Today, 25 November, Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR, Chairperson of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Search for Missing Persons, Burial Places of Bodies (Remains) of the Deceased (Dead) in the Areas of the Armed Conflict in Donbass Daria Morozova took part in an online conference on problems of war crimes of Ukraine in Donbass.
The event took place at the “Russia Today” international multimedia press centre. It is the most visited media platform in the Russian Federation, gathering about 24,000 media representatives a year. A speech at a press centre of this level is a unique opportunity to tell the world the truth about the events in the Republics of Donbass, which is extremely important in the context of the ongoing information blockade of the region.
The conference was also attended by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the LPR, Head of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Searching for Burial Places of Victims of Ukrainian Aggression, Their Identification and Perpetuation of Memory Anna Soroka, Head of the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination of the DPR Ministry of Health Dmitry Kalashnikov, member of the LPR Public Chamber Sergey Belov and Deputy of the DPR People’s Council DPR Yulia Mikhailova.
The name of the conference speaks for itself – “Opalennaya pamyat’ Donbassa: voyennyye prestupleniya ukrainskoy armii i novyye dannyye o massovykh ubiystvakh grazhdanskogo naseleniya.” The data reflecting the scale of the genocide of the civilian population of the DPR was announced in the speech by Daria Morozova.
Only according to official information, since 2014 in the DPR, more than 5,000 people have become victims of Kiev’s armed aggression. There are 91 children among the dead. About 8,000 more people were injured.
“Unfortunately, we understand that the actual number of victims is much higher. During the active phase of hostilities in 2014-2015, it was not possible to document the facts of death. Civilians buried the dead on their own, not even knowing their names. Under shelling, it was not always possible to drive to the cemetery. As a result, spontaneous and mass graves, unmarked graves and a long list of missing persons appeared in Donbass” the DPR Ombudsman said.
Taking into account these circumstances, in the Republic, work on the establishment of the names and destinies of the dead and disappeared people began literally from the first days of the conflict. Today this task is being solved at the state level. In order to consolidate efforts on 6 August 2021, by the order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin, a special Interdepartmental Commission was created.
In total, in the course of search works since 2014, the bodies of over 150 people have been exhumed on the territory of the Republic. According to Daria Morozova, more than 60% of those killed are citizens between the ages of 30 and 60. There are the bodies of old people, women and children among those raised.
In most cases, people were buried in civilian clothes, in which they were at the time of death. That is, we are talking about the civilian population of Donbass. All bodies showed signs of violent death and damage specific to hostilities.
On all the facts of the shelling of the AFU, as a result of which civilians were killed, the DPR General Prosecutor’s Office opened and is investigating criminal cases.
To date, about 40% of the total number of places of spontaneous and mass graves of victims of Ukrainian aggression has been uncovered and opened on the territory of the DPR. More than 350 people are still missing in connection with the conflict.
Daria Morozova also stressed that a significant number of missing persons were recorded in the territory temporarily controlled by the state of Ukraine. And the work on establishment of the fate of the disappeared people should be carried out on both sides of the contact line. However, official Kiev stubbornly refuses joint search work. Since 2015, within the framework of the Minsk platform, Ukraine has been blocking all humanitarian initiatives of the DPR in this direction. Moreover, the Kiev negotiators are sabotaging even the issue of transferring the already identified remains. This position of Kiev in Donetsk and Luhansk is regarded as an attempt to hide evidence of war crimes of the AFU in Donbass.
“In turn, the Republics of Donbass, on the contrary, are stepping up their search work. And I assure you that we will not stop until the fate of each person from the list of victims of the conflict is known” the DPR Ombudsman emphasized.
During the event, representatives of the LPR spoke about the consequences of Ukraine’s armed aggression on their territory, and Dmitry Kalashnikov announced the results of work on identifying the remains of those killed in the Republics. The participants discussed the prospects for transferring the collected materials to international courts and answered questions from media representatives.
Also during the conference, a new website “Tragediya Donbassa” was presented. The resource accumulates photo and video evidence of the crimes of the AFU and will allow broadcasting the truth about the consequences of the genocide in Donbass, covering the widest possible audience. The site is available through the link – https://donbasstragedy.info.
“Today we are creating conditions in which the international community can no longer ignore the tragedy of Donbass. Let me remind you that war crimes have no statute of limitations. The trial will inevitably come to pass” summed up Daria Morozova.