The “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” was signed on February 12, 2015, with a view to the peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in Donbass. The meeting in Minsk began on the evening of February 11 and lasted almost by midday on February 12. As a result of the hours-long meeting, a document was signed providing for a ceasefire in Donbass, withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides to equal distances, organizing effective monitoring of the cease-fire and withdrawal of troops by the OSCE, release and exchange of all prisoners under the “all for all” principle. The document stated that all participants of the armed conflict should be provided with pardon and amnesty. Also, the document prescribes introduction of constitutional reform in Ukraine with the entry into force of the new Constitution, which is expected to be a key element in the decentralization of power, as well as the adoption of permanent legislation on a special status for certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
«This is the only platform (in Minsk) where questions can be resolved peacefully. To date, it does not justify itself, but there is no alternative to this platform. The negotiations continue, we will have further discussions, some issues can be resolved,» said DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko.
It is important to note that the peace agreement contributed to the de-escalation of military operations. Thus, in 2017, the number of casualties in the Donetsk People’s Republic decreased nine-fold as compared to 2014. These dynamics are due to the signing of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Also, almost 800 supporters of the Republic have been saved from the Ukrainian captivity during the armed conflict in Donbass.
«As a result of the prisoner exchanges performed, 670 persons were transferred to the Ukrainian side and 790 persons returned to the Donetsk People’s Republic,» said DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman has been established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to ensure the state protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, to prevent any form of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications are 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 2018 the Ombudsman received 798 appeals. In the period of work between 10 and 16 February 2018, 62 citizens received counselling by the Appeals department, 16 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 7 persons received legal counselling. 25 calls were received via hotlines, 22 applications were received via e-mail, 3 written appeals were taken into consideration, 10 – have been reviewed among those received earlier.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 48 appeals, violations in civil law– 40 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 414 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 16.02.2018
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 the 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 – 97 appeals, temporary accommodation – 175 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 23 appeals, migration legislation issues – 42 appeals, labour legislation issues – 34 appeals, healthcare issues – 18 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 9 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 7 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 2 appeals, land use and tenure – 0 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 7 appeals, issues related to hostilities – 96 appeals, issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure – 9 appeals, search of the missing – 24 appeals, exchange of detained persons – 57 appeals, issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR – 6 appeals, other issues – 200 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 16.02.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
land use and tenure
issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
search of the missing
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
issues related to hostilities
exchange of detained persons
issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR
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 16.02.2018
- 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 Donbass citizens’ rights by Kiev authorities: the right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On February 9, as a result of hostilities near Avdeevka industrial zone, a DPR serviceman born in 1973 received a gunshot wound, concussion, impaled objects to the soft tissue of the zygomatic.
As a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1987 sustained a mine-blast trauma, a perforating wound of the left thigh.
On February 10, as a result of the fighting in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 37 years old sustained a mine-blast injury, an open craniocerebral trauma, and brain concussion.
On February 12, as a result of the shelling of Spartak village in Yasinovataya region by Ukrainian forces, a civilian born in 1968 sustained a tangential wound to the right thigh. The man refused to go to the hospital.
Within the period between 9 and 15 February 2018, 4 persons, including 3 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side.
Within the period between January 1 and February 15, 2018, 35 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 26 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian men and 3 civilian women.
Within the period between 9 and 15 February 2018, 1 DPR serviceman died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and February 15, 2018, 11 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 10 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian man.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4578 persons died. Among them, there are 605 women and 3973 men, including 76 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.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
On February 14, a regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place in Minsk.
« As long as we insist on the speedy exchange of prisoners and negotiation of other issues, it was decided to continue the meeting in the absence of the Kiev official representative in order to inform the Coordinator of the subgroup as well as other representatives of the Contact Group on the present situation and the stance of the DPR.
We put forward the following demands:
- to promptly release citizens of the Russian Federation who were excluded from the exchange list and now enjoy the status of free citizens, as part of the agreement reached on November 15, 2017.
- to provide a response to the request, submitted earlier, regarding criminal proceedings and procedural decisions taken for exchanged persons on December 27, 2017.
- to take measures on immediate return of identity documents, seized by Ukrainian law enforcement authorities from persons transferred to DPR as a result of the exchange.
- to terminate immediately criminal persecution, and to release persons who participated in the previous exchange, and who decided to stay in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government owing to social and family ties in this territory,» said Daria Morozova summarizing the meeting. She stressed that the Republic remains committed to the speedy return of all detainees.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received three appeals on arrest. A man born in 1964 was detained in January 2018 in Konstantinovka, a man born in 1984 was detained in September 2017 in Zaporozie, a man born in 1987 was detained in July 2017 in Kiev. All the men were accused of cooperation with DPR supporters.
Based on the updated figures as of 16.02.2018, 305 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 84 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 221 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
This week, the Ombudsman Office received one application on a missing person. A man of 1976 went missing in March 2015 in Bugas village.
As of 16 February 2018, 446 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
At the time of the 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, Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1219 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 221 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5347 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 104 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on a 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 10 and 16 February 2018, 24 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons.
There are currently 1207 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1207 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 291 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7716 persons, including 1921 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 62 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 54 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 1506 individuals live in the centres, including 281 underage children, 4991 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1419 children under eighteen.
4. Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 10.9 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 16.02.2018. As of February 16, 2018, there were 13.9 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 8.3 thousand have been employed (2.2 of them – on permanent positions, 6.1 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organises 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. 23 persons participated in such seminars.