For more than three years, restrictions on freedom of movement and the transfer of goods imposed by the Government of Ukraine at checkpoints along the contact line have required civilians to expose themselves to security risks, long queues, and other physical challenges, further dividing a once-integrated community.
During August-October 2017, over one million crossings through the checkpoints in the east took place each month on average, or approximately 30,000 crossings each day. In addition, an average of 200,000 crossings occurred over the administrative boundary with the Autonomous Republic of Crimea each month.
The limited number of checkpoints – only five across the entire contact line –, in combination with the small number of staff employed to process people crossing, and the complex nature of the crossing procedures, directly contribute to the hardships endured by civilians as they attempt to cross the contact line. Of particular concern, there is only one crossing point in Luhansk region, which is limited to pedestrians and consists of a half-ruined wooden bridge.