Protection of civilians: The security situation remained volatile, with a slight decrease in both security incidents – from 557 incidents in May to 535 in June – and damage to homes and civilian infrastructure – from 50 cases in May to 8 case in June. OHCHR recorded six civilian casualties related to the conflict (all injured), a decrease of 45% compared to May 2021; three people suffered from mine / EORE incidents.
Freedom of movement: Access to the government-controlled area (GCA) via entry-exit crossing points (EECP) was facilitated after the Ukrainian government lifted the requirements related to COVID-19 (namely , the “Diya” mobile application, COVID-19 tests, self-isolation or observation in medical establishments). As a result, daily crossings have increased from 1,500 to 4,500 people per day.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the following constraints still limit the access of residents of the non-government controlled area (NGCA) to the GCA side: a) the de facto authorities in Luhansk NGCA do not allow the crossing of the line of contact on both sides only once in 30 days; b) The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on GCA will only remain in place as long as Ukraine considers its territory a “green zone” for measures related to COVID-19 – if the epidemiological situation deteriorates, the application of restrictions on EECPs would still be possible, depending on the existing legal framework; c) of seven existing EECPs, only two are open to civilian passages on both sides. Therefore, protection partners continue to advocate for a) revising the legislation that enforces COVID-19 restrictions on EECPs and lifting the restrictions on the NGCA side; b) reopening of all EECPs to facilitate crossings for residents of the NGCA. Finally, in recent months, the international border crossing points (PICF) at Milove and Hoptivka had reached the same crossing levels as the EECP Stanytsia Luhanska. Through advocacy from protection partners, Parliament passed Bill 5478 to lift the imposition of fines against NGCA residents using IBCPs to access SCM for humanitarian reasons or during limited operation. EECPs. The law is awaiting the president’s signature. Despite this positive development,
Ukrainian authorities recently established COVID-19 restrictions for people traveling from Russia. With the new requirement to pass a COVID-19 test and in the absence of free rapid tests at IBCPs, residents of NGCA face an additional financial burden to access GCA.
Impact of decentralization on essential services: the Protection Cluster launched a monitoring matrix to monitor the availability of protection and social services during the transition period of the decentralization process in 27 conflict-affected communities on the SCM side – including 18 civil-military administrations (CMA) and 9 amalgamated Territorial Collectivities (ATC). After six months, although there has been some progress in reorganizing the new administrative communities, the process at the local level is far from complete – in 70% of the communities along the contact line there are at least an essential protection / social service not available. Only 9 of the 27 monitored communities have all essential social / protection services in place. Compared to the ATCs where the elections were held, the CMAs still have more gaps and delays in setting up / providing social services – and it should be noted that after six months all heads of CMAs were not appointed (CMA from Svitlodarska and Vyhledarska). Interim measures and / or gaps in service delivery are still widely implemented and were reported in 18 (67%) of the 27 communities monitored. In such cases, partners have expressed concerns about sustainability, quality of services and effective access to services. Community participation in the decentralization process at the local level, including engagement in the planning and reorganization of essential services during the transition period, must be strengthened – through the election of starostas, inclusion in participatory mechanisms local, and finally through elections.
The Protection Cluster also mapped partner projects specifically targeting support to local authorities to complete the decentralization process, reorganize their local government systems, carry out needs assessments and restore protection services. Six protection partners, including UNHCR, are implementing projects in 11 CMAs, out of the 19 existing CMAs