In January 2020, new human rights violations were detected in the occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation. These include illegal detentions and restrictions on the freedom of movement of civilians, creation of a parallel legal system, violations of property rights. We have to note that all of these human rights violations have unfortunately become the «norm» for the residents of the so-called «people’s republics».

Illegal arrests, detentions and restrictions on freedom of movement

  • The so-called «LPR Supreme Court» sentenced a resident of Golubovka (former Kirovsk) to 12 years in prison for «high treason». The report claims that the man assisted «in discrediting the elections of the Head of the Luhansk People’s Republic and deputies of the People’s Council of the LPR by taking photos and recording videos of people organizing and conducting the elections in order to identify them».
  • A resident of Lutugino was sentenced to 8 years and 6 months in prison by the so-called «Lutuginsky district court of the LPR». The report states that allegedly «on July 31, 2014, the defendant, ignored the Constitution of the LPR, as well as other valid legal acts in the LPR, by voluntarily taking part in an illegal armed formation (hereinafter referred to as IAF) self-defense unit of Lutogino, which is not authorized by the law. This IAF cooperated with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and their actions were aiming at the deprivation of liberty of persons supporting the interests of the LPR. As a part of his duties within the IAF, the defendant was carrying firearms and ammunition for the IAF from August 14 to 23, 2014, and also from August 18 to 24, 2014. In accordance with the established duty schedule, he also guarded two citizens illegally deprived of their liberty in the changing room of the Sports School of Lutugino».
  • On January 18, 2020, a message on disappearance of Marina Nedodaeva, a mother of many children, was shared on Facebook. On January 16, the woman was supposed to come beyond the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government to the Village of Luhansk, but she has not been in touch since then. On January 27, on the website of the so-called «MGB LPR» there was a message about the detention of Marina Nedodaeva and her accusation of «espionage» in favor of Ukraine and «treason».
    The report also says that Marina allegedly collected information about the employees of the so-called «people’s militia» and «conducted propaganda work among the LPR servicemen with the aim of convincing them to join the enemy site of the conflict by using the SBU program «They are waiting for you at home». According to information from an anonymous source the woman was released on January 29, 2020.
Photo from open source
  • The rector of the Donbass Law Academy, Sergei Goncharov, was detained and accused of organizing contract killings of the directors of the so-called «Ministry of Education of the DPR». This was reported on January 22, 2020 by «News of Donbass».
  • «The Donbass Law Academy» was opened in occupied Donetsk in 2015. It was established as an institution for the preparation of the «personnel reserves of the republic». The «Academy» was patronized by the former head of the so-called «DPR» Alexander Zakharchenko and «Deputy Prime Minister» Alexander Timofeev.
  • On January 21, 2020, the Donetsk blogger Senya Anatoly Varm announced on Facebook the detention of a blogger and member of the so-called «public chamber of the DPR» Alexander Bolotin.
  • Earlier, Alexander Bolotin published several messages on social networks, in which he reported that there was no food for pupils in Makeevka schools. He blamed the «mayor» of the occupied Makeevka Sergey Goloshchapov for the problem. After that, the blogger recorded a video message to the «head of the DPR» Denis Pushilin, in which he called for the dismissal of the chairman of the «Public Chamber» Alexander Kofman. Morover, Alexander Bolotin had a conflict with representatives of the «Ministry of Information of the DPR», who claim that there are no problems with food in Makeevka schools. On the day before his detention, Bolotin informed about threats from the workers of the «Mininform DPR». This incident was reported by the Donbass News.
  • On January 23, 2020 a resident of Donetsk «P» «was sentenced to five years in prison for espionage in favor of the Security Service of Ukraine». The report also says that the man transported private passengers through a checkpoint between the occupied territories of the so-called «DPR» and the territories controlled by the Ukrainian government, and that he also delivered parcels to the territory of the so-called «DPR».
    He was allegedly «recruited in November 2016 by an employee of the SBU. Based on his instructions, the accused carried out terrorist activities in the territory of the DPR from the indicated period until October 2018».
  • At the end of December, a businessman from Dnieper was detained while crossing the demarcation line and kept in captivity for two weeks by employees of the so-called «MGB DPR.» A man went to visit his elderly parents in Donetsk. This was reported by the press center of the Security Service of Ukraine. The report also says that the man was accused of activities that «are causing damage to the DPR,» in particular, working for the Ukrainian intelligence agencies.
    After being charged, the militants illegally detained the man in the basement for two weeks. They applied psychological and physical coercion, and deprived him of the opportunity to eat normally.
    Representatives of the so-called «MGB DPR» forced him to cooperate by threatening him to repress his relatives. Namely, they forced him to collect and transmit information about patriotic organizations with which the businessman was in touch. They also confiscated his money and car.

Creation of a parallel legal system, bar, notaries, and courts

In the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the Russia-backed occupation administrations and the media under their control continue to inform local residents and the world about the activities of their «state bodies.» We note that these activities have no legal effect and are aimed only at demonstrating the so-called «statehood» in the «republics.»

Violation of property rights

In January 2020, the process of so-called «nationalization» of enterprises that previously operated under Ukrainian jurisdiction or belonged to Ukrainian citizens residing since the beginning of the conflict in the Ukrainian-controlled territories continued in Luhansk and Donetsk regions under the control of the occupation administration of the Russian Federation. In our opinion, the following facts should be qualified as violations of property rights. It should be noted that these violations are systematic and widespread in the occupied regions of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.

Among the property declared ownerless:

  1. Property of legal entities: administrative buildings, non-residential buildings, basements, warehouses, garages, railway equipment: isothermal wagons, railway weighbridges, freight cars, passenger train cars, ferrosilicon manganese, silica fume, gantry crane, trucks, water wells, hydro jets, boilers, safes, office furniture.
  2. Property of individuals: gas boiler, diesel generators, barley, tobacco products. 

It should be noted that claims from owners are accepted within 1 to 60 days from the date of publication of the announcement. At the end of this period, the property is transferred to the control of «LPR».

A review of human rights violations in the temporarily occupied parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions is carried out with the aim of preserving democratic rights and freedoms on the territory of Ukraine.

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