WASHINGTON, D.C. – The McCain Institute at Arizona State University announced today it awarded $30,000 to the Ukraine-based human rights organization Truth Hounds, which investigates international crimes and seeks justice for the victims of grave human rights violations. The funding is provided by donations from members of the McCain Institute’s McCain Alumni Club which includes former staff of the late Senator John McCain.
“We asked McCain Alumni Club members to help support an important cause, and they answered the call by choosing a human rights organization doing vital work in Ukraine. Truth Hounds’ efforts to establish accountability and provide justice to the victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crime of aggression and genocide, as well as other grave human rights atrocities is directly in line with the values that guided Senator McCain and our work at the McCain Institute. We are proud to help support this innovative and important organization, especially as it faces increasing demand to expose the Kremlin’s war crimes in Ukraine,” said McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas.
Truth Hounds is a team of human rights professionals that has been documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2014 using mainly field work in combination with open-source intelligence. Truth Hounds gathers information from eyewitnesses, documents crime scenes with photos and video, presents public reports, and trains and consults state authorities. They have submitted nine reports to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, recorded testimonies from more than 200 witnesses, and completed more than 120 investigations and 120 field missions to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Truth Hounds has expanded its activities to other countries affected by conflicts. Since 2014, members of the team have visited Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Lebanon to gather evidence and train local groups to document international crimes.
Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Truth Hounds has gained an international reputation for its groundbreaking work and has been named the McCain Institute’s 50th Human Right Defender. Funding provided by the McCain Alumni Club will be used to help the organization build its capacity and continue its crucial work.
“What began as a small group of activists has grown into a team of nearly 30 specialists working to prevent human rights abuses and create greater accountability for the perpetrators of international crimes. Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine has only intensified the need for this critical work and has increased the pressure felt by our team members in the field. This funding from the McCain Institute will help support our work and bring justice for more Ukrainians and victims around the world,” said Truth Hounds Executive Director Roman Avramenko.
The McCain Institute is deeply committed to upholding freedom, democracy and universal human rights. Reflecting this commitment, the McCain Institute’s Human Rights Defenders program provides transitional assistance to human rights defenders who have been forced to flee their homes or to work underground due to harassment, intimidation or violent threats. Most recently, the program has supported a Burmese activist, an award-winning photographer from Kashmir, an Iranian cartoonist, a Rwandan journalist, a women’s rights activist from Afghanistan, a Tanzanian journalist, a Malaysian blogger, and activists from Uganda, Jordan and Burundi.
About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
Inspired by Senator John McCain and his family’s legacy, the McCain Institute at Arizona State University is non-partisan and fights to secure democracy and alliances, defend human rights, protect the vulnerable and advance character-driven leadership in all communities around the world.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.
McCain Institute Press