The people should not be afraid of government,
It’s the government that must be afraid of the people.
There are questions that cannot be answered. Sometimes the rhetorical question itself makes more sense than the answer. There is one question that have been haunting many people for more than three years: Who are you fighting against, Ukraine? It is unlikely that there will be other answers than “terrorists” and “separatists”, even if you ask the most furious Ukrainian patriot. Who are you aiming your weapons at? Who are your troops fighting against, why do you encourage fringe groups? You unleashed a bloody war in Donbass. You are at war with children who, contrary to your promises, do not sit in basements, and who learn to love their Motherland from a young age, you are fighting with the elderly whose heroic deed is in high esteem. You are at war with a proud and strong miner’s character, which cannot be broken by all sorts of economic blockades.
Perhaps outside of the Republics official Kiev is the power of democracy and freedom?
On May 16, Verkhovna Rada adopted a law banning the use of St. George’s Ribbon in Ukraine. From now on, for public use, carrying and demonstration of the ribbon, Ukrainians will be fined from 50 to 150 non-taxable minimums (from 850 to 2550 hryvnia) with the confiscation of the St. George (Guards) Ribbon or items containing its images. On the eve of the celebration of the Day of Victory Over Fascism, the adviser of the Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine called on Ukrainians to “refuse to use Soviet symbols as a sign of patriotism”, and not to wear St. George Ribbons during the holiday. Moreover, they were called a sign of Russian terrorism, and it was stated that they could provoke aggression. Are you fighting with history, symbolic and people’s memory?
On May 17, the Decree of the President of Ukraine came into effect on the implementation of the Decision of the National Security and Defense Council, according to which a number of Russian sites, including social networks, will be blocked in Ukraine. Are you afraid of truth and dissent? Or it’s your government that is afraid of its own people?
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
In the Donetsk People’s Republic human rights are patronized by the Human Rights Ombudsman and her Office.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications is still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or the heads 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 2017 the Ombudsman received 2225 appeals. In the period of work between 7 and 19 May 2017, 13 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 54 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 56 calls were made via hotlines. 17 applications were received via e-mail, 15 written appeals were taken into consideration, 10 – have been considered among those received earlier, 29 citizens were provided with legal counseling.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 106 appeals, violations in civil law– 216 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1901 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 6.05.2017
Violations in criminal law
Violations in civil law
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
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 – 258 appeals, temporary accommodation – 275 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 46 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 106 appeals, employment – 79 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents – 7 appeals, search of the missing – 70 appeals, loss of IDs – 206 appeals, housing issues – 133 appeals, temporary residence permit – 108 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 613 appeals (diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian isses, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 6.05.2017
Pension and social payments
Search of the missing soldiers
Search of the missing civilians
Temporary residence permit
Paperwork in case of property destruction
Paperwork on travelling documents
Loss of IDs
Other social and humanitarian issues
The majority of complains 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 6.05.2017
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
Targeted shelling by Ukrainian forces causes destruction of private property and infrastructure – this is the reality of the front-line regions of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
As of 18 May 2017 more than 11327 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6797 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 526 units in Gorlovka, 83 units in Dokuchayevsk, 306 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 72 units in Kirovskoye, 1109 units in Makeyevka, 54 units in Snyezhnoye, 118 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 74 units in Shakhtyorsk, 577 units in Yasinovataya, 278 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 54 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6203 houses;
– 761 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 175 heating supply facilities;
– 48 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 101 healthcare facilities;
– 512 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 56 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 54 cultural institutions;
– 240 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 59 industrial objects;
-89 trade objects;
– 260 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 5 May 2017 there are 2809 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 520 – rebuilt and 2289 – are to be rebuilt.
- Estimates of mortality, wounds to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
Almost every day the DPR Ombudsman’s Office records cases of violations of rights of Donbass citizens by Kiev authorities: right to life, to security of the person, to the inviolability of the home.
On 6 May as a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk a civilian woman of 47 years old sustained blunt gunshot wound of the upper third of left part of the chest.
As a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk a civilian man of 39 years old sustained multiple shrapnel wounds of the feet.
As a result of careless handling of explosive devices two civilian men of 20 and 29 years old sustained shrapnel wounds of the lambs, in Makeyevka.
As a result of hostilities in Octyabr village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1964 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds of the shin and forearm.
On 7 May, as a result of hostilities in Kominternovo, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1992 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds of the back.
As a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk a civilian man born in 1984 sustained multiple blunt compound wounds of the legs.
On 8 May, as a result of hostilities in Sosnovka village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1989 sustained multiple shrapnel wounds of the shin and thigh; a DPR servicewoman born in 1982 sustained multiple shrapnel wounds of the shin, thigh, shoulder, shrapnel wound of the stomach.
During military operation in Octyabr village, Novoazovsk region, DPR servicemen born in 1973, 1996 and 1995 sustained multiple shrapnel wounds.
As a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces against Zaitsevo village, near Gorlovka, a civilian woman born in 1950 sustained gutter wound of the left shoulder.
As a result of shelling against Kuibyshev district, in late evening a civilian woman of 58 years old was thrown by a blast. The woman sustained abrasions and multiple bruises.
On May 9 as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoye, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1986 was injured. As a result of a mine-blast trauma the man had to have his both feet amputated.
As a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk A DPR serviceman born in 1978 sustained blunt traumas, multiple bruises, damage to cornea.
A DPR serviceman born in 1990 sustained shrapnel wound as a result of shelling near Maryinka.
As a result of hostilities near Yasinovataya, a DPR serviceman born in 1985 sustained mine-blast shrapnel wound of the foot.
In Makeyevka a civilian man of 23 years old sustained a mine-blast trauma as a result of careless handling of an explosive device.
Overnight into May 10 as a result of shelling against Kuibyshev district of Donetsk by Ukrainian forces, a civilian woman of 27 years old sustained shrapnel wounds of the face, closed fracture of the nose; a girl of 8 years old sustained shrapnel wounds of the chest.
On May 10, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1997 sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of neurovascular bundle.
On May 11, as a result of hostilities in Kominternovo, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1987 sustained mine-blast trauma.
In Rozovka village, Shakhtyorsk region, a child born in 2009 sustained open fracture with foreign body in the lower jaw as a result of careless handling of an explosive device.
On May 12, as a result of massive shelling against Dockuchaevsk by Ukrainian forces, a civilian woman of 97 years old and a civilian man born in 1984 were injured.
On May 13 as a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk a DPR serviceman of 24 years old sustained a gunshot wound of the abdominal.
On May 14, as a result of shelling against Yasinovataya, a DPR serviceman born in 1986 sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of the facial bone in the form of open shrapnel jaw fractures.
As a result of shelling of Kashtanovoye, Yasinovataya region, a civilian woman born in 1939 sustained gunshot penetrating wound of the lumbar region.
On May 15, as a result of hostilities in Avdeyevka industrial zone, a DPR serviceman born in 1990 sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of retroauricular area with foreign body.
A DPR serviceman born in 1985 sustained gunshot wound of the right part of the chest with damage to right lung, Yasinovataya region. He died in hospital from injuries sustained.
On May 17 as a result of hostilities near Yasinovataya a civilian man born in 1942 sustained mine-blast trauma with damage to right shoulder, blunt shrapnel wound of the chest.
As a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo two servicemen of 43 and 39 years old were injured.
As a result of shelling by Kiev forces against Krutaya Balka village near Yasinovataya, a civilian man born in 1983 sustained mine-blast trauma, wound of the shoulder and shin. A civilian woman born in 1955 died.
On May 18 during military operation in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 28 years old sustained perforating gunshot wound of the lower limbs with damage to vascular bundle; a DPR serviceman born in 1962 sustained shrapnel wound of the right part of lumbar region; servicemen of 46 and 35 years old sustained shrapnel wound of the left shoulder; servicemen born in 1978,1983 and 1977 sustained multiple shrapnel wounds.
As a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces in Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk region, a civilian woman born in 1991 sustained shrapnel wound of the proximal phalanx of the third finger of the right hand.
Within the period between 6 and 18 May 2017, 42 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine. Among them, there were 25 DPR servicemen, 8 civilian women, 9 civilian men, including two children.
Within the period between 1 January and 18 May 2017 311 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 178 DPR servicemen and 133 civilians, including 8 children under 18.
Within the period between 6 and 18 May 2017, 14 persons died in the territory of DPR. Among them there were 13 DPR servicemen, 1 civilian woman, who died on May 17 in Krutaya Balka village, near Yasinovataya.
Within the period between 1 January and 18 May 2017, 142 persons, including 128 servicemen and 14 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4431 persons died. Among them, there were 599 women and 3832 men, including 75 children under eighteen.
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. The information is being processed at the moment and it will be included into general statistics of the injured individuals.
- Register of the prisoners of war and missing soldiers and civilians
On April 12, the parties came to an agreement concerning implementation of the verification mechanism for persons who are listed on the exchange list and refuse to cross the delimitation line. It was decided that this procedure will be carried out by the relatives of the convicts together with the representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine and with the participation of the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in Ukraine Valeriya Lutkovskaya.
On April 28, a group of relatives of detained persons, representatives of the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in Ukraine and representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine started joint work on verification of statements of persons who, according to official information provided by the Ukrainian side, refuse to cross the delimitation line. However, the verification procedure ended ahead of schedule. Relatives were denied access to 159 persons, in spite of the fact that an agreement was reached in the meeting in Minsk that within the verification procedure a group of mothers and wives of detained persons would be able to interview not only citizens who are kept in remand prisons, but also those who are on conditional release. Thus, the Ukrainian side unilaterally completed verification of the detained persons.
“Kiev representatives failed to fulfill the agreements. Once again I realized that the promises and guarantees given by the Ukrainian side worth nothing. As we are getting closer to the specifics of the exchange, Kyiv officials are finding new tricks and obstacles to delay the exchange. Ukraine only gives lip service when it worries about its prisoners. In fact, it is not aimed at speeding up of the release and returning all detainees to their families”, – said Daria Morozova.
Another regular meeting in Minsk format took place in the current week. The discussion centered on the issue of further verification of persons who, according to the Ukrainian side, refused from the exchange.
«Now we decide how to interview other people in penal system. Decisions have already been made, and I suppose, in the very near future, today or tomorrow, we will start to do it. We’ll start taking interviews….» – commented Daria Morozova.
This week, the DPR Ombudsman’s Office received three applications on capture. On October 11, 2016, a woman born in 1985 was arrested in Bakhmut (Artyomovsk). In January 2017 a man born in 1981 was arrested in Lyman (Krasniy Lyman). Another man born in 1947 was arrested by representatives of the SSU on August 17, 2016, in Toretsk ( Dzerzhinsk).
This week no appeals on capture or missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Based on the updated figures as of 19.05.2017, 776 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 473 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 295 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
– 8 persons, for whom the request to the Ukrainian side was submitted for the first time.
As of 5 May 2017, 450 persons are considered missing.
The Ombudsman`s Office continues to clarify information about the individuals, who were detained by the Ukrainian side, the statistics may change.
The DPR Ombudsman`s Office will no longer publicly categorize the detainees by “serviceman”, “arrested for political reasons”, “civilian irrelevant to the conflict” due to safety considerations.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
Forcibly displaced persons face new obstacles in the way of receiving pensions and other payments. Standing in lines for long hours, people are experiencing health problems, because most of the displaced persons, who have to endure this challenge, are people of retirement age. In the UN report published on May 15, the authors paid attention to this problem, mentioning egregious cases that occurred on the territory of Ukraine:
«On 13 March, a 64-year-old IDP died while waiting in a queue at Oschadbank in Sievierodonetsk (GCA), and three people were hospitalized while queuing near the bank in Volnovakha (GCA)», - stated in the UN report.
It is inconceivable that a person can risk his health because of lengthy and meaningless bureaucratic procedures in the modern world. The Government of Ukraine fails to create a mechanism by which forcibly displaced persons could receive pension easily and in a short time, thereby jeopardizing the most vulnerable group of the population.
In addition, it is still dangerous to cross delimitation line. There are new cases of shelling near overcrowded checkpoints:
«On 2 and 10 March, and on 24 April, EECP Marinka came under fire. Amidst fear of failing the verification deadline, many people, mostly pensioners, waited for hours in long queues at overcrowded checkpoints, at times for more than 18 hours» – the UN reports.
The authors of the report also note that the flow of people has increased several times in recent months. This is due to the fact that on April 3 the Pension Fund started to suspend pensions to people registered as temporarily displaced persons. Termination of payments was grounded on the list compiled by the Border Guard Service of Ukraine. The list included IDPs who did not cross the delimitation line or the international border for 60 days and more.
It was concluded in the report that the Ukrainian government violates the right to freedom of movement of citizens and the situation is being aggravated.
It’s the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office that deals with issues of temporary displaced persons in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Every resident of Donbass region, including those living in areas temporarily controlled by Kiev, can apply to the Office and receive assistance. The body has temporary accommodation centres (TACs) at its disposal available for people who need temporary accommodation.
1345 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 268 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5104 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 210 of them – in 2017. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on the weekly basis, with the view to respond promptly to the citizens’ needs. The Ombudsman makes every effort to improve social and living conditions for people who live in the TACs.
During the period of work between 7 and 19 May 2017, 25 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, three of them were accommodated in the TAC of the Ombudsman`s Office in Makeyevka.
There are currently 1283 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1227 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 340 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office; 56 – in housing fund of the DPR.
It is necessary to remind that there are 8258 persons, including 2128 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 68 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 57 of them operate today, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2964 individuals live in the centres, including 582 underage children, 5294 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1546 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Republic Employment Centre is the main body responsible for providing the population with work places in the DPR. Employees regularly conduct seminars and occupational guidance activities in all cities of the Republic, organize meetings of employers with applicants. Employees of the Center provide an up-to-date list of available vacancies and, if necessary, offer courses for acquiring new skills to citizens.
In pursuance of the Decree of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic of September 27, 2016 No. 146, employment centres of the Republic offer temporary jobs to job-seekers – restoration of private houses damaged as a result of hostilities.
As part of the Program of restoration of detached houses damaged as a result of hostilities. Since the beginning of 2017, 292 skilled workers took part in the restoration on the recommendation of employment centres.
Restoration was organized in Donetsk, Debaltsevo, Gorlovka, Dokuchaevsk, Enakievo, Makeyevka, Khartsyzsk, Yasinovataya and Starobeshevo region.
According to their data, 14 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 19.05.2017. As of 19 May 2017, there were 25,2 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 20,4 thousand have been employed (8,1 of them – on permanent positions, 12,3 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organizes regular free public workshops to train practical skills, such as work with personal computers; technique and mechanization of trade accounts (work with cash register machines); the program “1C: Accounting 8.2.”; fundamentals of entrepreneurship; processing and decoration of textile and clothing products etc. Since the beginning of 2017, 154 persons participated in those workshops.