The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections
which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held
by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 21 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights
The exercise of human rights and freedoms is one of the burning issues of domestic and foreign policy of the states of an international community. Legal support of the rights and freedoms, exercise of them are the criteria to judge on the level of democratic development of any state and community as a whole.
Human rights and freedoms are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has become the key document on humanism, equality and philanthropy. The main guarantor of the rights and freedoms of a citizen is the state, which is the criterion of democracy.
Article 3 of the Constitution of the Donetsk People`s Republic proclaims that the man, his rights and freedoms shall be the supreme value. The recognition, observance and protection of human and civil rights and freedoms shall be an obligation of the Donetsk People`s Republic, its institutions and authorities.
Article 12 of the Constitution recognizes and guarantees respect to rights and freedoms of man and citizen according to the universally recognized principles and norms of the international law, it also guarantees inviolability and the absolute nature of these rights.
With regard to human rights and classification of them, it is necessary to pay attention to political and civil rights. Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights stipulates that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. According to the article, the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
The most spectacular event of the recent week was the election campaign in the USA. The whole world was watching the exercise of civil rights of US citizens. It is unlikely to tell more than 10 countries in the whole world, which would make humanity so interested in its presidential elections.
What is the secret of popularity of the exercise of the right to vote in the world leading democracy? Why were residents of the Earth more interested in the US President election campaign than in their neighbouring countries` ones?
Perhaps, in a globalized world, tending to multipolarity, it is important to perceive the changes in their own country as a result of the expression of will of citizens in the birthplace of democracy.
It might result into settlement of conflicts in the world; many belligerent parties might come to an agreement. The ruling elites might return to the concept of soft power. The change of the US political elite might result into restoring peace in Donbass.
Currently, the world is full of uncertainty, people from every corner of the planet are looking forward to inauguration of the US President.
“Minsk negotiations, that took place yesterday, ended in disappointment. The election of Trump has put Ukrainian policy off the track. They haven`t received any instructions, so they decided to freeze the progress of negotiations”, – commented the Head of Donetsk People`s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko.
Being politically neutral, without sticking to any of the sides, it`s important to outline the full and free exercise of the right to vote in the United States of America. The Ukrainian government would do well to learn how to respect political and civil rights, keeping in mind that it is the people, who will always be in power. Article 21 of the Ukrainian Constitution stipulates that all individuals are equal in dignity and rights. The rights and freedoms are inalienable and inviolable. Perhaps, Ukrainian authorities, who strive for democratic ideals, will adopt practices of their overseas partners and learn to respect the rights of all citizens, Donbass citizens in particular, be it political and social rights or fundamental rights, such as right to life or right to security of person.
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 5486 applications were received since the beginning of 2016. In the period of work between 5 and 11 November 2016, 26 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 53 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 46 calls were made via hotlines. 34 applications were received via e-mail, 7 written appeals were taken into consideration, 8 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 28 citizens were provided with legal counseling.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 272 appeals, violations in civil law– 309 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 39 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 5287 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 07.11.2016
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 – 645 appeals, temporary accommodation – 831 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 168 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 532 appeals, employment – 327 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –54 appeals, search of the missing – 255 appeals, loss of IDs – 259 appeals, housing issues – 256 appeals, temporary residence permit – 364 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1832 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 07.11.2016
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 07.11.2016
- 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.
In the early morning of November 7 one of the projectiles hit near the transformer substation as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces, cutting 165 recipients from electricity, Yelenovka village.
On November 8 as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces water tower in Tavrycheskoye village, Telmanovo region, was damaged.
On November 9 due to heavy shelling in the South of the Republic a power transmission line was damaged and 7 transforming substations were deenergised. As a result, the residents of Kulykovo and Oktyabr villages of Novoazovsk region were left without electricity.
On November 10 the residents of Syergeyevka village were cut from gas supply due to shelling.
As of November 10, 2016, more than 10943 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6662 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 262 units in Debaltsevo, 475 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, 563 units in Yasinovataya, 274 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:
– 5934 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;
– 467 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 54 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 54 higher educational institutions;
– 25 physical and sport education institutions;
– 51 cultural institutions;
– 221 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 56 industrial objects;
– 88 trade objects;
– 239 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of November 11, 2016 there are 2728 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 412 – rebuilt and 2316 – 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.
The crimes committed by Ukrainian forces against Donbass civilians, are not ignored by the government of the Donetsk People`s Republic. Last week, the representatives of our young state announced to include shelling in Makeyevka of October 26 in the agenda of Minsk Contact Group negotiations.
One of the questions discussed during the meeting of 8-9 November, was the investigation of a tragedy that occurred in Makeyevka last week.
“The joint investigation group on the tragedy that occurred in Makeyevka in the end of October has been created in the course of videoconference. The decision was not completely achieved, but we have got the confirmation during private meeting. Public committee was also involved with its investigation in the DPR. The experts made infographics, demonstrating the course of the happening. Basic investigation will be performed by the staff of the OSCE Monitoring Mission,” informed Denis Pushilin, plenipotentiary in Minsk negotiations.
Command of the Republic decided to evacuate the residents of Oktyabr village, Novoasovsk region, due to continuous shelling of the DPR territory by Ukrainian forces. The citizens were transferred to the nearest villages and to Novoazovsk.
On November 8, Ukrainian forces opened a fire attack at “Yelenovka” checkpoint. Those civilians, who tried to drive through, were urgently directed to Donetsk. The soldiers took shelter in trenches.
On November 9 “Oktyabr” checkpoint was targeted by the Ukrainian side. At that moment some 50 automobiles were waiting near delimitation line to cross the border.
The DPR Ombudsman`s Office continues to document cases of violation of human rights of Donbass citizens: right to life, right to security of a person, right to inviolability of the home.
On November 6 as a result of shelling in Petrovskiy region of Donetsk a civilian man born in 1952 sustained shrapnel wound of the middle third of the back surface of his shoulder with debris, bruises in the right small back region.
On November 6, as a result of disassembling of explosive device, a civilian man of 53 years sustained a mine-blast trauma, which caused traumatic amputation of two fingers of his left hand.
On November 8 as a result of shelling in Dockuchaevsk by Ukrainian forces a civilian woman born in 1949 sustained shrapnel wound to the chest and left forearm.
Within the period between 4 and 11 November, 2016, 3 civilians were injured due to the armed aggression of the Ukrainian forces Among them: 2 men and 1 woman.
Within the period between 5 and 11 November, 2016, 2 DPR servicemen as a result of Ukrainian aggression in the DPR territory.
Within the period between 1 January and 1 November, 2016, 345 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 136 DPR servicemen and 209 civilians, including 16 children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4245 persons died. Among them, there were 591 women and 3654 men, including 73 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 in Minsk format took place on November 8-9. The meeting of representatives of the humanitarian subgroup, who are responsible for Articles 5 and 6 of Minsk Agreements, was the most expected, taking into account that previous negotiations were cancelled (October 26).
The long-awaited exchange announced a long ago (but hasn`t been officially confirmed by the representatives of the Ukrainian side) became not only the heart-warming factor for prisoners of war and their relatives, but also the subject for manipulation or Ukrainian negotiators, who create various gimmicks to delay the procedure, which is documented in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
“Our side has not yet received any answer to the official proposition on the exchange. Our opponents are performing yet another manipulation on the lists of illegally detained persons, Ukrainian side rejects to agree upon the exchange list by just by mentioning the number of 642 persons. Thus, we have not received any final or preliminary decision to perform the desired exchange from the authorized representatives of Ukraine. We insist on the earliest resumption of work with our opponents to coordinate the lists” – commented DPR Ombudsperson Daria Morozova on the results of the meeting.
The Ukrainian side also refused to liberate people with poor health condition, deliberately dooming those citizens to medical complications and probable invalidity. If we consider torture and death cases in Ukrainian dungeons along with it, we may conclude that the Ukrainian side intends to cynically lynch illegally detained DPR supporters.
This week, the DPR Ombudsman`s Office has received an application on arrest by the staff of Security Service of Ukraine. On October 27 of this year a woman was taken away from her home with application of physical force.
It`s necessary to remind that the use of physical force during arrest violates fundamental rights of a person, in particular the right to personal inviolability and physical integrity, right to health, and sometimes even right to life, right to free movement and right to liberty of a person.
This week, the DPR Ombudsman`s Office received no appeals on missing persons.
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.
Shelling continues unabated for more than two years, reminding citizens over and over again that there is a sharp battle for the right to live, express and think independently. Every day citizens face danger, both physical and psychological. War always leaves a scar on the mind, consciousness and behavior of people, especially when it comes to children. The tough challenge has befallen on them: the rights of children, legislated either in international documents or in the Constitutions of most countries, are being violated; those children cannot talk about their future confidently, they cannot make colorful paintings – all that is because Donbass children are hostages of the unleashed war.
Many families have to move from their places either due to destruction of their homes or due to political persecution by Ukrainian government. The victims of the conflict face many challenges, such as seeking for accommodation, problems of social and psychological adaptation, which is a complicated, multidimensional and often durable process that provokes emotional stress.
Obviously, children from those families will never feel safe anymore – they sustained a lifelong psychological trauma. Nevertheless, there are institutions in the DPR, where the children can get psychological counseling and assistance in adaptation to new environment.
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. There is a group of psychologists, who help people master their fears and adapt to new environment. More than 6 000 citizens of Donetsk People`s Republic received psychological counseling since December 2015.
15 temporary accommodation units were established in the DPR by 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. 1338 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation, including 255 underage children.
For the last three months, the staff of the DPR Ombudsman`s Office handed over more than 50 items of major household appliances to temporary accommodation centres, according to the Chief Administrator of the Ombudsman`s Office Dmitriy Popov.
“The staff of the DPR Ombudsman`s Office has passed 56 items of major household appliances to the temporary accommodation units between August and October. Those were washing machines, refrigerators, cooking stoves”, – Popov said.
During the period of work between 5 and 10 November, 2016, 54 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 2 of them were accommodated in TAC of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk. In total, 77 persons arrived to the territory of DPR for the reporting period, including 15 children under 18. Among them, 4 persons were accommodated in DPR temporary accommodation centres (including TACs of DPR Ombudsman`s Office), including 2 children, and 73 persons – in housing fund of the DPR, including 13 children. In total, 56 IDPs left temporary accommodation under various reasons for the reporting period, including 14 children under 18. Among them: 44 persons left TACs of the DPR (including ones of DPR Ombudsman`s Office), including 11 underage children, 53 persons left TACs of DPR Ombudsman`s Office, including 11 underage children. 12 persons left residential areas, including 3 children.
There are currently 1390 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1249 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 317 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office, 141 – in housing fund of the DPR.
It is necessary to remind that there are 8181 persons, including 2105 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 69 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 58 of them operate today, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2984 individuals live in the centres, including 561 underage children, 5197 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1544 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The right to work is vital for the exercise of other human rights and it is an unalienable component of human dignity. As one of fundamental rights of man and citizen, it is legislated in international law and has a binding character.
For instance, according to the Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “Everyone has the right to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts and which promotes his personal growth and recognition within society. The state shall take appropriate steps to safeguard this right”.
Today, people often have to change their workplace due to various reasons. Despite wartime hardships, the citizens seek for such a working place that would allow them to fulfill their potential to the fullest and make their families live decent lives.
Therefore, the Donetsk People`s Republic exerts every effort to respect and fulfill the right to work. The market is being legally regulated to make employment rate higher in our state. The mission of organizing 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 580 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, 30.2 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database between 01.01.2016 and 11.11.2016. Between January 1 and November 11, 2016, there were 51.4 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 40.1 thousand have been employed (19.7 of them – on permanent positions, 20.4 – temporarily).