Overview of the humanitarian situation in the DPR and LPR

(via open sources)

General situation

The Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (a.k.a. DPR and LPR) emerged in April 2014 as a response of the residents of the Eastern Ukraine to the political crisis that hit the country in 2013 and the subsequent coup d'etat in Kiev in February 2014.

Attempts by the new Ukrainian government to restore control over the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by force provoked a military conflict and ended in September 2014 with the signing of the Minsk Protocol (Minsk-1), and in February 2015, the Minsk Agreement (Minsk-2).

The military actions in the Donbass led to the destruction of infrastructure facilities, the shutdown of industrial enterprises, and caused a humanitarian disaster in the region.

At the moment, the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk is characterised by the expert community as a «frozen conflict».

The population of the DPR is 2,224,547 people (data taken from the DPR Glavstat as of September 1, 2020), the LPR is 1,418,027 people (data from the LPR State Statistics Committee as of August 1, 2021).

Since 2019, the residents of the DPR and LPR have the right to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. According to the data provided by the Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Viktor Vodolatsky, by July 14, 2021, 611,000 residents of the DPR and LPR became citizens of Russia. The expected forecast for the end of 2021 is 2 million people.


The ethnic composition of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics is formed mainly by the two nationalities – Russians and Ukrainians, who make up more than 90% of the population. In the DPR, for example, even according to the 2001 all-Ukrainian population census, Ukrainians accounted for just over 51% of the population, Russians – 44%. At the same time, more than 80% of the population of the Donetsk region called the Russian language their native language.

The official language in the DPR and LPR is Russian.

Education in the DPR and LPR

Donetsk People's Republic 

In Donetsk there are 5 state and 5 private universities, 12 institutes, 5 academies (including a music academy), where about 40 thousand people are trained. Secondary specialised education is provided by 14 technical schools and 6 colleges. Also on the territory of the republic there are 484 schools, where 461 are in working order.


Luhansk People's Republic


There are 7 higher education institutions in the LPR, where more than 36 thousand people are studying (as of 1 September, 2020). Secondary specialised education can be given in 31 technical schools and 45 colleges. There are 332 schools in the LPR, 390 preschool institutions.

Every year 4,000 residents of Donbass receive Russian diplomas.

Teaching in the DPR and LPR is conducted in Russian.



Humanitarian aid to the DPR and LPR


The first deliveries of humanitarian aid to Eastern Ukraine began in the spring of 2014. In mid-August 2021, the 102nd convoy of the humanitarian aid for the republics arrived in Donetsk and Lugansk, delivering 33 tons of humanitarian supplies to Lugansk and 36 tons to Donetsk. In just seven years, Russia delivered over 85 thousand tons of cargo to the DPR and LPR: food, medical equipment, medicines, textbooks. The flow of goods from Russia helped to mitigate the consequences of the humanitarian disaster in Eastern Ukraine.



In addition to the Russian Federation, humanitarian assistance to the people's republics is provided by the UN and the Red Cross.


Healthcare in the DPR and LPR


The main problem in the healthcare sector of the DPR and LPR today, as elsewhere, is coronavirus infection. As of the morning of August 31, 56,336 cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded in the Donetsk Republic. There were 6,805 patients on treatment. 45,437 patients (inpatient and outpatient) were discharged and 4,094 died.

In Luhansk, 8,791st case of coronavirus infection was confirmed on 28 August. 7,023 people recovered and were discharged from the hospital. Officially, the number of deaths from COVID-19 is not reported, but it is known that their number exceeded 570 people.

By the end of the year, the authorities of Donetsk and Lugansk plan to vaccinate about a million people against COVID-19. There will be 51 vaccination points opened in the DPR and 35 in the LPR.


Separately, it is worth noting the supply of coronavirus vaccines to the DPR and LPR, which began in January 2021, when 80,000 and 65,000 doses of «Sputnik V» were delivered to Donetsk and Lugansk respectively. In the summer of 2021, deliveries continued. This time, residents of Donetsk and Lugansk received a consignment of «Sputnik Light» vaccine in a volume that made it possible to start mass vaccination in July—August 2021.


Overall in 2021, more than 200,000 doses of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus were delivered to the DPR and LPR.




Over the 7 years of the conflict, more than 700 seriously ill and wounded children were taken to Russia from the territory of the DPR and LPR for the treatment. According to the charitable public organisation «The Fair Help of Doctor Lisa», in 2019-20 alone, 432 children received help.


There are 207 medical institutions on the territory of the DPR and 105 on the territory of the LPR.


Social policy in the DPR and LPR


Since 2017, the Humanitarian Program for the Reunification of the People of Donbass has been operating in the DPR and LPR, within the framework of which residents who remain in the territories controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine can receive assistance on the territory of the DPR and LPR. First of all, this applies to health care institutions where representatives of unprotected sections of the population (pensioners, disabled people and war veterans, large families and people in need of rehabilitation treatment, and even teachers of the Russian language and literature who have made a great contribution to the development of Russian literature and culture) can receive medical help. DPR and LPR also open the doors of schools and other educational institutions for residents «on the other side». The program even provides for one-time compensation payments. They are not very large, but for a person who is in a difficult life situation, these funds can be a salvation.


Donetsk People's Republic


On the permanent basis, 14 types of social benefits are paid in the republic. Over 125 thousand people receive benefits every month. 8 of these 14 types of benefits are paid to families with children. The total cost of paying benefits to such families in 2020 made up 3.2 billion rubles.


Despite the fact that the confrontation in Donbass is assessed by experts as a «frozen conflict», the shelling of the territory of the DPR continues. This has led to the emergence of a whole category of citizens, receiving assistance and compensation as victims of the aggression of the armed formations of Ukraine. In 2020 alone, 8.7 thousand people received compensation for 7,356 cases of harm to life and health. The total amount of payments exceeded 240 million rubles.


For people with disabilities, provision is made for technical means of rehabilitation, prosthetic and orthopedic products. In total, in 2020, at the expense of the republican budget, more than 8.5 thousand units of technical means of rehabilitation were purchased for a total amount of over 27 million rubles. In 2020, almost 7 thousand people were provided with prosthetic and orthopedic products, with a total amount being almost 110 million rubles.

In the DPR, the sphere of providing social services to persons with disabilities, elderly citizens and lonely disabled people who need outside help and social services is also developed. For their needs, there are:

·      32 territorial centers;

·      5 centers of social rehabilitation for disabled children and patients with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 35;

·      2 divisions of social rehabilitation for disabled children from 2 to 18 years old;

·      10 boarding houses.


Luhansk People's Republic


Reports on the social policy of the LPR are not publicly available.