Poroshenko would like to carry out the implementation of the Minsk Agreement 2015. During the conflict in Donbas, more than 1.7 million children were affected. UN has recorded cases of execution of civilians on the uncontrolled territories. Key events in our weekly review.
Decentralization and the special status of Donbas
Last week Petro Poroshenko stated that he would not speed up the process of modifications to the Constitution in the second reading, because he wants to explain the essence of the reform to Ukrainians. He stressed that people should be sure that “decentralization makes power closer to people, transfers considerable financial resources to territorial communities.” In addition, the President claimed that majority of the articles of the law on the peculiarities of local self-management of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not operating. Moreover, last week Poroshenko noted that the implementation of the Minsk Agreement should be completed in 2015 and can not be extended.
On Donbas territories under Ukrainian control
This week it became known that residents of Luhansk region had paid more than 2 million of the transport tax into the state budget. In addition, there is insufficient situation in the context of employment of the population. Thus, according to the employment center, by September 1, 6087 of unemployed were employed (21.41% of the total amount of unemployed). Nowadays, there is 8159 of registered unemployed in the region.
There is a complicated situation on the controlled part of Luhansk region in the context of fuel reserves. At least, it was announced by Oleksandr Golub – Deputy Chairman of the Luhansk regional military and civil administration.
Meanwhile, victims of Slavyansk hostilities received money for repair of housing. City Executive Committee endorsed the allocation of UAH 400 thousand for the provision of disposable assistance to residents of Slavyansk in case of destroyed housing due to the hostilities.
On uncontrolled territories of Donbas
Last week, cease-fire was followed by both the parties (for the first time in a long time). According to ATO press center, since Monday there was no shot along the demarcation line.
At the same time, about 1.7 million children were affected (directly or indirectly) during the whole period of the conflict. Such statistics was stated by Giovanna Barberis – UNICEF representative in Ukraine. She also noted that the level of psychological trauma and stress, which was experienced by children, is enormous. According to the UN, humanitarian situation itself has significantly deteriorated during the last year of armed conflict in Donbas. According to the it, retirees and plethora IDPs were surviving through their own savings. However, at the moment, their financial reserves are almost dried up.
Nevertheless, there is an economic confrontation in the region. Thus, last week DNR blocked the coal supply in Ukraine. The representatives of the unrecognized republic justified such decision by the blockade of supplies of fuel and lubricants for locomotives and fuel from Kiev. That is why only one third of locomotive economy is operating in DNR today.
At the same time, it is planned a security check of the state of Donbas mines, which are located in ATO area. During the meeting of the Contact Group Germany has committed to finance this project.
Despite the shortage of fuel, the railway is planning to launch a train on the route Luhansk-Rostov. It would run to the Russian border, where passengers will be transferred to Russian locomotives. However, it was not reported the date of the implementing of this idea.
This week, there is positive step in education field. This, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine has allowed students from uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions to transfer to Ukrainian universities. However, students, who have remained in uncontrolled territories, prefer to study remotely and to get tasks via the Internet. Let us recall that about 19,500 graduates from Donbas have entered Ukrainian universities (including 5000 from Luhansk region and more than 14 thousand from Donetsk region).
IDPs from Donbas
Donetsk regional administration promised to present a comprehensive program for internally displaced persons by the end of the week. According to officials, it should ensure social comfort of internally displaced persons in all fields. However, as a result, such program was not provided.
Meanwhile, the most relevant issues among IDPs are formalizing pensions and social assistance to IDPs, as well as the procedure and rules for crossing the boundary line in ATO area. Such data was provided by the center of the advisory help, which was opened in Kiev by community initiative «Restoring Donbas».
Another important news of the last week was the fact that the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers № 636, which was adopted on August 26, on certain rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons came into force. There is a positive fact for IDPs, namely, that new decree has changed the way of the resumption of social benefits. In particular, in case of expiration of the certificate, social benefits will be renewed from the date of termination of its charge (not from the date of extension of the certificate).
Humanitarian assistance to the region
Last week the organization “Doctors without Borders” delivered assistance to uncontrolled territories twice. Thus, representatives of international organization provided city hospital in Gorlivka with medications for hemodialysis, 1200 bottles of broad-spectrum antibiotics for emergency first aid to the. 22 tons of medicaments were sent to Donetsk.
Last week UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that it would plan to repair 30 educational institutions in Donetsk region. It comes about 23 schools and seven kindergartens. In addition, some schools will also receive sports equipment in October.
More than 30 institutions and infrastructure will be restored in Donetsk region before the end of this year through the United Nations Development Programme. UNDP (together with the Japanese Government and with the support of Ukrainian authorities) has already begun to restore 10 objects, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers.
Last week it was published the 11th report of the monitoring mission of the UN Human Rights Council. It has fixed the cases of extrajudicial executions of civilians by members of illegal armed groups. In particular, UN reports about two mass executions of civilians in Pobednoe village in Luhansk region.
In addition, the UN noted the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the conflict zone in Donbas. Among the main problems of uncontrolled territories in Donbas, there are rise in price of essential goods, the lack of water and medicines, as well as safe and normal housing after the shelling.
This week OSCE representatives stated that it would take part in demining of Ukrainian villages in ATO area. According to the organization’s management, such decision was made in order to help people to return to their homes.
The next stage of negotiations in Donbas is scheduled for early October. Leaders’ Norman quartet agreed it during telephone conversation. In addition, they noted the status of implementation of the Minsk agreements and the results of the last meeting of the Tripartite Liaison Group and its four working groups, which took place on September 8 in Minsk.
Meanwhile, Francois Hollande (French President), offers to consider lifting sanctions against Russia. In his opinion, a truce in Ukraine has reached “significant progress”. In particular, according to him, it is necessary to hold local elections and to implement the decentralization of power in Ukraine. It would guarantee wider autonomy to Donbas region. In its turn, Milos Zeman – President of the Czech Republic – called to help refugees primarily from Ukraine, not from Africa. According to him, in the nearest future, there will be a new wave of refugees from Ukraine. We should help Ukrainian refugees, “Ukrainians are hardworking and much closer to our culture,” – said Zeman.