The current week in the Republic was marked by several significant occasions.
The well-known statement that history makes us wiser, unfortunately, cannot be called a rule. A striking example of this thesis is the statement by the representatives of Ukraine on the unilateral opening of all checkpoints of entry-exit located on the border with the Donetsk People’s Republic. A similar provocation was previously carried out by the Ukrainian side in June of this year and led to numerous problems for citizens, whose personal situation was used by Kiev to achieve its own political goals. The Ukrainian authorities have again demonstrated their lack of integrity and indifference towards the residents of Donbas, threatening the health of citizens against the backdrop of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as knowing in advance about the position of the Republic on the issue of protecting citizens from the spread of a deadly infection.
Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR Daria Morozova, among the reasons that prompted the Ukrainian authorities to take again a similar step, noted that a possible motive for the provocation is another desire of Kiev, not fulfilling its obligations, to hold a meeting in the Normandy format. The Ombudsman appealed to citizens with a call on not to succumb to manipulation.
However, against the backdrop of the situation developing around the attempts of the Ukrainian authorities to put pressure on its own Constitutional Court, the leaders of the Normandy Four countries are unlikely to take calls by Zelensky to revise the Minsk Agreements seriously. Because, if Ukraine is capable to neglect the Constitution as the highest law, for the sake of the interests of bodies supervised by foreign states, then what kind of ability to fulfill serious international agreements can we talk about?
The pressure on the independent branch of government has already been condemned by the Venice Commission, as well as by a number of international organizations. However, despite this, the Ukrainian authorities submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill that terminates the powers of the current composition of the Constitutional Court, thereby actually making an attempt at a coup d’etat and usurpation of the authority. The president’s threats against judges, as well as the actions of radicals under the windows of the building of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, make this situation even more egregious.
Unfortunately, the above-mentioned bill was not the only document, violating the Constitution. Thus, the Ukrainian government introduced for consideration amendments to the Law “On the Security Service of Ukraine” of 1992. These changes make it possible to detain and intern all citizens of the Russian Federation. It looks especially cynical against the background of the fact that a significant part of the population of Donbas has Russian passports, thus this bill actually makes the residents of the DPR and LPR powerless outcasts, who can be detained without trial or investigation. In addition, if the amendments are adopted, this law will directly violate the provisions enshrined in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 08.12.1949.
However, it seems that Ukrainian leadership is seeking the full-scale military action, which is absolutely unresponsive to regular violations of the open-ended ceasefire by the UAF. A vivid confirmation of this is the tragic death on 8 November of the commander of the rifle battalion of the 11th regiment of the OPM DPR, Andrey Pankin, who was shot dead by a sniper. Such actions by the AFU pose a threat of a new round of armed conflict, which has already claimed thousands of innocent lives.
Provocations on the demarcation line are a direct consequence of the lack of reaction of the Ukrainian authorities to the appeals of the nationalists to violate the “Minsk Agreements”. Thus, the leader of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi party “National Corps” called on for a direct military attack against Donbas. Taking into account the large number of nationalist supporters in the ranks of the AFU, such calls can actually be perceived as a direct order to violate the ceasefire with all its consequences. This is especially dangerous against the background of the frightening epidemiological situation in the world.
Currently, the Republic is managing to keep the situation around the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic under control. Thus, from the beginning of the pandemic to the present day, there are 8,568 registered and confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in the Republic. 3684 patients are in treatment, 769 cases are fatal.
The fight against the epidemiological threat in the Republic is carried out not only by the heroic efforts of doctors, but also with the help of the coordinated work of the Ministry of Emergencies, whose employees regularly are working at disinfection and prevention of civilian objects, to say nothing of the main task, namely to save the lives of citizens. In this regard, for more efficient work, the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic handed over the keys to eight fire engines and an ambulance to the Ministry of Emergencies of the DPR. This specialized equipment will help employees of the ME in their difficult work.
The Ombudsman continues to attentively explore and monitor the humanitarian situation in the Republic, also call citizens for being careful and follow the essential sanitary-epidemiological norms, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Ombudsman received 4729 complaints.
All received complaints can be divided into nine categories: personal rights – 2042 complaints, economic rights – 186 complaints, social rights – 697 complaints; guarantees of human rights in civil, administrative and criminal proceedings – 445 complaints; enforcement of human rights in penitentiary institutions – 131 complaints; enforcement of rights in the field of education – 15 complaints; enforcement of rights in the field of healthcare – 138 complaints; enforcement of rights of mothers, children and families – 43 complaints, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 1032 complaints.
- Death toll, injuries to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic
The DPR Ombudsman’s Office documents cases of violations of Donbas citizens’ rights by the Ukrainian side, including the right to life, personal integrity and freedom of movement.
Within the period between 6 and 13 November 2020, in the territory of the Republic, one serviceman of the Republic sustained injuries.
Within the period between 1 January and 13 November 2020, in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, 100 persons sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine: 67 servicemen of the Republic and 33 civilians (including 6 children and 11 women).
Within the period between 6 and 13 November 2020, in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, 2 servicemen died.
Within the period between 1 January and 13 November 2020, in the territory of the DPR, 44 servicemen of the Republic and 5 civilians died as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
It should be noted that since the armed conflict began in the Donetsk People’s Republic, 4958 persons, including 90 children died.
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.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers and civilians
Based on the updated figures as of 13th November 2020, there are about 103 people detained by the Ukrainian side:
There are 362 people on the list of missing persons.
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens
At the time of armed conflict, the civilian population living in the zone of fighting and near the contact line is often affected. With the view to protect the human right to life and security of the person, and to provide assistance to victims as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centers).
With the coming into force of the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, Territorial commissions in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. They work under the supervision of the Republican Commission on Resettlement of Affected Persons chaired by the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman.
There are currently 925 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens of this category. 64 social housing objects have been opened in the territory of DPR. 55 of them operate, 9 of them are held in reserve. Since the beginning of the conflict, 6870 people, including 1548 children have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. Currently, 2042 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk People’s Republic, including 365 underage children, 4828 people live in the housing fund, including 1183 children.