Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for August 2021, prepared by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P). The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs.
More statistical data is available on the Online Dashboard.
- As in the previous months, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two out of the seven Exit-Entry Crossing Checkpoints (EECPs): Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast. Numbers of people crossing remained much lower than in the pre-COVID times. According to the data from the Joint Forces Operation Command and monitoring specialists of the R2P, in August about 70000 people crossed the contact line, around the same as in July. The other five EECPs have remained closed from the NGCA side since July 2020. Armed groups claim that this is being done due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
- Resolution 787 came into force on 5 August 2021. According to it, travelers entering Ukraine are generally required to self-isolate for ten days with the exception in certain cases. The installation of the smartphone GEO-tracking app “Vdoma” has become a mandatory requirement again for the first time since May 2020. Those who cannot install the Vdoma app are subject to observation in a state-run facility. If a person crossing from NGCA has been invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Ukraine, self-isolation is not necessary.
- In August, 9029 vulnerable elderly persons were transported across the Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by an electric vehicle provided by the NGO Proliska.
- In August 2021, 1139 persons (51%) who entered Government-Controlled Areas (GCA) via Novotroitske EECP took antigen tests for COVID-19, while at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP it was 2289 persons who were tested (8% of those who entered GCA). Meanwhile, in Donetska Oblast, 109 people were referred to the observation facility, because they had no mobile phone and thus could not download the “Vdoma” app. There were no observation facilities in Luhanska Oblast.
- Since Resolution 787 was adopted, people that were placed in the observation facility in Hostre settlement have faced difficult conditions. Since August 6, 2021, R2P Team had started monitoring the situation and conditions, there was no food in the facility until the 18-th of August. The problem was resolved thanks to the NGO “Proliska” intervention. Moreover, PCR tests were available only on Tuesdays, so that people sometimes had to wait for up to a week to be tested.
- The total number of crossings in August 2021 was 90860. Almost 94% of all people crossing the contact line in August did it through the Stanytsia Luhanska EECP. In Donetska Oblast, 2612 people received authorization to cross the contact line in the GCA direction and 3205 to the NGCA, respectively. In the Luhanska Oblast, 42375 people crossed the contact line to the GCA and 42668 to the NGCA.
The report is based on the results of a survey, regularly conducted by the specialists of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) at the five (currently – two) EECPs in the Government-Controlled Areas (GCA) and administered regularly since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of the rights of a conflict-affected population within the framework of the project “Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population” implemented by the R2P with the support of 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’ through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for the advocacy efforts.