The international round table “Nezazhivayushchaya rana Donbassa “, dedicated to the search and identification of victims of the Ukrainian aggression in Donbass, took place today, on 2 November, in Luhansk with the participation of the Heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik. The DPR Human Rights Ombudsman, Chairperson of the DPR Interdepartmental Commission for the Search for Missing Persons, Burial Places of Bodies (Remains) of the Deceased (Dead) in the Armed Conflict Areas in Donbass Daria Morozova performed as one of the key speakers of the event.
More than 20 experts from various industries joined the discussion, including human rights defenders, forensic experts, as well as representatives of law enforcement agencies, local authorities, clergy and the public.
Within the framework of the round table, the participants discussed the results of search work, identified problematic issues and priorities.
In her speech, Daria Morozova noted that today, thanks to the initiative of the Heads of the DPR and LPR, tasks in the field of search and identification of victims of the Ukrainian aggression in Donbass are being solved at the state level. This made it possible to develop a systematic approach and unite efforts to implement the most important of the humane and humanitarian tasks.
“It is our duty to their relatives to establish the names and fates of those who disappeared as a result of the war, to perpetuate the memory of the victims. The families of the victims of the Ukrainian aggression should find solace and be sure that nothing is forgotten, and no one is forgotten in Donbass,” said the DPR Ombudsman.
According to Daria Morozova, during the search work only in the territory of the DPR, the remains of more than 140 people were raised from mass graves since the conflict began. As a rule, bodies are exhumed in civilian clothes, that is, we are talking about civilians, including the older persons, women and children. The recovered bodies have damages specific to military operations.
According to experts, to date, only about 40% graves of the total number of unmarked graves that appeared on the territory of the Republic during the hostilities have been uncovered. And more than 350 people are reported missing.
Daria Morozova emphasises that the search work in the Republic will not stop until the fate of all the victims of the Ukrainian aggression in Donbass becomes clear. Law enforcement agencies will continue to record every fact, strengthening the database of charges against Ukrainian war criminals. Investigation in each case will be completed. The collected materials will force the international community to properly respond to events in the region.
The round table was also attended by Deputy Manager of the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR, Secretary of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Search for Missing Persons, Burial Places of Bodies (Remains) of the Deceased (Dead) in the Armed Conflict Areas in Donbass Roman Savchenko. In his speech, he focused on the legal consequences of identifying victims of Ukrainian aggression and the significance of this procedure for their relatives.
“The families of the missing face a number of bureaucratic and social difficulties and find themselves limited in the exercise of their rights. In many cases, we are talking about the loss of the head of the family, the breadwinner, which leads to great financial difficulties, – emphasized Roman Savchenko. – At the same time, the identification of the person entails confirmation of the fact of the death of a person who was previously considered missing. A death certificate is a legal document that will further influence many aspects. For example, this will make it possible to exercise the right of inheritance, to dispose of real estate, to obtain benefits, to establish kinship and more.“
As the Deputy Manager of the Ombudsman’s Office summed up, for the families of missing persons, peace will come not with the end of hostilities, but when they have the opportunity to learn about the fate of the missing relatives, to bury them in accordance with religious canons and restore their rights and justice.
After the end of the discussion, the participants of the round table visited the site allocated for the creation of the memorial complex “Ne zabudem, ne prostim!” in Luhansk. The opening of the foundation stone of the future memorial took place here. The participants laid flowers and honoured the memory of the victims of the Ukrainian aggression with a minute of silence.