Annual Report on the Events in the “People’s Republics” of Eastern Ukraine 2016

Nikolaus von Twickel

An important key to understanding the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine lies in the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics”. How do the “authorities” function and what rules the politics in these regions? Who determines the political process and what objectives are pursued? What determines the daily life of their inhabitants? Are the fundamental rights in the “People’s Republics” protected? Since access to the “People’s Republics” for independent journalists and international observers is blocked, investigative research, appraisal of internet sites and social networks and academic analyses are of paramount importance. With the aim of contributing to a greater transparency regarding the developments in eastern Ukraine, the project “European Support for Civic Monitoring in Eastern Ukraine” presents the following analysis of journalist Nikolaus von Twickel.

EThe report presented here have been produced as part of the project "European Support for the Effective Monitoring of Human Rights in Eastern Ukraine" conducted by the German-Russian Exchange (DRA e.V.) with support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. In the second part of 2016, a weekly digest of developments in the DPL and LPR was carried out, dedicated to tracking the development of the situation in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by separatists (SADLR). The report presents a summary of the development and covers the whole year 2016. The main aim of the project ‘European Support for the Effective Monitoring of Human Rights in Eastern Ukraine’ is the systematic and consistent documentation of the civilian population’s situation and of violations of human and humanitarian rights in eastern Ukraine. An important part of the project is the creation of a network of European human rights organisations participating in the undertaking of international monitoring, which should enable detailed and unbiased spreading of information to a wide public about the situation surrounding the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The work on the project is founded on the conviction that the documentation of the on-the-ground reality and violations of human rights should lead to the cessation of violence and serve as a signal to the violators of these human rights that they cannot rely on impunity. The European monitoring of human rights violations in eastern Ukraine is a contribution to the peace process and the possibility of reconciliation in the future. The project is implemented by the following non-governmental organisations: in Ukraine by Vostok-SOS, Eastern Ukrainian Centre for Civil Initiatives, Luhansk Regional Human Rights Centre "Alternativa", in Poland by Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and in Germany by DRA e.V. The report and other information regarding the situation of civilians and human rights in eastern Ukraine are available online at Civicmonitoring