This week was marked by several significant events. On December 19, St. Nicholas Day was celebrated in the Republic. The DPR traditionally organised many celebrations dedicated to the winter holidays. One of them was a diocesan charity event “Ordinary Miracle 2019”, which provided assistance to children and elderly citizens.
Traditions always take a special place in all countries around the world. In this regard, the past year was proclaimed the Russian Language Year. During the year, educational, cultural, awareness-raising events, various festivals and actions were organised in all settlements of the Republic, devoted to the universal and unifying character of the Russian language and culture.
The adoption on December 13 of the Civil Code was significant for strengthening the legal system of the DPR. The Civil Code includes four books. The first book establishes the foundations of civil law, including provisions on individuals and legal entities, transactions, terms, representation and property rights. The second book sets out the general provisions of certain types of contractual obligations. The third book regulates legal relations in the field of inheritance rights. It defines the subjects of inheritance relations, inheritance property, rights and obligations that make up the mass of the succession, the procedure for accepting and registering inherited property. The fourth book is aimed at creating a comprehensive and transparent mechanism for establishing intellectual property rights: copyright, related rights, patent rights. Mechanisms for their protection have also been established. This legislative act will enter into force on July 1, 2020.
Unfortunately, all these events were overshadowed by the threat of disruption of Minsk negotiations of December 18 on the exchange of detainees. Ukraine’s non-compliance with the recommendations made following the “Normandy Four” summit in Paris on December 9 led to a delay in the negotiation process and, as a result, to the postponement of the next meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup. Despite the call to Kiev by the OSCE representatives to fulfil the commitments of the “Normandy Four” communiqué in order to help forward resolution of the conflict, Ukraine still has not provided a legal mechanism for the release of those participating in the exchange, which makes it difficult to fulfil the agreements reached.
At the moment, the parties are planning to continue the practice of videoconferencing. Only compliance with all the prescribed recommendations of the “Normandy Four” can bring hope for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and save thousands of lives.
Another important event in the life of the Republic was the re-election on December 20 of Daria Morozova to the post of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The Ombudsman will continue to protect the rights and freedoms of Donbass residents, both within the DPR and in the international arena.
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.
- 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 19 December, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, DPR servicemen, born in 1990 and 1992, sustained injuries of varying severities.
Within the period between 13 and 19 December 2019, 2 DPR servicemen sustained injuries in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 19 December 2019, 220 people, including 147 DPR servicemen, 24 civilian women, 44 civilian men and 5 children sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 13 and 19 December 2019, 1 DPR serviceman died in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 19 December 2019, 166 people, including 157 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 4,895 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 20 December 2019, 240 people are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 87 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been established and confirmed;
– 153 people whose whereabouts are unknown or are pending clarification by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 20 December 2019, 465 people are considered missing. They could have been taken prisoner in Ukraine.
- Protection of children’s rights
The need to protect the rights and freedoms of children is provided for in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1924, and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1959, recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 23 and 24), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 10), as well as in national legislation (Article 31 of the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic).
The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic pays special attention to this issue in her activities. In the view to ensure effective protection of children’s rights and freedoms by the state, according to the established schedule of visits to child social institutions, on 12 December representatives of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office conducted an inspection of the educational process and living conditions in State educational institution “Shakhtyorsk Sanatorium boarding school No. 15”, where children aged 7-14 constantly live. The sanatorium provides care and education for children with psycho-neurological disorders.
At the moment, 75 children stay in the institution. They receive social, psychological, educational and medical assistance.
As a result of the inspection, staff of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman positively assessed living conditions and education in State educational institution “Shakhtyorsk Sanatorium boarding school No. 15”.