The military actions unleashed by Kiev in the territory of Donbass, bring trouble and destruction to peaceful cities. The Ukrainian side uses indiscriminate and/or explosive, wide-area impact weapons against densely populated areas, as well as against vital civil infrastructure objects. This is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, namely of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and the obligation to take all possible measures to avoid civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects.
Civilians are not only in danger during artillery shelling. To date, one of the main issues of concern in the territory of Donbass is a big number of mines and trip wires. The number of civilian victims due to explosive remnants of war is even bigger than due to artillery shelling.
In order to protect civilians, humanitarian demining is carried out in the Donetsk People’s Republic – explosive objects are being removed from the territory of the DPR. The purpose of mine action is to reduce mine risk to a level where people can live safely; at which economic, social and physiological development can be carried out unhindered, without being influenced by restrictions caused by the danger of landmines.
Unfortunately, the echo of the war will be heard for many years after the end of the military conflict. As reported by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Donetsk People’s Republic, as a result of analysis and monitoring of the situation it has been established that demining of the DPR territory will take at least 10 years.
Even 73 years after the Great Patriotic War, sappers find ordnance of those times. There are much less such cases as compared to the number of modern explosive remnants, but they still threaten citizen’s lives.
The longer the war in Donbass will last, the more time will be needed to demine the territory. Mine action in Donbass must be carried out without delay. Therefore, Ukraine must fully observe ceasefire and Minsk agreements.
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 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 the beginning of 2018 the Ombudsman received 1758 appeals. In the period of work between 31 March and 6 April 2018, 8 citizens visited the Ombudsman in person, 54 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 17 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 11 persons received legal counselling. 21 written appeals were approved for consideration, 7 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 24 calls were received via hotlines, 24 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 106 appeals, violations in civil law– 138 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 835 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 249 appeals, other issues – 430 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 06.04.2018
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 – 210 appeals, temporary accommodation – 284 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 58 appeals, migration legislation issues – 126 appeals, labour legislation issues – 57 appeals, healthcare issues – 50 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 21 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 7 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 12 appeals, land use and tenure – 1 appeal, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 9 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 06.04.2018
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 06.04.2018
- 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.
March 30, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1979 sustained penetrating wound to the chest.
April 3, as a result of a landmine explosion in the field in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, a man of 46 years old sustained a wound of the right tibia.
As a result of hostilities in Debaltsevo, 5 DPR servicemen sustained shrapnel wounds.
Within the period between 30 March and 5 April 2018, 7 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side. Among them, there are 6 DPR servicemen and one civilian.
Within the period between January 1 and April 5, 2018, 54 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 43 DPR servicemen, 7 civilian men and 4 civilian women.
Within the period between 30 March and 5 April, 2018 – 1 DPR serviceman died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and April 5, 2018, 33 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 31 DPR servicemen and 2 civilians.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4600 persons died. Among them, there are 606 women and 3994 men, including 76 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
«During the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk on 04.04.2018, it was impossible to come to an agreement on the main issues on the agenda. The exchange of detainees issue has not been discussed properly, since the Kiev delegates officially stated that the Ukrainian leadership had had no agreed position on this issue.
Again, the stance of the Ukrainian side regarding the procedural status of persons released from Ukrainian captivity on 27.12.17 was not provided either in writing or orally. In my opinion, they delay it intentionally, because those documents would clearly show us that the released persons have not been cleared of charges at the time of the exchange, as well as until now. Consequently, procedural clearing, which was one of the conditions for the exchange, has not been carried out. In addition, those people have not received their identity documents back. Kiev ignores this issue,» – said Daria Morozova following Minsk meeting.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received one appeal on arrest. March 2018, a man born in 1979 was detained near the contact line. Currently, he is being held in Artyomovsk.
Based on the updated figures as of 06.04.2018, 288 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 80 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. It has been reported on a judgment of acquittal and release of one person.
– 208 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 6 April 2018, 452 persons are considered missing. There is a possibility that they are held in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
At the time of the armed conflict, civilian population living in the zone of fighting and near the contact line is often affected. With the view to protect human right to life and security of the person, and to provide assistance to victims as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it.
1226 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation centres of the Office, including 228 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5371 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 128 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staff 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 31 March and 6 April 2018, 21 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. Referrals for temporary accommodation were given to 6 of them: 2 persons accommodated in Donetsk, 3 persons – in Makeyevka, 1person – in Khartsysk. There are currently 1192 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1192 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 284 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7578 persons, including 1893 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary accommodation centres have been established within the territory of DPR, including the one in Sedovo that was put into operation this week. 55 of these TACs operate, 8 of them are held in reserve. The Ombudsman Office is in charge of 11 TACs.
Currently, 1500 individuals live in the centres, including 284 underage children, 4852 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1381 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 17.3 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 6.04.2018. As of April 6, 2018, there were 18.2 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 12.1 thousand have been employed (5.2 of them – on permanent positions, 6.9 – 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. 59 persons participated in such seminars.