On April 7, the citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic celebrated the anniversary of the proclamation of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Exactly four years ago, Donbass people refused to accept the coup d’état in Kiev and took a bold step, showing the whole world that it was ready to defend its interests and remain dedicated to its Motherland. Donbass residents decided to express their right to self-determination, guaranteed by international law. Then the Supreme Council was established in Donetsk. It adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the DPR, which served as the basis for the establishment of the Republic.
The first decision of the Supreme Council was to hold a self-determination referendum, which was successfully held on May 11, 2014. Almost 74.87% of voters took part in it, of which 89.7% voted in favour of independence. Observers noted that there were no serious violations that could be a reason to recognize the referendum as illegitimate.
Ukrainian authorities did not recognize the results of the referendum. In response to expression of the will of Donbass people, then Acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov announced the beginning of an “anti-terrorist operation” against citizens residing on the territory of the newly-formed Republic. Article 17 of the Constitution of Ukraine reads: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations shall not be used by anyone to restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens or with the intent to overthrow the constitutional order, subvert the public authorities or obstruct their activity.” In violation of the Constitution of the State, the Ukrainian government decided to use heavy weapons and army against its own people.
This decision of the Ukrainian authorities led to troubles and grief, thousands of deaths and wounds, a huge number of destroyed houses and buildings, fear, despair, pain, and horror in Donbass. Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes because of constant shelling by Ukraine, many lost their loved ones.
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 1866 appeals. In the period of work between 7 and 13 April 2018, 10 citizens visited the Ombudsman in person, 45 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 14 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 17 persons received legal counselling. 4 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 – 112 appeals, violations in civil law– 153 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 882 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 263 appeals, other issues – 456 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 13.04.2018
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 – 218 appeals, temporary accommodation – 301 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 60 appeals, migration legislation issues – 135 appeals, labour legislation issues – 62 appeals, healthcare issues – 52 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 23 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 7 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 13 appeals, land use and tenure – 1 appeal, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 10 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 13.04.2018
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 13.04.2018
- 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 April 7 as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces against “Mayorsk” checkpoint, a civilian woman born in 1963 sustained gunshot bullet wound of the middle-third of the left shoulder.
On April 9, as a result of artillery shelling of Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk region, a 35-year-old DPR serviceman sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple penetrating shrapnel wounds of the right side of the chest, gunshot fracture of the right shoulder blade.
On April 10, as a result of shelling of Kuibyshevskiy district of Donetsk, 4 civilians sustained wounds: a man born in 1973 sustained mine-blast trauma of the right side of the neck, penetrating to throat; a 76-year-old man sustained gunshot shrapnel wound of the right thigh; a 75-year-old man sustained gunshot shrapnel wound of soft tibia of the right temporal region; a man born in 1969 sustained brain contusion.
As a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces in Staromikhailovka settlement, Kirovskiy district of Donetsk, a civilian man born in 1987 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds of the face, neck, and chest. A civilian woman born in 1980 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple wounds to the right hand, leg and stomach.
On April 11, as a result of artillery shelling in Krutaya Balka village, Yasinivataya village, a civilian born in 1965 sustained gunshot wound to the right foot.
As a result of armed provocations of Ukrainian forces in Dokuchaevsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1973 sustained gunshot shrapnel wound to the right side of the supraclavicular region.
As a result of artillery shelling against Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1997 sustained non-penetrating wound to the left side of the chest.
On April 12, as a result of hostilities near Krutaya Balka village, Yasinovataya village, a DPR serviceman born in 1977 sustained mine-blast trauma, blunt shrapnel wound of the thigh; a DPR serviceman born in 1978 sustained mine-blast trauma, blunt shrapnel wound of the tibia; a 31-year-old DPR serviceman sustained mine-blast trauma, blunt shrapnel wounds to the body; a 57-year-old DPR serviceman sustained mine-blast trauma, blunt shrapnel wounds of the iliac wing; a DPR serviceman born in 1969 sustained mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound of the right shoulder.
As a result of hostilities in Avdeyevka industrial zone, a DPR serviceman born in 1979 sustained gunshot wound of the abdominal.
Also, it was reported that a serviceman born in 1965 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds to thighs and chest as a result of hostilities of 3 April 2018 in Starobeshevo region.
Within the period between 6 and 12 April 2018, 17 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 and 2 civilian women.
Within the period between January 1 and April 12, 2018, 72 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 53 DPR servicemen, 13 civilian men, and 6 civilian women.
Within the period between 6 and 12 April 2018 – 4 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and April 12, 2018, 37 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 35 DPR servicemen and 2 civilians.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4604 persons died. Among them, there are 606 women and 3998 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 date of the new prisoner exchange in Donbass fully depends on Ukraine’s actions at the negotiations. So far, Ukraine has no position on the prisoner exchange. It’s impossible to predict the exact date. For its part, DPR is ready for the exchange under “all confirmed for all confirmed” formula,” said DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 13.04.2018, 288 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 80 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 208 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 13 April 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 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.
1223 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation centres of the Office, including 226 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5371 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 128 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 7 and 13 April 2018, 14 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1196 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1196 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 287 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7581 persons, including 1894 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, 1499 individuals live in the centres, including 284 underage children, 4859 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1384 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, 18.1 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 13.04.2018. As of April 13, 2018, there were 18.7 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 12.8 thousand have been employed (5.7 of them – on permanent positions, 7.1 – 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. 60 persons participated in such seminars.