Associate Professor Lynnyk Tatiana
In our materials, we have already examined the issues of international measurement of Ukraine’s program acts on the deoccupation and reintegration of the Crimea and aspects of control over their implementation, at the same time, today the issue of measuring the effectiveness of the specified program norms is important.
It is necessary to determine the specifics of the corresponding Strategy and the action plan for its implementation approved after 2021, especially in the case of new amendments made to the specified plan in April 2023.
Nine years of occupation of the Crimea led to the gradual approval and accumulation of dozens of legislative and hundreds of governmental and by-law acts. At the same time, the approval of the comprehensive Strategy of Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory (hereinafter – TOT) of the Crimea and the Plan for its implementation in 2021 necessitated the revision and reassessment of the relevant regulatory framework, a process that is already taking place under the conditions of large-scale Russian aggression.
Currently, the authorities of Ukraine point to the subsequent revision of the corresponding Strategy taking into account the current challenges, but the relevant processes today in Ukraine practically do not have a scientific legal basis. During the first seven years of the occupation of the Crimea, the authorities of Ukraine adopted separate administrative program measures on the peninsula by adopting a number of government orders.
In particular, this is a rather quickly canceled plan of additional measures for the temporary placement of citizens of Ukraine who are moving from Crimea to other regions of Ukraine, approved by the prescript of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU) dated April 1, 2014 No. 298-r , as well as a plan of measures , aimed at the implementation of some principles of the state’s internal policy regarding TOT of the Crimea, approved by the prescript of the CMU of March 28, 2018 No. 218-r and canceled in 2021 , as well as the current Information Reintegration Strategy of Crimea, approved by the CMU prescript of 2018 No. 1100-r .
As we have already pointed out, the Strategy of the Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Crimea was approved by the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated March 11, 2021 and by the decree of the President of Ukraine dated March 24, 2021 No. 117/2021  and the prescript of the CMU dated September 29, 2021 No. 1171, approved the mayor’s plan for the implementation of this Strategy .
Literally on the eve of the large-scale Russian aggression, the Strategy of the Development of the Crimean Tatar Language for 2022-2032 was approved by CMU prescript No. 224 of February 23, 2022 , and already after the first anniversary of the countermeasures against the large-scale Russian aggression, changes were made to the action plan by CMU’s prescript No. 288 on the implementation of the Strategy of Deoccupation and Reintegration of the TOT of Crimea , while the amending of the Strategy itself has not yet been changed in the manner, prescribed by law, from 2021.
It follows from the presented program documents that for the first time the government tried to systematically organize the issues of the deoccupation of the Crimea in the form of a plan in 2018, and apparently proactively, in the future, the next plan was approved in 2021 for the implementation of the corresponding strategy, and the third plan, a new version, was approved in 2023.
At the same time, an analysis based on the approval of the specified documents is considered important, which is evident for the 2021 plan as an auxiliary regulatory document regarding the corresponding Strategy, but this does not follow from the texts of either the 2018 plan or the 2023 amendments to it. For example, in the prescript of the CMU dated March 28, 2018 No. 218-r, no grounds for adopting the specified plan were given at all .
In open sources, regarding the grounds for approval of the plan, only the publication of the specified ministry was found from February 2017, which noted the presentation of the draft of the specified plan “on the initiative of the Ministry during a round table with the participation of representatives of public organizations and representatives of the expert community”.
At the same time, only the opinion of the then first deputy relevant minister Yusuf Kurkcha, announced during the event, was quoted, that “the purpose of the event plan is to ensure the observance of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens – internally displaced persons, to ensure the observance of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens living on the TOT and reintegration of TOT and of its population into a single constitutional space of Ukraine” .
From open sources, it is difficult to establish whether in 2018-2021 the executors of the plan informed the relevant ministry, and whether it was this ministry, whose status and powers changed several times, that annually informed the CMU about the plan; in any case, no public reports of this have yet been found.
However, the new edition of the 2023 plan , as well as the edition of the 2021 plan  provides for a similar control mechanism for its implementation, namely a prescription to ministries, other executive bodies with the participation of other state bodies, institutions and organizations involved in the plan’s implementation activities, to ensure its implementation “at the expense and within the limits of expenses provided for in the state and local budgets, as well as at the expense of other sources not prohibited by legislation”.
In addition to the similar 2018 plan’s demands, the executors were instructed to submit information on the status of implementation of the action plan to the Ministry of TOT Reintegration every year by February 15, and the order to this ministry to submit information on the status of implementation of the action plan to the CMU annually by April 1; also the 2021 plan was assigned to this ministry every two years from the dates of the adoption of the corresponding prescript, and also after the deoccupation of Crimea, conducts an analysis of the effectiveness of the implementation of the action plan in order to prepare in the established order and submit to the CMU a proposed amendment to the action plan [3; 5].
Regarding the basis for the approval of the new version of the 2023 plan, it is possible to quote the statement of the Ministry of TOT Reintegration, which was published together with the approval of the new version of the plan, that “measures for the implementation of the Strategy were updated by the Ministry of Reintegration taking into account the conditions of martial law. In particular, the fact that the liberation of the peninsula can happen in the near future” .
The ministry also noted that “the improved plan for the reintegration and deoccupation of the peninsula concerns such areas”, according to its sections, as protection of the rights of Ukrainian citizens and legal entities whose legitimate interests were violated as a result of armed aggression, measures of social and humanitarian policy, international cooperation, economic policy, defense and security components, and so on.
At the same time, the specialized ministry focused on the fact that the plan included new measures, among which four directions were indicated: development of the draft law “On the legal regime in the de-occupied territories”; formation of a reserve of employees for the recruitment of judicial, law enforcement, and state bodies; creation of a military administration for activities in the Crimea; medical, rehabilitation, psychological adaptation of war veterans and persons freed from Russian captivity.
At the same time, it was added that “the plan includes 127 updated measures” and a quote from Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk was given that “the liberation of the Crimea is inevitable. Already now, the state must prepare for the full restoration of Ukrainian power in the Crimea. First of all, to form a reliable personnel reserve for renewal. These citizens must ensure not only the revival of the state administration, but also the restoration of justice. We have a clear plan of action, each item is assigned responsible performers” .
At the same time, the indicated situation gives rise to a number of questions. First of all, it should be noted that in the absence of an amendment to the Strategy, the question of the relevance of the new, amended version of the plan and the current, non-updated version of the Strategy arises. After all, the amended version of the plan contains 127 measures, and the previous one is significantly more, namely 158, and accordingly, a question arises based on at least the termination of their implementation.
As already indicated, the experts of our ARC partially analyzed the new edition of the plan, and it was noted about measures of an international nature that the CMU focused attention on measures that should be implemented even during the period of the temporary occupation of the peninsula, and at the same time, during this period, they should carry a permanent , and not a staged character . The analysis of the new edition of the plan allows us to testify that in total this approach is noted for 69 measures of the plan, that is, more than half of the plan’s steps provided.
The specific deadline, regardless of the situation of occupation or de-occupation of Crimea, contains 40 actions of the plan, of which 2 actions must be implemented in the II quarter of 2023, in the III quarter of 2023 another 8 actions, by the end of 2023 – another 22 actions and by the end 2024 – 8 more events . The analysis of these measures shows that they are designed primarily for the situation of occupation, and not for the reintegration of already de-occupied Crimea. For example, the actions of the plan, which the government must implement by the end of 2024, are of the following nature:
- development and submission for consideration of the CMU of the draft law establishing the procedure for determining the status of persons released from places of incarceration in the TOT and the territory of Russia and based on their presence in places of incarceration (item 14);
- legal settlement of the issue of the implementation of provisions of international humanitarian law in the national criminal legislation in the conditions of overcoming the consequences of an international armed conflict, in particular, the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the introduction of relevant changes in the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (item 36);
- regulatory and legal regulation of the issue of serving time by persons convicted by the courts of Ukraine and who have actually served time in occupational “institutions for serving time” or convicted of crimes committed before February 20, 2014, by occupation “courts” according to the legislation of Russia already after the actual temporary occupation (item 37);
- development of a draft law on the definition of a body that will be entrusted with the responsibilities of guardianship and trusteeship bodies to represent the interests of orphans and children deprived of parental care, who are in difficult life circumstances and who remain at the TOT (item 54);
- the study of problematic issues related to the establishment of guardianship, adoption of children at TOT, and determination of ways of their regulation (point 55);
- the start of youth support programs with the TOT in the work of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund, the Fund of the President of Ukraine for the Support of Education, Science and Sports, the Ukrainian Youth Fund (item 61);
- creation of a national system of space surveillance and data reception from foreign space systems (item 75);
- creation of feedback systems on official websites, web portals of executive authorities, whose powers are the formation and implementation of state policy on deoccupation and reintegration of the TOT, development and implementation of state social and humanitarian policy, state policy in the field of education, health protection (item 92) .
It is obvious that the measures specified in items (paragraphs) 14, 36, 37, 54, and 55 are desirable to implement before the deoccupation of Crimea, and the measures specified in items 61, 75 and 92 have no sense in the conditions of de-occupied Crimea at all. At the same time, it is obvious that, at least in relation to 2024, the issue of continuing the occupation of the peninsula is no longer as predictable as it was, for example, in 2015 or 2018.
The rest of the plan’s activities must be completed within a certain period of time after the deoccupation of Crimea, namely one within a month after the deoccupation of the TOT, five events within six months after the deoccupation, four more within a year after the deoccupation, one more within two years after the deoccupation, and more six “after the deoccupation of the TOT” without determining the execution period at all.
In this dimension, the plan approaches deoccupation as a certain moment, from which a month is counted, for example, but the format of establishing such a moment is not defined by the plan and other acts, despite the fact that deoccupation, no matter how it happens, will probably be not one-time, but stretched over time for days, weeks and months.
The above makes us agree with the theses of the ARC’s experts, regarding the complexity of practical control over the implementation of the plan’s activities, as well as regarding the sufficiently conditional phasing of the document , which should actually be divided into three groups of activities based on the chronology of implementation:
- temporal (sheduled) measures, first of all, according to their content, without relevance to fact of deoccupation of Crimea, with the established deadlines for implementation by the end of 2024;
- non-scheduled events designed for the period of occupation, corresponding to the steps to deoccupy the Crimea;
- sheduled (tempolar) and non-sheduled measures that must be carried out in the de-occupied Crimea as part of its reintegration.
This allows us to come to the conclusion that Ukraine is taking active programmatic steps towards the de-occupation and reintegration of the Crimea, which, in particular, is reflected in the plans, approved by governmental prescripts since 2018. The plans provide for a special administrative way of monitoring the execution, and their measures can be divided into de-occupation and reintegration.
The main challenges of the specified government plans include the need to correlate them with strategic security documents and budget programming. The issue of public control over the implementation of plans for the deoccupation and reintegration of Crimea should become the basis of new scientific research.
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