• Civilian casualties: In January, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission recorded two conflict-related casualties, including one boy injured as a result of mine incident. In 2020, out of 144 casualties, 73 were related to landmines and ERW.
• Security: In 2020, INSO recorded 6,358 security incidents (29% less than in 2019); 582 incidents were recorded in December and 496 in January.
In December, an elderly couple lost all their belongings after their house was affected by shelling and a driver was injured after his tractor was also affected by shelling.
• Freedom of movement: Out of five existing EECPs, only two (Stanytsia Luhanska and Novotroitske) are open on both the GCA and NGCA side.
The new EECPs in Zolote and Shchastia are still not operational on the NGCA side.
On 5 January, the Cabinet of Minister amendments to the Resolution #1236 allowing to apply rapid COVID-19 testing to enter GCA without obligation to undergo a self-isolation regime. This service is available only at EECP Novotroitske. In January, 156 people were tested.
• Access to services: On 16 December, a multi-service center was opened at EECP Novotroitske and, once fully operationalized, is expected to provide administrative, banking, legal, and post services.
In January, the State Migration Service and Pension Fund Stanytsia Luhansk stopped face-to-face assistance and switched to online services due to increasing COVID-19 cases among employees, affecting NGCA resident’s access to documents and pensions.
• HLP rights: In December-January, the Compensation Committees in Donetsk and Luhansk regions approved 64 requests for compensation for destroyed housing. The key obstacles for applying for compensation continue to be the lack of ownership documents of the destroyed housing and reluctance to renounce property rights, a requirement to apply for compensation. The Ministry for Reintegration of TOT requested the HLP TWG to submit its recommendations on proposed amendments to address the main shortcomings of the Compensation Decree.
• Decentralization: Eighteen communities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where local elections did not take place, will continue to be governed by civil-military administrations (CMA). While appointments of the heads of CMA by the President are still pending, the provision of social services is affected in some communities, as local authorities are no longer eligible to access budgets to pay the bills for maintaining public institutions, including schools and community centers, and pay salaries to the employees. In addition, communities raised concerns on challenges to accessservices due to lack of transportation to new centers covering the recently established ATCs.
The Protection Cluster is monitoring the situation and its impact on access to protection services