Tragic events occurred on May 2, 2014 in Odessa. On this day Odessa citizens collected signatures for a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and status of the Russian language. The event was peaceful, until activists of the “Right Sector” and the so-called “Maidan self-defense” interfered. They made turmoil On Kulykove Pole, so the federalization supporters took refuge in the House of Trade Unions. Then, the radicals committed a blatant crime – they deliberately set fire to the building, while dozens of people, their fellow citizens, were inside. Since then, the perpetrators have not been punished, and the suspects are still in jail without legal grounds. The trial of one of Ukraine’s unity supporters, who is the only person accused of the murder, has not been started yet, and he is still at large, no preventive measures have been taken.
The authors of the 18th OHCHR Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine are concerned: “No progress was observed in bringing to account those responsible for the death of 48 people in Odesa on 2 May 2014.96 Actions taken thus far appear selective and suggest possible bias”. OHCHR also expresses concern that delaying proceedings may lead to a lengthy detention of five defendants who have been detained since May 2014.
According to international law, States must investigate reported cases of torture promptly and impartially. If evidence available provides the grounds, the State, where the person accused of or involved in torture is, must either extradite the alleged perpetrator to another State having the relevant jurisdiction or transfer the case to its own competent authorities for prosecution under national or local criminal law. The Ukrainian state follows its established tradition – to ignore the norms of international law.
Experts who investigated the circumstances of mass deaths in the House of Trade Unions are afraid for their life or health. Sergei Iskruk is one of them, a forensic expert of the Ukrainian police, who conducted an examination of the tragedy in the Trade Unions House. The expert’s conclusion was not suitable for the Ukrainian government. Sergei was subjected to pressure and threats from members of armed nationalist movements. The specialist was urged to change the conclusion of the examination. So, he had to leave the territory of Ukraine due to security reasons. In the Donetsk People’s Republic the forensic expert had the opportunity to approach the Head of the UN Office with the assistance of the Human Rights Ombudsman. As a result of the meeting, they reached an agreement on interviewing Sergei Iskruk by UN representatives to document conclusions of the examination.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman was established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to ensure the state protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, to prevent any form of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
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 2017 the Ombudsman received 4036 appeals. In the period of work between 12 and 18 August 2017, 5 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 32 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 31 calls were made via hotlines. 29 applications were received via e-mail, 4 written appeals were taken into consideration, 4 – have been reviewed among those received earlier.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 233 appeals, violations in civil law– 437 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3364 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 18.08.2017
Violations in criminal law
Violations in civil law
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
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 – 473 appeals, temporary accommodation – 406 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 81 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 164 appeals, employment – 147 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 153 appeals, loss of IDs – 295 appeals, housing issues – 185 appeals, temporary residence permit – 194 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1255 appeals (diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian isses, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 18.08.2017
Pension and social payments
Search of the missing soldiers
Search of the missing civilians
Temporary residence permit
Paperwork in case of property destruction
Paperwork on travelling documents
Loss of IDs
Other social and humanitarian issues
The majority of complains 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 18.08.2017
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
Targeted shelling by Ukrainian forces causes destruction of private property and infrastructure – this is the reality of the front-line regions of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
As of August 3, 2017 more than 11391 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6828 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 528 units in Gorlovka, 91 units in Dokuchayevsk, 309 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 75 units in Kirovskoye, 1113 units in Makeyevka, 55 units in Snyezhnoye, 122 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 75 units in Shakhtyorsk, 581 units in Yasinovataya, 278 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 57 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6241 houses;
– 769 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 176 heating supply facilities;
– 49 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 102 healthcare facilities;
– 513 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 59 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 55 cultural institutions;
– 240 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 60 industrial objects;
– 89 trade objects;
– 267 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 27 July 2017 there are 2823 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 531 – rebuilt and 2292 – are to be rebuilt.
- 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 August 11 as a result of armed provocation by Ukrainian forces in Petrovskiy region of Donetsk a DPR serviceman of 27 years old sustained penetrating shrapnel wound of the head.
On August 12 as a result of shelling against Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk region, a civilian man born in 1963 sustained gunshot shrapnel gutter wound of the head, bruises to the face and chest.
On August 13 as a result of hostilities near Leninskoye village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1985 sustained blunt shrapnel wound of the chest.
On August 14 as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces аagainst Sakhanka village, Novoazovsk region, a civilian woman born in 1946 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple wounds of upper and lower limbs.
As a result of provocative fire of the Ukrainian forces in Novoazovsk region, DPR servicemen born in 1987 and 1993 sustained multiple gunshot shrapnel wounds.
On August 15 as a result of hostilities near Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, DPR servicemen born in 1987, 1979, 1963 and 1980 sustained gunshot shrapnel wounds.
A child born in 2002 was blown up by an unidentified explosive object not far from his home, in planted forest, Snezhnoye.
On August 16 as a result of hostilities near Zhabychy village, a DPR serviceman born in 1988 sustained gunshot wound.
On August 17 a DPR serviceman born in 1971 sustained perforating gunshot wound penetrating into the right side of the chest, while he was defending the Republic in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region.
Within the period between 11 and 17 August, 2017, 13 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine. Among them there were 10 DPR servicemen, 1 civilian woman, two civilian men, including one child.
Within the period between January 1 and August 17, 2017, 477 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 289 DPR servicemen and 188 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 11 and 17 August, 2017, 13 persons died. Among them there were 7 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian man, who died on August 10 in Dokuchaevsk.
Within the period between January 1 and August 17, 2017, 212 persons, including 187 servicemen and 25 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including an underage child.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4501 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3896 men, including 75 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. The information is being processed at the moment and it will be included into general statistics of the injured individuals.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
According to legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ombudsman and her Office receive applications on unlawful detention of citizens for political reasons.
Arbitrary detention of civilians without permission of the investigating judge is a common practice for the Security Service of Ukraine. At the same time detainees are denied their right to contact their family members, so relatives and friends do not even have information about arrest and whereabouts of the missing person. Such a detention is the same as enforced disappearance; staff of the Security Service of Ukraine refuse to recognize the fact of detention and conceal the fate and whereabouts of detained persons. Mostly, detentions are carried out by the SSU, and, often, procedural norms are not observed.
Thus, employees of the Security Service of Ukraine grossly violate international obligations of the state in the field of human rights, the Constitution of Ukraine, Article 28 which prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. However, there are no definitions of these terms in Ukrainian legislation. It is also worth recalling that Ukraine is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the First Optional Protocol to it. Therefore, the UN Convention against Torture and international treaties in force are part of the national legislation in accordance with Article 9 of the Constitution. This is also enshrined in the Law “On International Treaties of Ukraine”, Article 17 of which determines the privilege of an international treaty over domestic law, in the event of a contradiction between them. Thus, in Ukraine, the definition of torture given in Article 1 of the Convention against Torture is applicable. It should be noted that international treaties of Ukraine in the field of human rights, including the Convention against Torture, have not been published in official sources. Therefore, Article 9 of the Constitution is of a declarative nature. This is one of the reasons why Ukraine does not apply international human rights treaties.
The Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office continues to document cases of persons who have been unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of liberty or subjected to enforced disappearance or kidnapping.
This week no appeals on capture and missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Based on the updated figures as of 11.08.2017, 502 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 231 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. The Ombudsman received credible information on the release of one person due to the end of the conviction term. One person, whose whereabouts on the territory of Ukraine has been confirmed by the Ukrainian side, was included into the list;
– 268 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. One person from the list of unconfirmed by the Ukrainian side was released in July 2017 due to the end of the conviction term. The whereabouts of another person has been confirmed by Ukraine;
– 3 persons for whom the requests were made to the Ukrainian side for the first time.
As of 18 August 2017, 509 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
People who left the territory of Donbass with the outbreak of hostilities, were immediately dubbed internally displaced persons. Throughout the world, IDPs is the category of citizens who enjoy special protection from the state, for whom favorable living conditions are created. Usually, IDPs are provided with housing, monetary compensation, benefits, material assistance and psychological support.
Unlike other countries of the world, obtaining an IDP status in Ukraine does not entail any positive consequences. This is a lengthy procedure that forces a person, who has experienced the horror of war, to fill in piles of papers, visit various institutions and prove their right to be a citizen. It is noteworthy that the state obliges every Donbass resident to obtain an IDP status, giving no choice to them. Why can other citizens of Ukraine freely change their place of residence? Why nobody forces them to register as an IDP under the threat of suspension of social payments?
Even if a person has moved to the territory of Ukraine, the one cannot be a full-fledged citizen of the country and enjoy all the rights guaranteed by the state, because he/she is registered in the so-called “ATO zone”. They are required to be registered as an “internally displaced person”. For these people applying for any documents – from registration of social payments to passport – must necessarily be accompanied by an IDP Certificate. Donbass citizens have no opportunity to enjoy their rights on equal terms with other citizens of the country. They were repeatedly denied issuing of identity documents unless they presented IDP Certificates.
The UN representatives repeatedly stressed that the procedure of social payments should be independent of the IDP status. These two concepts must be separated.
Obtaining of the IDP status must be optional. The status of an “internally displaced person” may be obtained by those who are willing to receive some social benefits or temporary accommodation. But, Donbass residents have been put in such conditions that they practically cannot enjoy their rights unless they register as IDPs.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1251 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 243 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5189 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 295 of them – in 2017. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs 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 12 and 18 August, 2017, 16 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, one of them was accommodated in the TAC of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1340 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1340 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 465 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7812 persons, including 1999 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 64 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 56 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2887 individuals live in the centres, including 567 underage children, 4925 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1432 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
One of the final and important stages of durable and complicated process of job search is the interview.
The interview must be viewed as negotiations, where the employer learns about personal qualities and skills of the applicant.
How to behave? How to prepare for the interview? How to be successful in it? What to say? All these are the questions that usually interest a person invited to the interview. To increase the chances of success, it is worth to prepare in advance, even if you have tremendous experience and knowledge.
First, you need to be yourself – that is the way to show your individuality. Second, carry yourself with dignity, be polite and educated, and never interrupt your potential boss. Third, think over your appearance, it largely determines the first impression of you. Wear conservative garment and most importantly – be sure to look neat and tidy.
Remember, even if you have to provide some negative information about yourself, never deny it. Try to compensate it with your strengths. The employer will surely appreciate your ability to admit mistakes and to draw conclusions. After all, no one is perfect. Whatever, act with reason and restraint. This is a key success factor.
Seminars are regularly held in the Republican Employment Centre on the methods of job search. At these seminars, the staff of the employment centre inform the participants that the interview is a conversation at which the employer assesses the applicant’s competence.
One of these seminars for job seekers took place on August 17 at the Donetsk Employment Centre.
According to their data, 25.2 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 11.08.2017. As of August 11, 2017, there were 35.9 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 29.9 thousand have been employed (14.6 of them – on permanent positions, 15.3 – 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. Since the beginning of 2017, 276 persons participated in those workshops.