The human being, his/her rights and freedoms
shall be the supreme value.
It is a duty of the Donetsk People’s Republic,
its state bodies and officials to recognize,
respect and protect the rights and freedoms
of man and citizen.
Article 2 of the Constitution
of the Donetsk People’s Republic
Summarizing the results of the previous year, 2016, we can say that it was another milestone in human rights development in the Donetsk People’s Republic. This was the year of development and strengthening of the Ombudsman institution. What is the most important, – many problems of citizens have been solved.
Much work has been done towards ensuring respect of the rights and freedoms of human and citizen, protection of their rights and legitimate interests.
In the light of the armed conflict, unleashed by the Ukrainian authorities in Donbass region, the issue of return of all illegally detained persons from the territory of Ukraine. Under the DPR Act on the Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic the DPR Ombudsman is authorized to exercise control over respect to human rights and international law in respect to civilians and prisoners of war. It is within the powers of the Ombudsman to keep record of the prisoners of war, missing persons and civilians, to compile the preliminary lists of the prisoners of war.
In 2016 the Ombudsman received 90 complaints from persons deprived of liberty. Among them: 83 complaints were from an isolation ward, 7 complaints – from correctional colonies of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The Ombudsman’s Office was directly involved in the process of transferring of 110 convicts who expressed their desire to further serve the sentence in the territory of Ukraine to the Ukrainian side.
The year 2016 has proved to be fruitful in matter of cooperation with international organizations. The Ombudsman addresses the representatives of the UN Human Rights Committee, the representatives of the OSCE Monitoring Mission, since she is not able to visit prisons, where the DPR supporters are kept, personally. The process of release of all hostages is complicated by the existence of clandestine prisons in Ukraine. In this regard, the Commissioner has repeatedly drawn attention of the international community to the problem of illegal detention of our citizens in such institutions.
The Ombudsman continues to pay great attention to the development of international relations, which are manifold: the reception of foreign delegations, representing different international organizations, such as human rights, politically, socio-economically, culturally oriented ones. Destroyed infrastructure objects are subject to monitoring within the framework of cooperation with international organizations such as the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross; the projects aimed at helping the most socially vulnerable citizens of the Republic are carried out.
It is well-known, that the armed aggression of Ukraine affects civilians mostly. In order to illustrate the crimes of Ukrainian military in Donbass, an interactive destruction map has been developed. For the present moment, 3985 destruction points are marked on the map.
The DPR Ombudsman’s Office continues work aimed at improving the legal policy in respect to IDPs, in order to provide them with more favourable economic and social conditions, employment, protection of rights and freedoms.
In most cases, the complainants are the representatives of vulnerable categories: seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, orphans and children deprived of parental care, defendants and convicts, single mothers and mothers of large families. Maximum accessibility and transparency, simple and comprehensive explanation, benevolent interest in the applicants’ identity – that is the main component of work of the Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The fair number of citizens who have visited the Ombudsman in person indicates that the institution of the Ombudsman is in high demand for the citizens of the Republic. It also demonstrates that the citizens defend their rights more often now, and shows their credibility to the Ombudsman’s Office.
The comparative analysis of appeals of 2015 and 2016 reporting periods shows a decrease in the number of almost all kinds of appeals. First of all, this is due to the improved economic situation in the Republic: a full regular payment of pensions and social benefits; increase by 10% in pension payments; timely payment of wages, as well as its increase by 5% per quarter; opening of new businesses, which contributes creating jobs.
Citizens appeal directly to the Ombudsman, bypassing officials and authorities, who are legally bound to deal with a particular problem. This fact is both the measure of legal nihilism of the citizens of the region, and the indicator of malfunctioning of local bodies and state agencies, as well as the lack of citizens’ confidence that they can get assistance. The Ombudsman’s decisions are of a recommendatory character. This is not a weak side of the institute, but its specificity. Therefore, the main method of the Ombudsman’s operation is persuasion. The Office is able to operate with such a set of arguments (of a legal, social and real-life nature) so that its position in the applicant’s interests would be accepted by opponents. So, there is another important task of the institution – to encourage the state bodies to maximum realization of human rights.
The main result of the work of the DPR Ombudsman is that the large amount of people has become aware of the ways to protect their rights, as evidenced by the obvious fact: citizens now apply Courts, Public Prosecutor’s Offices more often and use other legitimate mechanisms to protect their rights.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications are still verbal and made through private meeting either with the Ombudsman or the heads of the Office, addressing the Appeals Department, via hotlines and via web-reception on the Website of the Ombudsman. There is also a possibility to apply a written complaint, that may be submitted either in person or via e-mail. More than 7260 applications were received in 2016. 29 persons visited the Ombudsman in person between 24th December 2016 and 13th January 2017. 65 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department, 77 calls were made via hotlines. 58 applications were received via e-mail. 5 written appeals were taken into consideration, 3 have been considered among those received earlier, 75 DPR citizens were provided with legal consultation.
All applications received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 334 applications; violations in civil law – 426 applications; administrative and legal violations addressing the DPR citizens – 44 applications; social and humanitarian issues – 6456 applications (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 30.12.2016
Violations in criminal law
Violations in civil law
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
Among all incoming correspondence to the Ombudsman of DPR, the one which deals with the issues of exercise of social rights of citizens and violations of these rights is the most frequent. These issues are: pension and social payments – 812 appeals, temporary accomodation – 926 appeals, paperwork in case of property destruction – 201 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 566 appeals, employment – 378 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents – 57 appeals, search of the missing – 268 appeals, loss of IDs – 308 appeals, housing issues – 312 appeals, temporary residence permit – 435 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 2071 appeals (diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian isses, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 16.12.2016
Pension and social payments
Search of the missing soldiers
Search of the missing civilians
Temporary residence permit
Paperwork in case of property destruction
Paperwork on travelling documents
Loss of IDs
Other social and humanitarian issues
The majority of complains are traditionally received from Donetsk, by territory (Diagram 3).
The number of appeals (complains, applications) from citizens, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 16.12.2016
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
During the reporting period the front line of the Donetsk People`s Republic has been subjected to fire of the Ukrainian side almost on a daily basis. Ukrainian forces deliberately destroy objects that provide the citizens of the Republic with water, electricity and gas. Other infrastructure objects have also been targeted.
There is a danger of worsening of ecological situation in the region due to the shelling by the Ukrainian forces against Donetsk state factory of chemical products and Donetsk Filtration Plant, where some chemicals are stored, on 14 February.
As a result of a hit to the territory of the chemical factory, a hospital and 11 houses have been damaged.
On 16 February “Prycanalnaya” and “Podkachka” pumping stations, situated near the Lenina’s coalmine in Gorlovka, were subjected to fire from Ukrainian forces.
As of 16 February 2017 as a result of hostilities in the region more than 11200 infrastructure objects have been damaged.
More than 6755 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 521 units in Gorlovka, 68 units in Dokuchayevsk, 291 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 72 units in Kirovskoye, 1068 units in Makeyevka, 54 units in Snyezhnoye, 118 units in Torez, 747 units in Khartsysk, 74 units in Shakhtyorsk, 574 units in Yasynovataya, 277 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 52 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6131 houses;
– 760 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 174 heating supply facilities;
– 46 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 11 wastewater disposal and sewerage facilities;
– 98 healthcare facilities;
– 486 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 54 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 54 higher educational institutions;
– 25 physical and sport education institutions;
– 53 cultural institutions;
– 237 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 58 industrial objects;
– 88 trade objects;
– 256 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 30th January 2017 there are 2766 units of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 427 – rebuilt and 2339 – are to be rebuilt.
- Estimates of mortality, wounds to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
Almost every day the DPR Ombudsman’s Office records cases of violations of rights of Donbass citizens by Kiev authorities: right to life, to security of the person, to the inviolability of the home.
On 13 February two DPR servicemen sustained mine-blast traumas as a result of provocative fire in Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk region by Ukrainian forces. A DPR serviceman born in 1993 sustained a shrapnel wound of the chest, abdominal and right hand; a DPR serviceman born in 1983 sustained a shrapnel wound to the thighs and chest on the right.
On 15 February as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region a DPR serviceman of 48 years old sustained a shrapnel wound to the neck.
On 16 February as a result of hostilities near Yasinovataya a DPR serviceman born in 1987 sustained a mine-blast trauma with damage to cranial vault. A DPR serviceman born in 1975 sustained a gunshot wound of the right foot, open comminuted fractures of the lower extremity.
Within the period of 10 – 17 February 2017, 5 DPR servicemen sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant Ukrainian shelling.
Within the period of 1st January – 17th February 2017, 99 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 50 DPR servicemen and 49 civilians, including 4 children under eighteen.
Between 10 and 17 February 2017, 6 servicemen of the Republic and one civilian man died. The man lost his life due to the blast of 14 February. The remaines of three man, who died as a result of hostilities in Avdeyevka industrial zone, were handed over.
Within the period of 1st January and 17th February 2017, 52 persons died in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 47 DPR servicemen and 5 civilians
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4341 persons had died. Among them, there were 595 women and 3746 men, including 74 children under eighteen.
Officially confirmed information on individuals, who have been wounded since the beginning of the conflict continues to be reported to the Ombudsman Office in DPR. The information is being processed at the moment and it will be included into general statistics of the injured individuals.
- Register of the prisoners of war and missing soldiers and civilians
The official Kiev does not seem to be seeking for diplomatic settlement of the conflict, the negotiations in Minsk format are still carried out on a regular basis, but the exchange itself cannot be performed due to the lack of the will of the Ukrainian authorities. As Ukraine ignores the exchange of captives, the DPR supporters are still imprisoned in its illegal places of detention, where they are being subjected to abuse and torture.
During the week, the DPR Ombudsman’s Office received three appeals on arrest of citizens.
On 29 January two men have been captured by the Ukrainian forces the industrial zone of Avdeyevka, one more man was arrested near “Maryinka” checkpoint on January 31.
During the week, no appeals on the missing have been received.
Based on the updated figures as of 17.02.2017, 792 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 476 persons, whose whereabouts have been confirmed on the Ukrainian territory. One person was transferred to the list of confirmed persons, missing in the Lugansk People’s Republic.
– 263 persons, whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. During the current week it was clarified that 2 persons were excluded from the list in order to avoid duplication with the LPR lists. One person has been reported to be released through the exchange between 2015 and 2016 According to the information received from the DPR Ministry of Internal Affairs, one person from the list is declared dead.
– 53 persons, who have been requested by the DPR for the first time (based on the information from volunteers of December 2016 – February 2017) including 3 imprisonment statements mentioned above.
As of 17 February 2017, 465 persons are considered missing.
The Ombudsman`s Office continues to clarify information about the individuals, who were detained by the Ukrainian side, the statistics may change.
The DPR Ombudsman`s Office will no longer publicly categorize the detainees by “serviceman”, “arrested for political reasons”, “civilian irrelevant to the conflict” due to safety considerations.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
Human rights are vital for a fulfilling life. They guarantee protection of human dignity and freedoms to every person. Respect to these rights is the only way for a person to realize his/her potential, creative capacities and spiritual qualities.
The Universal Declaration for Human rights of 1948 was the first legal document that protects fundamental human rights. Along with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights there three documents constitute the so-called International Bill of Human Rights.
Among these rights there are: – right to life, to human dignity, to liberty and security of person, to inviolability of the home and non-interference in his or her private life, to free move.
The state must ensure realization of the rights mentioned above and other rights, envisaged in the international documents.
Since 2014 Ukraine carries out the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in Donbass that leads to grave violations of the fundamental human rights. The continuing shelling, economic blockade and movement restrictions pose challenges for Donbass citizens in their enjoying of the fundamental rights and freedoms.
Those who live near the frontline were most affected. Many have been forced to leave their home in order to save their life. The Ukrainian government was indifferent to their fates.
Since 2014 the issue of providing assistance to the internally displaced persons, who have become victims of the conflict, have been a concern of the DPR Ombudsman`s Office under the authority of Daria Morozova.
15 temporary accommodation units were established in the DPR by the efforts of the Office. 12 of them function today. Among them: 6 are in Donetsk, 3 are in Makeyevka, 2 are in Khartsysk, 1 is in Zugres. One TAC was closed after it was destroyed as a result of shelling. Those displaced persons, who lived there, were evacuated to one of the TACs of Donetsk.
1355 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation, including 279 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict, 5024 persons were accommodated in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office. Among them, 130 persons – in 2017. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on the weekly basis, with the view to respond promptly to the citizens’ needs. During the period of work between 11th and 17th February 2017, 38 persons have applied to the Ombudsman`s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 10 of them were accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office: 7 – in Donetsk, 3 – in Khartsysk.
There are currently 1191 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1135 – in DPR temporary accommodation centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 270 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office ; 56 – in housing fund of the DPR.
It is necessary to remind that there are 8065persons, including 2092 children under eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 68 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 57 of them function today, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 3091 individuals live in the units, including 630 underage children, 4974 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1462 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The problem of employment has always been a matter of concern for everyone, indifferently of the country of residence, because the well-being of his/her family depends on the quality of professional skills and the ability to use them.
There are cases, when finding a job is fraught with difficulties. The character of these difficulties depend on many factors: from physical advantages (physically challenged people need special work conditions) to external factors (for instance, economic crisis leads to reduction in jobs due to redundancy or closure of an enterprise).
For citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic it is much more complicated. Enterprises had been closed due to active hostilities escalated by Ukrainian forces. The conditions of an armed conflict make it rather difficult to find appropriate job. The Republic Employment Center was established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to assist people, who seek for employment. The institution provides a database of currently opened positions, which is available online for every citizen; organizes training and re-training.
According to their data 6,1 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 17.02.2017. As of 17 February 2017, there were 15,1 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 10,9 thousand have been employed (2,4 of them – on permanent positions, 8,5 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organizes regular free public workshops to train practical skills, such as work with personal computers; technique and mechanization of trade accounts (work with cash register machines); the program “1C: Accounting 8.2.”; fundamentals of entrepreneurship; processing and decoration of textile and clothing products etc. Since the beginning of 2017, 30 persons participated in those workshops.