Draft law on transitional period in Donbas and Crimea. What is it about?

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

The document is supposed to make life easier for residents of the occupied territories and migrants. But the project is already being criticized for its lack of structure and complexity
08:36, 19 August 2021

Donbas conflct zone
Open source

Now in Ukraine, the legislation on Crimea and Donbas resembles a patchwork quilt - it separately solved certain problems as they came, but in general it is not systemic. For example, different documents differ in terms of the same phenomena, and the future of the temporarily occupied territories is not spelled out.

And then a new hero was supposed to enter the arena - bill number 5844 (spoiler - it was also criticized). On the website of the Verkhovna Rada in July, we have seen the text of this draft about the transition period in the occupied Donbas and in the annexed Crimea.

As conceived by its creators, it should introduce unified approach to the return of territories (both Crimea and Donbas), the holding of elections there, agree on a deadline and introduce a number of bans for officials.

What is this bill?

The project has been developed since September 9, 2020. The document was proposed by the Ministry of Reintegration which immediately invited experts for discussion, so it has many authors. During its work, it went through two revisions, more than 198 recommendations on it were received from private professional organizations and government agencies.

In early June, the document was sent to the Venice Commission for an opinion. On July 7, the commission received a request, which it announced on its website. The experts are expected to prepare a draft opinion, which will be approved at the next plenary session of the Venice Commission in October 2021.

What is it needed for?

Olexandra Dvoretska, board member of the Vostok SOS charity fund, said that the bill proposes to abolish the existing specialized legislation on Crimea and Donbas and create a single common document that would regulate state relations in relation to the temporarily occupied territories, uniting the approach in various spheres: economic, political , social, reports Donbas Online.

Also new parts are introduced concerning:



    transitional justice;

    economic development.

However, Dvoretska says that the project is difficult to perceive and it is unlikely that an ordinary citizen, displaced person or resident of the occupied territory will be able to master it.

Related: Merkel-Zelensky meeting: Leaders to discuss Donbas situation, reforms in Ukraine

The bill aims to facilitate the life of Ukrainians in the occupied territories (education, crossing the checkpoint, online documents). The main point, for example, is the solution of the issue of recognizing the "documents", says the Minister for Reintegration Olexiy Reznikov.

“People are born, die, get married, get divorced. And these are things that happen regardless of whether you are a hostage in the occupied territories or not. Today this procedure exists, but it is more complicated, "says Reznikov.

Minister's advisor Yuna Potiomkina said that it was decided to take into account school certificates, and the situation with diplomas requires a more detailed approach.

“We do not know the program for the training. It very much depends on what kind of training, what professions we are talking about ... This bill so far has a working title“ On the Procedure. ” It was written out step-by-step mechanisms for how we will work with higher education diplomas in the occupied territories, "Potemkina explained.

Major changes

- The bill clarifies the terms and introduces a number of new ones ("transition period", "de-occupied territories", "temporary occupation", "occupation forces and occupation services of Russia", "contact line").

- Combining approaches to Crimea and Donbas.

- Establishes two levels of regulation of the transition period (conflict and post-conflict periods).

- Introduces the principles of responsibility, amnesty, restrictions on the right to be elected in local elections and to hold office.

Those who committed criminal offenses during the temporary occupation of parts of Donbas and Crimea will not fall under the amnesty.

- It is spelled out which "documents" can be recognized as valid (certificates of birth, death, marriage and divorce, change of name). Pension guarantees for residents of the occupied territories are determined, without reference to their receipt of a certificate of registration, and the cancellation of the permitting system for crossing the demarcation line is envisaged.

- Conducting elections, forming the authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and local self-government, restoring the administration of justice in the de-occupied territories.

Elections in the deoccupied territories can be held only if it is possible to ensure the prevention of interference by Russia.

- Political, diplomatic and sanctions measures related to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation.

- Protection of the rights and freedoms of the civilian population in the temporarily occupied territories and the implementation of social rights.

- Personnel reserve for work in the deoccupied territories.


The draft prohibits MPs of all levels from discussing the situation in ORDLO and Crimea with officials of the Russian Federation and their representatives.

Thus, it is not allowed to establish contacts and interaction of MPs or local councils, local governments with officials of the Russian Federation.

In particular, it is forbidden to discuss overcoming the consequences of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine without permission from the President of Ukraine.


NGO "Donbass SOS" published an analysis of the main provisions of the draft law, in which it proposes to finalize certain points:

  1. The introduction of new terms may cause discrepancies and contradictions. The term "contact line" is introduced, but the legislation operates with terminology: "demarcation line", "settlements on the contact line". Another translation is used in Ukrainian legislation - "transitional justice".
  2. The structure of the bill is confusing.
  3. Expansion of powers of the president. New powers in the field of administrative-territorial structure (these are the powers of the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers) go beyond the list in Art. 106 of the Constitution.
  4. Issues related to international law are not spelled out correctly.
  5. The draft does not present the principle of recognition of "documents" from Crimea and Donbas.
  6. Invalidation of laws, in particular regarding the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, creates gaps in regulatory regulation.

Related: Day in Donbas: No shooting, no casualties among Ukrainian forces

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