On Donbas proceeds removing of arms from the front line by both sites , Petro Poroshenko told about the means which are saved up for restoring of Donbas, and the UN and OSCEs told about own efforts on a further de-escalation of the conflict in this region. About these and other key news about Donbas last week — in our weekly review.
Situation in parts of Donbas under Ukrainian control
Last week hyperactivity was shown by Donetsk regional military-civil authorities. So, leaders of regions announced the beginning of the regional program in supporting of small and medium business. According to the Donetsk governor Pavel Zhebrivsky, this program consists of three key questions — access to financial resources, simplification of allowing procedures and formation of transparent obtaining licenses system, and also access for local businessmen in obtaining orders at implementation of infrastructure projects in Donetsk region. Besides, Zhebrivsky appealed to PROON to receive help with electronic administration in the area and suggested representation of the international organization to support new development projects in Donetsk region.
About recovery works in the region, despite the end of military operations. Thus according to the president Petro Poroshenko it became known that the Ukrainian authority already saved up more than 10 billion UAH which can be directed on restoring the infrastructure of Donbas. Besides, the president expects that in 4-5 times more of funds for these purposes the European and American partners will add.
Meanwhile public already realizes specific projects, urged to rally ordinary people and experts of the different directions around post-war recovery work. So, community initiative “Restoring Donbas” invites the Ukrainian students, graduated students and young scientists to take part in a cycle of the corresponding competitions. Considering scales of destructions in two east regions, the first of competitions named “Restore Donbass Together” was declared exactly among young architects and designers.
On uncontrollable part of Donbas
Some shifts which allow to speak about a further de-escalation of the conflict were outlined in the political sphere of life on uncontrollable territories of Donbas. So, last week it became known that LPR, after DPR, postpones own “elections” to later term, concrete — on February 21, 2016. According to information, this decision was approved by the leader of local fighters Igor Plotnitsky.
Thanks to a steady casefire on Donbas in the last some weeks, region infrastructure restoring is observed. So, this week became known about starting the train along a route of Yasinovataya, through Donetsk and to border with the Russian Federation.
Besides, locals and the enterprises started coming back to uncontrollable Donetsk. Thus because of blockade people receive a salary on their plastic cards in hryvnas, and in Donetsk cash out it in rubles through intermediaries.
Last week the founder of initiative “Restoring Donbas”, Ukrainian politician and the public figure Olexandr Klymenko concerned an isolation question of the region in the article for NEWEUROPE. In particular, he urged to cancel the Decree of November 15, 2014 which stopped work of all public services on Donbas. According to Klymenko, it could become one of the first steps to reconciliation of the Ukrainian people.
IDPs from Donbas
Last week Ministry of social politics updated data on IDPs from anti-terrorist operation zone and the Crimea. According to their data, today on the account there are 1 529 848 displaced persons. Besides, 548 314 families addressed for receiving the monthly help for a covering expenses on accommodation, such help was appointed to 518 597 of them. Unpleasant new was that, to receive partial compensation for housing rent, IDPs need to prove that they have no housing out of uncontrollable territories. Corresponding changes to an order of providing compensations were made by the Cabinet of Ministers in the resolution of October 7.
Problem also in corruption in profile state structures which deal with problems of Donbas. So, last week were arrested officials who appropriated pension payments of the people who remained in the uncontrollable territory. In total swindlers caused damage of 300 thousand dollars.
The charitable and volunteer organizations, meanwhile, continue giving feasible help to IDPs. So, this week was announced the program of free psychological assistance which was organized by public organization “Association of Ukrainian Psychiatrists”. Besides the children’s recreation camp of psychological development “Forest Outpost”, located near Kiev, invited children from the anti-terrorist operation zone and IDPs’ children to have a free rest on the last autumn change in this season.
Removing of arms from the font line
Last week in Luhansk region Ukrainian military personnel started the third removing of arms. Besides, works on mine clearing and restoring of gas supply systems of the front villages of the Luhansk region are also continued, and representatives of self-proclaimed LPR transferred to SMM OSCE the detailed schedule of removing artillery less than 100 millimeters caliber. However when checking places of artillery dislocation, OSCE Representatives noted shortages.
International aid and situation
Last week the secretary general of OSCE Lamberto Zagner declared that he feels “careful optimism” concerning implementation of the Minsk Agreement. Thus he emphasized that implementation of the Minsk arrangements – difficult and long process. Thus the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for safety and cooperation in Europe in Ukraine is faced now by a task — to increase number of observers to 650 people, Zagner declared. Today SMM OSCE in Ukraine totals 548 people.
Also the secretary general of OSCE reported that observers of mission have no access to all territory of Donbas. He also noted that members of mission “can’t regularly get on border with the Russian Federation and continue to face obstacles at creation of new bases for observers in the east of Ukraine to provide monitoring need”.
On Donbas this week secretary the UN Ban Ki-moon spoke about situation. He declared that the organization he headed is ready to increase the presence in Ukraine for the purpose of de-escalation and stabilization of in the east of the country. Thus Ban Ki-moon assured about full supporting of territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine and expressed readiness to increase presence of the UN for stabilization.
The president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked the foreign states which support Ukraine and emphasized that he doesn’t see need involvement of foreign military as the solution of the conflict on Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
The international humanitarian organizations, meanwhile, continue the work on assistance to residents of Donbas from both front lines. So, the International Committee of the Red Cross sent to uncontrollable territories of Donbas 15 cars with building materials. And the “Doctors without Borders” organization put the party of medicines in Gorlovska psychiatric hospital. As it is reported, the organization managed to receive accreditation from fighters to work on the territory under control of “DPR”.
Besides, the government of Germany this week allocated in addition €15 million for the Ukrainian IDPs who left uncontrollable territories of Donbas.