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Ukraine: Checkpoints - Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 3 April 2017) [EN/UK/RU]

Overview 

Since early March, queues at checkpoints registered a record hit. This is largely due to the compulsory verification for IDP pensioners imposed by the Ukrainian Government (resolution #637, 28 December 2016) at Oshchadbank every three months.  With the original deadline set on 3 April, this mandatory verification led to a massive movement of pensioners across the ‘contact line’, resulting in heavy traffic at all checkpoints in March—a 75% increase of pedestrian crossings compared to the previous month—reportedly with a waiting time of up to 18 hours. The Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint, in particular, has received more than double number of commuters beyond its daily passing capacity (3,000 people), with a peak of nearly 8,000 crossings on 22 March. Dissatisfaction was reportedly high among commuters while those unwilling to wait long hours reportedly paid Stanytsia Luhanska GCA residents GCA 50-200 UAH ($2-7.5) to ‘book’ a place in a queue since morning hours. Reportedly, this arrangement leads to greater tensions among pedestrians.

Although the verification deadline has later been extended to 1 May, resulting in a lessening flow of traffic to an average of 5,600 crossings per day toward the end of March, risks of the wooden unrepaired foot bridge collapsing remain high while humanitarian facilities available are limited. To facilitate the high number of people crossing the checkpoints, the operating hours have been extended by one hour (from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm), initially from 29 March to 4 April.

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, on 15 March, terminated the movement of all commercial cargo across the ‘contact line.’ Although movement of humanitarian cargo and private vehicles are the exceptions to this rule, there are concerns over possible disruptions of humanitarian deliveries, and additional hardship for civilians. According to the Ukrainian Government, this decision will be cancelled only once the Minsk agreement is fully implemented and enterprises ‘seized’ by de facto authorities are returned under Ukrainian jurisdiction. Meanwhile, on 11 March, de facto authorities in Donetsk stated that the ‘contact line’ is a ‘State border’ and imposed some additional bureaucratic checks on UN vehicles moving across the frontline.

 

Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
03 Apr 2017
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Snapshot