The current week was marked, first of all, by two major negotiating events.
On December 26, for the first time since last summer, a meeting of advisers to the leaders of the countries of the Normandy Group was held. The participants agreed that the most important thing is to find a common understanding of all the provisions of the Minsk agreements with regard to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, the observance of the ceasefire, and humanitarian issues. At the moment, the parties have taken a break for intrastate consultations in order to continue negotiations in Berlin in two weeks.
Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak noted:
“Ukraine must comprehend that it must end this conflict and end this fratricidal war, the intra-Ukrainian conflict.”
This position is supported by the fact that it was the destructive position of Kiev that actually completely blocked the work of the negotiating subgroups of the Contact Group to settle the armed conflict in Donbass. It is for this reason that the first meeting of the CG representatives held in 2022 ended without results. In particular, the Ukrainian side has not made any progress on the issue of procedural “cleaning” of persons transferred to the Republics of Donbass as part of the 2019-2020 exchanges yet.
Unfortunately, the negative trend in the negotiations inevitably leads to an aggravation of the conflict, which is confirmed by the data of the JCCC representatives that almost daily record the shelling of peaceful territories by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thus, from January 23 to 28, there were 17 cases of violation of an open-ended ceasefire regime by Ukraine. In total, 97 pieces of ammunition were fired on the territory of the DPR.
The situation is further aggravated by significant deliveries of the latest weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the USA and Britain. However, the response to such actions may be mirror measures from the Russian Federation, as stated by the head of the “United Russia” faction in the State Duma Vladimir Vasilyev, regarding the provision of military assistance to the DPR and LPR. As the Russian politician noted, this is necessary to increase the defense capability to deter the military aggression from Kiev.
However, despite external threats, the Republic continues to develop actively. Thus, last week the Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin officially opened the Year of Youth in the Republic. This initiative is aimed at patriotic education, the popularization of sports, and the involvement of young people in social and political life. The event was attended by over 600 delegates from public organizations from Moscow, the Moscow region and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
Another important socio-cultural event in the life of the Republic was the start of the ‘Beauty of Donbass” beauty contest. Registration is available on the resources of the “Young Republic” in the DPR and the public organization “Young Guard” in the LPR. Applications can be submitted until February 10th. This competition has been held in the DPR since 2015.
At the same time, the Ombudsman calls on citizens to limit attendance at mass events in connection with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Thus, according to official data from the Ministry of Health of the DPR, at the moment 124,182 cases of COVID-19 infection have been recorded in the country. 4987 patients are in treatment, 9538 cases are fatal.
The Ombudsman urges residents to remain vigilant and comply with the necessary sanitary and epidemiological standards. For personal safety, citizens are encouraged to sign up on the Ministry of Health website to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Since the beginning of 2022, the Ombudsman received 377 complaints.
- Death toll and injuries to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic
The DPR Ombudsman’s Office documents cases of violations of Donbas citizens’ rights by the Ukrainian side, including the right to life, personal integrity and freedom of movement.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiersand civilians
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens
At the time of 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, there social facilities (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres).
In accordance with the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, territorial commissions in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. They work under the supervision of the Republican Commission on Resettlement of Affected Persons chaired by the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman.