Those who make war get caught in the end.
Originally, international law was meant to overcome limitations of the law by national boundaries and make justice international. The international humanitarian law reflected both the perception of “truth” that were fixed as a set of rules and responsibilities of the warring parties to adhere to the declared principles and actions aimed at punishing criminals and restoration of justice. Unfortunately, there are governments who sometimes ignore norms and principles of international law. The means of waging war go far beyond the permissible limits, as a result, civilians suffer, and civilian infrastructure is being destroyed.
Since the beginning of the conflict Kiev government has made everything possible to cut off Donbass citizens from vital resources. Many branches that are important for social position of citizens, ranging from gas supply to food supply, were affected. Since December 2014 Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics are being subjected to in financial and economic blockade.
There is no doubt, that the primary goal of Kiev is not to take care of their citizens and establish peace in the country. Judging by the measures, undertaken towards Donbass citizens, their aim is to force citizens go along with the Ukrainian government. As the saying goes, “all is fair”. Aside from using arms, prohibited by Minsk Agreements, against citizens, the methods such as deliberate damage to infrastructure of the DPR and the LPR in order to cause difficulties for maintenance of substantial services are used. This was the reason why Donetsk filtration plant was targeted. As a result, it has been closed for repairs. Water supply to the DPR cities has been shut-off.
The rights and freedoms of DPR citizens are patronized by the Ombudsman and her Office. Thus, upon violation of human rights, anyone can file an application to the Ombudsman or make an appointment for personal meeting.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications is 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 a possibility to file a written complaint that may be submitted either in person or via e-mail. More than 397 applications have been received since the beginning of 2017. 5 persons visited the Ombudsman in person between 28th January and 3rd February 2017. 48 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department, 51 calls were made via hotlines. 2 written applications were taken into consideration, 4 have been considered among those received earlier, 36 DPR citizens were provided with legal consultation.
All applications received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 15 applications; violations in civil law – 36 applications; administrative and legal violations addressing the DPR citizens; social and humanitarian issues – 346 applications (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 27.01.2017
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 – 52 appeals, accommodation for temporary residence – 46 appeals, paperwork in case of property destruction – 11 appeals, the receipt of humanitarian assistance – 3 appeals, employment – 20 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents – 2 appeals, search of the missing – 18 appeals, loss of IDs – 42 appeals, housing issues – 18 appeals, receipt of temporary residence permit – 25 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 109 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 27.01.2017
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 3).
The number of appeals (complains, applications) from citizens, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 27.01.2017
- 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 Ukrainian side almost on a daily basis. Ukrainian forces deliberately destroy objects that provide citizens of the Republic with water, electricity and gas. Other infrastructure objects have also been targeted.
As of 2nd February 2017 more than 1112 infrastructure objects in the region were partly damaged (destroyed) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6675 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 262 units in Debaltsevo, 521 units in Gorlovka, 68 units in Dokuchayevsk, 291 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 72 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:
– 6051 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;
– 255 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.
- Counts 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 27 January as a result of hostilities in Avdeyevka industrial zone a DPR serviceman born in 1979 sustained a mine-blast trauma, blunt shrapnel wound of the lower third of the right shoulder, right hand and right thigh.
On 28 January as a result of hostilities in Debaltsevo two DPR servicemen born in 1987 and 1997sustained mine-blast traumas and concussion.
On 29 January as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region a DPR serviceman of 23 years old sustained a gunshot wound of the left foot.
As a result of hostilities near Yasinovataya a DPR serviceman born in 1993 sustained a gunshot wound and comminuted fracture of the proximal phalanx of 1 finger of left foot.
On 30 January As a result of shelling of Donetsk, a civilian man of 33 years old sustained a gunshot wound of the chest (left side), a civilian man born in 1987 sustained a mine-blast trauma of the left thigh, soft tissue of left clunis.
As a result of a direct hit of Ukrainian shell between hydropathic establishment and Infectious Disease Department of Makeyevka hospital No. 5 4 persons were injured, one of them at the scene. A civilian man sustained born in 1981 sustained a mine-blast trauma, penetrating shrapnel wound of the abdominal with damage to intestinal tract, closed craniocerebral injury, brain contusion, cornea burn; a civilian man born in 1987 sustained a mine-blast concomitant injury, comminuted fracture of right hand metacarpal bone, a shrapnel wound of the chest (left side), a shrapnel wound of a left thigh and face; a civilian man born in 1966 sustained a soft tissue bruise of occipital region of head.
As a result of hostilities in Yasinovataya region a DPR serviceman born in 1976 sustained blunt shrapnel wound with remaining foreign body, open fracture of the shoulder.
On 31 January as a result of shelling in Kievskiy region of Donetsk a civilian woman of 46 years old sustained a shrapnel wound of the soft tissue with damage to hip bones, a shrapnel wound of the anterior abdominal wall; a civilian woman of 45 years old sustained a penetrating wound of the anterior abdominal wall.
As a result of shelling in Kievskiy region of Donetsk, a civilian man born in 1963 sustained a mine-blast trauma and an incised wound of the left cheek.
As a result of shelling in Makeyevka, near Shcheglovskaya-Glubokaya coalmine, a civilian man of 41 years old sustained perforating shrapnel wound of the left shin; a civilian man of 63 years old sustained shrapnel wound of the right lumbar region.
As a result of direct hit during the mortar fire by the SSU against Kominternovo village of Novoazovsk region a civilian man born in 1941 sustained multiple wounds of the head and hands, blunt injury of the stomach and chest, cerebral contusion.
As a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region a DPR serviceman born in 1981 sustained shrapnel wound of the head, cerebral contusion, closed craniocerebral injury.
As a result of hostilities in Avdeyevka industrial zone two DPR servicemen born in 1973 and 1962 sustained shrapnel wounds, one more serviceman had his eye injured. A DPR serviceman born in 1995 sustained a lower penetrating wound of the chest, blunt wound of the upper extremity.
During military operation near Yasinovataya region two DPR servicemen born in 1980 and 1978 were injured by the shell splinters.
As a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo the DPR serviceman born in 1996 sustained a mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of the chest, penetrating to the pleural cavity on the left.
On 1 February as a result of shelling in Kalinintskiy region of Donetsk an ambulance was under fire of Ukrainian forces. A patient, a driver and emergency team were inside the car. This resulted into the following: a civilian man of 47 years old sustained shrapnel wounds of the left thigh and multiple wounds of the face, a civilian woman of 52 years old sustained a shrapnel wound of the left shoulder joint; a civilian woman of 52 years old sustained abrasion of both hands, left temporal region and cheek; a patient, a civilian man of 36 years old, sustained a mine-blast trauma, open shrapnel fracture of the left shoulder, a shrapnel wounds of left shin soft tissue.
As a result of shelling in Kievskiy region of Donetsk, a civilian man of 42 years old sustained shrapnel wound of the middle third of the left forearm; a civilian man of 59 years old sustained shrapnel wound of the upper third of the left thigh.
As a result of hostilities near Avdeyevka industrial zone a DPR serviceman born in 1994 sustained a perforating gunshot wound of the right shoulder joint; a DPR serviceman born in 1975 sustained a mine-blast trauma, blunt shrapnel wound of the left thigh.
A DPR serviceman of 37 years old sustained a closed fracture of the pubic bone during military operation in Novoazovsk region.
As a result of shelling by the SSU against Kominternovo in Novoazovsk region a civilian woman born in 1965 sustained a shrapnel wound of the right lumbar region; a civilian man born in 1959 sustained a shrapnel wound of the lower third of the right forearm.
On 1st February a civilian man born in 1976 sustained a mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of the left shin; a civilian man born in 1954 sustained a perforating shrapnel wound of the abdominal wall; a civilian woman born in 1965 sustained shrapnel wounds of a forehead and dissection of a cheek. One woman died at the scene.
On 2 February as a result of shelling of “Shcheglovskaya-Glubokaya” coalmine in Makeyevka, a civilian man born in 1949 sustained a mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of the right shoulder and left thigh.
As a result of shelling in Kievskiy region of Donetsk a civilian man of 45 years old was wounded.
As a result of shelling in Budyonovskiy region of Donetsk 18 persons were injured (5 women and 13 men, including two children, one of them was 6 years old and the other was 2 months old). Three of the injured refused hospitalization.
Within the period of 27 January – 2 February 2017, 59 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant Ukrainian shelling. Among them, there were 17 DPR servicemen and 42 civilians, including 2 children under eighteen.
Within the period of 1st – 31st January 2017, 53 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 34 DPR servicemen and 19 civilians, including 2 children under eighteen.
Within the period of 1st January – 2nd February 2017, 87 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 40 DPR servicemen and 47 civilians, including 4 children under eighteen.
Within the period of 27 January and 2nd February 2017 19 persons died. Among them, there were 15 DPR servicemen and 4 civilians, who had died due to the shelling of Donetsk and Makeyevka.
Within the period of 1st and 31 January 2017 27 persons died in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 25 DPR servicemen and 2 civilians.
Within the period of 1st January and 2nd February 2017, 31 persons died in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 27 DPR servicemen and 4 civilians.
To be specific, 4320 persons had died since the beginning of the armed conflict. Among them, there were 595 women and 3725 men, including 74 children under eighteen.
- Register of the prisoners of war and missing soldiers and civilians
The regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place on 1st February in Minsk. The participants reviewed the results of the joined work on the lists of the detainees. According to the Ukrainian side, some of the detainees that we had claimed refused to be exchanged. The DPR Ombudsman has repeatedly stated that the detainees are being subjected to undue influence by the staff of Ukrainian forces.
«We are aware of the pressure against our men by the Security Service of Ukraine, so we cannot take their word. Thus, we suggested a mechanism which could be used to keep record of those citizens who really wish to stay in the territory of Ukraine and who are not going to cross the delimitation line after being released. The notable feature of the mechanism is the involvement of impartial international organizations that can guarantee respect to the rights and freedoms of the detainees», – said the Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
The issue of documents for released people was also raised. Thus, we arrived at significant results on negotiating the list of detainees thanks to the constructive dialogue of the representatives of the humanitarian subgroup.
«The results of our joint work on coordinating the list enable us to discuss the exchange of all persons confirmed by both sides. I can confidently say that the yesterdays’ meeting was a complete success and one more step towards release of our men. I hope, the long-awaited exchange will be performed soon», – said Daria Morozova.
During the week, the DPR Ombudsman’s Office received no appeals on arrest of citizens. No appeals on the missing have been received.
In tough cooperation with detainees’ relatives and the Ombudsman’s Office, extensive work is being done on compiling and updating the lists for the exchange. Taking into account information given by the Ukrainian side on 27 January, the lists of the missing have been updated.
Based on the updated figures as of 03.02.2017, 774 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 455 of those whose whereabouts had been confirmed in the territory of Ukraine. We have been informed on the 6 persons, who had been released between 2015 and 2016; on the whereabouts of 1 person in the territory of Ukraine, so there is no need to exchange this person; on 28 persons, who had previously been enlisted as unconfirmed by the Ukrainian side; and on one person who is being detained by the Ukrainian side, according to the ICRC.
– 267 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. Thus, the information on 15 persons, who had been released within the period of 2015-2016, 23 persons, who are in search, as missing; on 32 persons, who had been confirmed to be detained by the Ukrainian side, has been clarified. One more person is being detained by the Ukrainian side, according to the ICRC.
As of 3rd February 2017 465 persons are considered missing, 23 of them are considered missing by the Ukrainian side.
The Ombudsman`s Office continues to clarify information about the individuals, who had been 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.
- The accounting of forcibly displaced persons.
The international law guarantees protection of civilians and civilian objects during the armed conflict. Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 is one of the documents that guarantee protection of victims of armed conflicts. Article 52 of the document provides:
- Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 2.
- Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.
Unfortunately, the parties to conflict don’t always adhere to these provisions, affecting civilian population.
On the present week serious hostilities have resumed in the outskirts of the DPR. Many recalled 2014, when they endured the heaviest shelling.
The shells target civilian areas again. So there are going to be more victims, more destruction. Those citizens who live near the front line pack the so-called “grab bags”. They have some painful experience and they know there will be no time to pack things, if they have to live their dwelling fleeing for life. That is why people don’t hide documents and necessities in the cupboard.
There are citizens who refuse to live their home even if there is a risk to the life. It is quite difficult to live home for those, who, perhaps, have lived their entire life there. Others couldn’t bear it mentally, when they feel the danger every day. They decided to seek for temporary accommodation.
The Ombudsman’s Office assists these citizens. The assistance is provided through offering accommodation in temporary accommodation centers and in further improvement of social conditions of the forcibly displaced persons.
15 temporary accommodation units were established in the DPR by the efforts of the Office. 13 of them function today. Among them: 7 are in Donetsk, 3 are in Makeyevka, 2 are in Khartsysk, 1 is in Zugres.
Due to the massive shelling against the residential area of the Donetsk People’s Republic by Ukrainian forces, evacuation of civilians was carried out. As a result of joint work of the Ombudsman’s Office and Ministry for Emergency Situations, 103 persons, including 32 children, had been evacuated and accommodated throughout the Republic between 31.01.2017 and 02.02.2017. Among them there were 63 persons, including 20 children, who had been accommodated in temporary accommodation centers of the Ombudsman.
As a result of active warfare many citizens address to the Ombudsman’s Office by themselves in order to receive a referral for accommodation. Thus, 51 persons, including 16 children, had been accommodated within the period of 31.01.2017 – 02.02.2017.
Therefore, 154 civilians (including 48 children) were forced to leave their homes and move to temporary accommodation throughout the DPR due to the recent fighting. 114 of them (including 36 children) were accommodated by the Ombudsman’s Office. 1364 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 277 underage children.
Since the beginning of the conflict 4977 persons were accommodated in temporary accommodation centres (TACs) of the Ombudsman’s Office. Among them, – 83 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 21th and 27th January 2017, 31 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: 5 – in Donetsk, 1 – in Makeyevka, 1 – in Khartsysk, 2 – in Shakhtyorsk.
There are currently 1243 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them:1187 – in DPR temporary accommodation centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 276 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office ; 56 – in housing fund of the DPR.
67 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 57 of them function today, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2963 individuals live in the units, including 589 underage children, 4993 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1477 under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
High employment rate – is a keystone to welfare of society. That is why every state takes all measures to provide citizens with work positions. At the same time, employment often comes with violation of rights.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) – the UN specialized agency – was established to regulate employment relations. In its instruments there are many provisions that deal with employment. The following documents constitute the international legal institution of employment and labour: the ILO Convention concerning Employment policy No. 122 (of 1964), the ILO Convention and Recommendation concerning Employment (of 1948), and Convention concerning Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) (1958).
It is customary to distinguish broad and narrow sense of employment.
In a broad sense, employment is a process of occupying a position, whether it is organized through employment service offices or aidless or by virtue of transferring redundant employees upon their consent to another position in the same organization.
In a narrow sense employment is the activities of respective government agencies in order to provide assistance to citizens in finding a suitable job and employment, including the process of their professional training, retraining and so forth.
The mission of organizing the employment of DPR citizens is shouldered by the Republic Employment Centre.
According to their data 4,8 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 03.02.2017. As of 3rd February 2017, there were 13,8 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 9,4 thousand have been employed (1,3 of them – on permanent positions, 8,1 – 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. 24 persons participated in those seminars since 2017.