On August 23, European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes is observed. The Remembrance Day was introduced in the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, signed on June 3, 2008 by Vaclav Havel and many members of the European Parliament.
On September 23, 2008, 409 members of the European Parliament signed a declaration supporting the establishment of the Remembrance Day. It refers to “mass deportations, killings and acts of enslavement committed during the aggression by totalitarian regimes falling into the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the international law, the statutory limitations do not apply to war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
On 17 July 1998, the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of the International Criminal Court adopted the Rome Statute of the ICC, which clarified and expanded the category “crimes against humanity”. Article 7 of the Statute provides the following definition:
- Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
- Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
- Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
- Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
- Enforced disappearance of persons;
- The crime of apartheid;
- Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Crimes against humanity are recognized as such when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.
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 4116 appeals. In the period of work between 19 and 25 August 2017, 15 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 38 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 37 calls were made via hotlines. 37 applications were received via e-mail, 9 written appeals were taken into consideration, 5 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 6 persons have been given legal assistance.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 237 appeals, violations in civil law– 443 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3434 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 25.08.2017
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 – 484 appeals, temporary accommodation – 411 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 82 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 165 appeals, employment – 147 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 153 appeals, loss of IDs – 297 appeals, housing issues – 191 appeals, temporary residence permit – 194 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1299 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 25.08.2017
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 25.08.2017
- 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 24, 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 18 as a result of shelling against Gorlovka and surrounding settlements a civilian man born in 1956 sustained shrapnel wound of the left foot and barotrauma. A civilian woman born in 1986 sustained shrapnel wound of the chest, shoulder, mine-blast trauma penetrating into abdominal.
On August 20 as a result of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine against residential areas in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, an employee of the Ministry for Emergency Situations died in the line of duty. Another two emergency response workers born in 1987 and 1971 were injured. The incident occured while the rescuers were putting the fire out in Zeleniy Gai st.
As a result of provocative fire of the Ukrainian forces in Staromikhailovka village of Kirovskiy district of Donetsk a civilian man born in 1972 sustained infected wound and compound fracture of the right forearm and thigh with foreign bodies.
On August 21 as a result of shelling in Yasinovataya, a civilian woman born in 1948 sustained gunshot wound while being at home. A DPR serviceman born in 1957 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple blunt non-penetrating wounds to the left shoulder joint.
On August 24 as a result of hostilities in Molochniy village, near Gorlovka, a DPR serviceman of 49 years old sustained gunshot penetrating wound of the upper third of the thighs.
As a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces against Lukovo village, Telmanovo region, a civilian woman born in 1973 sustained shrapnel wound of the supraclavicular region.
Within the period between 18 and 24 August, 2017, 9 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine. Among them there were 2 DPR servicemen, 3 civilian women, 4 civilian men.
Within the period between January 1 and August 24, 2017, 486 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 291 DPR servicemen and 195 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 18 and 24 August, 2017, 3 persons died. Among them there were 2 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian man. On 20 August an employee of the Ministry of Emergency Situations born in 1969 died as a result of shelling in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk while performing his duty.
Within the period between January 1 and August 24, 2017, 215 persons, including 189 servicemen and 26 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including an underage child.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4504 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3899 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 International humanitarian law, prisoners-of-war must be treated humanely at all times. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited and will be regarded as a serious breach to the Convention relative to the Protection of Prisoners of War. No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against them in particular to obtain information. Those who refuse to answer questions cannot be threatened, subjected to insults or any harassment or restriction.
In relation to prisoners of war, discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, political beliefs, violence, intimidation, and any insults are prohibited. The use of reprisals against them is prohibited.
Prisoners of war have the right to respect for their personality and honor. Women should be treated with due respect, and they must not be treated worse than the men.
The DPR Ombudsman is responsible for supervising the observance of human rights and international law with respect to civilians and prisoners of war.
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, 499 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 231 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 266 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;
– 2 persons for whom the requests were made to the Ukrainian side for the first time. During the week it was reported that one of the three persons requested earlier are at large.
As of 18 August 2017, 509 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
The Pension Fund of Ukraine seeks to find ways and reasons to suspend or cancel social payments. Every day there are more and more decrees that discriminate against displaced persons on a territorial basis.
Restrictions apply, among other things, to citizens who moved to the territory controlled by Ukrainian government in 2014. The authorities do not take into account the fact that many of these people have registered in a new place and have their own housing. The very fact that a person has moved from Donbass causes a “special attitude” of civil servants in the procedure of issuing documents and entails many obstacles. Again and again, Ukraine reminds people that they are not equal to other citizens, and they must constantly prove something, be it their residence or even their identity. Apparently, having Ukrainian passport is not enough to be a citizen of the country.
The staff of human rights organizations have repeatedly stressed that pension payments must be effected regardless of the status of displaced person.
Being convinced that Ukrainian officials are not concerned with the plight of displaced persons residents of the territory controlled by Ukrainian government have to hire lawyers and approach human rights defenders to defend their rights. Often they approach the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic. In turn, the staff of the Office provide counseling to all who need it, regardless of the place of registration.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1265 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 256 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5193 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 299 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 19 and 25 August, 2017, 11 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 1276 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1276 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 400 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7825 persons, including 2015 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, 2898 individuals live in the centres, including 576 underage children, 4927 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1439 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Nowadays there are many existing professions. There are difficult and easy professions, and there are, frankly, quite dangerous and extreme ones. This is precisely the profession of a miner.
Back in Soviet times, a network of scientific institutions was established in Donetsk. They were engaged in the development of coal deposits and ensured safety under the ground. Many Donbass residents have strong ties with the coal industry.
The profession of a miner is a selfless labor that requires self-control and a stable psyche. Working in a mine is a daily challenge, which not everyone can face. After all, daily work under the ground in a sealed environment is not easy. Among other things, an extreme situation can occur in the mine at any time, causing risk to health and life. And the outcome of an incident depends on the extent a person is organized and cautious in an emergency or any critical situation.
Miners provide raw materials for all industries and bring warmth to our motherland. The profession of a miner is extremely important for economic development of the Republic. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Coal and Energy is preparing and putting into production new faces as part of the framework of the Program for Development of the Coal Industry in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The implementation of this program is the basis for energy security of Donbass. Thus, we can say that the coal industry of our region is developing, despite the wartime. Due to development of the coal mining industry, employment rate in the Republic is increasing, as well as the well-being of our citizens.
According to their data, 26.1 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 25.08.2017. As of August 25, 2017, there were 36.7 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 30.4 thousand have been employed (15 of them – on permanent positions, 15.4 – 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, 282 persons participated in those workshops.