the similar situation with blocking Google Sites service in Turkey to stop political criticism of government European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey [6] found violation of Article 10 of Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Such restrictions in access to popular Internet resources revealed instability of Ukrainian legal system and low level of rule of law, cause predictable rebellions of people against suppression, such as finding technical possibilities to overcome internet restrictions.


1. Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine "About the referendum on the question of independence of Ukraine", 11 October 1991. Available at: http://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/1660-12

2. Presidential Decree No 133 (2017). Available at: http://www.president.gov.ua/documents/1332017-21850

3. President Poroshenko blocks access to Russian social networks, experts say: impossible. Available at:  http://uacrisis.org/56242-ukraine-blocks-russian-sm

4. Law of Ukraine on Sanctions (2014).  Available at:  http://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/1644-18

5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 183rd meeting, held in Paris on 10 December 1948.

6. European Court of Human Rights (2013). Case of Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey. Available at:  http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-115705

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