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The DPR Ombudsman said that over the last two years the Ukrainian Ombudsman has never officially addressed the authorities of the Republic.

When Edy Rama, the new head of the OSCE, arrived in Donbass in January, he was accompanied by Lyudmila Denisova, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights. That was followed by a post on Facebook where she asked Mr. Rama to involve her in the OSCE monitoring missions to Donetsk and Lugansk. Allegedly, the Ombudsman of Ukraine has no other ways to visit the Republics of Donbass. And, allegedly, there are citizens who are oppressed on ethnic grounds.

Interestingly, two years ago, when Mrs. Denisova became the ombudsman, she also expressed her intention to go to the DPR and LPR. Kind of a deja vu.

“Komsomolskaia Pravda” asked the Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR Daria Morozova to comment on Denisova’s intentions.

THE REPUBLIC ALREADY HAS A HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER

– My personal opinion is that Mrs. Denisova is engaged in another publicity stunt. She has never approached anyone but the head of the OSCE with such a request. Over the past two years, she has never officially applied to the DPR with the intention of visiting the Republic. In particular, to protect the elderly, women, children who suffer from shelling by Ukrainian troops, – said Daria Morozova. – In the DPR, the human rights protection institution has been well-established during the recent years. Recently, deputies of the DPR People’s Council extended my powers for another five-year term.

Daria Morozova noted that as an Ombudsman, she carries out all the necessary work to ensure respect of human rights in the Republic, identifies violations and restores the rights of residents.

– Until March 2018 in Ukraine, the Ombudsman was Valeria Lutkovskaia. We managed to find mutual understanding with her on a number of issues. Having left aside the political aspects of the conflict in Donbass, we considered purely humanitarian issues. Problems of social protection of residents of Donbass. Pensioners, of course. And we were able to find solutions to restore the rights of people on both sides of the contact line. But Mrs. Denisova avoids any kind of cooperation. I emphasize that the Ombudsman is a politically neutral position. It doesn’t matter in which territory he/she works. The DPR has its own Ombudsman, and the Republic does not need the presence of Mrs. Denisova.

– But if the Ukrainian Ombudsman makes an official request to visit the DPR …

– I think that this could be discussed at a meeting of two ombudsmen. Joint efforts on the observance of the rights of residents of Donbass on both sides of the contact line could be discussed. Nobody and nothing prevent us from exchanging opinions and additional information. But again I underline that the Ukrainian Ombudsman has never made such attempts.

“WE DON’T KNOW WHY LUTKOVSKAIA LEFT THE POSITION”

– You mentioned Ms. Lutkovskaia. After leaving the post of Ombudsman, she led the humanitarian subgroup at the Minsk talks. She was your counterpart. But last week she unexpectedly left this position. Is there anything known about the reasons behind this decision? The Ukrainian side is silent about this.

– For us, this news was also unexpected. It was reported by Toni Frisch, OSCE Coordinator. Details are unknown to us. They said that Gennady Kuznetsov would be temporarily acting. He had previously participated in the negotiations. The new representative will be announced later.

– According to the Ukrainian media, representatives of the Red Cross are not allowed to the detainees in the DPR.

– Let’s look at the last exchange, which took place at the end of December 2019. I believe that everything was transparent enough. Representatives of the media and of the Red Cross spoke with participants of the exchange. And it was confidential, in accordance with international standards. We have demonstrated our openness. By the way, we deliver letters and parcels to prisoners through representatives of the ICRC.

WHEN THE NEXT PRISONER EXCHANGE WILL TAKE PLACE

– The Ukrainian media literally exploded after your statement that the DPR will not conduct the exchange of prisoners. It was made after the proposal of Ukraine on a new exchange. What happened?

– We agreed in Minsk, and the representative of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma supported this, that the prisoner exchange of December will be regarded as finished only after all these people will be clean from charges. That is, they will not be prosecuted on the territory of Ukraine and other states for crimes that they were charged with. At the same time, nothing prevents us from conducting work on other detained and convicted people for a new exchange. But the next exchange should take place only after the procedural clearance of the people who were exchanged in December.

Daria Morozova shared her long-held dream.

– My main hope is the creation of a mechanism to search for missing people. Relatives of these people constantly remind us about this problem. And we simply do not have the moral right to postpone the issue until later. At the last meeting in Minsk, we agreed to exchange our perspectives on how this should happen. To develop a mechanism, a road map for the search for the missing. I have a big favour to ask the Ukrainian side – I’m asking not to politicize this issue. It is absolutely humane, – said the DPR Ombudsman.

Source: KOMSOMOLSKAIA PRAVDA