On February 20, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Law establishing a new state policy with regard to Donbass residents.
Through the introduction of the new Law, Ukraine completely relieves itself of the responsibility for all the crimes of the Ukrainian military, committed daily on the territory of Donbass. Furthermore, the new document legalizes the violation of fundamental human rights for life and security of the person by Ukrainian servicemen. Thus, the Ukrainian government once again demonstrated its indifference to the peaceful residents of Donbass.
«The Reintegration Law legitimizes war crimes, justifies the actions of punitive forces, gives complete freedom to violate the Constitution of Ukraine and the key legislation of this state,» said DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko.
This law is a grave violation of the Minsk accords. It is aimed at escalating the conflict and in no way contributes to its resolution. Moreover, Ukraine actually deprives its citizens of the opportunity to defend their rights in court, since all the damage done to people who live near the contact line, including the areas, temporarily controlled by the Ukrainian government, now becomes only their problem.
By adoption of the new Law, the President of Ukraine not only neglects the state’s obligations under the Minsk agreements but also contradicts his assurances that the government seeks to protect its citizens and settle the conflict.
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 908 appeals. In the period of work between 17 and 22 February 2018, 20 citizens visited the Ombudsman in person, 43 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 8 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 11 persons received legal counselling. 22 calls were received via hotlines, 12 applications were received via e-mail, 14 written appeals were taken into consideration, 13 – have been reviewed among those received earlier.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 59 appeals, violations in civil law– 55 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 450 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 22.02.2018
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 – 108 appeals, temporary accommodation – 184 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 26 appeals, migration legislation issues – 50 appeals, labour legislation issues – 35 appeals, healthcare issues – 21 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 – 3 appeals, land use and tenure – 0 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 7 appeals, issues related to hostilities – 114 appeals, issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure – 9 appeals, search of the missing – 28 appeals, exchange of detained persons – 70 appeals, issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR – 7 appeals, other issues – 230 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 22.02.2018
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 22.02.2018
- 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 18, as a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo, a DPR serviceman of 46 years old sustained shrapnel wound to the lower-third of the left shoulder.
On February 20, as a result of hostilities near Avdeyevka industrial zone, a DPR serviceman born in 1980 was injured by the blast wave.
Within the period between 16 and 21 February 2018, 2 DPR servicemen 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 21, 2018, 37 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 28 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian men, and 3 civilian women.
Within the period between 16 and 22 February 2018, 4 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and February 22, 2018, 15 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 14 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4582 persons died. Among them, there are 605 women and 3977 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
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest or missing persons.
Based on the updated figures as of 22.02.2018, 295 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 81 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. New information was received, so 3 people, who expressed a desire to return to the Lugansk People’s Republic after the exchange, were excluded from the list.
– 214 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. New information was received, so 3 people, who expressed a desire to return to the Lugansk People’s Republic after the exchange, were excluded from the list.
As of 22 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. 1220 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 222 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5348 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 105 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 17 and 22 February 2018, 1 person has applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. A referral for temporary accommodation was given to him.
There are currently 1204 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1204 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 290 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7720 persons, including 1931 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, 4994 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1428 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 11.6 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 22.02.2018. As of February 22, 2018, there were 14.3 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 8.8 thousand have been employed (2.7 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. 29 persons participated in such seminars.