Ukraine has virtually left 16 thousand inmates on the uncontrolled territory to their own devices. They are not being funded, they are not being evacuated and now issues arise with their legal status. This is evidenced by the monitoring of the condition of the penitentiary system facilities of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, conducted by the Ukrainian Institute of strategies for global development and adaptation.
Expert of the Institute Vladimir Gurzhi notes that since September 2014 Ukrainian government has completely stopped financing prisons and pre-trial detention centers on uncontrolled territories.
"Every month about 10 million Hryvnia were allocated for this purposes only in Donetsk region. Thus, during 8 months savings amounted to at least 80 million Hryvnia. Also, one should add to this amount staff salaries, payments for utilities and other important expenditure items "- counts expert.
Vladimir Gurzhi also notes that the idea of evacuation of prisoners to the territory controlled by Ukraine has also failed. In their turn, authorities of self-proclaimed DNR/LNR are not dealing with this problem either.
"As a result, 16 thousand angry prisoners, about whom nobody cares, who are actually thrown upon their own resources and must determine their destiny on their own. And here the question of their status and future arises", - says Vladimir Gurzhi.
Firstly, prison breaks are frequent today. According to various sources from 2 to 5 thousand prisoners are "on the run" now, and a part of them has already joined armed formations of DNR/LNR and uncontrolled armed groups.
Secondly, even if a "has-served-the-term" prisoner wants to return to the territory controlled by Ukraine - he has no opportunity to do this because of the banal absence of papers proving his release from detention. He will be detained at the first checkpoint and, at best, will be sent to "finish serving" his term, at worst – he will be incriminated additional articles for the "prison break", or even "separatism".
According to analysts of the Ukrainian Institute of strategies for global development and adaptation, joining the armed forces or DNR/LNR or other bandit formations may become the most acceptable alternative for inmates.
"With a high degree of probability it is possible to assume what exactly 16 thousand adult men who have already had problems with the law will choose. In order not to exacerbate already difficult situation in Donbass, Ukraine should now make a clear statement about its position regarding the status of prisoners, meet their needs",- says Vladimir Gurzhi.
For your information:
Ukrainian Institute of strategies of global development and adaptation - an international initiative of scientists who joined together in order to study the crisis and armed conflict in Ukraine.
The purpose of the Institute – is to comprehensively explore global and local problems that led to the crisis, and as a result - to offer society their own alternatives to its resolution.