Donbas reintegration: achievements of 2017

Donbas reintegration: achievements of 2017

Introduction

On January 11, 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the order  «On a plan of measures aimed at the implementation of certain principles of state domestic policy in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where state bodies temporarily do not exercise their power» (hereinafter - the Plan).

According to the document, the Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons on a quarterly basis, by the 15th of the following month, is required to provide information on the state of implementation of the plan of measures, and, together with other government bodies involved in the implementation of plan of measures, to fulfil the tasks of the plan of measures to comply with the requirements of legislation.

Before the anniversary of this document approval, non-governmental organization “Donetsk Information Institute” (hereinafter - DII) has monitored the implementation of certain items of the Plan by state authorities.

Checkpoints

According to the Plan, it was planned to "improve the procedures Order on the control of movement of people, vehicles and cargo (goods) across the contact line within Donetsk and Luhansk regions" and "equipping of entry/exit checkpoints of the movement of vehicles and cargo (goods) across the  contact line with technical video control systems". According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, February to October of 2017, at the entry/exit checkpoints, the number of work places was increased from 84 to 178, technological processes were optimized (in order to increase traffic handling capacity of the checkpoints in the processing of technological schemes for the movement of people and vehicles, the separation of pedestrian and road traffic flows and the introduction of reverse movement of vehicles in all lanes in case the traffic increases, was provided), and more than 130 surveillance cameras have been installed.

Donetsk Regional State Administration informs that 4 new module points for the border and fiscal services work, two heating points and information stands were installed on “Maiorsk” entry/exit checkpoint. On “Mariinka” entry/exit checkpoint a module for the doctor and a module for SSU focal point.

On the territory of Luhansk region, there is only one operating checkpoint. The Regional State Administration reports on the possibility of promptly opening of “Stakhanov-Zolote-Hirne-Lysychansk” entry/exit checkpoint, closed for security reasons.

The Plan indicates that it is planned to organize the proper functioning of the optimum quantity of humanitarian and logistics centres near the entry/exit checkpoints. According to the regional authorities, as of December 1, 2017, for technical and security reasons, there is no possibility on the territory of the Luhansk region to organize humanitarian sites or humanitarian and logistics centres. According to the regional Administration, the opening of the humanitarian and logistics centre in Novotoshkivske settlement was not possible due to the fact that the permission from the National Security and Defence Council was not received.

In Donetsk region 38.4 thousand people have taken advantage of “Maiorsk” and “Novotroitske” logistics centres services since the beginning of their work.

Order of movement across the contact line

The Plan refers to the need to provide opportunities for the citizens living in an uncontrolled territory to purchase essential goods. It is also about creating favourable conditions for the provision of administrative services to Ukrainian citizens who live in uncontrolled territory or in settlements along the contact line.

The headquarters of the Anti-Terrorist Centre at the Security Service of Ukraine reported that changes were made to the Temporary Order on the control of movement of people, vehicles and cargo (goods) across the contact line within Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In particular, a section was added on the procedure for the movement of persons, vehicles and goods to humanitarian and logistics centres. Also, changes were made to paragraph 5. 1, allowing people who have their documents processed or change passport photos, to go through control presenting a certificate given by the State Migration Service of Ukraine about the submission of documents and obtaining a passport. The categories of vehicles on which the movement to and from the temporarily uncontrolled territory are permitted have also been clarified. Local authorities report on assistance to citizens in obtaining administrative services.

Broadcasting and media

In this direction, the Plan provides for the following steps: 1) dissemination of social advertising, videos aimed at the formation of a tolerant society; 2) popularization of books, art albums, audio and audio-visual works of Ukrainian authors among citizens residing in uncontrolled territory, and their distribution; 3) promoting compliance with the principle of independence and self-sufficiency of the mass media by creating conditions for the dissemination of information in state and other languages (including Russian); 4) promotion of the publication and distribution of audio and audio-visual works, printed editions in various languages.

The Radio Broadcasting, Radio Communication and Television Concern of Ukraine reported that in the 9 months of 2017, 6 new FM broadcasting transmitters of various capacities with antenna-feeder systems were installed to fulfil the decision of the Commission on Ensuring the Stable Functioning of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting System under the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine; a medium-wave transmitter with a power of 25 kW is installed together with an antenna-feeder system; the program of the “LLC Information Agency PRAVDATUT” was launched in the digital multiplex of the TV-transmitter of 22 high-quality television of the DVB-T standard; the power of analogue television transmitter of 61 high-quality television TV channel “DoTebe” was increased to 2.0 kW; the works on the transfer of analogue TV transmitters of 12 TVK and 30 high-quality television from the urban-type settlement Ocheretyne to the city of Avdiivka were carried out.

The National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine reported that it was working on radio and television signal coverage expanding, issuing broadcasting licenses and informing about the completion of the construction of 134 meters-high telecommunication tower in Bakhmutivtka, Luhansk region.

The Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine has developed the Strategy of information reintegration of Donbas. The free printed newspapers: commercial Fakty Donbassa (“Facts of Donbas”), Donbass Inform (of the Ministry of Information Policy), Visti Donbasu (“News of Donbas”) (of Donetsk Regional Military and Civil Administration) are distributed at entry/exit checkpoints in the ATO zone. All-Ukrainian and regional information campaigns on overcoming public stereotypes about Donbas residents are held with the participation of the MIP.

Building ties with residents of uncontrolled territories

In order to promote the creation of a united cultural space of Ukraine; the creation of conditions for people on the controlled territory to meet their personal cultural needs, the Plan foresees to fulfil the following measures in 2017: 1) organizing and conducting cultural and artistic events involving citizens from uncontrolled territories, in particular exhibitions, presentations, concerts, performances, circus performances, etc. (subject to the requirements of security); 2) organization of dialogue between community representatives on solving common issues related to the solution of humanitarian and other problems of a local nature; 3) interaction with trade unions of enterprises, whose employees ensure the functioning of controlled production facilities of enterprises located in uncontrolled territory, in order to promote the realization of workers' rights; 4) involving representatives of international organizations with experience in mediation with a view to peaceful settlement of conflicts, establishing a dialogue between persons living in uncontrolled and controlled territories; 5) involving young people and women in the civil movement through programs that will promote their role as peacekeepers, support for civil society organizations in promoting structured dialogues on promoting tolerance; 6) distribution of social advertising, videos aimed at forming a tolerant society; 7) popularization of books, art albums, audio and audio-visual works of Ukrainian authors among citizens living on uncontrolled territory, and their distribution.

The Luhansk Regional Military and Civil Administration reported that carrying out of cultural and artistic actions for people living in an uncontrolled area was complicated in 2017 by security issues. Nevertheless, the recovery of children from uncontrolled territories and dialogue meetings between civil society representatives were organized. Officials of the Department of Physical Culture and Sports of the Donetsk regional state administration report that “work is being done to attract residents of the uncontrolled territory to competitions” and more than 319 such regional events were conducted over 9 months, but citizens from uncontrolled territories did not take part in them.

The Luhansk Regional State Administration reported that they could not promote the works of Ukrainian authors and disseminate them among the residents of uncontrolled territories because of the lack of a legislative definition of the list of materials for distribution, as well as sources of funding, distribution and allocation mechanisms.

Economy and business

The Plan provided for the process for regulating legal relations between SFS authorities and taxpayers whose production facilities are located in an uncontrolled territory. It was planned to develop and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine proposals on amendments to the legislation on simplification of tax and accounting reporting, as well as the peculiarities of conducting tax audits, while increasing the liability for submission of inaccurate information contained in such reporting. The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine informed that the Law of Ukraine dated 21/12/2016 (before the Cabinet of Ministers’ decree) No. 1797-VIII “Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine regarding improvement of investment climate in Ukraine” complemented article 10 of section XX “Transitional provisions” of the Tax Code of Ukraine by paragraph 38, which introduced special taxation conditions for the period of the antiterrorist operation for taxpayers, whose location as of April 14, 2014 was the territory of settlements on which the state authorities temporarily do not exercise their power, or settlements along the contact line.

Conclusions

  • The action plan is partially implemented, but does not address strategic issues.
  • The plan needs updating and the formation of new practical and clear goals through involving the public and international organizations in this process.
  • The Plan needs an understandable system for evaluating and monitoring of its implementation. The evaluation of success may be quantitative indicators of the involvement of the residents of uncontrolled territories in Ukrainian public life (the percentage of students who take

external independent estimation and enter Ukrainian higher education institutions, the number of children from the uncontrolled territory, participating in sports competitions in the controlled territory, etc.)

The analytical group of “Donetsk Institute of Information”

Editor: Vitalii Sizov

December 2017

 

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