Christianization gave our ancestors freedom –
the freedom of choice between Good and Evil, and the victory
of Orthodoxy gave Russia a thousand-year history
There are fateful periods in history that determine the paths and development prospects of nations. 1030 years ago, one of the most important cultural change occurred, which opened a new page of history for the whole Ancient Rus.
In 988, the Grand Prince of Kiev Vladimir, his children, his druzhina and numerous residents of the Old Russian state were Christianized in the Dnieper. The adoption of Christianity as a state religion was an important step in the development of the Slavic civilization. As the Christianity spread, the Russian Orthodox Church developed, it stood at the origins of spirituality and morality. It played a huge part in the development of written tradition and the appearance of the first chronicles, in the development of architecture and art in general.
Since 2010, the Day of Christianization of Rus has been celebrated on July 28 – the feast day of St. Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles. In Russian Orthodox Churches, situated in more than 68 countries, there is a festive liturgy on this Day, thousands of believers take part in a sacred procession. This is not just a festive day, but a true symbol of unity for the entire Orthodox community.
Since Ukraine gained independence, its authorities have been trying to create a local Orthodox church, independent of the Moscow Patriarchate. Thus, the Kiev Patriarchate, created at the time of the Church dissent in 1992, is trying to replace the canonical Church and, as a consequence, take over its churches and the influence on believers in the country.
After the Maidan, the situation of the parishioners and ministers of the canonical Church deteriorated, as they are regularly attacked and unreasonably pressured. In recent years, “unknown individuals” have carried out dozens of attacks on the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate (in 2017 alone, 23 churches were vandalized), an aggressive information campaign was launched.
In such a situation, the desire of the President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko to get approval from the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian Church is very alarming because if Tomos is given to the autocephaly of the Church (permission for independence from other local churches), it will take over all the churches of Moscow patriarchy. Such a step will only exacerbate the Church dissent in Ukraine.
The chairman of the People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said: “Promising the so-called unified local Ukrainian Orthodox Church to citizens, advocating separation from the Moscow Patriarchate, thereby indulging Ukrainian nationalism, Poroshenko deliberately and persistently provokes incitement of religious hatred in the country. Dissent activities of the Ukrainian authorities look especially cynical on the eve of the 1030th anniversary of the Christianization of Rus. Instead of the spiritual unity of the Slavs, Kiev strengthens the policy of disintegration of the country.”
On June 24, 2016, the People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic adopted the Law “On Freedom of Religion and Religious Associations”, taking into account the special role of Orthodoxy in the history of the Donetsk People’s Republic, in the establishment and development of its spirituality, morality and culture, paying due attention to the settlement of legal relations in the exercise of human and civil rights for religious freedom, and for determination of the legal status of religious associations in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
According to Article 3, paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Law: “The right of a person and citizen to freedom of religion can be restricted by law only to the extent necessary to protect the constitutional order, morality, health, rights and legitimate interests of a person and citizen, ensuring the defense and security of the state.
The infringement of the human and citizen’s rights to freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the introduction of restrictions or other forms of discrimination depending on the attitude towards religion is prohibited.”
In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ombudsman Office is responsible for observance of the rights and freedoms. So, one can file a complaint with the Ombudsman or make an appointment for a personal reception if his\her rights have been violated.
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 the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman received 3445 complaints. In the period of work between 21 and 27 July 2018, 11 persons visited the Ombudsman in person, 48 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 16 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 5 persons received legal counselling. 5 written appeals were approved for consideration, 10 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 29 calls were received via hotlines, 3 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 249 appeals, violations in civil law– 261 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 5 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1661 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 438 appeals, other issues – 831 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 27.07.2018
Violations in criminal law
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
Violations in civil law
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
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, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid – 404 appeals, temporary accommodation – 475 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 153 appeals, migration legislation issues – 288 appeals, labour legislation issues – 124 appeals, healthcare issues – 96 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 42 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 20 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 24 appeals, land use and tenure – 5 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 30 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 27.07.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
land use and tenure
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
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 27.07.2018
- 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 23 July, a civilian woman born in 1987 sustained gunshot shrapnel wound to soft tissue of tibia during the shelling in Dokuchaevsk.
On 23 July, as a result of military operations in Novoazovsk region, three DPR servicemen born in 1983, 1994 and 1996 were wounded.
Within the period between 20 and 26 July 2018, 4 persons, including 3 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian woman 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 July 26 2018, 201 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 121 DPR servicemen, 52 civilian men, 26 civilian women and 2 underage children.
Within the period between 20 and 26 July 2018 – 4 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 2 DPR servicemen and 2 underage children who died as a result of a landmine explosion on 25 July, in Michurina village, Gorlovka.
Within the period between January 1 and 26 July 2018, 98 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 6 women and 92 men, including 2 underage children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4665 persons died. Among them, there are 611 women and 4054 men, including 78 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 25 July, a regular meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup was held in Minsk. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian side was not open for a constructive dialogue, so we couldn’t address all issues of the agenda.
“The Ukrainian side once again showed its unwillingness to carry out Minsk Agreements and its disinterest in the negotiation process. A Kiev representative violated the rules of the meeting – she arrived much later than the scheduled time. Moreover, the meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup was totally disrupted due to her inappropriate and provocative behaviour and because she had left the meeting without any reasons. We only managed to discuss one of the issues of the agenda – Declaration on the condemnation of all forms of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence and threats of violence against persons detained in connection with the conflict. The position of the Ukrainian side remains unchanged: they emphatically refuse to sign the Declaration,” commented Daria Morozova .
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received one appeal on arrest. A man born in 1989 was detained by SSU in December 2017 in Maryinka region.
Based on the updated figures as of 27.07.2018, 278 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 82 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 196 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received two appeals on missing persons. Men born in 1964 and 1983 went missing in August 2016.
As of 27 July 2018, 473 persons are considered missing. There is a possibility that they are held in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens.
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, social housing objects (dormitories, boarding houses, health care centres).
Since the beginning of the conflict 5380 referrals for accommodation in social housing objects (dormitories, boarding houses, health care centres) have been issued, 137 of them – in 2018. With the coming into force of the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, Territorial authorities in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. Social housing objects, which used to carry out activities under the patronage of the Ombudsman Office, are authorized to supervise the authorities.
During the period of work between 21 and 27 July 2018, 23 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1251 housing spots available for IDPs in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Ombudsman Office and the ICRC deliver humanitarian relief in the form of humanitarian packages that consist of food and hygiene products for persons affected as a result of military operations who reside in social housing objects (dormitories, boarding houses, health care centres) of Donetsk and Shakhtyorsk. Persons with disabilities of I and II disability category and persons who suffer from chronic renal failure and undergo haemodialysis received humanitarian aid.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7368 persons, including 1814 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 60 social housing objects (dormitories, boarding houses, health care centres) have been opened in the territory of DPR. 52 of them operate, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 2639 individuals live in social housing objects (dormitories, boarding houses, health care centres) of the Donetsk Administration, including 492 underage children, 4729 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1322 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, 30.0 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 27.07.2018. As of 27 July 2018, there were 28.4 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 21.3 thousand have been employed (12.9 of them – on permanent positions, 8.4 – 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. 135 persons participated in such seminars.