The introduction of martial law in ten regions of Ukraine was another step towards infringement of the rights and freedoms of the population, in particular, the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the country. The armed conflict in the territory of Donbass, which has lasted since 2014, claimed the lives of thousands of people and caused large-scale destruction. However, it was not seen by high officials of Ukraine as a reason to impose martial law. Only the incident in the Kerch Strait area, which occurred on November 25 of this year, was considered enough reason due to a change in the political situation, namely the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine.
Taking advantage of the provocation as a pretext, the Law of Ukraine No. 9338 was signed on November 28, which enabled the Presidential Decree “On Introduction of Martial Law in Ukraine”. Martial law was established from 14:00 on November 26 to 14:00 on December 26, 2018, in Vinnitsa, Lugansk, Nikolaev, Sumy, Odessa, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions, as well as in the internal waters of the Azov-Kerch water area.
This decree is another encroachment on the rights and freedoms of man and citizen by Kiev authorities. First of all, it limits freedom of speech, opinion and peaceful assembly. The introduction of martial law gave wide powers to law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, while restricting freedom of movement and the right to choose the place of residence, legalizing detentions and searches, forcible alienation of private property and enterprises, censorship in the media and control of communication enterprises, banned rallies and demonstrations, as well as the activities of public organizations and associations that can be considered as undermining sovereignty.
The conflict in the Kerch Strait was the pretext, not the reason to introduce martial law. Kiev authorities were prepared for further developments, as evidenced by the orchestrated-like nature of the provocation. A few days before the aforesaid events, the Verkhovna Rada adopted on first reading a bill incorporating the EU and NATO membership policy in the Constitution, and the State Budget for 2019 (voted on November 23), which was required by the IMF as a condition for another tranche. All these changes could not be performed in martial law.
In his speech on November 28, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin also emphasized that this little incident in the Black Sea has led to the introduction of martial law in the country. “This was done on the eve of the elections. The actions of the Ukrainian side were obviously an orchestrated provocation, designed to create a pretext to impose martial law in the country. This is a dirty game within the country in order to suppress its political opponents,” said the President of the Russian Federation.
All this time, the war served as a cover for the Poroshenko regime, for combating dissent and interference in the religious life of citizens, infringements on the rights of national minorities and building a nationalist dictatorship. Now it has become a cover for the main idea – to retain power – including through manipulations with martial law.
The Council of the Russian Federation considers the introduction of martial law as an infringement of the rights of Russian-speaking citizens in the east of Ukraine.
Human rights and freedoms are the highest value of any society and any democratic state. Recognition, observance and protection of the rights and freedoms of person and citizen are the responsibility of the Donetsk People’s Republic, its state bodies and officials.
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.
Since the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman received 5676 complaints. In the period of work between 24 and 30 November 2018, 28 citizens attended personal reception of the Ombudsman, 44 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 14 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 9 persons received legal counselling. 20 written appeals were approved for consideration, 13 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 36 calls were received via hotlines, 12 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 375 appeals, violations in civil law – 483 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 7 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 2903 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 644 appeals, other issues – 1264 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 30.11.2018
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 – 853 appeals, temporary accommodation – 614 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 374 appeals, migration legislation issues – 478 appeals, labour legislation issues – 242 appeals, healthcare issues – 160 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 60 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 32 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 32 appeals, land use and tenure – 21 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 37 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 30.11.2018
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 30.11.2018
- 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.
On 25 November, as a result of sniping fire in Krasniy Partisan, Yasinovataya region, a civilian man born in 1973 sustained a bullet wound to the left thigh.
Within the period between 23 and 29 November 2018, 1 civilian man sustained injuries as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 1 January and 29 November 2018, 304 persons died in the territory of the DPR as a result of hostilities.
Within the period between 23 and 29 November 2018, two DPR servicemen were killed in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between 1 January and 29 November 2018, 154 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 9 women and 145 men, including 5 underage children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4721 persons died. Among them, there are 614 women and 4107 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 hasn’t received any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 30.11.2018, 274 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 86 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. 2 persons have been released as they have served their sentence.
– 188 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are pending clarification by the Ukrainian side. 2 persons have been released as they have served their sentence.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received three appeals on missing persons. Men born in 1971, 1980 and 1972 went missing as a result of the armed conflict.
As of 30 November 2018, 455 persons are considered missing. They might be held in Ukrainian captivity.
- 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 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.
During the period of work between 24 and 30 November 2018, 14 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1373 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens affected by hostilities. Since the beginning of the conflict, 7281 persons, including 1792 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, 2478 individuals live in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) of the Donetsk Administration, including 465 underage children, 4803 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1327 children under eighteen.
- Employment situation in the DPR
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 30 November 2018:
- there were 48.1 thousand vacant positions registered in the Centre by employers;
- there were 41.9 thousand job-seekers registered at the Employment Centre. Among them: 33.6 thousand have been employed (23.7 of them – on permanent positions, 9.9 – temporarily).
- 348 job-seekers have undergone professional training facilitated by employment centres: 61 persons undergone training and 287 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.