Protection of Civilians: In September, the number of security incidents slightly increased compared to August (471 and 440 cases, respectively).
Conflict parties continue to increase their presence along the contact line, which is likely will lead to the deterioration of the security situation in the upcoming months. At least 31 civilian houses were damaged. On 9 September, due to the shelling near Skotuvata (Donetsk region), the movement of the trains was suspended for two weeks. OHCHR recorded nine civilian casualties – including eight in the non-government controlled territory (NGCA). From January to September 2021, 84 civilian casualties were recorded (58% due to mines/ERW) – a 34% decrease compared with the same period in 2020.
Freedom of movement: In September, the number of crossings through the entry-exit crossing point (EECP) ‘Stanytsia Luhanska’ dropped by 23% compared to August (from 85,043 to 65,255 crossings). COVID-19 related requirements (install ‘Vdoma’ mobile app; undergo 10-days selfisolation/ isolation in medical facilities or take COVID-19 tests) contributed to the decrease and were extended until the end of the year. On 13 September, the Cabinet of Ministers amended Resolution #1236 allowing vaccinated residents of NGCA to enter GCA without undergoing selfisolation or COVID-19 testing. The results of the monitoring of the situation at the international border crossing points (IBCPs) ‘Milove’ and ‘Hoptivka’, conducted by UNHCR and NGO Right to Protection (R2P) in August-September, showed a positive impact of the amendments to the Law 1583-IX on lifting the fines against NGCA residents entering GCA through IBCPs.
In August, the number of fines decreased from 1,052 to 83 at IBCP ‘Milove’ IBCP and from 164 to 2 at IBCP ‘Hoptivka’. Starting from 10 October, the ‘LPR’ de-facto authorities introduced significant crossing restrictions through the EECP ‘Stanytsia Luhanska’. To leave Luhansk NGCA, the NGCA resident should be included in the list formed by the local authorities based on the following grounds: medical treatment, burial, provision of care to a close relative, and education. The same зкщсувгку is applied to GCA residents entering Luhansk NGCA. The number of crossings through the IBCP ‘Milove’ reportedly did not increase yet.
Access to pensions: Oshchadbank prolonged the validity of the IDP bank cards till 1 January 2022. Starting from 1 January 2022, the cards will no longer be prolonged automatically. IDPs will have to visit Oshchadbank branches to collect re-issued cards.
On 22 September, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted Resolution #999, allowing pensioners (including IDPs residing in NGCA) to undergo physical verification with the Pension Fund (required once a year) remotely via the website using an e-signature generated by the mobile app ‘Diya. ID’. Digital verification will also allow IDP pensioners not to undergo physical verification with the Oshadbank every 90 days (this requirement was suspended during COVID-19 restrictions). Despite this positive development, after the suspension of the COVID-19 restrictions, IDP-pensioners will be still required to cross the contact line every 60 days to keep their IDP certificate valid.
2022 Draft State Budget: On 15 September, the Government approved the draft State Budget for 2022. The document points to a 300% increase of financing explosive risk ordnance education (from 5,000K to 15,000k), and a 300% increase of the subvention to local infrastructure projects of the Territorial Communities (from 62,550K to 187,650K). However, the draft does not indicate the allocation for the programme ‘Affordable housing’ (50/50 programme) or subventions to local budgets to finance the programme ‘Housing for IDPs’. Budget decreases are noticed on compensation for housing destroyed as a result of the conflict (by 41% from 114,000K to 8O,853K), and on Free Legal Aid (decrease of 37,5%) which could impact staffing structures on FLACs.