In September 2019, new facts of human rights violations were discovered in the occupied Lugansk and Donetsk regions associated with the administration of the Russian Federation: illegal detention and restrictions of freedom of movement of civilians, creation of a parallel legal system, violation of property rights, and involvement of minors in propaganda. All these violations of human rights have become the «norm» for residents of the territories of the so-called «people’s republics».

1. Illegal arrests, detentions and restrictions on freedom of movement

A resident of Donetsk region was sentenced to 17 years in prison by a decision of an illegal so-called «DPR Court of Appeal». This was reported on September 5, 2019 by «Donbass News» with reference to its sources in the «DPR» group.

On September 6, 2019, employees of the so-called «MGB LPR» «identified a resident of the village of Novosvetlovka with mental illness, recruited by the command of the Ukrainian nationalist battalion» Aidar «for sabotage in the republic». This is reported by the so-called «LPR media».

«Resident of the front-line Gorlovka Polikarpov was sentenced to 15 years in prison for espionage in favour of the Security Service of Ukraine». This was announced on September 9, 2019 by the so-called «DPR media».

Vadim Dreev accuses the so-called MND LNR of involvement in «four high-profile acts of terrorism». Among these «acts of terrorism» is the undermining of the pillar of the Victory Star monument and the signs of dead fighters in battles against Ukrainian troops. This was announced on September 16, 2019 on the site «MGB LNR».

Also on the website there was a video with the so-called «investigative experiment», where Vadim Dreev, handcuffed to an employee of the «MGB LPR», talks about how he brought packages of explosives.

The media controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation pay special attention to the fact that Vadim Dreev is registered in a neuropsychiatric dispensary. A psychiatrist Oleg Volman was involved in the video making, and commented on the condition of Dreev.

On September, this is the second message about «the recruitment by Ukrainian special services of people with psychological pathologies». The new «direction» of propaganda was picked up by the media, controlled by the occupation authorities of the Russian Federation, as well as some Russian media.

We wrote about the disappearance of Vadim Dreev in the May review. Since then, there was no information about him.

On the same day, the «Eastern Human Rights Group» on its Facebook page announced that Sergei Rusinov’s relatives had not been able to contact him for a week. The same message published the verdict of the so-called «LPR court» and the man’s photo.

We wrote about Sergey Rusinov in the August review of human rights violations in the occupied regions of Lugansk and Donetsk regions.

The so-called «Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of the DPR» sentenced the accused A. A. Malyukh. The man was «found guilty of committing a crime on the grounds of the article 320 of the DPR Criminal Code (treason) and sentenced to 17 years in prison with serving a sentence in a maximum security penal colony». This was announced on September 19, 2019 by the media, which is controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation, «Donetsk News Agency».

Four young people were detained in Donetsk: two men and two girls. Young people walked nearby the Donbass Arena and decided to look at the bust of the former head of the so-called «DPR» Alexander Zakharchenko. The youth had a dispute: what the monument was made of, and one of the young people tried to jump at the monument. After that, unidentified people took a young man in a car with handcuffs and a bag on his head. During interrogation, young people were morally bullied, intimidated, and threatened with expulsion from the university.

All four were forced to write personal data and provide contacts of the closest social circle. Then they released three, and the man who jumped at the monument was kept for 15 days. He was told that he would go to trial. At first they said that they would bring clothes and utensils to him, and when his parents arrived with things, they would not let them see their son.

This case was reported on September 20, 2019 in the social media network «Telegram».

The «LNR Court» sentenced Yuri Merzly to 12 years in prison «for committing high treason in the form of espionage». This was announced on September 24, 2019 by the so-called «MGB of the LPR».

The same report said that «during the investigation it was established that Merzly, being in Ukraine, was recruited by the SBU joint operational group with a deployment in Lysychansk as an agent for conducting intelligence activities in the Republic». And also that Yuri Merzly «with the aim of harming the security of the Lugansk People’s Republic, the Ukrainian intelligence service developed an operational plan to misinform the state security organs».

On the same day, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) reported in its report that on September 20, 2019, the Russian police transported two civilians beyond an uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border.

«On September 20 at 12:02 the mission observers noticed at the Donetsk checkpoint the minibus of the Russian police traveling to the check point from the Russian Federation and stood in a check zone.

Two policemen got out of the car towards the main building and returned with two civilians. At 12:19 a minibus left the checkpoint to the Russian Federation with two police officers and two civilians on board».

Donetsk resident Alexander Timofeev was convicted by the so-called «Supreme Court of the DPR» for 14 years in prison for «committing a crime under Art. 321 of the Criminal Code of the DPR (espionage)». This was announced on September 25, 2019 by the so-called «General Prosecutor’s Office of the DPR».

The convict allegedly, while fulfilling the task of the SBU, photographed the places of deployment of military units and the movement of military equipment of the «people’s militia» employees and handed the photographs over to Ukrainian intelligence.

A year ago, a resident of Pervomaisk, Elena Sorokina, disappeared. In Pervomaisk, Elena was a private entrepreneur, she had her own pet store. The woman had practically no relatives. On October 30, 2018, Elena did not pick up the phone in the evening and did not log in, as usual, on the social network. The next day, friends and godmother began to search for Elena, but the search did not lead to anything.

A month later, handcuffed Elena was brought by people in uniform, first to the godmother, and then home, which was searched. Friends of Elena, with the help of a UN human rights mission, sent a request to the so-called «LNR prosecutor’s office». In December, an answer came with an unclear wording that the woman was detained on «suspicion of committing a crime». Nothing more is known about Elena’s fate. About this on its website reports Radio Liberty.

2. Creation of a parallel legal system, advocacy, notaries, courts

In the occupied Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the occupation administrations of the Russian Federation and the media controlled by them continue to inform local residents and the world community about the activities of their «state bodies». To be noted that this activity has no legal force and is aimed only at demonstrating the so-called «statehood» in the «republics».

The so-called «LPR government» adopted a resolution on September 19, 2019 «on approving the procedure for applying the periodic customs declaration».

On September 20, 2019, the «deputies» of the so-called «People’s Council of the LPR» during the plenary session considered the first and second readings and adopted the law «On Amending Article 30 of the Labour Code of the Lugansk People’s Republic». The Law «On Amending Article 2 of the Law of the Luhansk People’s Republic «On the Prohibition of Privatization». The law «On ensuring the peace and quiet of citizens in the territory of the Luhansk People’s Republic». As well as the law «On Amendments to Articles 54 and 83 of the Criminal Code of the Luhansk People’s Republic».

3. Coercion to membership in «public» organizations and participation in «patriotic» and «social» actions of the «LPR» and «DPR». Involving children in propaganda.

In the occupied Donetsk and Lugansk regions, controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation, under the guise of «military-patriotic education», anti-Ukrainian propaganda is being carried out among children, adolescents and youth with their involvement in membership in «public» organizations. Employees of state-financed enterprises that have introduced the so-called «external management» do not have the opportunity to refuse to participate in the activities of public organizations, «because they risk being subjected to serious pressure and harassment. These actions of representatives of the occupation administrations qualify as a violation of «freedom of association».

In Mikhailovka in the Perevalsky district, with the support of the so-called «social movement» «Peace of the Luhansk Region», on September 2, 2019, a monument was opened to the dead militants in the battles in the Donbass against the Ukrainian troops. At the opening of the «monument» was attended by local residents, as well as school children.

On September 5, 2019, in the village of Dyakovo, Antratsitovsky District, «Live in the Memory of Generations» campaign was held, dedicated to the so-called «Day of the Unknown Soldier – Defender of the LPR». The action was attended by representatives of the administration of Antratsit and Antratsitovsky district, village council, members of the so-called social movement «Peace of the Luhansk region», the Cossacks, schoolchildren, residents of Dyakovo.

A similar «action» took place in Bryanka and South Lomovatka. Members of the Bryankovsky territorial branch of the Young Guard project of the Mir Lugansk Social Movement and students of the Bryankovsky Secondary School No. 1 laid flowers at the monument to the Unknown Soldier.

On September 8, 2019, an event dedicated to Tanker Day was held in the Khryaschevatoye village of the Krasnodonsky district near the damaged NZF tank. The event was attended by members of «public associations», veterans of the NZF «LNR», as well as residents of Lugansk and Krasnodonsky district.

The participants of the «Military Patriotic Club» «Youth of New Russia» put up an honour guard. Those present honoured the memory of the dead tankers with a minute of silence and laid flowers at the burnt tank.

In Stakhanov, on September 19, 2019, a solemn ceremony of consecration of one hundred students of Stakhanov’s educational institutions to the ranks of the republican «military-patriotic social movement» «Young Army – Yunarmia» was held.

The idea of creating «Young Army» in the self-proclaimed republics of the LPR / DPR was adopted from Russia. There, it was created on the initiative of the Ministry of Defence in 2016, as an all-Russian military-patriotic social movement for children and youth.

Russian «Young Army» take care of the monuments to Soviet soldiers, visit veterans of the Great Patriotic War, and also undergo basic military training, children learn hand-to-hand combat, learn to shoot and navigate the terrain.

4. Violation of property rights

In September 2019, in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions under the control of the occupation administration of the Russian Federation, the process of the so-called «nationalization» of enterprises that previously operated under the jurisdiction of Ukraine or belong to citizens of Ukraine who have been living in the territory controlled by Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict, has continued. In our opinion, the facts listed below should be qualified as violations of property rights. It should be noted that these violations are systemic and massive in the occupied regions of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. 

The so-called «DNR State Property Fund» in September 2019 announced 4 (four) abandoned real estate objects that it intends to lease. In «LNR» in September 2019, the so-called «State Committee on Taxes and Fees» posted 38 announcements about the discovery of various abandoned properties.

Among the property declared as ownerless are properties of legal entities: a bank building, passenger and freight cars, a transformer substation, a pigsty, ATMs, containers, mobile communication equipment, ferroalloy products, silica fume. Personal items: cars, office equipment, furniture, household appliances, coal, clothes, shoes, cigarette blocks. It should be noted that claims from owners are accepted within 1 to 60 days from the date of the announcement. After this period, the items come under the control of the «LPR».

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