This week was marked by several notable events. On February 5, in the north-west of Gorlovka, Ukrainian armed formations opened mortar fire against a school yard. In particular, a bomb shelter where civilians were staying was damaged. The Human Rights Ombudsman commented on the incident:
“The actions of AFU not only undermine the unlimited ceasefire announced on July 21, 2019, but also pose a threat to the lives of civilians in Donbass. Such steps can be regarded either as the inability of the Ukrainian leadership to influence its own armed forces, or as their direct approval of violation of international humanitarian law.”
The Ombudsman communicated the corresponding letters to international human rights organizations.
Unfortunately, such actions on the Ukrainian side remain the rule rather than the exception. It is largely thanks to the coordinated work of the Ministry of Emergencies that it is possible to minimize the consequences of shelling and evacuate the civilian population in a timely manner. Thus, at a meeting of the leadership of the Ministry of Emergencies dedicated to civil defense, protection of the population and territories, the results of the work of the department in 2019 were presented. So the Ministry of Emergency Situations managed to eliminate the consequences of more than 30 emergencies, to localize and extinguish more than 6,500 fires, saving material assets worth more than 200 million rubles and about 2,000 human lives, including 130 children. The Ministry continues its efforts aimed at prevention and elimination of emergencies.
Meanwhile, shelling by the Ukrainian side must bring legal responsibility. For this reason, residents of the Republic prepare documents for filing claims with the European Court of Human Rights. So, residents of the village of Kominternovo are going to file lawsuits with the ECHR for a total of 72 million rubles.
However, no money can compensate the loss of human lives. In this regard, the action plan (roadmap) to search for persons who are reported missing is underway. So, on January 6, the Ombudsman hosted a meeting of all bodies concerned, where mechanisms to resolve the issue of search for missing persons and identification of bodies on both sides of the line of contact were discussed.
At the same time, despite all the difficulties associated with the hostilities, the Republic continues to live and develop. So, on February 4, the first school of entrepreneurship in the DPR was opened. Students will be able to gain knowledge in the areas of management, marketing, accounting, team building and other areas. The classes will be conducted by businessmen from the DPR and the Russian Federation.
However, successful entrepreneurship is only possible if there is a tough anti-corruption policy in the state. For this reason, on February 5, the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin held a meeting on anti-corruption issues. In particular, the following anti-corruption measures were highlighted: preventive measures, increasing responsibility and inevitability of punishment, strong repulsion to bribe-giving and other manifestations of corruption in society. Indeed, only the rule of law and human rights can create a decent future for citizens of the Republic.
DPR citizens have victories not only in the state, but also beyond its borders. So, athletes from the Republic won 9 medals at the last rhythmic gymnastics tournament “Snowflakes of the Don” held in the Russian Federation. More than 500 athletes aged 5 to 18 years, from 15 cities of the Russian Federation, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics participated in the competition. Our athletes took 3 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals.
In addition to sports competitions abroad, the Republic is also developing sports sector within the state. So, a large-scale Muay Thai tournament was held in Donetsk. The competition was attended by 150 athletes from 11 sports clubs in the cities of the Donetsk People’s Republic: Donetsk, Makeevka, Yasinovataia, Kirovskoe, Enakievo, as well as the cities of the Lugansk People’s Republic. At the end of the competition, the winners were awarded certificates of honour, medals and sports items by the Thai Boxing Federation Muay Thai and K-1 DPR.
Unfortunately, the end of this week was overshadowed by the terrible accident that occurred when a bus was going from Golovka to Sevastopol. As a result of the accident, 2 DPR citizens died. All the victims were promptly hospitalized in public health facilities of the city of Novoazovsk. An evacuation of passengers not requiring hospitalization to Gorlovka was also organized. The Ombudsman expressed condolences over the tragedy. At the moment, the injured citizens’ lives are not in danger; proper medical care is provided to them. Due to harsh weather conditions, we urge citizens to be careful and take care of their health.
In her activities, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic strongly promotes human rights and freedoms, ensures their protection and monitors their observance.
Upon a human rights violation, the need to restore one’s rights, to obtain legal advice or appeal against actions (omission) of state bodies or authorities, citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in a way that is convenient for them.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Ombudsman received 554 complaints.
All complaints received can be divided into nine categories: personal rights – 100 complaints, economic rights – 17 complaints, social rights – 71 complaints; guarantees of human rights in civil, administrative and criminal proceedings – 61 complaints; enforcement of human rights in penitentiary institutions – 20 complaints; enforcement of rights in the field of education – 0 complaints; enforcement of rights in the field of healthcare – 9 complaints; enforcement of rights of mothers, children and families – 7 complaints, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 269 complaints (diagram).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 07.02.2020
Human rights guarantees in civil, administrative and criminal proceedings
Enforcement of rights in the field of healthcare
Enforcement of human rights in penitentiary institutions
Enforcement of rights of mothers, children and families
Enforcement of rights in the field of education
Issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR
- 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 Donbass citizens’ rights by the Ukrainian side, including the right to life, personal integrity and freedom of movement.
On 31 January, as a result of shelling against Elenovka checkpoint, a DPR serviceman, born in 1995, sustained mine-blast trauma and shrapnel wound to the front abdominal wall.
Within the period between 31 January and 6 February 2020, 1 DPR serviceman sustained injuries in the Donetsk People’s Republic as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 1 January and 6 February 2020, 6 DPR servicemen sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 31 January and 6 February 2020, 2 DPR servicemen died in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 6 February 2020, 6 DPR servicemen died as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4,901 people died, including 81 children.
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
In the reporting period, the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 7 February 2020, 149 people whose whereabouts are unknown or are pending clarification are held by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received an appeal on a missing man. The man, born in 1976, went missing in September 2014 in Snezhnoe.
As of 7 February 2020, 466 people are considered missing. They could have been taken prisoner in Ukraine.
- 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 centres).
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 supervision of the Republican Commission on Resettlement of Affected Persons chaired by the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman.
There are currently 967 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens of this category. Since the beginning of the conflict, 7,057 people, including 1,623 children have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. 64 social housing objects have been opened in the territory of DPR. 53 of them operate, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2,127 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk People’s Republic, including 388 underage children, 4,930 people live in the housing fund, including 1,235 children.