The main event of this week was the meeting of the Normandy four at the level of the Foreign Ministers, which was held on June 11 in Berlin. Normandy four meetings are the talks between the leaders or foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine devoted to issues of settling the conflict in Donbass.
As a result of the meeting of the Normandy four, Minsk agreement was adopted. It was designed to resolve the conflict in Donbass. However, any agreements for the Ukrainian side are nothing more than declarative, the authorities do not aspire to fulfill them.
Ukraine signed Minsk agreement for tactical purposes, in order to save the image of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and military and political leadership instead of saving the peaceful population of Donbass. The Ukrainian side signed Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements after their military defeats. The President of Ukraine said that the state would agree to give a special status to Donbass, knowing full well that Kiev regime was not going to fulfill any point of the political part of the Minsk agreement.
Negotiations in the Normandy format took place more than a year ago, the leaders of the countries met in October 2016. The meetings were suspended because of the reluctance to document the agreement on the procedure for the entry into force of the law on the special status of Donbass, better known as the “Steinmeier formula”, reached on October 2, 2015 at the summit in Paris on October 19, 2016 and approved by the leaders of the Normandy four in Berlin on October 19, 2016. The formula was meant to be a basis for discussion of the format of local elections. A broad amnesty to the participants of the events in Donbass and a constitutional reform were meant to strengthen the political and legal structure of the special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Ukraine cynically sabotages the implementation of the Minsk agreement and introduces initiatives that contradict previously reached agreements on the settlement of the crisis in Donbass. Kyiv has not enacted the law on special status of Donbass, as well as the amnesty law, the constitutional reform required by the Package of Measures has not been carried out, the elections to local self-government bodies are boycotted by Kyiv. Also, Ukraine does not seek to implement security agreements, which is evidenced by the aggravation of the military situation near the Contact line. The units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to seize the territory of the “no man’s land”, and the number of weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements is increasing.
As a result of the meeting of June 11, the negotiators concluded that the Minsk agreement must be implemented, as it remains a non-competitive instrument in the issue of the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the East of Ukraine. The most vital demands to achieve peace in Donbass are ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons and mine clearance. Particular attention was paid to humanitarian issues, including those related to the exchange of detainees.
At the time of the conflict, the Human rights Ombudsman is responsible for the issues of detained persons, in particular, the return of detainees to the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
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 2877 appeals. In the period of work between 9 and 15 June 2018, 3 persons visited the Ombudsman in person, 39 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 12 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 7 persons received legal counselling. 7 written appeals were approved for consideration, 10 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 22 calls were received via hotlines, 10 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 187 appeals, violations in civil law– 221 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 5 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1369 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 382 appeals, other issues – 713 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 15.06.2018
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 – 323 appeals, temporary accommodation – 427 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 109 appeals, migration legislation issues – 232 appeals, labour legislation issues – 96 appeals, healthcare issues – 85 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 32 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 16 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 23 appeals, land use and tenure – 2 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 24 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 15.06.2018
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 15.06.2018
- 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 8 June a civilian man born in 1937 sustained shrapnel wound to the neck, face, legs and a right hand as a result of a mortar attack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Sakhanka village; a civilian man born in 1947 sustained shrapnel wound to the face.
As a result of shelling in Gorlovka, a civilian man born in 1986 sustained a gunshot perforating wound of the left side of the chest.
On 9 June, as a result of hostilities in Debaltsevo, a DPR serviceman at the age of 40 sustained a mine-blast trauma, shrapnel wound to lower limbs and of the right shoulder.
As a result of shelling in Vasilievka village, Yasinovataya village, a civilian woman born in 1992 sustained penetrating wound of the abdominal.
On 10 June, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1985 sustained a mine-blast trauma, a shrapnel wound to the shoulder.
On June11, as a result of hostilities in Kuibyshev district of Donetsk, a civilian man at the age of 25 sustained a shrapnel wound of the right forearm, chest and left thigh; a civilian man at the age of 42 sustained a wound to the left knee joint and to the right thigh; two civilian men sustained gunshot bullet wounds.
On 12 June, as a result of shelling in Dokuchaevsk, a civilian woman born in 1973 sustained multiple gunshot shrapnel wounds to the neck, left shoulder and shin.
As a result of shelling in Yasinovataya, a civilian woman born in 1984 was wounded in the yard of her house.
On 13 June, as a result of shelling in Alexandrovka urban-type settlement, a civilian man born in 1992 sustained a shrapnel wound to the thigh and to the shoulder blade.
During the hostilities in Novoazovsk region, DPR servicemen born in 1996, 1991 and 1989 sustained mine-blast traumas.
On 14 June, as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoye village, a DPR serviceman born in 1976 sustained shrapnel wound.
Within the period between 8 and 14 June 2018, 17 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side. Of them, there were 6 DPR servicemen, 8 civilian men and 3 civilian women.
Within the period between January 1 and June 14, 2018, 171 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 101 DPR servicemen, 46 civilian men, 22 civilian women and 2 underage children.
Within the period between 8 and 14 June 2018 – 5 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and June 14, 2018, 82 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 71 DPR servicemen, 7 civilian men and 4 civilian women.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4649 persons died. Among them, there are 610 women and 4039 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
On 13 June a meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place. Unfortunately, the official representatives of the Ukrainian side were absent at the meeting.
“The meeting of the humanitarian subgroup showed again that the responsibility for non-fulfilment of the sixth paragraph of the Package of Measures for the Implementation if the Minsk Agreements lies squarely with Kiev. The representatives of the Ukrainian side do not attend the talks, so no results have been achieved. Also, the Ukrainian side refuses to provide the information we had requested in writing.
So far, Kiev has not voiced its position on the prisoner exchange. The negotiations cannot move from the deadlock for six months now: Kiev delegates show utter lack of interest in the second stage of the exchange,” said Daria Morozova following the Minsk talks.
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 08.06.2018, 294 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 85 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 209 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. Since November 2016, a man born in 1955 lost telephone contact with relatives being outside Dimitrov. In October 2016 a woman born in 1985 lost telephone contact with her family.
As of 15 June 2018, 454 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, 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, Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it.
1200 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation centres of the Office, including 220 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5380 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 137 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 9 and 15 June 2018, 12 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1219 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1219 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 308 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7474 persons, including 1854 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, 1466 individuals live in the centres, including 280 underage children, 4808 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1354 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, 25.7 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 15.06.2018. As of 15 June 2018, there were 24.1 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 18.0 thousand have been employed (10.2 of them – on permanent positions, 7.8 – 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. 103 persons participated in such seminars.