Despite prevailing insecurity and widespread landmine contamination, the number of crossings of the ‘contact line’ through the five operational Entry/Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) increased in October, with over 1.2 million crossings recorded during the month. Shelling, sniper fire and explosions of landmines were frequently reported at and around the EECPs. On 18 October, a civilian car was hit by a sniper fire, while waiting to cross the EECP ‘Marinka’ (Donetska oblast). Two days after, the EECP was shelled again, resulting in one civilian injury and damage of the assistance point operated by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU). On 18 October, two civilians – a husband and wife – were killed by an explosive device, while crossing the ‘contact line’ through the no-man’s land between Zolote-4 (Luhanska oblast, GCA) and Zolote-5 (Luhanska oblast, NGCA). It took six days to secure a ‘window of silence’ to retrieve the dead bodies and return them to their families. Such incidents serve as a tragic reminder of how civilians are paying the highest price of the conflict. The reconstruction works to improve the crossing conditions at the EECP ‘Novotroitske’ (Donetska oblast) and ‘Stanytsya Luhanska’ (Luhanska oblast) are expected to be finalised by mid-November.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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