The publication of the 2017 United Nations Human Rights report for Ukraine last month immediately became fodder for Russian manipulation and disinformation. Komsomolskaya Pravda, DNR-Live, the Novorossia Information Agency all claim the United Nations are demanding that Ukraine officially recognize documents issued by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, while others such as Novostnoe Agentstvo Kharkova and Rossiyskyi Dialog go even further and declare that the UN is demanding that Ukraine legitimize all DNR and LNR documents, which they consider a direct path to official recognition.
Responding to StopFake’s inquiry about the Russian media claims, the UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine pointed to paragraph 172 in the report (page 42) which calls on the Ukrainian government to create an administrative procedure enabling the use of documents relating to births and deaths issued on the occupied territories to be recognized under Ukrainian legislation “and maintain the judicial procedure as an alternative for disputable cases”.
Currently birth and death certificates from the occupied territories are authenticated in Ukraine through the judiciary and entail court fees. The UN Mission calls for the introduction of a free procedure that will simplify the issuing of Ukrainian birth and death certificates to persons from the occupied territories. The UN recommendation is not a call to recognize or legitimize separatist issued birth and death certificates, it is simply a call to make the issuing of Ukrainian versions of those documents simple and free of charge.
The very fact that parents of children born on occupied territory want their kids to be registered as born in Ukraine is in itself a powerful message undermining the legitimacy craved by the rogue DNR and LNR entities.