1 Oct 2019 19:05

Census begins in self-proclaimed Donbas republics

DONETSK/LUHANSK. Oct 1 (Interfax) - The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DPR/LPR), or, as Kyiv calls them, certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, have begun taking a census.

"Today, the DPR has begun the population census that will last through October 14 by means of traditional polling of citizens, with census takers visiting households. Stationary facilities also will be open. The results will not be announced before 2020," a spokesman for the DPR ministry of economic development told Interfax.

The questionnaire contains 25 questions, including on a respondent's language, ethnicity, and education level, and the makeup of the population, he said.

"All data obtained will be made impersonal," he added.

Monday also saw the LPR launching its first ever national census.

"To hold a census of the population of the Luhansk people's republic from October 1 to 14, 2019," an LPR Ministerial Council order reads.

"Where collecting information on the population seems impossible for some reason within the time frame set in clause 1 of this directive, the 2019 LPR census will be carried out from October 1 through 31, 2019," the document reads.

The results will be published by April 30, 2020.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine between the armed forces and other military formations, on Ukrainian part, and the supporters of the self-proclaimed republics, on the other, began in April 2014 after the change of government in Ukraine. As a result of the war, Ukraine lost control over part of its territory near the border with Russia. The conflict line was drawn by Minsk agreements in February 2015.

Since the war began, the conflict zone has been deserted by almost half its population: about 1.6 million fled to other parts of Ukraine and about 2 million are in Russia.

Before the war, the two regions had a combined population of around 7 million people (16% of the total population of Ukraine). In 2016, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that around three million people were living in areas directly affected by the conflict (2.7 million in militia-controlled areas and 200,000 near the contact line controlled by Ukraine).