Staff of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office visited the Second Scientific and Practical Conference for Forensic Experts of Donbass that took place on 24.11.2017 on the basis of the Donetsk National Medical University named after M. Gorky.
Pressing issues of identification in forensic medicine was the main topic discussed at the conference, namely: the introduction of advanced DNA technologies, feasibility of creating a programme to centralize information on unidentified remains, a program for identifying remains of unknown persons (militarymen and civilians) who died as a result of hostilities.
In 2014, there was an urgent need to identify bodies and remains of the deceased as a result of the armed conflict in Donbass. The Republican Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination of the Ministry of Health of the Donetsk People’s Republic, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, has made enormous efforts to develop an identification mechanism. It involves using non-standard identification methods by specialists of the Bureau, applying advanced technologies, equipping laboratories with modern specialized equipment, and also additional training for the staff.
Now there is the issue of developing a unified mechanism for interaction between the DPR, the LPR and Ukraine in order to deal with the above-mentioned issue, since the identification procedure requires close cooperation of representatives of all parties.
In order to improve the identification process, it is necessary to exchange DNA profiles, establish free movement of the relatives of the alleged dead persons in these areas to gather appropriate DNA data, and ensure the unhindered movement (transfer) of bodies and remains to one or another territory. The problem of interaction between the parties in the cause of identifying the deceased has been raised many times by DPR representatives at the meetings of humanitarian subgroup in Minsk, but the Ukrainian side ignores the discussion of the issue.