Peace is the greatest good men can desire in this life.
Miguel de Cervantes
The primary goals for 2017 are the establishment of peace in Donbass, infrastructure rehabilitation and, of course, building of a strong and stable economy of our region. The peaceful settlement of conflict, which arose in April 2014 is the starting point. Creation of the atmosphere of mutual respect, harmony and humanism should be a strong basis for peace and tranquility, high living standards and stable development in the economy of the Republic.
Psychological, social, economical, political, spiritual, individual and public elements intertwine at the time of conflict. It complicates the process of settlement, since the spectrum of issues, that demand compromise between the countries, widens.
Conflict Resolution Studies distinguish the concepts “setlement” and “conflict resolution”. The latter implies hard work aimed at eliminating of a source of a conflict-ridden relationship, ensuring the best interests and needs of the sides. As a rule, this process takes years within the social sphere. Settlement implies prohibiting of violence, achieving of mutually acceptable agreements that would appear more advantageous for both sides rather than continuation of a conflict.
Since the creation of the United Nations in 1945, there was more than 100 major conflicts, which resulted into deaths of about 20 million lives. The conflict in Donbass led to more than 4 thousand deaths, including 74 underage children. Unfortunately, we still receive new data on injured and dead. For twenty days of the present year two children have sustained injuries of various severities. Apart from physical traumas they also get affected mentally, which is an important aspect as far as mental health of a nation is essential for its successful future.
It is important to remember that every conflict primarily affects civilians. Ironically, the so-called Ukrainian government was allegedly guided by the interests of their people unleashing the war against them in far 2014. The interests of civilians, their rights and freedoms must be a basis of the actual state’s policy. Careful attitude to every family, to every social group, the ability to find individual approach for every person, providing them with the appropriate assistance contribute to peace establishment and social welfare.
The rights and freedoms of the DPR citizens are patronized by the Ombudsman and her Office.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications is still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or the heads of the Office, addressing the Public Complaints and Appeals Department, via hotlines and via web-reception on the Website of the Ombudsman. There is a possibility to file a written complaint that may be submitted either in person or via e-mail. Since 2017 the Ombudsman received 182 appeals. In the period of work between 14 and 20 April 2017, 16 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 41 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 41 calls were made via hotlines. 21 applications were received via e-mail, 12 written appeals were taken into consideration, 3 – have been considered among those received earlier, 34 citizens were provided with legal counseling.
All applications received can be divided into four categories:
- violations in criminal law;
- violations in civil law;
- administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens;
- social and humanitarian issues.
As of 20.01.2017, 182 appeals were accepted. All of them dealt with social and humanitarian issues.
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 – 15 appeals, accommodation for temporary residence – 35 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 5 appeals, the receipt of humanitarian assistance – 2 appeals, employment – 7 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents – 2 appeals, search of the missing – 14 appeals, loss of IDs – 14 appeals, housing issues – 8 appeals, receipt of temporary residence permit – 14 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 66 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian isses, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 20.01.2017
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 2).
The number of appeals (complains, applications) from citizens, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 20.01.2017
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
For the reported period, the front line of the Donetsk People’s Republic was shelled by the Ukrainian side almost daily. Ukrainian security forces deliberately destroy the facilities that provide the residents of the Republic with water, energy and gas. Other infrastructure facilities are also being targeted.
On January 17 the Ukrainian forces opened fire against Yasnoye village near Dokuchaevsk. As a result of fire, a boiler plant and a gas pipeline were damaged.
As of 19th January 2017, more than 11069 infrastructure objects were partly damaged (destroyed) as a result of hostilities in the region.
More than 6675 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 262 units in Debaltsevo, 519 units in Gorlovka, 68 units in Dokuchayevsk, 291 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 31 units in Kirovskoye, 1066 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:
– 6010 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;
– 230 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 58 industrial objects;
– 88 trade objects;
– 253 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 14rh January 2017, there are 2765 units of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 422 units – rebuilt and 2343 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.
Thus, on January 15 a projectile hit a house in Dolomytniy village near Gorlovka during the shelling by the SSU. A child born in 2014 sustained a shrapnel fracture of the upper third of the tibia, wide laceration of the left knee joint.
On January 15, as a result of shelling in Lieninskoye village of Novoazovsk region the DPR serviceman born in 1987 sustained a perforating gunshot wound of both thighs.
On January 16, as a result of shelling in Kievskiy region of Donetsk a civilian man of 26 years old sustained a perforating gunshot wound of the chest.
On January 17, a serviceman born in 1999 was hospitalized due to the mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wounds to the thighs, pelvis and knee joints. He was injured as a result of hostilities of January 12 near the Donetsk airport.
Within the period of 13th– 19th January 2017, 4 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant Ukrainian shelling. Among them, there were 2 DPR servicemen, 2 civilians including one child under 18.
Within the period of 1st – 19th January 2017, 17 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the DPR territory. Among them: 13 DPR servicemen, 4 civilians including 2 children under 18.
6 DPR servicemen have died between 14th and 19th January in the DPR.
12 DPR servicemen have died between 1st and 19th January in the DPR.
Since 1st January until 30st December 2016, 449 individuals sustained wounds of varying severities in the territory of DPR as a result of constant Ukrainian shelling. Among them, there were 214 of DPR soldiers and 235 civilians, including 16 children.
To be specific, 4301 individuals lost their lives in the DPR since the beginning of the armed conflict. Among them, there were 592 women, 3709 men and 74 children under eighteen.
- Register of prisoners of war, missing soldiers and civilians
On the 16th January a regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place in Minsk. Unfortunately, the unethical conduct of the Ukrainian representatives prevented the constructive dialogue.
“Five times we have made a proposal to exchange the persons who had already been identified but we haven’t received any direct response” – said Daria Morozova, the DPR Ombudsman.
The DPR representatives initiated a video conference with the mandatory participation of Viktor Medvedchuk, which was scheduled for January 18. The exchange of detainees was supposed to be the key issue. Unfortunately, the video conference did not take place in the current week.
“Taking into account that Mr. Medvedchuk cannot participate in the video conference, considering that Darka Olifer publicly claimed that the sides have mutually agreed to reschedule the video conference for the following week, which is not true, we may conclude that the Ukrainian side impedes the process of negotiations on the exchange of POWs. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian side again demonstrates its inflexibility and unwillingness to honour its own commitments” Daria Morozova commented on the inappropriateness to hold the video conference.
This week, the DPR Ombudsman’s Office received no appeals on arrest.
One appeal on the missing was received. A DPR serviceman lost contact with his relatives in the Donetsk airport in September 2014.
In tough cooperation with detainees’ relatives and the Ombudsman’s Office extensive work is being done on compiling and updating the lists for exchange.
In the current week the staff of the Office have found that two men, whose names were in the exchange list and whose whereabouts have been confirmed on the territory of Ukraine, have signed a cooperation agreement with security forces of Ukraine. They are currently at large. One woman was granted parole. An individual formerly enlisted as unconfirmed by the Ukrainian side was reported to be in the DPR territory.
Based on the updated figures as of 20.01.2017, 829 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including 456 of those whose whereabouts were confirmed and 373 of those whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
It`s necessary to specify, that 488 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
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.
For many years, hardworking Donbass citizens have been building infrastructure, developing the region, creating comfortable conditions for their families. Hardships happen, but love to the homeland and the wish to ensure the better future for their children have always motivated people. One moment they realized^ everything they had built for years and decades can be deatroyed in several minutes – after one decision, one order and one salvo. It was the spring of 2014 when Ukraine caught a disease – of immorality, irresponsibility and inhumanity. A line of fire was formed. People had to leave their own homes and seek shelter in other cities of the region.
Then, Donbass citizens faced problems they have never seen before: How to find means for temporary accommodation? How to get established in a new home? How to obtain medical care? How to help children adapt? All these questions required an immediate response.
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. Every day the staff of the Office help citizens prepare all necessary documents and get accommodation in safe regions of Donetsk, Makeyevka, Khartsysk , Shakhtyorsk. Professional voluntary psychologists also work under the auspices of the Ombudsman’s Office. They give support to people who found themselves in difficult life situation, including children.
15 temporary accommodation units were established in the DPR by the efforts of the Office to provide victims with due living conditions and make their adaptation period shorter. 13 of them function today. Among them: 7 are in Donetsk, 3 are in Makeyevka, 2 are in Khartsysk, 1 is in Zugres.
1276 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation, including 250 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict, 4917 persons were accommodated in temporary accommodation centres (TACs) of the Ombudsman`s Office. Among them, 9 persons – in 2017. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staff 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 14th and 20th January 2017, 19 persons have applied to the Ombudsman`s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 9 of them were accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1308 housing spots available for IDPs. It is necessary to remind, that there are 7858 forcibly displaced individuals registered in DPR since the beginning of the conflict to the present moment, including 2044 underage children. 68 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 58 of them function today, 10 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2823 individuals live in the units, including 546 underage children, 5035 persons live in housing fund of DPR, including 1498 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Every state seeks to create conditions for efficient employment, since high employment rate is a development index. Right to labour must be granted to all able-bodied citizens, including those physically challenged. For a state, to exercise this right does not mean to employ all citizens or to force anyone to work. The Constitutions of many countries right to labour implies the possibility to gain one’s living by work which he freely chooses or accepts. Moreover, a state must guarantee enumeration not less than the national minimum wage.
One of the vital interests of the Donetsk People’s Republic is to ensure full exercise of this right in the region. To this purpose the government has adopted the following documents: “On Remuneration of Labour”, “On vacations”, “On the Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities”, the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the DPR No. 4-6 of 18.04.2015 On payment based on the unified wage scale for the remuneration of the staff of government bodies, the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the DPR No. 7-23 of 31.05.2016 On Approving an Employment Quota for Physically Challenged People.
Since the beginning of a conflict more than 4800 people were accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman’s Office. There is no doubt, many of them had been forced not only to live their own homes, but also to look for new job. It is due to the fact that many businesses that performed near the delimitation line have suspended their activities. Nonetheless, Donbass citizens did not give up. They started searching for new jobs. Many had to upgrade their skills or even undergo retraining.
The mission of organizing the employment of DPR citizens is shouldered by the Republic Employment Center. Donetsk center of vocational education was established on 9th December 2014. Its activities involve assisting DPR citizens in employment and organizing retraining programs.
According to their data 3,3 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 20th January 2017. There were 12,2 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers as of 20th January 2017. Among them: 8,2 thousand have been employed (0,6 of them – on permanent positions, 7,6 – 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); fundamentals of entrepreneurship etc. Since the beginning of 2017, 14 persons participated in those workshops.