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Oleh Tsoi was born in 1955 in Uzbekistan. There he received a passport of a citizen of the former USSR. For his whole life the man worked in the “House of Communications” – he laid telephone cables and communications.

After moving to Ukraine in 1991, Oleh Moiseyovych’s life changed. The Soviet Union collapsed, all the former republics became independent states, and a man could not exchange an old passport for a new one in Ukraine. There were different reasons for this. Then the situation got even more complicated by the fact that over time, the passport of a citizen of the former Soviet Union was lost. Now the man had no documents at all. Oleh Moiseyovych could no longer go to Uzbekistan because the identity documents were necessary to cross the border.

It took almost three decades to try in vain to obtain Ukrainian citizenship and a passport.

After Oleh Moiseyovych’s appeal to the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) and the UNHCR, specialists of our organization sent multiple inquiries to Uzbekistan and received the necessary documents. Missing references were also collected. Due to changes in Ukrainian legislation in 2021, the man was able to apply to the migration service for recognition as a stateless person.

Three decades of useless attempts. The story of Oleh Tsoi Три десятиліття марних спроб. Історія Олега Цоя

Now Oleh Moiseyovych hopes that the state of Ukraine will recognize his right to exist and issue him a temporary residence permit so that he could no longer be a ghost in the society!



Indira is the mother of many children. The woman turned for help to R2P in 2018. Her eldest son Roman did not have a birth certificate. Indira became pregnant at a young age and gave birth to children at home. Back in 2005 when the woman gave birth to Roman, she did not know how to get a birth certificate, as well as in 2018, when she gave birth to another child.

Our lawyer made several inquiries, after which a statement was prepared to the court to establish the fact of the child’s birth. However, the court refused to open the case, believing that Indira had other ways to obtain a son’s birth certificate. The Kharkiv Court of Appeals generally recommended forcing civil registry offices to register the birth of 13-year-old Roma, ignoring the current legislation on the required list of documents.

In 2020, the Supreme Court of Ukraine, in its ruling, ordered the Ordzhonikidze District Court to open a case and consider an application to establish the fact of Roman’s birth. At the request of our lawyer, a costly genetic examination was ordered, the funds for which were allocated by the R2P. DNA testing proved the fact that Roman was Indira’s son.

Due to the high professionalism of the Kholodnohirsky District Department of State Registration of Civil Status Acts of the Eastern Interregional Department of the Ministry of Justice (Kharkiv), the birth of Roman was registered on the day of application and a certificate was then issued.

But the joy of our lawyer was suddenly overshadowed – the telephone connection with Indira was lost, none of the available telephone numbers were serviced. The lawyer only knew that Indira and her children had recently moved to Kryvyi Rih… The real search began then.

відділу соціальних гарантій та виплат УСЗН виконкому Тернівської

On the verge of despair, the lawyer turned to the contact center of the city of Kryvyi Rih – and it worked! The next day, Natalia Ryabushenko, the head of the Executive Committee of the Department of Social Guarantees and Payments (Department of Labour and Social Protection of the Ternivka District Council), called and volunteered to help.

She not only provided the information available to her but also searched through the other areas in the city and then called us back and told our lawyer the address at which Indira was registered. Later, Olena Pazenko, a monitor of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), joined the cause to help Roman. It was she who completed the creation of a miracle for the boy. As a result, Roman finally got the long-awaited document – legal proof of his existence.

Свідоцтво про народження для сина. Історія Індіри

Now Roman is waiting for a visit to the State Migration Service of Ukraine to obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine.

The only thing to add to this story is that it is very difficult to provide full legal assistance at a distance, given the vulnerability and insecurity of our beneficiaries… But the sensitivity and humanity cover miles, creating real miracles and giving faith in a better future! Many thanks to the colleagues and everyone who helped.



NGOs Open Letter regarding the abolition of fines at EECPs when leaving the NGCA through the Russian Federation

To the Chairman of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the City of Sevastopol, National Minorities and International Relations

Dmytro Lubinets

Dear Dmytro Valeriyovych!

We, The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations Concerning the Protection and Observance of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Victims of the Armed Conflict, ask you to support the draft law №5478 of 11.05.2021 “On Amendments to Section II “Final Provisions” of the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”.

Since March 2020, the occupation administrations, under the guise of fighting COVID-19, have imposed artificial restrictions on the crossing of the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) through the contact line in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as well as across the administrative border of Kherson oblast and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

As a result, Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories have lost the opportunity to maintain regular contact with the Ukrainian Government Controlled Areas. According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the number of crossings through the checkpoints has decreased 35 times compared to the indicators before the introduction of the quarantine measures by the occupational administrations.

In this regard, the only way to maintain social ties, apply for administrative, social, medical, and other services for citizens is to move from the temporarily occupied territories through the territory of the Russian Federation, which is currently recognized as an administrative offense under Article 204-2 Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses. Thus, for violation of the order of entry into and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, an administrative penalty in the form of a fine of one hundred to three hundred non-taxable minimum incomes (i.e. from 1.7 thousand to 5.1 thousand UAH) is being applied.

Such a situation requires an urgent solution in terms of non-application of measures of administrative coercion to a certain category of persons in the conditions of de-facto movement blockage through the recognized Entry-Exit Checkpoints. The situation is especially critical during the ongoing admission campaign, where children from the temporarily occupied territories travel to the controlled territory in order to enter higher education institutions, and it is extremely important that their first meeting with the Ukrainian state will not be a report on an administrative offense.

The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations Concerning the Protection and Observance of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Victims of the Armed Conflict Supports Bill 475478 of 11.05.2021 “On Amendments to Section II“ Final Provisions ”of the Law of Ukraine“ On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Outbreak and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and asks to support the text at the next meeting of the Committee and recommend the people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to adopt the bill as a basis and as a whole as soon as possible.

Vostok SOS

ZMINA Human Rights Center

Crimea SOS

Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P)

Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services

Donbas SOS

NGO “Public Holding “Group of Influence”

Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG)



The problem of IDP integration does not lose its relevance even despite the significant number of measures taken by the state to ensure their well-being and adaptation. In particular, special social protection programs are being developed at the local level to support people in difficult life circumstances.

БФ «Право на захист» продовжує співпрацювати з громадами для успішної інтеграції ВПО

Problems of IDP integration. The Residence Registration

One of the most striking problems for IDPs is the issue of “registration”. Residence registration still determines access to most of the government services, as well as the ability to participate in the local programs and receive benefits.

Currently, the vast majority of internally displaced persons do not have a registered place of residence in their new community. However, they want to register at a new place of residence. The main reason for the impossibility of changing the “registration” is the lack of housing in which a person could register. And this position is absolutely logical.

Thus, for the most part, IDPs do not change their registered place of residence due to possible difficulties in crossing the contact line and/or selling real estate in the temporarily occupied territories. Also, the unwillingness to change the registration address is associated with the fear of losing social guarantees and benefits. Thus, IDPs without registration at a new place of residence deprive themselves of the opportunity for local social guarantees and the ability to participate in programs. The only thing left is the right to social benefits for IDPs, which are also temporary.

БФ «Право на захист» продовжує співпрацювати з громадами для успішної інтеграції ВПО

Local programs for IDPs integration

Such programs exist, in particular, in the fields of culture, housing, public health, social protection, education support, etc. They are approved by the local government and financed from the local budget.

Of course, housing programs remain the main need of IDPs in the 7th year of conflict in the east of Ukraine. There is also a high level of interest in the field of social protection, health care, education, science, and small business support. Unfortunately, internally displaced persons are often excluded from the process of developing, discussing, and agreeing on the local programs.

At CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), we are working to change approaches to ensuring the inclusion of IDPs in community life, IDP integration, access to local programs, and the use of local democracy tools, as well as to provide several other opportunities.

The main tool that can help solve the problems with IDPs integration is the formation of IDP initiative groups and the subsequent establishment of an IDP Advisory Council. It can act as an advisory body and deal with the implementation of state and local policies in the field of IDP protection, promote their integration and provide support to the local host territorial communities. The approach is based on the model of the Advisory Council created in Zaporizhia, which has been working effectively for the second year in a row.

Exchange of experience and dissemination of successful practices remain one of the important areas of our work. For example, on June 11, specialists of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) organized an online meeting for initiative groups of internally displaced persons from Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, and Donetsk regions. The central theme of the event was the exchange of experiences on the integration of migrants into community life. The event was joined by 18 initiative IDPs from 15 ATCs.

The purpose of such activities is to exchange experiences and practices on the formation of IDP initiative groups with their further formalization at the local level and the establishment of the IDP Advisory Council. 

During the event on June 11, representatives of the IDP Advisory Council of Zaporizhia shared their experience in creating and implementing activities and successful practices of cooperation between the Council and local self-government bodies. During the event, participants learned about the prerequisites for the establishment of the IDP Advisory Council, the formation of its structure and activities, as well as the ways to motivate council members.

As a result of the event, it was agreed on further cooperation of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the IDP initiative groups and local self-government bodies. Cooperation is envisaged in the direction of establishing an advisory body and further lobbying the interests of IDPs at the local level, including through the development and ratification of Targeted Local Programs.



In May, R2P with the support of the UNHCR, began work on the project “Ensuring Access to Social Services in Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs) Along the Contact Line”. Its goal is to support newly formed communities in the process of decentralization, i.e. the creation of the Social passport of the community and the aid in the formation of an effective and functioning system to provide the social services in the newly established amalgamated territorial communities (ATCs/ “Hromadas” in Ukrainian) taking into account their budget, influence of the hostilities and lack of full-fledged local self-government bodies, etc.

Ukraine has completed the process of reforming the administrative-territorial structure in 2020. As a result of a community consolidation, new administrative units were formed: 1469 amalgamated territorial communities and 119 districts in 24 regions (oblasts). Donetsk region (Government-Controlled (GCA) and Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) of Ukraine) has 46 ATCs and 8 districts. Luhansk region (GCA, NGCA) has 28 ATCs and 4 districts.

БФ «Право на захист» розпочав новий проєкт із допомоги ОТГ

In areas affected by the conflict near the contact line, decentralization has taken place with significant obstacles and under unfavorable circumstances. The decision not to include 10 communities in Donetsk and 8 communities in the Luhansk regions in the local elections (November 2020) created a double challenge for these territories.

First of all, for security reasons, they are all run by the civil-military administrations (CMAs), in order to ensure national security and defense, as well as to perform the functions of the local governments. Second, by the end of January 2021, the CMAs did not have the legal authority to perform such basic responsibilities as land management, community or co-ownership, establishment and management of the administrative service centers, implementation of inter-community cooperation agreements, and so on.

This legislative gap has recently been closed, but both the CMAs and the ATCs still need more time and support to adapt to decentralization, while responsibility for the social protection of the most vulnerable is already being transferred to them.

«There are lots of problematic issues in the communities where civil-military administrations have been established by Presidential Decree. In addition to the general problems with the exercise of the rights to social services guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine, each such community has additional difficulties related to the long-term conflict and the lack of qualified professionals. The project “Ensuring access to social services in local communities along the contact line” will allow CMAs to establish an effective social protection system to provide quality social services in the communities within the timeframe specified by the Law of Ukraine.»

– says Oleh Lyubimov, Decentralization Coordinator at CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)

Work on a new project involves several stages:

  • research of the current situation (questionnaires of local authorities, focus groups, surveys of recipients of social services);
  • providing methodological assistance (development of draft administrative and organizational documents, conducting a set of educational and practical seminars and trainings, providing consultations);

legal and methodological support during the creation of the main units of social protection of local authorities in each community.

In early June, the teams of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) began the process of signing memorandums of cooperation with the Nyzhnyohirska and Teplivska OTGs, as well as with the Marinska and Sartanska CMAs.

«New amalgamated territorial communities must learn to build everything from scratch. Working with them will be difficult but at the same time a very interesting task. For us, areas near the contact line are not something super new and we have a long time of experience in cooperation with the activists and local state representatives here. We know both the problems and the challenges.  So, we hope that our further joint work will be aimed at community development and success. »

– said Olena Grekova, head of the Severodonetsk office of the R2P



Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for May 2021, prepared by the CF ‘Right to Protection’. The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard:

  • This month, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast, at a level considerably below the pre-COVID period. According to Joint Forces Operation data and R2P monitoring, the number of people crossing the contact line was without significant difference in May compared to April: over 52,000 in both months.
  • On 31 May, in Donetska Oblast there were 185 people on the list for crossing. About sixty people were waiting from 09:00 on NGCA to arrive at Novotroitske just before the closure. According to them, such a delay on NGCA was caused by a thorough search of personal belongings (cosmetics bags, underwear, first aid kits, etc.), to the point that some people were forced to undress to their underwear for manual inspection.
‘Crossing the contact line’, May, 2021 (REPORT)
  • Reconstruction at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP has begun. It is planned to update the infrastructure of the EECP on the model of Novotroitske EECP (Administrative Service Center, sheds, etc.). In this regard, people face inconveniences: private laboratories were moved closer to the roadway, the benches near the laboratories were removed, there were no sheds and the sidewalk road was broken. The repair work will last until the end of the summer.
‘Crossing the contact line’, May, 2021 (REPORT)
  • During May, 4,392 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle.
  •  R2P facilitated 203 requests for crossing through the fast-track procedure and assisted about 1800 persons with installing the “Vdoma” app.

The report is available in English

and Ukrainian



More than 180 internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently live in the compact residence unit (CRU) “Holy Mountains” (“Sviati Hory”). Most of them are elderly people, families with children with disabilities, incapacitated bedridden people.  They live at risk of eviction because every year there is a risk of lease non-renewal.

«IDPs are constantly looking for the most comfortable settlement options not to be dependent on external factors and tenant conditions. People are tired of living with the fear that they may be deprived of housing and left in the open. Everyone wants stability and confidence in the future for themselves and their families, »

– shares Natalia Shevchenko, monitor of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)
Консультація щодо всеукраїнських житлових програм для ВПО в МКП «Святі гори»

On June 10 our colleagues from the Sloviansk office of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) held a group consultation on housing programs for internally displaced persons available in Ukraine. During the meeting, participants received information about the “Affordable Housing” program, the opportunity to receive a soft government loan, as well as on the program for social and temporary housing.

«The Sviatohirsk Territorial Community is currently being reorganized, and its leadership is interested in a long-term solution to the housing problems of internally displaced persons. We are confident that this community will be able to create all the conditions for the registration of those who need social and temporary housing. »

– said Iryna Abramova, the monitor of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection (R2P).



At the beginning of June 2021, the team of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) held constituent meetings with the representatives of the Civil-military administrations (CMAs*), which now joined the reform of the territorial organization of power. The meetings took place in the village of Sartana in the Mariupol district, and in the town of Marinka, Pokrovsky district, Donetsk region.

Along with the consolidation, amalgamated territorial communities (hromadas) gained new broad powers in various areas of daily life. This includes the organization of the system of providing educational, medical, administrative, social, and other services. Even in those communities where long-term leaders have been elected as the chairpersons, the government faced significant challenges in organizing the systematic work of the new executive bodies.

БФ «Право на захист» провів зустрічі з представниками ВЦА в Донецькій області

During the meetings, colleagues discussed the possibility of implementing the project “Ensuring access to social services in local communities along the contact line”, which is implemented by the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the support of UNHCR. According to CMA representatives, implementing such a project will significantly help support the social protection capacity building of the communities and settlements along the contact line and have been significantly affected by the armed conflict. Although it should be noted that the representatives of both CMAs have experience in the field of social services.

«There are lots of problematic issues in the communities where civil-military administrations have been established by Presidential Decree. In addition to the general problems with the exercise of the rights to social services guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine, each such community has additional difficulties related to the long-term conflict and the lack of qualified professionals. The project “Ensuring access to social services in local communities along the contact line” will allow CMAs to establish the effective social protection system in order to provide quality social services in the communities within the timeframe specified by the Law of Ukraine.»

– says Oleh Lyubimov, Decentralization Coordinator at CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)

The result of the meetings was the signing of a memorandum on further interaction and cooperation with the leaders of the Civil-military administrations. In the future, there will be very troublesome work: creating working groups, conducting community needs assessments, creating a project model of social services, and, in fact, the implementation of such a model.

БФ «Право на захист» провів зустрічі з представниками ВЦА в Донецькій області

* Throughout the process of decentralization, the Marinska CMA was formed out of 8 merged councils (17 settlements), and Sartanska CMA – out of 7 councils (18 settlements), some of which are located close to the line of contact.



«I remember the times when it was quiet and peaceful. First we heard strange sounds, we could not understand what it was until the shells from the sky began to fall on the house. From that moment our tragedy began,»says with tears in his eyes Hennadii, resident of Vodiane village.

Vodiane is a village in the Mariupol district near the contact line, which was seriously damaged during the war. Now only nine people are living there.

«In 2014, shells hit the city market in Mariupol.  My son and grandchildren were there. Son covered the children with his own body, rescuing him from the explosion. Since then we hate fireworks. The granddaughter still shudders and cries… While before the war it was a joy. »

— quietly adds Hennadii.

Due to the shelling, Vodiane was left without electricity for a long time, in fact – literally cut off from civilization. The main source of drinking water was and still remains the rainwater, and the one only well in the village, where the city administration recently installed a pump, located in the area that is under fire. However, Hennadii says that by the end of 2020, drinking water was also supplied to them by the employees of ADRA, and now the village administration is negotiating to restore the water supply.

Hennadii’s neighbor Maryna still has trembling hands when she remembers the first bombings.  She said that back then they were forced to take security measures: they had to live in basements for a long time, with small food supplies and drinking water of questionable quality and freshness. But there was no choice – their only wish was to survive.

The already difficult situation is complicated by the lack of a medical facility in Vodiane – the simplest medical service is situated tens of kilometers in the nearest village. Moreover, there is no regular transport connection with Vodyane since 2014, so there is almost no possibility to leave the village.

Zoya is a lonely woman who survived the hardest and most terrible moments of the war and is incredibly happy about the visit of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P). She perfectly understands what our colleagues had to go through to find out how the locals live, to provide them with the necessary assistance, and to inform them about the possibility of receiving compensation for the destroyed (damaged) housing – the only road to the village is seriously damaged.

Smiling sadly, Zoya tells how her goat Zoika runs to the house and hides, signaling that there will be a shelling soon, persuading Zoya to run to a safe place too.

But despite all the horrors of war, people do not lose their unconditional faith that this land is the source of their life energy – the trees, the people, the animals – they all protect, defend and give strength and unshakable hope that every “tomorrow” will be better than today.

And, looking into the eyes of these extraordinary people, you involuntarily charge with their confidence that everything will be fine.