Executive Summary of Report “Story of a City. Mariinka: in the Firing Line”

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine and its periodic escalations are having a direct impact on everyday life of entire Ukraine and have resulted in a large number of victims killed afterwards the occupation and liberation of Donbas cities and smaller towns.

The Human Rights Abuse Documentation Center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) presents chronicles of the events of hybrid armed conflict in Ukraine in 2014-2018 using the example of several Donbas cities/towns. In course of its monitoring visits, the Center collected eyewitnesses’ stories and studied open information sources and statistical data regarding serious violations of human rights, including the right to life. A series of brief analytical reports proceeds with events in Mariinka, a town in Donetsk oblast.

The town, being the administrative center of the same-name Mariinka district, is situated on the Osykova River and adjoins western outskirts of Donetsk: during the peacetime, the industrial Donetsk and agrarian Mariinka were separated by sunflower fields and walkways, and now, by mined outskirts and a fighting front. Such a neighborhood is the cause of continuous shelling, new casualties among the local population, and the destruction. The population of nearly 10 thousand has practically been living in the line of fire all this time.

At the same time as the power was seized by Russia-led forces in Donetsk, Mariinka appeared in sight of illegal armed formations. From the tactical point of view, the town is a stronghold for further invading Kurakhove settlement and opens a direct way to Zaporizzhia, Mapiupol and other cities located alongside the Azov Sea. Which is why during 4 recent years Russia-led forces took control over the town several times and the Ukraine’s Armed Forces were regaining it.

Executive Summary of the Report in English can be found here 

The publication was prepared and published as part of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) “Human Rights in Action” project, implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

The views and interpretations presented in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the Government of the United States of America. Content of the publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

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