Today we present the January 2022 report on the conditions for crossing the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) and International/Interstate Border Crossing Points (IBCPs). The report is based on the data collected during the monitoring of the situation at the EECPs in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (eastern Ukraine), as well as on the IBCPs “Milove” and “Hoptivka” on the border with Russia.
The purpose of the survey is to gather information on the difficulties and problems faced by the citizens, who are traveling across the Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) and Government-Controlled Areas through EECPs on the contact line in eastern Ukraine, and IBCPs on the border with Russia.
More statistical data is available on the Online Dashboard.
CROSSING THE CONTACT LINE:
January 2022 EECP Survey Snapshot
- As in previous months, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two of the seven Exit-Entry Crossing Points (EECPs): Novotroitske EECP in Donetsk Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska EECP in Luhansk Oblast . 94 per cent of all people crossing between the GCA and the NGCA in January did so through Stanytsia Luhanska EECP. This is due to the fact that Novotroitske EECP operates only two days a week, with additional permits required by de facto authorities for crossing.
- As in January 2021, the number of people crossing the contact line reached a low point in January 2022. The low level of crossing is most explained by the winter holidays.
- On 24 January 2022, the SSU website has been revamped and is ready to register new crossing permits. From November 2021, people without prior registration on the SSU website were unable to register to obtain permits to cross the contact line.
- The resumption of the SSU website and abolition of the requirement to install the Vdoma app on 29 December 2021 for people crossing EECPs to GCA considerably made the process easier and less stressful.
- COVID-19 vaccination has become one of the reasons to cross EECPs since February 2021. A vaccination centre opened at Novotroitske EECP on 21 January. As a result, people crossing the contact line can be vaccinated at both of the EECPs operating, free of charge.
GOING AROUND THE CONTACT LINE:
January 2022 IBCP Survey Snapshot
- In January, the R2P team identified that some people were not informed that the Vdoma app still needs to be downloaded by people crossing through IBCPs. At Hoptivka IBCP, people carried out PCR tests on their own in the neutral zone in order to avoid observation or other measures. 28 per cent of the people interviewed by R2P at Milove and Hoptivka IBCPs were over the age of 60, who often face difficulties installing the Vdoma app or paying for Covid-19 tests. Thus, from Milove IBCP, 15 older people were sent for observation. UNHCR and R2P will seek solutions to strengthen the dissemination of information on existing requirements.
- In January, most respondents were residents of Donetsk NGCA (51 per cent), compared to 16 per cent who were residents of Luhansk NGCA. Furthermore, for the third consecutive month, there were no residents of Luhanska NGCA among respondents at Hoptivka IBCP. The reason for the higher number of residents from Donetsk NGCA is that Novotroitske EECP in Donetsk oblast is only open two times per week.
- The construction of reception and sanitary facilities for people crossing the border through IBCP in Milove has been completed with UNHCR support.
The report is available in:
The report is based on the results of a survey, regularly conducted by the specialists of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) since June 2017 at Entry-Exit Checkpoints in the Donetsk (Mayorske, Marinka, Hnutove and Novotroitske) and Luhansk (Stanytsia Luhanska) oblasts. Since August 2021 the survey is also conducted at the “Milove” IBCP (Luhansk oblast) and the “Hoptivka” IBCP (Kharkiv oblast).
The survey is part of the monitoring of violations of the rights of the population affected by the conflict and is conducted within the project “Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population” implemented by the R2P with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The purpose of a survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the ‘contact line’ and state border through EECPs and IBCPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for the advocacy efforts.