Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
During October, a new hope emerged with the full disengagement of forces and hardware in Zolote (Luhanska Oblast), a second location along the 450 km Line of Contact to see such a disengagement. This followed a decree by the President of Ukraine to agree to the so-called Steinmeier Formula, which foresees special status for the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
However, the security situation in the region remained volatile and unstable. Due to increased security incidents, the Government announced Yellow Security Regime in the government controlled areas (GCA), while the de-facto authorities have announced ‘high combat regime’ in the non-government-controlled areas (NGCA).
In October, the Education Cluster reported two incidents of an attack on education -- in which School # 4 in Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (Luhanska NGCA) was twice hit by gunfire on October 3 and again on October 23, resulting in severe damage to the building. It noteworthy that the same school, in which at least 100 boys and girls are enrolled, has now been targeted 15 times since the start of this year. Elsewhere, there were reports of two incidents of education facilities being damaged in Donetska NGCA, one on October 6 which resulted in windows of kindergarten in Staromykhailivka sustaining damages, and the other on October 15, during which windows of a local school in Oleksandrivka were damaged. Fortunately, no child or teacher was injured.
However, these attacks demonstrate the severity of the situation and continued attacks on education facilities. Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014 over 750 education facilities have been damaged and many more experienced disruptions to education.
The humanitarian situation on the crossing checkpoints and Line of Contact remains challenging, with elderly people forced to wait in long queues for hours on end. Local reports indicate that an elderly male civilian died at a checkpoint while crossing the Line of Contact. A security incident was reported, when a trip-wired IED explosion injured a female civilian wounded in the forestry area of Chasiv Yar (GCA) on October 31.