Donetsk, Apr 22 - DAN. The international forum “Russians’ Unity: Protection of Rights and Freedoms” opened at the Slavic Culture Centre in Donetsk on Thursday.

The forum is being attended by Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin, LPR parliament speaker Denis Miroshnichenko, Russian parliamentarians Andrey Kozenko and Alexey Zhuravlyov, historians, culture experts, community activists and representatives of young people from the Donbass Republics and Russia. The two-day event gathered some 500 delegates overall. Lugansk People’s Republic Head Leonid Pasechnik is expected to join via video conference.

 A plenary meeting will be followed up by workshops to address such topics as “Discrimination of Russians and Russian-speaking residents in Ukraine” and “Modern Methods in World Practice to Protect Compatriots’ Rights.” Participants will consider the situation of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people living and Ukraine and cite the facts of violations of their civil and political rights and freedoms. Three round-table discussions are scheduled for Friday.

A resolution will sum up the results of the discussions. The forum is being streamed.

Earlier reports said that the forum would present a humanitarian programme for the reunification of the Donbass people and support of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking residents; the participants will also work out practical recommendations on a uniform position of the civil and rights protection communities and government bodies.

The DPR launched the 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 announced at the international forum “Russian Donbass” that the programme would cover all Ukrainian regions.*jk