One of the main features of a strong democratic state is the ability to adequately assess and respond to the criticism addressed to oneself, both within the state and from outside. The role of mass media that is independent from the central apparatus in building civil society cannot be overestimated, since the presence of an alternative opinion from the authorities stimulates critical thinking among the population. In this context, the illegal closure of unwanted information resources is the main narrative and a sign of dictatorial regimes.
In this regard, the fact of the closure of three main opposition television channels in Ukraine, a state that declares the triumph of democracy after the so-called “Revolution of Dignity”, looks extremely depressing, one of the reasons for which its participants called pressure on freedom of speech.
It is noteworthy that this decision, which came into force on February 2 of this year, has no precedents. Moreover, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine did not even announce any specific reasons for the closure of the TV channels “ZIK”, “112” and “NEWSONE”. However, unfortunately, the reality is that in the country of “victorious democracy” the main guarantor and defender of the Constitution can deprive by his decision of the rights and property of any citizen just for criticizing him. It should be mentioned that literally in September last year, at one of the press conferences, President Zelensky promised not to close a single TV channel in Ukraine.
This event will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences in the context of trust the Ukrainian leadership, including on the part of the residents of Donbas, who know firsthand the price of Ukraine’s “promises”. Compliance with the ceasefire was not exception. Thus, over the past week, Gorlovka and neighboring villages were under massive fire from the AFU. One civilian was injured. In turn, in the village of Signalnoye, five residential buildings were damaged by shells. Ukrainian soldiers used armored vehicles, tanks, mortars and grenade launchers, which are a gross violation of the terms of the open-ended ceasefire, since there should not be such equipment at the Contact line at all.
However, despite the difficult situation at the front, from February 1, a vaccination campaign was launched in the Donetsk People’s Republic aimed at mass vaccination against the COVID-19 coronavirus. A quick victory over the new infectious threat and the return of the inhabitants of the Republic to normal life became possible thanks to the supply of the Russian “Sputnik V” vaccine.
The Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR informs citizens that every resident of the Republic can sign up for vaccination against COVID-19 on the website of the Ministry of Health.
However, despite the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the Republic, the Ombudsman calls on citizens to be vigilant and continue to comply with the necessary sanitary standards, until the official quarantine easing measures will be adopted by the state. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!
Since the beginning of 2021, the Ombudsman received 258 complaints.
All received complaints can be divided into nine categories: personal rights – 80 complaints, economic rights – 15 complaints, social rights – 61 complaints; guarantees of human rights in civil, administrative and criminal proceedings – 34 complaints; enforcement of human rights in penitentiary institutions – 7 complaints; enforcement of rights in the field of education – 1 complaint; enforcement of rights in the field of healthcare – 9 complaints; enforcement of rights of mothers, children and families – 1 complaint, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 50 complaints.
- Death toll, 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.
Within the period between 30 January and 05 February 2021, as a result of the suburb of the city of Gorlovka by the AFU, a civilian was injured. Shelling was carried out by a tank.
Within the period between 1 January and 05 February 2021, in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, 4 persons sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine: 3 servicemen of the Republic and 1 civilian.
Within the period between 30 January and 05 February 2021, in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, no one was died.
Within the period between 1 January and 05 February 2021, in the territory of the DPR, 2 servicemen of the Republic died as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
It should be noted that since the armed conflict began in the Donetsk People’s Republic, 4964 persons, including 90 children died.
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 and civilians
Based on the updated figures as of 05th February 2021, there are about 98 people detained by the Ukrainian side:
Based on the updated figures as of 05th February 2021, there are 365 people on the list of missing persons.
Two persons are transferred from the list of missing people in the territory of Ukraine.
- 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, social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centers).
With the coming into force of 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.
There are currently 845 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens of this category. 63 social housing objects have been opened in the territory of DPR. 55 of them operate, 8 of them are held in reserve. Since the beginning of the conflict, 6800 people, including 1491 children have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. Currently, 1989 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk People’s Republic, including 348 underage children, 4811 people live in the housing fund, including 1143 children.