Practice Relating to Rule 150. Reparation
The Russian Federation’s Constitution (1993) provides: “The rights of persons who have sustained harm from crimes and abuses of power shall be protected by the law. The state shall guarantee the victims access to justice and compensation for damage.” It also provides: “Everyone shall have the right to compensation by the state for the damage caused by unlawful actions (or inaction) of state organs, or their officials.”
Other Russian legislation of relevance to the question of compensation for victims of violations of IHL are: the Law on Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Persecution (1991), as amended; the Law on Rehabilitation of the Repressed Nations (1991); the Decree on the Law on Rehabilitation of the Repressed Nations in Relation to the Cossacks (1992); the Resolution on Compensation for Persons Having Suffered Nazi Persecution (1994); the Resolution on Return of Property and Compensation for Victims of Political Persecution (1994); and the Resolution on Compensation for Destruction of Property for Citizens Having Suffered from the Settling of the Crisis in Chechnya and Having Left Chechnya Irrevocably (1997).
In the Khamzaev case in 2001, a Russian District Court rejected the claim of a private person against the Russian Government for material and moral compensation for the damages sustained in the aerial bombardment of Urus-Martan in October 1999 by Russian aviation. During the trial, the government denied that bombings had taken place in the relevant part of the town. However, the representative of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation declared:
We think that the damage was caused by the Federal armed forces. The house was destroyed. But, if the generals assert that they had not given the order to attack residential areas of Urus-Martan, then the pilot(s) exceeded the limits of the order. Hence, there are no grounds for compensation for damages from the State treasury.
The Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation notes that a number of victims of the conflict in Chechnya have filed claims and “are entitled to get a reimbursement for their homes demolished by federal troops, i.e.
, for the lost property”.