The legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic empowers the Ombudsman of the DPR in the conditions of hostilities to create preliminary lists of prisoners of war, respond to citizens’ appeals based on the data the Ombudsman has, and also promote legal education in the field of human and civil rights and freedoms, forms and methods of their protection.
In this regard, since the beginning of the conflict in Donbass, I have regularly received requests from relatives of prisoners of war, both DPR fighters and Ukrainian military. Wives and mothers are looking for information about the fate of their loved ones, their place of detention, as well as they are interested in the possibility of a personal meeting. All such applications are considered in full. In all cases, without exception, I explain to the applicant his/her rights and the steps that must be taken within the framework of the current legislation to resolve the issue. The applicant decides on his/her own whether use the proposed algorithm or not.
In accordance with the established procedure, an appeal received by me from a citizen of Ukraine, Marina Ashifina, was also considered. Her husband is a Ukrainian soldier who was taken prisoner in April 2022 and is now being held on the territory of the DPR. Having received explanations and strictly following the recommendations, the applicant freely arrived on the territory of the Republic, where, acting strictly within the framework of the legislation of the DPR, she applied to the relevant state authorities for information about the place of detention of her husband, and also received permission for a short visit with him.
It should be emphasizes that all detainees located on the territory of the DPR are held in equal conditions and are endowed with equal rights. At the same time, compliance with the norms of international humanitarian law in relation to prisoners of war by the state bodies of the Republic is not a manifestation of loyalty. Captured servicemen of the AFU, involved in crimes in Donbass, receive the punishment they deserve by the court.