On October 14, the celebration of the anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, banned in the DPR and the Russian Federation, took place in Kiev. In the framework of the “No Surrender” action, the nationalists marched shouting Nazi slogans and protesting against signing Steinmeier’s formula, which provides for the special status of Donbass, the withdrawal of troops, a general amnesty and holding elections under the supervision of the OSCE.
Representatives of the parties “National Corps” and “European Solidarity” also participated in the march, while veteran public organizations organized it. In addition, among the participants of the rally there were people wearing uniform with the symbols of the German far right neo-Nazi party called “Trety put`” (the Third Way), which carries the ideology of Nazism and the superiority of the white race.
In the course of the actions the nationalists put forward ultimatum demands to the Ukrainian authorities:
– to ban the introduction of special status for LDPR;
– to ban the amnesty for the military personnel of the Republics;
– to ban the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the demarcation line;
– to ban all non-state paramilitary forces on the territory of LDPR;
– to ban holding of elections to any government and self-government bodies until the entire line of the Ukrainian-Russian border is fully controlled.
Commenting on this situation, OSCE Special Representative Martin Sajdik strongly condemned any attempts to change the Steinmeier’s formula.
The lack of political will on part of leadership of Ukraine amid protests by nationalists has already led to a disruption in the withdrawal of troops in the villages of Petrovskoe and Zolotoe.
The disruption of the withdrawal of troops was commented by the plenipotentiary representative of Russia in the Contact Group for the Peaceful Settlement in the East of Ukraine Boris Gryzlov: “These groups claimed they were going to occupy all positions in Petrovskoe and Zolotoe and preparing for it. The actions of radical nationalists are organized in the cities and regions of Ukraine unhindered and even supported by local authorities. All this causes an extremely negative reaction of Donbass residents and affects the work of the Contact Group. They should keep in mind that Donbass will never bend before neo-Nazis, as well as their collaborators and patrons. This must be realised by Western partners of Ukraine who really want to help resolve the crisis.”
At the same time, there are alarming reports on the sharp increase in the number of ceasefire violations. The OSCE Special Representative Martin Sajdik said the following: “I regret to say that I cannot give a positive assessment of adherence to the ceasefire, as the number of violations has recently risen sharply.”
Concessions by the Ukrainian authorities to the demands of nationalist forces may lead to disastrous consequences for the civilian population of Donbass. The increased shelling incidents documented by the OSCE representatives may lead to the resumption of active hostilities, and, as a result, to civilian casualties and a new round of conflict.
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.
Now, the majority of applications are still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or staff 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.
Since the beginning of 2019, the Ombudsman received 5355 complaints. In the period of work between 12 and 18 October 2019, 8 people attended personal reception of the Ombudsman; 31 people received counselling by the Appeals department, 5 written complaints were accepted; 10 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 5 people received legal counselling. 6 written appeals were approved for consideration, 19 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 42 calls were received via hotlines, 23 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into nine categories: violations in criminal law – 507 appeals, violations in civil law – 556 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 53 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary – 171 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen – 298 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials – 227 appeals, social, humanitarian and economic issues – 2029 appeals, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 962 appeals, other issues – 489 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 18.10.2019
Violations in criminal law
Сomplaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary
Social, humanitarian and economic issues
Violations in civil law
Сomplaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials
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, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid – 654 appeals; transportation, communication and consumer rights – 62 appeals; issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 386 appeals, migration legislation issues – 603 appeals, labour legislation issues – 194 appeals, healthcare issues – 169 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 24 appeals. (Diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian issues, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 18.10.2019
Pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
Migration legislation issues
Transportation, communication and consumer rights
Labour legislation issues
Issues of education, culture and sport
Issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
The majority of complaints 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 18.10.2019
- 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: the right to life, to security of the person.
On 11 October, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman, born in 1969, sustained blunt wound to the left side of the back.
On 12 October, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman, born in 1970, sustained shrapnel wound to soft tissue of left thigh and right hand.
As a result of detonation of a trip wire in Proletarsky district of Donetsk, at the Novodeviche cemetery, a civilian woman born in 1968, sustained mine-blast trauma and injury of both arms and legs; a civilian man, born in 1991, shrapnel wound to the thighs; a civilian woman, born in 1968, sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound to the shoulder, thighs and front abdominal wall. Also, in another district of Donetsk, as a result of detonation of an unknown explosive device, a child, born in 2006, sustained a mine-blast trauma and an open fracture of the right tibia.
In a wood line outside Starobeshevo settlement, a child, born in 2010, sustained mine-blast trauma to the hand.
On 17 October, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, DPR servicemen, born in 1966 and 1999, sustained injuries of varying severities.
As a result of provocative fire in Nikitovsky district of Gorlovka, a civilian woman, born in 1958, sustained trajectory wounds.
Within the period between 11 and 17 October 2019, 10 persons sustained injuries in the Donetsk People’s Republic as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, including 4 DPR serviceman, 3 civilian women, 1 civilian man and 2 underage persons.
Within the period between 1 January and 17 October 2019, 189 people, including 121 DPR servicemen, 24 civilian women, 39 civilian men and 5 children sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 11 and 17 October 2019, 1 DPR serviceman was killed in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 17 October 2019, 144 people, including 135 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian women and 3 civilian men died as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4873 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 18 October 2019, 245 people are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 82 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been established and confirmed;
– 163 people whose whereabouts are unknown or are pending clarification by the Ukrainian side. It has been reported that 2 people from the list died and 8 people were released as they have served their sentences.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 18 October 2019, 463 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.
On 13 October, 33 children from families affected by the armed conflict in Donbass were invited to the Donetsk State Academic Puppet Theatre and to the Donetsk Philharmonia. The young viewers saw a puppet play named “On a count of five” and a literary-musical composition “Blue bird”.
The tickets were provided as part of the cooperation between the Human Rights Ombudsman and the Ministry of Culture of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
During the period of work between 12 and 18 October 2019, 10 people have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to being affected by the armed conflict. There are currently 1055 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens affected by hostilities. Since the beginning of the conflict, 6801 people, including 1629 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, 2247 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk Administration, including 419 underage children, 4554 people live in the housing fund, including 1210 children.