Welcoming the 5 AM coalition from Ukraine
“It was five o’clock in the morning when we woke up in Kyiv and heard explosions. And the very next day, when we came out of the shelters, we started gathering information about the Russian attacks. Hence the name Ukraine 5 AM.” This is how Maryna Khromykh described the creation of the Ukraine 5 AM coalition, which documents Russian war crimes, when interviewed by the Czech media outlet Reflex. She is the executive director of the DEJURE Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO focusing on rule of law and justice reforms.
In early March, the CEELI Institute welcomed 20 representatives of the Ukraine 5 AM coalition for a coordination meeting. The coalition includes a total of 31 non-profit organizations and four experts on international law and human rights. They work together to protect victims of armed Russian aggression in Ukraine and to bring to justice top leadership of the Russian Federation and direct perpetrators of war crimes. During the meeting, members of the coalition identified priority areas, tools, and protocols of joint advocacy work. Among the themes discussed were the specific aims of advocacy at the International Criminal Court (ICC) level and how to use advocacy tools to achieve justice at the ICC level.
During their time in Prague, some representatives of the Coalition also held a press conference at the Prague Civil Society Centre, which was moderated by the CEELI Institute’s Executive Director Julia Fromholz. Members of the coalition briefed Czech and international media on Russia’s forced deportations of Ukrainian citizens from temporarily occupied territories, including the kidnapping of Ukrainian children who are sent to Russia to be illegally adopted by Russian citizens. They explained that child abduction is a key component of Russia’s attempt to destroy Ukrainian identity. The coalition also informed the media about the scale of destruction to historical and cultural monuments, as well as the extent of environmental destruction and the risks it presents to the wider region.