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Ukraine: Checkpoints - Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 14 March 2017) [EN/RU/UK]

Overview 

Since the end of January the conflict escalated again, including close to checkpoints triggering a decrease of traffic through the ‘contact line’ in the first two weeks of February. Some 547,000 individual and 92,700 vehicle crossings were recorded in February and 586,000 individual and 99,800 vehicle crossings in January – roughly a 15-17% decrease compared to December. Between January and February, Mariinka checkpoint, which was subject to numerous shelling, saw the biggest drop of around 20% of individual crossings and 23% of vehicle crossings. In addition, reports indicate that at least seven civilians died of a health condition while waiting in a queue at the checkpoints since the beginning of the year.

Since 1 March, the five operating checkpoints operations were extended by 2.5 hours (from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm) while efforts by humanitarian partners to facilitate safe crossing continue. UNHCR provided equipment (computers, furniture and heating tents) to the checkpoint Novotroitske (GCA) to speed up bureaucratic processing of documents for people moving across the line. The agency will provide similar equipment at Marinka and Maiorsk. Damage of the foot bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint continues unaddressed despite months-long discussions and humanitarians’ readiness to assist with repairs. Crossing is only possible on foot while the dilapidated bridge is slippery and dangerous, resulting in regular injuries among pedestrians. Civilians, mostly elderly, crossing the checkpoint in Stanytsia Luhanska complain about rude behaviour among the law enforcement personnel. This highlighted the need for training on the preferential crossing and attitude towards civilians. According to Donetsk Oblast Civil-Military Administration (DOMCA), the Novotroitske checkpoint is to be relocated 5 km towards to ‘contact line’ by 28 May 2017 on the ground of ‘enhanced security’ in nine villages as stated by GCA. 

The transport blockade by a group of veterans since 25 January shut down three out of four railway crossing points, primarily affecting the delivery from NGCA to GCA of anthracite coal used by the thermal power plants to produce electricity. In response, the Ukrainian Government declared a state of emergency in the energy market initially from 15 February to 17 March. The blockade later expanded to disrupt road connections, including the Lysychansk - Zolote motorway and along the Kurakhove-Marinka highway, which could affect humanitarian cargo delivery. Additional checkpoints were also installed near the crossing point Novotroitske. The economic impact of the blockade is likely to affect some 1.5 million ordinary Ukrainians, with at least half a million of jobs at risk and potentially a 30 percent increase of electricity and other utility costs, according to the Minister of Social Policy.

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