Thursday, 26 February 2015

The humanitarian crisis in Donbas

Kiev Bans All Ways into Ukraine for Civilians from Rebel-Held Donbass
The only way civilians from rebel-held East Ukraine can now cross over to government-controlled territory is via Russia

Fleeinig civilians from Luhansk Oblast | Photo: Valery Matytsin, ©TASS
Fleeinig civilians from Luhansk Oblast | Photo: Valery Matytsin, ©TASS

25 February, 2015

LUHANSK, February 24, (TASS) - Transit through Russia is the only opportunity left for citizens of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) to travel elsewhere in Ukraine, Minister of the LPR infrastructure, transport and communications Alexander Chumachenko told journalists on Tuesday.

He said that four letters had been sent to the Ukrainian Transport Ministry, asking to facilitate transportation of civilians through block posts, but Ukrainian officials refused to ease the transportation rules, citing the instructions issued by the Ukrainian president and Ukrainian parliament. "At present, the LPR population may travel elsewhere in Ukraine only through the territory of Russia," the minister said.

As an example, the minister mentioned the so-called "new route" from Luhansk to the city of Severodonetsk situated at a distance of around 110 kilometers from Luhansk. "In line with the instructions issued by the Ukrainian administration anyone going from Luhansk to Severodonetsk has to cross the Russian border at the Izvarino-Donetsk border check point, then go all the way down the border line and then cross into Ukraine once again through the Chertkovo-Melovoye border check point," the minister said. "The overall distance one has to cover to reach the destination is 650 kilometers," the minister said.

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