Ukraine: Checkpoints - Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 19 October 2017) [EN/RU/UK]

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As of 1 September, all five entry/exit checkpoints (EECPs) reduced operational hours by 2.5 hours. However, the number of individual crossings remains relatively unchanged. Some 1.1 million individual crossings were recorded throughout September, representing only a 9 per cent decrease compared to August 2017 - the highest number of crossings since the start of 2017. This translates that despite challenges and security risks, people have no choice rather than to cross the ‘contact line’ to access social benefits, including pensions, legal and social services, and markets or visit relatives and their property on both sides of the de facto ‘border’. Similar to previous months, multiple challenges continue to restrict free and unimpeded movement. Lack of adequate sanitary and proper heating facilities are some of the keys concerns, particularly as the cold season is approaching. A relatively new development further restricting freedom of movement is the reported introduction of a new computer system needed to process crossings on the non-Government controlled (NGCA) side of Marinka EECP. Protection Custer reports long pedestrian and traffic queues. In addition, insecurity persists at all EECPs. On 10 September, shelling was recorded near the EECP Maiorske, which resulted in disruption of checkpoint operations. Two more similar incidents occurred near Marinka and Marioske EECPs during non-operational hours. Meanwhile, the central and local governments as well as humanitarian partners continue their efforts to improve the crossing conditions of civilians. Several initiatives are already underway to address some of the main concerns, such as lack of heating facilities or demining efforts near the EECPs. However, much more needs to be done to ease the burden on civilians and ensure unimpeded movement. On a positive note, at the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) meeting in Minsk, parties to the conflict discussed the plans to open the EECP in Zolote (Luhansk province). This will be a significant breakthrough for the residents of Luhansk province, both from GCA and NGCA, as Stanytsia Luhanska is the only operational pedestrian EECP in the province.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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