In the fall of 2019, the Russian Federation conducted the tenth draft campaign from the beginning of the occupation, during which at least 3,000 Crimeans were drafted into the armed forces of the Russian Federation. As a result, the total number of Crimean recruits reached at least 21,000 men. This is reported by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the “Report on the situation of human rights in Ukraine November 16, 2019 – February 15, 2020.”
The report also states that the Russian Federation is prosecuting Crimeans for evading conscription into its armed forces. So, OHCHR identified 25 cases of draft evasion, which were considered by the so-called courts in Crimea in 2019. Among these cases, OHCHR has documented seven convictions.
The UN OHCHR notes that Russia, as the occupying power, must comply with international humanitarian law, which prohibits coercion of the inhabitants of Crimea to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. Any pressure or propaganda of voluntary entry into the army is prohibited.
Forced conscription also negatively affects the conscripts' exercise of human rights, restricting their freedom of movement and access to education and employment.
Representatives of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center have repeatedly noted at international sites that the legal status of Crimeans is regulated by the IV Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations, namely, article 51, which states that an occupying power cannot force Crimeans to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. Any pressure or propaganda of voluntary entry into the army is prohibited. In addition, the UN Resolution on Crimea calls on Russia to stop “the practice of forcing Crimean residents to serve in the armed or auxiliary forces of the Russian Federation, including through pressure or propaganda.”