The search for missing persons is one of the main issues discussed at the Humanitarian Subgroup meetings in Minsk. Daria Morozova constantly emphasizes the need to create an effective mechanism to search for missing persons of both the Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukraine at meetings in the Minsk format, as well as at meetings with representatives of international organizations. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) strongly supports this initiative and is ready to act as an independent mediator, which will be able to establish contacts on both sides of the Contact line. However, it is difficult to implement the initiative because the Ukrainian side is blocking the resolution of the issue, putting forward more and more unmotivated demands.
After four years of military operations, the Law on the Legal Status of Missing Persons was adopted and entered into force in Ukraine. The Law introduces legal regulations associated with the identification and recording, search and social protection of missing persons and their relatives. This Law provides for the establishment of the Central Register of Missing Persons, a special electronic database that would contain information on missing persons, information about unidentified remains, as well as information whether or not there is a court decision on recognizing wanted persons missing or dead. In addition, the procedure for searching for missing persons and the conditions under which the search terminates are established. The document indicates how the remains recovery will be conducted, the procedure of exhumation and handling of the remains, defines the rights of a missing person, his/her relatives, the procedure for reaching the legal status of a missing person. The law provides for the establishment of a special commission on issues of persons who went missing under special circumstances. It is planned that the Commission will include representatives established by the ministries and departments of Ukraine, such as the National Police, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Defense, the State Emergency Service, the International Committee of the Red Cross.
However, the issue of interaction of the Commission with LDPR remains unclear; the regulation does not specify how the recovery and identification of remains located in the territory of the Republics will be carried out. The Donetsk People’s Republic is ready to cooperate with the Ukrainian side in the matter of joint search for missing persons. In January 2017, the Forensic Laboratory of DNA Research was opened in the DPR, a number of biological materials have been collected, and a Road Map has been developed. For the time being, there are no technical obstacles to exchange DNA databases and begin the joint work, the only obstacle is the lack of political will of the Ukrainian side. Unfortunately, the issue of search for missing persons remains unresolved.
Representatives of the Republic in the Humanitarian Subgroup devote maximum attention to the issue of missing persons since the international law equates the lack of information about the fate of relatives and loved ones to the use of torture.
The activities of the Human rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic are devoted to the resolution of vital problems of citizens, including the issues of missing persons. 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 3657 complaints. In the period of work between 4 and 10 August 2018, 8 persons visited the Ombudsman in person, 45 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 12 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 8 persons received legal counselling. 7 written appeals were approved for consideration, 7 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 21 calls were received via hotlines, 7 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 275 appeals, violations in civil law– 269 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 5 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1767 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 459 appeals, other issues – 882 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 10.08.2018
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 – 438 appeals, temporary accommodation – 495 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 160 appeals, migration legislation issues – 308 appeals, labour legislation issues – 137 appeals, healthcare issues – 101 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 46 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 – 8 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 10.08.2018
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 10.08.2018
- 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 3 August as a result of military operations in Yasinovataya region, a DPR serviceman born in 1983 sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound to the neck and right thigh.
On 3 August as a result of military operations in Novoazovsk region, 5 DPR servicemen born in 1997, 1978, 1989, 1984 and 1981 sustained shrapnel wounds of various severities.
On 6 August as a result of a sniping fire against Naberezhnoye village, Novoazovsk region, a civilian man born in 1975 sustained gunshot bullet wound.
On 7 August as a result of military operations in Gorlovka, a DPR serviceman at the age of 19 sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound to the left side of the chest, to lower-third of the left thigh, to left knee joint.
As a result of military operations in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1990 sustained mine-blast trauma, gunshot shrapnel wound.
On 8 August, as a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, a civilian woman born in 1973 sustained thermal burns.
On 3 August as a result of military operations in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1976 sustained shrapnel wound to the abdominal.
Within the period between 3 and 9 August 2018, 11 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side. Among them, there are 9 DPR servicemen, 1 civilian man and 1 civilian woman.
Also, the Ombudsman Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic was reported that a civilian woman born in 1939 sustained acoustic trauma. The trauma was sustained as a result of shelling in Gorlovka, on 18 July.
Within the period between 1 January and 9 August 2018, 217 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 134 DPR servicemen, 53 civilian men, 28 civilian women and 2 underage children.
Within the period between 3 and 9 August, 2018 – 4 DPR servicemen and one Ukrainian serviceman died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between 1 January and 9 August 2018, 106 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 8 women and 98 men, including 2 underage children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4673 persons died. Among them, there are 613 women and 4060 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
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received 2 appeals on arrest.
A man born in 1973 was detained in April 2018 in Odessa oblast. He was charged with offences under Article 258-3, part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
A man born in 1983 was detained in February 2018 in Kherson oblast. He was charged with offences under Article 111, part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine
Based on the updated figures as of 10.08.2018, 280 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 82 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 198 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 didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 10 August 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, preventative clinics, health care centres).
Since the beginning of the conflict 5380 referrals for accommodation in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres etc.) 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 4 and 10 August 2018, 6 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1280 accommodation places available for IDPs in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7404 persons, including 1788 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 62 social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) have been opened in the territory of DPR. 52 of them operate, 10 of them are held in reserve (according to the information provided by Territorial commissions of cities and districts, the number of housing objects held in reserve was changed. Thus, + 2 objects in Snezhnoye; +1 object in Kirovskoye; +2 objects in Amvrosyevka region; -2 objects in Gorlovka; -1 object in Torez).
Currently, 2621 individuals live in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) of the Donetsk Administration, including 488 underage children, 4783 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1300 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, 32.4 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 10.08.2018. As of 10 August 2018, there were 30.2 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 22.8 thousand have been employed (14.1 of them – on permanent positions, 8.7 – 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. 147 persons participated in such seminars.