A nation that does not remember its past,
has no future
History is our cultural heritage. Every people has its past and its roots. Our rich culture, values and mindset come from our ancestors, thanks to history we can learn how all this was created and how it developed. Not knowing the past, it is impossible to understand and comprehend the present, to predict the future. The lessons of history are sacred, they make the greatness of the state. However, these lessons will never let us forget about the price that each generation paid for the Motherland and for peace in its land. The lessons of history of all the Slavic countries are a warning to those who trample on the right to be independent; this is a constant reminder to the descendants of the sacrifice that was made for the well-being of the Motherland. It is impossible to bring up a child without teaching him/her to respect the ancestors, the memory, the history of the country. People of the Donetsk People’s Republic have a special attitude to history. For us, it’s not just a dusty book with stories about past exploits, it is what is being written before our eyes, this is what connects the people with its roots, and this connection of generations was strongly felt on May 9 at the “Immortal Regiment” march. As a tribute to their fellow citizens, in memory of our Heroes, residents of almost every city of the Republic came with portraits of soldiers fallen on the battlefields, veterans who have not survived to nowadays. Today’s heroes marched with portraits. Four years ago they expressed their desire for the freedom and independence of their homeland, they struggle for victory, both on the battlefield and by peaceful daily labour.
As the Head of State Alexander Zakharchenko extended congratulations to DPR residents, he said: “Four years ago, Donbass residents made a choice in a nationwide referendum. The choice of freedom and independence. It happened on May 11, 2014, that we viewed ourselves as a single people, united in the same goal – to build a state based on the principles of justice. ”
Since that time, Donbass people honourably face everyday ordeals that fall to them. Criminal orders issued by illegal Kiev authorities turned into pain and suffering. The war affected everyone, dividing our lives into “before” and “after”. In this difficult time, everyone made their choice, everyone asked themselves: “If not me, then who?”. Servicemen on the battlefields, workers in the workplaces – they all build the state together, protecting it from the enemy, they build a rule-of-law state, where all citizens are united by a common goal – justice.
“We survived, we became stronger and now we are moving forward. And this is the merit of each of you,” A. Zakharchenko stressed.
In this difficult time for the country, a foundation was laid to build a successful future. The Republic adopted the Constitution, created a state mechanism and legal system, ensuring human rights and freedoms, new enterprises are being restored and opened.
But the most important wealth of the Donetsk People’s Republic is its people: miners, engineers, teachers and doctors – hard workers, patriots, and real heroes, devoted to their work. These are unusual people – very courageous and very modest at the same time. Thanks to their dedicated work, personal courage, there is light, water and heat in the homes of Donbass residents; sick people and those affected by hostilities receive timely help, and children have the opportunity to study. The young state, where rule of law, inviolability of human rights and freedoms have been proclaimed, was created by efforts of each citizen.
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 the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman received 2413 appeals. In the period of work between 5 and 18 May 2018, 1 person visited the Ombudsman in person, 79 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 22 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 7 persons received legal counselling. 12 written appeals were approved for consideration, 11 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 14 calls were received via hotlines, 23 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 137 appeals, violations in civil law– 205 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1144 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 331 appeals, other issues – 596 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 18.05.2018
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 – 275 appeals, temporary accommodation – 366 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 93 appeals, migration legislation issues – 182 appeals, labour legislation issues – 81 appeals, healthcare issues – 73 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 27 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 11 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 19 appeals, land use and tenure – 1 appeal, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 16 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 18.05.2018
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 18.05.2018
- 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: right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On 4 May, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1986 and 1989 sustained wounds of various severities.
On 6 May as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces against Gorlovka, a civilian man born in 1938 sustained shrapnel wound to the chest.
On 8 May, in Sosnovka village, a DPR serviceman born in 1979 sustained mine-blast trauma that led to the amputation of the middle third of his left shin.
On 9 May, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1982 sustained blunt shrapnel wound with an impaled object.
As a result of a direct hit into a house, during a shelling of Signalnoje village by Ukrainian forces, a civilian woman born in 1953 sustained concussion.
On 11 May as a result of shelling in Dokuchaevsk, a civilian woman born in 1966 sustained shrapnel wound to the left hand.
As a result of shelling in Zaitsevo village, a civilian man born in 1981 sustained shrapnel wound to the neck, supraclavicular region, right shoulder.
On 12 May during a military operation in Avdeyevka industrial zone, a DPR serviceman of 33 years old sustained shrapnel wound to the left part of the skull.
As a result of shelling in Dokuchaevsk by Ukrainian forces, a child born in 2002 sustained barotrauma and multiple bruises to sacral bone and chest, a civilian man born in 1974 sustained a closed fracture of the right shoulder.
On 13 May, as a result of hostilities in the vicinity of Donetsk, a DPR serviceman of 30 years old sustained a perforating gunshot wound, a DPR serviceman born in 1985 sustained shrapnel wound to the facial part of the skull.
As a result of shelling in Gorlovka, a civilian man born in 1967, sustained mine-blast trauma, concussion; a civilian man born in 1965 sustained blunt shrapnel wound to the upper third of the right shoulder.
On 15 May, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1993 sustained blunt shrapnel wounds to the head.
On 16 May, as a result of hostilities near Gorlovka, a DPR serviceman of 34 years old sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound to the left thigh.
As a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1992 and 1983 sustained wounds of various severities.
On 17 May as a result of shelling in Gorlovka, a civilian man born in 1957 sustained penetrating wound of the lumbar region.
Within the period between 4 and 17 May 2018, 20 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side. Among them, there are 11 DPR servicemen, 2 civilian women, 6 civilian men and a child born in 2002.
Within the period between January 1 and May 17, 2018, 128 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 83 DPR servicemen, 29 civilian men, 15 civilian women and an underage child.
Within the period between 4 and 17 May 2018 – 8 persons died in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there are 7 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian woman, who died as a result of shelling in Gorlovka by Ukrainian forces on 16 May.
Within the period between January 1 and May 17, 2018, 59 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 51 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian men and 2 civilian women.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4626 persons died. Among them, there are 608 women and 4626 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
The international humanitarian law prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and infringement of human dignity. The prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment is guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, its Additional Protocols of 1977, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984 and other international instruments. However, the Donetsk People’s Republic repeatedly appealed to international organizations on the fact of using torture against persons held in the territory of Ukraine.
“Ukraine often uses torture against detained persons. We have repeatedly applied to international organizations raising concerns related to using torture and violence, both moral and physical, against persons held by the Ukrainian side. As a result of interviews and medical examinations conducted with the released persons, it was found that about 95 percent of the respondents had been tortured,” said Daria Morozova.
At the meetings of the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk, the Ukrainian side was invited to sign a Declaration that would guarantee non-use of torture by both sides.
“However, representatives of the Ukrainian side do not even want to take such a harmless step, they refuse to commit themselves to humane treatment of the detained persons and to sign the Declaration. In the course of three meetings, we and the OSCE representatives insisted on signing the document, but the plenipotentiary representatives of Ukraine ignored this proposal.
The Ukrainian side refuses to be humane and merciful to the parties to the conflict, the state’s power structures continue to use torture against detainees, and plenipotentiary representatives who can stop such inhuman treatment simply do not want to do so. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that further use of torture will stop, which shows a true attitude to people in Ukraine,” the Ombudsman concluded.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received one appeal on arrest. A man born in 1986 was detained in Artyomovsk in April 2017. Now he is being held in Artyomovsk remand prison.
Based on the updated figures as of 18.05.2018, 290 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 85 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. Four persons, whose presence in the territory of Ukraine has been confirmed, were added to the list.
– 205 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 18 May 2018, 452 persons are considered missing. There is a possibility that they are held in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
At the time of the armed conflict, 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.
1216 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation centres of the Office, including 225 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5378 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 135 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staff 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 5 and 18 May 2018, 26 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. Four of them received referrals for temporary accommodation of the Ombudsman Office: 3 in Donetsk and 1 in Khartsysk. There are currently 1203 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1203 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 293 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7497 persons, including 1861 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary accommodation centres have been established within the territory of DPR. 55 of these TACs operate, 8 of them are held in reserve. The Ombudsman Office is in charge of 11 TACs.
Currently, 1483 individuals live in the centres, including 283 underage children, 4798 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1353 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, 22.6 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 18.05.2018. As of April, 2018, there were 21.6 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 15.7 thousand have been employed (8.2 of them – on permanent positions, 7.5 – 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. 77 persons participated in such seminars.