In June 2019, 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 for civilians, the creation of a parallel legal system, violations of property rights, the involvement of minors in propaganda, and obstruction of the work of international organizations. Unfortunately, all these human rights violations have become the “norm” for the residents of the so-called “people’s republics” territories.
1. Illegal arrests, detentions and restrictions on freedom of movement
In the end of May 2019, a statement was published on the website of the so-called “Ministry of State Security of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR)” on the arrest of Sergey Dubrovin (born in 1959) who is a teacher at the “professional multidisciplinary lyceum No. 68” in the city of Kalmiuske (formerly Komsomolsk), “on suspicion of espionage for the Ukrainian security services.”
Sergey Dubrovin was detained in February 2018 by the employees of the so-called “Ministry of State Security of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” when he wanted to go to the unoccupied territory of Ukraine.
The same statement mentions that the “investigation” revealed that Sergey Dubrovin allegedly, on the instructions of the SBU, collected and transferred personal data of students and staff of the abovementioned lyceum, including those serving in the units of the so-called “People’s Militia of the DPR,” and he also distributed “postcards of pro-Ukrainian propaganda nature.”
In April 2019, the “court” convicted Sergey Dubrovin of “committing a crime under article “321 of the Criminal Code of the DPR (“Espionage”)” and sentenced him “to 10 years and six months of imprisonment to be served in a strict-regime colony.”
On June 5, 2019, it was reported on the media website, which is controlled by the Russian occupation authorities, that the so-called “Military Court of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR)” in the occupied Luhansk controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation, on June 3, 2019, found Serhii Ivanchuk, Ivan Dyeyev, Ivan Katyshev, Volodymyr Zmytrovych, Ali Lytvyn, Ruslan Donych, Vasylii Sapronov, Ivan Zotov, Mykhail Popovych, Maksym Perepelyts, Oleksandr and Volodymyr Danylchenko, Pavel Strelnykov, Anna Kapitanova, Nataliya Savchenko and Nataliya Ivanova, allegedly members of a criminal community, “guilty of murder and terrorist attacks, including the murder of the head of the LPR People’s Police Colonel Oleg Anaschenko.” They were “sentenced to prison terms between 11 years and 20 years and six months.”
On June 11, 2019, the so-called “Supreme Court of the Luhansk People’s Republic” “sentenced” Eduard Aloyan, a resident of Alchevsk, to 12 years of imprisonment for allegedly “transporting weapons and explosives to Ukrainian subversion and reconnaissance groups on the instructions of the SBU.” Also, the “court” reported that Edward Aloyan carried out passenger transportation across the contact line and that he allegedly “was recruited by officers of the SBU while crossing the entry-exit checkpoint (EECP) “Horlivka-Mayorsk.” He was allegedly given the pseudonym “Shirim.”
On June 24, 2019 on the website of the so-called “Prosecutor General’s Office of the Luhansk People’s Republic” it was reported that “Citizen S. was found guilty of committing a particularly serious crime against the foundations of the constitutional order and state security, provided for by Article 335 of the Criminal Code of the LPR; for committing high treason by issuing information that constitute a state secret to representatives of foreign intelligence organizations.” The report also states that the “court” issued a 13-year prison term to citizen S. with the confiscation of property.
2. Creation of a parallel legal system, lawyers, notaries, and courts
In the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk 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 actions of their “state bodies” and the results of their “work.” We note that these actions are not legally binding and are only aimed at demonstrating the so-called “statehood” of the “republics.”
n June 14, 2019, the “deputies” of the so-called “People’s Council of the LPR” during a plenary session completed the first and second readings and adopted the following laws: “On the repeal of Paragraph 6, Section 1 of Article 84 of the Labor Code of the Luhansk People’s Republic”; “On Amendments to the Law of the Luhansk People’s Republic ‘On the Supreme Court of the Luhansk People’s Republic’”; “On Amendments to the Law of the Luhansk People’s Republic ‘On the Status of Judges’”; the Law “On ensuring access to information on the activities of state bodies and bodies of local self-government”; the Law “On Amendments to Articles 50 of the Law of Luhansk People’s Republic ‘On Military Duty and Military Service’”; the Law “On Limited Liability Companies” and the Law “On Transboundary Concerns.”
On June 19, 2019, a media channel, which is controlled by the Russian occupation authorities, stated that the so-called “Ministry of Justice of the LPR registered 47 departmental legal and regulatory acts in May.”
3. Forced membership in “civil society” organizations and participation in “patriotic” and “social” initiatives of “LPR” and “DPR.” Involving children in propaganda
The children, adolescents and youth are being pursued to join “civil society” organizations and military-patriotic propaganda is being conducted among them in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions, controlled by the occupation administrations of the Russian Federation. The employees of government enterprises and companies, which are under the so-called “external management,” are actively pursued to become members in “civil society” organizations.
In the end of May 2019, courses of basic military training were conducted for high school students in Budyonny and Lenin districts of Donetsk, which is controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation. This was reported on the website of the “Social Movement” “Donetsk Republic.” The message also stated that basic military training courses were conducted from May 28 to May 31, 2019, for high school students in all cities and regions under the control of the illegal armed group “DPR.”
As a part of the “Bright Childhood” project, high school students are taken to military training grounds where they learn to shoot from machine guns and handle weapons. This event is organized by the “Social Movement” “Donetsk Republic.”
On June 15, 2019, the “Donetsk News Agency,” a media channel, which is under the control of the Russian occupation administration, reported that more than 120 participants of the so-called “military patriotic movement” “Young Military Guard – Yunarmiya” took part in the swearing-in ceremony, which took place on this day at the memorial complex “Your Liberators, Donbass” in the occupied Donetsk.
And on June 18, 2019, the same media channel, “Donetsk News Agency,” controlled by the Russian occupation administration, reported that “from June 12-18, the young soldiers conducted a series of meetings with young residents of Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiivka, Snizhne, Zuhres, Ilovaisk, Amvrosiivka, Novoazovsk, Torez and Novyi Svit. About 220 people participated in the meetings.” It is also reported that “25 people decided to join ‘Yunarmiya.’”
On June 20, 2019, a rally was held in Izvaryne in Sorokinsky district (formerly Krasnodonsky district) commemorating the fifth anniversary of the occupation of the Sorokinsky district by pro-Russian military formations. The event was attended by participants of the illegal forces of
the so-called “LPR,” residents of the Sorokinsky district, representatives of “government” institutions and youth “civil society organizations.” School-age children also participated in the rally.
4. Violation of property rights
In June 2019, the process of so-called “nationalization” of enterprises continued on the territories of the occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions controlled by the occupation administration of the Russian Federation. The enterprises were previously operated under the jurisdiction of Ukraine or belong to Ukrainian citizens who, since the beginning of the conflict, live in the territory controlled by Ukraine.
Thus, in June 2019, 36 announcements on the identification of abandoned property were published by the so-called “State Committee of Taxes and Duties” in the “LPR.”
It should be noted that the application deadline for owners varies depending on the value of the property from one day to 60 days from the date of the announcement. Upon the expiration of this period, the property comes under the control of the “republic.”
5. Obstruction of the work of international organizations
The June 1, 2019 report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) states that members of the illegal military formations asked them to leave the area four times. On June 4, the report stated that representatives of the OSCE SMM were denied passage. It was reported that members of the illegal military formations denied passage to representatives of OSCE SMM three times on June 15, and once on June 17.