The Illegal Restriction of Movement by State Officials

State officials in Ukraine are engaged in a blatant disregard for constitutional rights, notably violating Article 33 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which unequivocally guarantees every individual within Ukraine’s territory the freedom of movement, the free choice of residence, and the unrestricted right to leave the country, subject only to legal restrictions. In a grave overstep, these officials are enforcing subordinate regulations—namely, the Rules for crossing the state border established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine under Law No. 3857-XII—which, not being laws themselves, starkly contradict the Constitution, the Law of Ukraine, and the stipulations of international treaties.

This overreach is further compounded by the military command’s misuse of their authority to limit citizens’ movements, an authority that should be strictly defined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as outlined in point 6 of part 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law”. The “Procedure for establishing a special regime of entry and exit, restriction of the freedom of movement of citizens, foreigners, and stateless persons, as well as the movement of vehicles in Ukraine or in its specific localities where martial law is introduced,” approved by the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1455 dated December 29, 2021, explicitly delineates the scope of these measures as internal to Ukraine.

Crucially, point 8 of this Procedure clarifies that the crossing of state borders and the imposition of any restrictions at border crossing points must be governed by existing legislation, not by the Procedure itself. This point decisively indicates that the military command’s powers do not extend to border crossings, which are to be regulated by other legal instruments, including international treaties and the Law of Ukraine “On the Procedure for Exit from Ukraine and Entry into Ukraine of Ukrainian Citizens”.

Thus, any arbitrary restrictions imposed by border service officials or state leadership on crossing the state border are not only unfounded but also constitute a direct assault on the legal and constitutional rights of Ukrainian citizens. Such actions by state officials represent a stark violation of the rule of law and a profound failure to uphold the fundamental rights enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution.



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