On September 5, 2014, a Protocol on the results of consultations of the tripartite contact group on joint steps aimed at implementing the peace plan of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the initiatives of the Russian President Vladimir Putin was signed. The document contains the results of consideration and discussion of proposals made by negotiators in Minsk on September 1, 2014 and by participants of the Tripartite Contact Group consisting of representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the OSCE. This was the first step towards establishing peace in Donbass. The first document contained 12 paragraphs. For the Russian Federation, the Protocol was signed by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, for Ukraine – by former President Leonid Kuchma, who had a mandate from the leadership of the country, for the OSCE – by the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, from the People’s Republics – by their heads Igor Plotnitsky and Alexander Zakharchenko. Subsequently, in February 2015, the Package of Measures for implementation of the Minsk Agreements was signed. Both in September 2014 and in February 2015, one of the requirements of the document was to release captives and to extend pardons and amnesties by enacting a law prohibiting persecution and punishment of persons in relation to the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.
However, so far the Amnesty Law, which would provide for exemption from persecution and punishment of People’s Republics’s supporters, has not been introduced. Moreover, on September 7, the law “On Amnesty in 2016” came into force in Ukraine; on September 6 the document was published in the official publication “Golos Ukrainy” (Voice of Ukraine). The published law implies amnesty for persons convicted of committing aforethought, minor offences. The document also applies to participants of the so-called “ATO”.
“The Ukrainian government continues to openly and ironically spit in the face of Donbass people, adopting amnesty laws for participants of the so-called “ATO”, contrary to the Package of Measures signed by the Normandy format. Paragraph 5 of the Minsk Agreements could have been fulfilled a long time ago. But Ukrainian leaders do not want to make any steps towards the Republics,” commented the plenipotentiary Daria Morozova.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman was 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 2017 the Ombudsman received 4292 appeals. In the period of work between 2 and 8 September 2017, 13 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 44 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 13 calls were made via hotlines. 31 applications were received via e-mail, 5 written appeals were taken into consideration, 3 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 15 persons have been given legal assistance.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 244 appeals, violations in civil law– 462 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3584 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 08.09.2017
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 – 500 appeals, temporary accommodation – 428 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 92 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 165 appeals, employment – 149 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 164 appeals, loss of IDs – 298 appeals, housing issues – 197 appeals, temporary residence permit – 198 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1379 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 08.09.2017
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 08.09.2017
- 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 September 7, 2017 more than 11406 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6842 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 528 units in Gorlovka, 91 units in Dokuchayevsk, 309 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 75 units in Kirovskoye, 1113 units in Makeyevka, 55 units in Snyezhnoye, 122 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 75 units in Shakhtyorsk, 582 units in Yasinovataya, 278 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 57 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6247 houses;
– 770 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 176 heating supply facilities;
– 49 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 102 healthcare facilities;
– 516 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 59 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 55 cultural institutions;
– 241 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 63 industrial objects;
– 89 trade objects;
– 268 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 27 July 2017 there are 2823 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 531 – rebuilt and 2292 – 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 Donbass citizens’ rights by Kiev authorities: right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On September 7 as a result of provocative fire of Ukrainian forces in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, a DPR serviceman of 30 years old sustained blunt gunshot wound of the lumbar region.
Within the period between 1 and 7 September, 2017, 1 DPR serviceman sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine.
Within the period between January 1 and September 7, 2017, 489 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 293 DPR servicemen and 196 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 25 and 31 August, 2017, 3 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and September 7, 2017, 220 persons, including 194 servicemen and 26 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including an underage child.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4509 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3904 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, missing soldiers
On September 6, a regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place in Minsk. Representatives of the Ukrainian side once again impeded constructive discussion. At the meeting, lists of detained persons were discussed. Kiev representatives divide the lists into categories, which contradicts point 6 of the Minsk agreements.
“I asked Ukraine plenipotentiaries not to open Pandora’s box, and to fulfill obligations undertaken instead. Our position remains unchanged: no one has the right to neglect the provisions of the Minsk agreements and divide people into categories. We will do our best to free our compatriots. I would like to note that we have not received any official proposals related to exchange from our opponents in specific figures. We hope that the Ukrainian side will no longer use selective approach for implementation of the provisions the Package of Measures, and stop dividing people into categories. As soon as this requirement is met, the long-awaited exchange will occur, because we have long been ready for a full exchange,” said Daria Morozova.
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 08.09.2017, 496 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 267 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 229 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
As of 8 September 2017, 509 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
Ukrainian leaders have repeatedly claimed to seek to provide internally displaced persons with all conditions for adaptation and settling in every possible way. In practice, the conditions created for IDPs by the Ukrainian government make them more vulnerable than other Ukrainians whose lives were not affected by the military conflict.
More specifically, for three years of the so-called “ATO”, the Ukrainian side failed to establish a safe transit through the delimitation line. Crossing checkpoints, civilians often come under shelling – both artillery and gunshot. This violates their right to free movement. The checkpoints lack basic conditions, such as shelter from adverse weather conditions, first-aid post, water and toilet.
Apart from the above, there are much more requirements for IDPs to issue documents. They have to provide additional certificates and evidence, as required by state institutions. Thus, the procedure is delayed for weeks and months. This is also the case with the registration of social payments and pension, which are vital for many people.
International organizations have repeatedly allocated money for the relief of internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Still, the most demanding problem of IDPs, the problem of housing, remains unresolved. A lot of projects to repair buildings for temporary accommodation for IDPs have been started, money was allocated, but, to this day, the government fails to provide people with housing. They have to rely on themselves.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1245 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 249 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5202 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 308 of them – in 2017. 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 2 and 8 September, 2017, 48 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, one of them was accommodated in the TAC of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1292 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1292 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 421 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7861 persons, including 2026 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 64 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 56 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2879 individuals live in the centres, including 564 underage children, 4982 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1462 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Given the prevailing socio-economic conditions, vocational training is one of the most effective ways to ensure employment of the population, developing professional skills of workers and reducing unemployment.
Career guidance is a way to assist citizens, providing them with a list of employment types and occupations with due account for labor market situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic to help them find employment, undergo vocational training, and start successful career.
The Republican Employment Center was established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to assist people in employment and protect them from unemployment,.
On September 4, in Yasinovaya City Employment Centre, a seminar called “Presentation of Vocational Training Services” was held for job-seekers.
The participants were familiarized with the procedure of vocational training organized by the Employment Centre, conclusion of agreements, preliminary physical and narcological examination, with description of training courses.
The staff of the employment centre told the participants about the rights and obligations of job seekers during the training period, as well as the list of documents for formalizing material assistance, such as travel expenses compensation, and accommodation for the training period, if needed.
The participants learned that vocational training for job seekers is a full-time education that includes theoretical part and production practice. They also took guidance tests.
According to their data, 28.9 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 08.09.2017. As of September 1, 2017, there were 39.1 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 31.9 thousand have been employed (16.2 of them – on permanent positions, 15.7 – 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. Since the beginning of 2017, 293 persons participated in those workshops.