Thematic report: Hardship for conflict-affected civilians in eastern Ukraine

KYIV, 16 February 2017 - Civilians living in conflict-affected areas on both sides of the contact line in eastern Ukraine continue to experience undue suffering owing to armed violence, insecurity and restrictions imposed by the sides, says a new report issued today by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM).

The report, Hardship for conflict-affected civilians in eastern Ukraine, describes the impact of the conflict on the living conditions of civilians on both sides of the approximately 500-kilometre-long contact line, including their access to adequate housing, safe drinking water, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, and access to essential medicine and basic health services. The report is based on monitoring by the SMM from May to the end of September 2016.

“Hostilities lead to infringements of civilians’ right to an adequate standard of living and put them at risk of life-threatening situations and deprivations. They particularly affect the most vulnerable groups, including women, children and the elderly,” said SMM Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan.

As the report highlights, the conflict has drawn a line of separation amongst communities, often causing a disruption of basic public services that increases the sense of isolation and vulnerability among residents.

The report concludes by emphasizing the importance of achieving a complete ceasefire and withdrawal of proscribed weapons and strengthening compliance with all commitments made under the Minsk Agreements. These are described as a crucial step towards normalizing and improving the well-being of civilians and the humanitarian situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions overall.

Contacts Alexandra Taylor Head of Press and Public Information Unit OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine 26 Turhenievska Street 01054 Kyiv Ukraine Mobile: +380 67 650 31 57 alexandra.taylor@osce.org smm-media@osce.org

Mariia Aleksevych Senior Press Assistant OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine 26 Turhenievska Street 01054 Kyiv Ukraine Office: +380 44 392 0832 Mobile: +380 50 381 5192 Mobile: +380 93 691 6790 mariia.aleksevych@osce.org smm-media@osce.org