Equality does not create war.
Solon (Athenian politician, lawmaker)
On the beginning of the current week, millions of Donbass citizens were shocked by the statement of the Minister of Culture, an authority and a member of the Government of Ukraine. An official, responsible for preservation of cultural identity of the country, for developing the values of the nation, publicly claimed that Donbass has no genetics.
Could it be that the region, where the first settlements appeared more than 150,000 years ago, has no pedigree? Could it be that the place of the Scythian culture is genetically deficient? The Donetsk Range has been an outpost and protection for the whole Russian Empire, hasn`t it? Is that possible to consider the heart of soviet industry inferior?
There is the question to the official: who or what has been brought to the territory? The answer is obviously not about the cities that allegedly have been brought here, according to the “high-ranking official”.
The so-called minister might have forgotten the word “genesis” (origin) or he just wanted to share his knowledge in anthropology. Or is he saying about the inferiority of Russian Donbass in this context, which is a reproach to the whole multinational diversity of the region?
Article 24 of the Ukrainian Constitution stipulates that citizens are entitled to equal rights and freedoms and are equal before the law. There are no privileges and restrictions on the basis of race, skin, political, religious and other beliefs, gender, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, language or any other grounds. Doesn`t the Minister know the Constitution of his own country? Does he know the Article 161 of the Penal Code of Ukraine, which deals with violation against equality of citizens on the basis of their nationality or religion? The crime, prescribed in Article 161, is punishable by a fine of up to 50 times the minimum wage or correctional labour for up to two years, or deprivation of liberty for up to three years with deprivation of the right to hold certain offices or be engaged in certain activities for up to three years or without it. By his statements, the Minister of Culture of Ukraine not only debases the honor and dignity of Donbass citizens, but also demonstrates disrespectful and selective implementation of the Legislation of the country, which he is supposed to serve, the lack of basic moral and ethical standards and manners.
We remember the words of some MPs from three years ago about the “creatures”, who live on the South-East of previously united Ukraine, that added fuel to the fire of civil war, unleashed in the beginning of 2014. We don`t want either to draw parallels or make conclusions; there cannot be any discrimination against particular regions and their people in the truly united country. Even after it has paid an extensive price in human lives and after it has completely destroyed entire cities, the Ukrainian Government never learned how to respect the rights of all citizens of its country, without distinguishing the East and the West, creating an imaginary picture of terrorists and separatists for international community. Indeed, these so-called terrorists and separatists are ordinary citizens, who don`t want to live in permanent humiliation, with hints at inferiority and little self-worth, and also in disrespect towards them.
The rights and freedoms are patronized by the Ombudsman and her Office in the Donetsk People`s Republic. Thus, upon violation of human rights, anyone can appeal to the Ombudsman or to register for personal meeting.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications are 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. More than 6486 applications were received since the beginning of 2016. In the period of work between 19 and 25 November 2016, 24 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 45 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 43 calls were made via hotlines. 45 applications were received via e-mail, 11 written appeals were taken into consideration, 9 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 46 citizens were provided with legal counseling.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 298 appeals, violations in civil law– 363 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 40 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 5785 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 18.11.2016
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 – 701 appeals, temporary accommodation – 856 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 178 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 546 appeals, employment – 335 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –54 appeals, search of the missing – 262 appeals, loss of IDs – 275 appeals, housing issues – 270 appeals, temporary residence permit – 389 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1919 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 18.11.2016
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 18.11.2016
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
This week the front line of the Donetsk People`s Republic was subjected to attack of the Ukrainian side almost every day. The Ukrainian forces deliberately destroy objects that provide citizens of the Republic with water, electricity and gas. They also target other infrastructure objects.
As a result of shelling in Yasynovataya by the Ukrainian forces on 20 November, electricity lines were damaged and Yasynovataya section of Donetsk Filtration Plant was left without electricity. About 8 a.m., November 25, the Ukrainian Forces opened fire against filtration plant again, the staff was forced to go to the bomb shelter.
About 100 recipients in Nykolayevka village, Telmanovo region, were left without electricity as a result of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, November 22.
Power supply was cut in Yelenovka as a result of shelling on November 22.
As of August 3, 2016 more than 11391 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6671 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 262 units in Debaltsevo, 477 units in Gorlovka, 68 units in Dokuchayevsk, 279 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 31 units in Kirovskoye, 1032 units in Makeyevka, 54 units in Snyezhnoye, 118 units in Torez, 738 units in Khartsysk, 74 units in Shakhtyorsk, 565 units in Yasinovataya, 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:
– 5943 houses;
– 760 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 171 heating supply facilities;
– 46 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 11 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 97 healthcare facilities;
– 470 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 54 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 54 higher educational institutions;
– 25 physical and sport education institutions;
– 53 cultural institutions;
– 221 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 58 industrial objects;
– 88 trade objects;
– 239 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of November 24, 2016 there are 2739 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 412 – rebuilt and 2327 – 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.
Unfortunately, complete ceasefire stipulated in Minsk Agreements has not been achieved. The situation on the DPR frontlines is still tensed. This week, the checkpoints on delimitation line have been targeted by Ukrainian forces again.
Thus, on November 21, Ukrainian forces opened fire against “Mayorsk” checkpoint. Fortunately, there were no civilian automobiles at the time of the fire, and there were no civilians in the grey area.
On 18 November as a result of shelling in Kirovskiy region of Donetsk, a serviceman of 40 years old sustained shrapnel wound to the left shoulder, a forearm, a hand, both shins and anterior abdominal wall.
On November 20 as a result of hostilities in Kazatskoye village in Novoazovsk region, a serviceman born in 1984 sustained blunt shrapnel wound of the left foot and chin.
Due to the attack against Abakumov checkpoint in Kirovskiy region of Donetsk, a serviceman of 44 years old sustained gunshot wound to the left shoulder-joint.
As a result of sniping fire in Petrovskiy region of Donetsk, a serviceman of 20 years old sustained a penetrating gunfire wound to the head.
On 21 November a civilian man of 33 years old sustained shrapnel wound of the right thigh and the right chin as a result of grenade blast in a separate house, Makeyevka.
As a result of shelling of Krutaya Balka in Yasynovataya region a civilian man born in 1958 sustained a gunfire wound of the parietotemporal region with foreign bodies.
On 22 November as a result of hostilities in Kominternovo village of Novoazovsk region, a serviceman of 40 years old sustained shrapnel wounds to the right thigh; a serviceman of 39 years old sustained shrapnel wound to the head, left thigh and right hand.
Within the period between 18 and 25 November, 2016, 8 people were injured due to the armed aggression of the Ukrainian forces Among them: 6 DPR servicemen and 2 civilian men.
Within the period between 18 and 25 November, 2016, 4 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian man, who tripped a mine in planted forest in Zaitsevo, died d as a result of Ukrainian aggression in the DPR territory.
Within the period between 1 January and 24 November, 2016, 358 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 146 DPR servicemen and 212 civilians, including 16 children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4255 persons died. Among them, there were 591 women and 3664 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’s 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, missing soldiers
The regular meeting took place in Minsk on November 23. The Ukrainian side continues to ignore the demands, stipulated in the Package of Measures, which brings negotiations to a deadlock. The official Kiev avoids fulfilling Minsk Agreements regarding the issues of amnesty and the exchange of POWs, rejecting all proposals from DRP plenipotentiaries on the long-awaited “all for all” exchange. They insist on a selective approach of realization of the clauses.
“They have their own vision of the exchange, they see it not as a formula prescribed in clause 6 of the Package of Measures for the Realization of Minsk Agreements, but as a selective approach. To observe the exchange part of Minsk Agreements, Kiev has to fulfill the 5th clause of the Package of Measures that prescribes halting prosecution, and granting amnesty for the participants of Donbass conflict. DPR and LPR did everything possible to perform the exchange. In particular, they satisfied Ukrainian demands as regards the issue of the lists of POWs. Everyone were ready, but the proposal we made to the Ukrainian side on the exchange of identified persons is thus far rejected,” commented Daria Morozova, the DRP Ombudsperson.
Delaying the process of liberation of all illegally detained persons, the Ukrainian side manipulates the lists of POWs again. Currently, our opponents refuse to confirm all individuals claimed by the Republic, justifying their actions by the fact that some of the people are irrelevant to the conflict and have a criminal record.
“In the course of work we indicated all confirmed individuals and met all Kiev demands. All statements from Kiev about our ill-preparedness will be baseless. We call upon the Ukrainian side to show humanism in this issue and liberate those persons who are already confirmed by both sides before the New Year”, – said Daria Morozova, the DRP Ombudsperson.
This week, the DPR Ombudsman`s Office received 4 appeals on capture. A man was detained by the Ukrainian forces on the way to his workplace in Novotroitskoye village on 17.11.2016. Another man lost contact with his relatives on 08.09.15. It is known that he was queuing in “Novotroitskoye” checkpoint, moving to the territory, which is temporarily under control of Ukraine. Two more citizens informed their relatives that they had been in captivity on the territory of Ukraine.
This week no appeals missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
901 persons are now being kept by the Ukrainian side in detention facilities.
It`s necessary to specify that 488 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
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.
In 2014 Donbass citizens faced a serious challenge. The so-called “anti-terrorist operation” that resulted into casualties, destroyed areas, shattered lives, was started. People, who used to make families here and worked hard for the prosperity of the region, were forced to leave their homes, that were mostly destroyed and plundered; to leave jobs that provided a decent living; and go to nowhere. There emerged a need to find housing, employment, kindergarten or school for children, treatment for sick and elderly persons – everything at once.
Moreover, those IDPs who went to the territory of Ukraine feel themselves under pressure. According to the OSCE polling, fairly large number of IDPs is treated as “second-class” citizens; some respondents called their situation “futureless” and “hopeless”. Some internally displaced women with children, who lack financial resources and support from their relatives, complained that they feel themselves “cornered,” OSCE observers report. As the housing prices increase due to the rush of the IDPs and the access to proper accommodation is becoming scarce, social tensions grow. Rental charges and utility fees in all regions of Ukraine are reported to increase since the beginning of the conflict that makes it more complicated to find appropriate and affordable housing.
Those people, who have to change their place of residence, mostly stay in the territory of the DPR. They feel themselves more psychologically supported and safe here, rather than on the other side of the conflict.
Since 2014 the issue of providing assistance to forcibly 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. There is a group of psychologists, who help people master their fears and adapt to new environment. More than 6 000 citizens of the Donetsk People`s Republic received psychological counseling since December 2015.
15 Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. 13 of them function today. Among them: 7 are in Donetsk, 3 are in Makeyevka, 2 are in Khartsysk, 1 is in Zugres.
1327 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 259 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 4865 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued. During the period of work between 18 and 24 November, 2016, 59 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 9 of them were accommodated in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office. Among them: 4 persons – in Donetsk, 3 – in Makeyevka, 2 – in Shakhtyorsk.
There are currently 1363 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1238 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 333 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office, 125 – in housing fund of the DPR.
It is necessary to remind that there are 8253 persons, including 2105 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 67 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 58 of them operate today, 10 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2942 individuals live in the centres, including 558 underage children, 5211 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1547 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The “right to work” concept was first introduced by the leader of French socialists Louis Blanc in the light of social upheavals of the early 19th century and growing unemployment due to the financial crisis of 1846. Initially, only the landlords were entitled to civil and political rights, such as right to vote. Of course, not everyone was a landlord, hence the right to work was established. It gave equal opportunities for everyone to reach higher standard of living. Labour legislation in line with the right to political freedom and equality have become the necessary condition for prosperity of the society.
Nowadays, the right to work plays an important part as it lets every citizen freely use their labour capabilities and gain higher standard of living.
The Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948) stipulates that: 1). Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2). Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3). Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4). Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
The Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (New York, 16 December 1996), ratified by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR on 18 September 1973, stipulates that the States-parties recognize the right to work, and specifies the measures to be taken by the signatories so that this right could be fully implemented.
The mission of organizing the employment of DPR citizens is shouldered by the Republic Employment Centre. The work includes providing assistance in acquiring suitable place of employment, workers placement, including training and retraining.
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of the Republic Employment Centre organises 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. The number of 603 persons has participated in those seminars since 2016.
The Republic Employment Centre is the main state organ responsible for providing jobs to citizens. According to their data, 31.3 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database between 01.01.2016 and 24.11.2016. Between January 1 and November 24, 2016, there were 52.9 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 41.4 thousand have been employed (20.6 of them – on permanent positions, 20.8 – temporarily).