Monitors say humanitarian situation's poor in Kiev-held contact line zone in Donbass

The social and economic situation in the 10-kilometre zone in the Kiev-controlled territory near the demarcation line in Donbass is consistently bad, a member of the coordinators' council of the Vostok-SOS charity foundation, Konstantin Reutsky, said.

The international monitoring group, comprising representatives of human rights organizations from five countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia) operated in the districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions adjacent to the contact line from 17 to 23 December, 2017. The group focused on documenting war crimes, recording facts of human rights violations, and studying the humanitarian situation in the region.

"In the conditional 10-kilometre zone directly adjacent to the demarcation line (in the territory under Kiev's control - ed.), the situation is consistently poor, and so far we have not noticed any signs of improvement. And I think that they are not possible without a complete cessation of hostilities or without revision of the restrictions introduced for security reasons," Reutsky said while presenting the "Live As On A Reservation" report about the results of the trip.

According to him, in this zone local residents face great difficulties with entry-departure from localities, transport, administrative services, access to healthcare and education. The observer stressed that these people are completely dependent on international humanitarian assistance. According to him, the infrastructure in the region is destroyed, but its slow recovery begins.

"In the territories remote from the demarcation line at a distance of more than 10 kilometres, the situation is improving... The more the situation stabilizes, the better the administrative institutions work, the easier is access to services, the better is availability of medical care and education," Reutsky said.

In April 2014, the authorities of Ukraine launched a military operation against the DPR and LPR, which had declared independence after the coup in Ukraine in February 2014. According to the latest UN data, more than 10,000 people became victims of the conflict.

The settlement of the situation in Donbass is being negotiated, including during the meetings of the Contact Group in Minsk, which has already adopted three documents regulating the steps to de-escalate the conflict since September, 2014. However, Ukrainian bombardments continue after the armistice agreements are passed.

DONi News Agency