There is less and less freedom of thought and speech, freedom of beliefs and expression in the modern Ukraine. At the same time, though, there is more freedom for violence and unrest. Nationalism is reviving in the country with its violent and uncontrollable, immoral and asocial character.
The activities of right-wing radical groups, such as All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda, National Corps Party, Right Sector, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, C14, and other, are becoming increasingly popular. Recently, on the Orthodox holiday of the Protection of the Holy Virgin members of these extremist groups staged riots in Kiev. But the most alarming thing was an attempt to attack the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, where clergymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOCMP) held worship and other religious activities on the occasion of the holiday. About 5,000 believers gathered in the Lavra. Many of them were ready to defend their church in the event of an attack. The reason for the confrontation was the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which granted the “transitional” status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Arsons and attacks on the churches of the UOCMP are just one of the manifestations of the activities of right-wing radical groups that bring violence and fear. Ukrainian authorities are often unable to prevent or stop the activities of such organizations. Right-wing groups extended their influence so much that the government lost control over them. Representatives of these groups are trying to spread their extremist ideas to supporters of various youth organizations. At the same time, the subversive activities of nationalist and extremist organizations spread even beyond Ukraine.
Unfortunately, ordinary teenagers often become victims of propaganda. For example, in May 2017, a member of a Ukrainian extremist group attempted to recruit a young girl, resident of Sochi, to commit a terrorist attack on a graduation party that was attended by many people. Fortunately, the attack was timely prevented.
Not all such incidents can be prevented in time, however. On October 17, a terrible tragedy occurred in the city of Kerch, as a result of which more than 20 people died, and about 50 more were injured. The attacker was a young man who shot everyone who came across his eyes. The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic expressed condolences over the tragedy: “It is an irreparable and heavy loss when people, especially children, die. We in Donbass, as no one else can understand and share the grief, pain and suffering of the victims’ relatives and loved ones who have faced this terrible tragedy,” she said.
It has been more than four years that Kiev authorities use genocide against Donbass citizens, killing civilians and destroying infrastructure of cities and villages. Shelling occurs every day, causing deaths of peaceful citizens of the Republic, violating their fundamental right – the right to life. We remind that 4709 people, including 81 children, died in the Donetsk People’s Republic since the beginning of the conflict.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman has been established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to ensure the state protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, to prevent all forms of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ombudsman Office is responsible for observance of the rights and freedoms. So, one can file a complaint with the Ombudsman or make an appointment for a personal reception if his\her rights have been violated.
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.
On 17 October, staff of the Legal Department and the Appeals Department of the DPR Ombudsman Office conducted an on-site reception of citizens in Amvrosyevka region. All questions asked by the applicants were followed by an exhaustive legal advice under existing legislation. As a result of the on-site visit, Ombudsman Office’s staffs gathered written appeals from citizens. 7 citizens of Amvrosyevka region asked for Ombudsman’s assistance in restoring their rights.
Since the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman received 4780 complaints. In the period of work between 13 and 19 October 2018, 4 citizens attended personal reception of the Ombudsman, 77 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 28 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 11 persons received legal counselling. 23 written appeals were approved for consideration, 10 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 22 calls were received via hotlines, 6 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 335 appeals, violations in civil law – 407 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 5 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 2374 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 570 appeals, other issues – 1089 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 19.10.2018
Violations in criminal law
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
Violations in civil law
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
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, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid – 640 appeals, temporary accommodation – 583 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 268 appeals, migration legislation issues – 394 appeals, labour legislation issues – 199 appeals, healthcare issues – 131 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 54 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 27 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 30 appeals, land use and tenure – 15 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 33 appeals. (Diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian issues, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 19.10.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
land use and tenure
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
The majority of complaints 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 19.10.2018
- Death toll, injuries 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: the right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On 12 October, as a result of shelling in the vicinity of a Troyanda community garden in Kirovskiy region of Donetsk, a civilian man born in 1957 sustained shrapnel wound to his face and the right eye, and traumatic amputation of fingers of his left hand.
On 15 October, in Novoazovsk region, five DPR servicemen sustained injuries of various severities.
On 18 October, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1987 and 1978 sustained injuries of various severities.
Within the period between 12 and 18 October 2018, 8 persons (7 DPR servicemen and one civilian man) sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side.
Within the period between 1 January and 18 October 2018, 286 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between 12 and 18 October 2018, 6 persons were killed in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, including 5 DPR servicemen and one civilian man.
Within the period between 1 January and 19 October 2018, 142 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 9 women and 133 men, including 5 underage children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4709 persons died. Among them, there are 614 women and 4095 men, including 81 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.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 19.10.2018, 278 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 88 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 190 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 19 October 2018, 453 persons are considered missing. There is a possibility that they are held in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens.
At the time of the 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 centres).
Since the beginning of the conflict 5380 referrals for accommodation in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres etc.) have been issued, 137 of them – in 2018. With the coming into force of the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, Territorial authorities in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. Social housing objects, which used to carry out activities under the patronage of the Ombudsman Office, are authorized to supervise the authorities.
Between 21 September and 10 October of this year, the DPR Ombudsman Office facilitated delivery of humanitarian aid, including food and hygiene products. In total, 2055 persons residing in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) received humanitarian relief. Among them, there were citizens affected as a result of hostilities, those who have suffered material damage as a result of hostilities, as well as people persecuted by other states for support of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The humanitarian relief has been delivered thanks to joint efforts of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
During the period of work between 13 and 19 October 2018, 28 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1398 accommodation places available for IDPs in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Since the beginning of the conflict, 7410 persons, including 1808 children under the age of eighteen have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. 75 social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) have been opened in the territory of DPR. 51 of them operate, 24 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2582 individuals live in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) of the Donetsk Administration, including 486 underage children, 4828 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1322 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
As reported by the Centre, in the period from 1 January to 19 October 2018:
- there were 43.7 thousand vacant positions registered in the Centre by employers;
- there were 38.3 thousand job-seekers registered at the Employment Centre. Among them: 29.7 thousand have been employed (20.2 of them – on permanent positions, 9.5 – temporarily).
- 311 job-seekers have undergone professional training facilitated by employment centres: 55 persons undergone training and 256 persons – retraining.
The training covered most demanded professions: electric and gas welder, plasterer, bricklayer, painter, roofer (roll-roofing and shingles), maintenance technician, automotive service technician, repair and maintenance electrician, operator of chemical treatment of water, furnace equipment inspector, boiler-house operator, stoker, seamstress, hairdresser, seller, chef.