Donetsk, Apr 13 - DAN. Donetsk will host the international forum “Unity of Russians: Protection of Rights and Freedoms” on April 22-23, event organizer Russian Centre reported on Tuesday.

“The forum is devoted to analysis of the situation of Russians who live in Ukraine and exposure of facts of violations of their civil and political rights and freedoms for the past 30 years,” the report said.

It will be attended by Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin, Lugansk People’s Republic Head Leonid Pasechnik, parliamentarians of the two Republics, scientists, teachers, lawyers and community activists. Guests from the Russian Federation have been invited as well. Among the speakers are human rights experts who protect the Republic’s interests in the international arena: DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova, DPR ombudswoman Darya Morozova, parliamentarian Yelena Shishkina who earlier led the Ukrainian People’s Tribunal for investigating the war crimes committed by Ukraine’s fifth President Pyotr Poroshenko’s regime.

The forum programme includes a plenary session, a round table meeting, workshops and discussions. Participants will consider the strategic lines to protect the rights of Russians, the situation with the discrimination of Russian-speaking residents, the experience in counteracting the infringement upon journalists’ rights and other problems.

The presentation of the humanitarian programme for the reunification of the Donbass people and support of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine will be the key event of the forum.

The DPR launched a program to help compatriots living in areas temporarily controlled by Kiev in February 2017. Its objective is to strengthen cultural, humanitarian and professional ties and provide social and public services. In January 2021, the DPR said at the international forum “Russian Donbass” that the programme would cover all Ukrainian regions. Later on, the DPR leader who heads the Russian Centre said that residents of Ukrainian regions needed Donbass’ help.*jk