• Protection of Civilians: One year since the ceasefire, introduced on 27 July 2020, there has been an 82% decrease in civilian casualties due to active hostilities. In spite of the positive trend, the security situation remains volatile and slightly deteriorating every month – since January 2021, there has been a 51% increase in civilian casualties, compared to the first six months after the ceasefire. Civilian casualties due to mines/ERWs increased by 38% since the ceasefire and account for 71% of the total civilian casualties in 2021. The trend is worrisome considering that Ukraine has no state mechanism to assist mine victims and the humanitarian response is very limited (only 8% of the targeted people was reached by June 2021). Most cases took place in Non-Government Controlled Area (NGCA), where humanitarian access is very limited.
In July, INSO recorded a 20% increase in incidents – from 435 in June to 523 in July, with a particular 50% increase in collateral damages to civilian property. Damages to civilian housing increased from 8 cases in June to 25 cases in July.
• Freedom of movement: In June, COVID-19 restrictions for crossing EntryExit Crossing Points (EECPs) were lifted, allowing NGCA residents more flexibility to cross EECPs. Nonetheless, on 28 July, the Government of Ukraine re-established COVID-related requirements and people entering Government-Controlled Area (GCA) are required to install the ‘Diya’ app, to undergo self-isolation or do COVID-19 testing. Observation centers have limited supplies and food to accommodate persons unable to intall ‘Diya’ app. The same measures apply to the International Border Crossing Points (IBCPs) with Russia. On 29 July, the draft Law #5478 lifting the fines against NGCA residents entering GCA through IBCPs was finally signed by the President. NGCA residents are exempted from fines if crossing for the humanitarian reasons listed in the Resolution #815. After the law came into force, the border monitoring conducted by UNHCR and NGO ‘Right to Protection’ at IBCPs ‘Milove’ and ‘Hoptivka’ showed that no fines were applied and the waiting time for crossing decreased in the Ukrainian side. However, IBCPs have limited reception capacities and still lack adequate waiting areas, benches, cover from the sun, sufficient number of toilets and drinking water.
• Mine Action: The Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories initiated establishment the local Coordination Groups on Mine Action in conflict-affected areas, provided by Mine Action Law. The Groups aim to coordinate mine action activities among state actors; inform local residents on mine risks; and identify and assist mine victims. So far the coordination groups are established in Vyhledarsk, Sloviansk, Kostiantynivka and Novohrodivka.
On 14 July, the President signed the draft law #5373 amending the Law ‘On State Social Assistance to Children with Disabilities’, to increase the monthly social assistance by 50% when a child’s disability resulted from mine/UXO. Currently, mine victims with disabilities can access monthly state disability assistance, available for all persons with disabilities in Ukraine. Provision of assistance to mine victims on such grounds does not meet international standards, as it conditions provision of the assistance on having a disability.
• Housing, land and property: The Сabinet of Ministers approved state subvention in the amount of 18 million UAH to local budgets within IDP housing programme 70/30. The funding will allow purchasing 65 housing premises for 201 IDPs across Ukraine. The first 150 IDPs who will benefit from the preferential long-term mortgage loans were selected. It is expected that in 2021-2022, 680 households or 1,768 IDPs will benefit from this programme.
In January-June 2021, the Compensation Committees in Donetsk and Luhansk regions approved 122 requests for compensation for destroyed housing in general amount of 34.5 million UAH; 43 persons already received compensation.