This note provides an update to R2P’s protection note of June 2021 about the situation at the international border crossing points (IBCPs) at Milove in Luhansk oblast and Hoptivka in Kharkiv oblast. Right to Protection (R2P) continues protection monitoring at both ICBPs, which became necessary when Ukrainian citizens living in the Non Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) started using the ICBPs to visit the Government Controlled Area (GCA) after facing severe restrictions in using the Exit Entry Crossing Points (EECPs) along the contact line between the GCA and NGCA. Often the only way for NGCA residents to access government services or visit their friends and relatives in the GCA is to enter it via the Russian Federation through the IBCPs in Milove or Hoptivka. But by doing so they have incurred fines for leaving Ukraine in an irregular manner (through the uncontrolled part of the state border with Russia). These fines were waived on certain categories of humanitarian grounds by decree at the end of July 2021.
Since the middle of August, R2P monitors have observed that very few NGCA residents are now being fined and R2P lawyers have received no more requests for legal advice and court representation from Ukrainian NGCA residents who crossed the IBCPs.