Ukraine: Checkpoints - Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 14 March 2018)
On several occasions in February more than five hundred of men, women, elderly and children were forced to stay overnight in highly insecure areas nearby or at the EECPs, as they were not able to cross the ‘contact line’. The Ukrainian traffic police also started an operation to stop so-called ‘irregular transportation’ to the EECPs Maiorske and Stanytsia Luhanska by not allowing unofficial buses to get near the checkpoint. Lack of transportation forced thousands of civilians including elderly, women and disabled people to walk up to five kilometres in heavy snow to reach the closest bus station. Despite harsh weather conditions, when temperatures across east Ukraine plummeted to below -20 Celsius, over 940,000 crossings were made through the five EECPs across the ‘contact line’ in February. Challenges, such as limited heating and sanitary facilities as well as long waiting hours further curtailed civilians’ freedom of movement. As of 1 March, operational hours of all five checkpoints were extended by 2.5 hours (07:00 to 18:30, compared to 08:00 – 17:00) as part of shifting to the so called ‘spring’ operational mode.
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