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How to reduce the risk of emergencies in eastern Ukraine?

Members of SHIFT Project know how!

The International NGO ACTED has partnered with IMPACT Initiatives, Right to Protection (R2P), and the Danish Red Cross and Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) to implement a 12-month Sustainable Humanitarian Interventions for Transition (SHIFT) project, funded by the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF).

This project provides humanitarian assistance and access to essential services in three frontline hromadas of Volnovakha raion in eastern Ukraine (Volnovakha, Olhynka, and Myrne), as well as supports strengthened government ownership and response capacity in coordination with development actors. Moreover, it is a pilot project and an important step for the humanitarian system. It shifts away from direct service delivery by external NGOs, who have been implementing the humanitarian response for the past 7 years, and moves toward sustainable and cost-effective response managed by ocal authorities.




#SHIFTConsortium #SustainableHumanitarianTransition #UkraineNotForgotten #InvestInHumanity



One of the key objectives of the Decentralization Reform is to make social services as close as possible to the people who live in the amalgamated territorial communities (hromadas). The process of transferring the authority to provide social services to the local communities is not that easy. At first, the communities will have many questions and face a few difficulties. To help the hromadas, the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) has already been providing expert support for a long time.

In 2021, within the framework of the Project “Support of the Amalgamated Territorial Communities along the contact line in the Reorganization of the Social and Administrative Services with the Decentralization Reform” the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) has organized preliminary consultations, meetings with hromada representatives to identify the possible solutions to the problems with access to social services.

The measures were aimed at implementing and supporting changes in governance resulting from the process of decentralization while strengthening local governments, accountability, and response capacity in coordination with participants. The implementation of initiatives in communities is a logical continuation of the systematic work on expert support of communities to establish a system of social services in target communities.

In 2022, the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) continues to support community development initiatives aimed at improving access to social services.

communities захист

«In 2022, we will be able to help the hromadas establish the financial base to be able to improve the access to social services. The Project envisages the implementation of 5 initiatives in each community, the budget of each initiative is equivalent to 5000 US dollars in hryvnias. It is also planned to provide social workers with tablets, laptops, and uniforms so that they will become more recognizable so that people in the community will be able to recognize them,»

– tells Volodymyr Oleksenko, IDP Protection Coordinator at the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).
Олег Любімов

«Recently we have held meetings with all the communities participating in the Project in eastern Ukraine. We have discussed the results of last year’s work, and outlined the plans for our future cooperation,»

— says Oleh Lyubimov, Decentralization Coordinator at the R2P.

“As the employees and managers of the CMA’s receive more powers, the more they feel responsible for the fulfillment of the functions these powers are related to. Yet, at the same time, they lack certain qualifications and special skills. We have seen their need for professional support, including assistance that our experts can provide. Therefore, the R2P’s task is to help them organize a functioning social services system, to be able to provide aid to all residents of their communities.”

– adds Oleh.

In total, five communities are participating in the Project. In the Donetsk region it is Marinska, Svitlodarska, Sartanska hromadas, and in the Luhansk region – Hirska and Nizhnyoteplivska.


«In the Luhansk region, we have specially selected those communities where elections did not take place, where there were no district centers before. From the very beginning, these communities did not have a social service network. They had to start from scratch,»,

– said Olena Hrekova, head of the Severodonetsk office of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P).

For example, in 2021 the experts of the R2P have been actively involved in the establishment of the Department of Social Protection of the Population in the Svitlodarska Civil-Military Administration (CMA). As a result, the Center for Social Services has been reformed. In the Nyzhnyoteplivska village hromada, the Department of Social Protection and the Center for Social Services have also been created. Employees of the community needed assistance in drafting legal and organizational documents.

«Further work will be focused on determining the hromada’s social needs – this will be a completely new work area. Based on this information, communities can apply for subsidies for the development of these social services, as well as to determine further activities to expand the new ones.»,

told Natalia Gubareva, a lawyer of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

During the meetings, our experts have also told the community leaders about the most important instruments of financial support in 2022 from the Government of Ukraine.

Alina Hubar, the Deputy Head of the Nyzhnyoteplivska village hromada, shared her impressions about the cooperation:

«At first, we did not believe in ourselves, that we would find funds, that we would find specialists, without the help of the R2P it would have been difficult for us to even take the first step – to start the registration of the Department of Social Protection and the Center for Social Services. We are very grateful because you have opened our eyes to what we can do, you gave us confidence. Cause one man does not make a team. And most importantly, you have provided us with extremely effective tools!»,


  1. Helping the communities with the preparation of documents for participation in government programs
  2. Social services and welfare. How R2P helps to determine the needs of the population from the communities along the contact line
  3. Communities development = Ukraine development. How R2P helps ATCs and CMAs along the contact line to create a system of social services

Today we present the January 2022 report on the conditions for crossing the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) and International/Interstate Border Crossing Points (IBCPs). The report is based on the data collected during the monitoring of the situation at the EECPs in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (eastern Ukraine), as well as on the IBCPs “Milove” and “Hoptivka” on the border with Russia.

The purpose of the survey is to gather information on the difficulties and problems faced by the citizens, who are traveling across the Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) and Government-Controlled Areas through EECPs on the contact line in eastern Ukraine, and IBCPs on the border with Russia.

More statistical data is available on the Online Dashboard.


January 2022 EECP Survey Snapshot

  • As in previous months, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two of the seven Exit-Entry Crossing Points (EECPs): Novotroitske EECP in Donetsk Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska EECP in Luhansk Oblast . 94 per cent of all people crossing between the GCA and the NGCA in January did so through Stanytsia Luhanska EECP. This is due to the fact that Novotroitske EECP operates only two days a week, with additional permits required by de facto authorities for crossing.
REPORT: “Survey on the conditions of crossing the EECPs and IBCPs in eastern Ukraine”. January 2022
  • As in January 2021, the number of people crossing the contact line reached a low point in January 2022. The low level of crossing is most explained by the winter holidays.
  • On 24 January 2022, the SSU website has been revamped and is ready to register new crossing permits. From November 2021, people without prior registration on the SSU website were unable to register to obtain permits to cross the contact line.
  • The resumption of the SSU website and abolition of the requirement to install the Vdoma app on 29 December 2021 for people crossing EECPs to GCA considerably made the process easier and less stressful.
  • COVID-19 vaccination has become one of the reasons to cross EECPs since February 2021. A vaccination centre opened at Novotroitske EECP on 21 January. As a result, people crossing the contact line can be vaccinated at both of the EECPs operating, free of charge.


January 2022 IBCP Survey Snapshot

  • In January, the R2P team identified that some people were not informed that the Vdoma app still needs to be downloaded by people crossing through IBCPs. At Hoptivka IBCP, people carried out PCR tests on their own in the neutral zone in order to avoid observation or other measures. 28 per cent of the people interviewed by R2P at Milove and Hoptivka IBCPs were over the age of 60, who often face difficulties installing the Vdoma app or paying for Covid-19 tests. Thus, from Milove IBCP, 15 older people were sent for observation. UNHCR and R2P will seek solutions to strengthen the dissemination of information on existing requirements.
REPORT: “Survey on the conditions of crossing the EECPs and IBCPs in eastern Ukraine”. January 2022
  • In January, most respondents were residents of Donetsk NGCA (51 per cent), compared to 16 per cent who were residents of Luhansk NGCA. Furthermore, for the third consecutive month, there were no residents of Luhanska NGCA among respondents at Hoptivka IBCP. The reason for the higher number of residents from Donetsk NGCA is that Novotroitske EECP in Donetsk oblast is only open two times per week.
REPORT: “Survey on the conditions of crossing the EECPs and IBCPs in eastern Ukraine”. January 2022
  • The construction of reception and sanitary facilities for people crossing the border through IBCP in Milove has been completed with UNHCR support.
REPORT: “Survey on the conditions of crossing the EECPs and IBCPs in eastern Ukraine”. January 2022

The report is available in:



The report is based on the results of a survey, regularly conducted by the specialists of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) since June 2017 at Entry-Exit Checkpoints in the Donetsk (Mayorske, Marinka, Hnutove and Novotroitske) and Luhansk (Stanytsia Luhanska) oblasts. Since August 2021 the survey is also conducted at the “Milove” IBCP (Luhansk oblast) and the “Hoptivka” IBCP (Kharkiv oblast).

The survey is part of the monitoring of violations of the rights of the population affected by the conflict and is conducted within the project “Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population” implemented by the R2P with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The purpose of a survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the ‘contact line’ and state border through EECPs and IBCPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for the advocacy efforts.



In Autumn 2020 Armen contacted the Kharkiv office of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P). His hope faded a long time ago since he had tried to get a passport or at least some document proving his identity and status for many years already.

Life without a passport and/or documents

The man signed agreements with several lawyers, yet all their attempts were unsuccessful.  When he was in total despair, the State Migration Service of Ukraine advised him to turn to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

Armen’s life story is full of troubles. Armenian by nationality, he was born in 1958 in Azerbaijan (back then – a soviet republic, – ed. note).

He grew up there, graduated from school, received a passport of a citizen of the USSR, and served in the Soviet Army. He was stationed in the Zhytomyr region and has since fallen in love with Ukraine, where he then moved into later in his life. After the Army, he worked in Azerbaijan, then graduated from the Kharkiv Fire and Technical School in 1985. Three years later he married and became a father of his daughter. But in 1990, due to ethnopolitical conflict, the family was forced to flee their home and, after a series of relocations, in January 1991 settled in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

A long time Armen lived with a passport of a citizen of the USSR. His wife and daughter received Ukrainian citizenship and passports, and a son was born… But Armen did not have time to obtain the passport of Ukraine, the country of which he always considered himself a citizen: in the early 2000s, all his documents were stolen. For about 20 years Armen has been living without documents.

Lawyers get to work

Analyzing the actual life circumstances described by Armen, the lawyer of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), Oksana Zhelanova, came to the conclusion that it is not technically possible to establish Armen’s Ukraine’s citizenship. Therefore, the man is a stateless person and can acquire Ukrainian citizenship by territorial origin on the basis of permanent residence in Ukraine until August 24, 1991.

Since the procedure of documenting stateless persons in Ukraine had not been working at the time of Armen’s application to the R2P, it was decided to use the waiting time and prepare for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship by territorial origin. After making a number of lawyer’s inquiries and gathering the necessary evidence, the lawyer prepared a statement to the court to establish the fact of Armen’s residence on the territory of Ukraine until August 24, 1991. In May 2021, the decision of the Zhovtnevyi District Court of Kharkiv established this fact.

Stateless Determination Procedure: A New Hope

When the procedure of documenting stateless persons was finally approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 317 and started working in full force, specialists of the Novobavarskyi branch of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region successfully accepted an application from Armen to recognize him as a stateless person.

There is still a long way to go: for the SMS it’s lots of hard work, for Armen – waiting. But Armen, who holds the first official document received in Ukraine, is already seeing the light ahead and hopes to hold the coveted passport of a country that sheltered his family, which he has considered home for many years, by the end of the year.

We will accompany him on this difficult path to the realization of a dream, and express our sincere gratitude to the employees of the State Migration Service of Ukraine – Iryna Kalyna, Tetyana Korobkova, and Natalia Kushnir for their high competence and human-centered approach in addressing the issue of statelessness.

20 років без документів. Історія Армена



Recently Ruslan Bereteli, our colleague and a lawyer, shared an interesting experience in solving a complex case of an IDP family, on which several offices of the R2P were working simultaneously:

Руслан Беретелі про становище та права ромської спільноти в Україні

«With the beginning of the new year, we are gradually closing the cases that were inherited from the last year. We are currently working on obtaining a passport for an elderly man who lost it when he tried to solve the issue with his pension, as well as on registration of custody of a minor child for a large family from Krasnohorivka. But there is one particular case that has already been successfully completed, and it gives hope for an equally productive and eventful year. After all, thanks to such cases, not only do people receive much-needed help, but we also have a basis for thinking about law enforcement practice,»

– Ruslan tells.

Recently a woman who moved from Donetsk to Mariupol recently asked us for help with the issue of registering an internally displaced person (IDP) in the interests of her minor son, who is a child with a disability. She was also interested in obtaining the relevant certificate.

The lack of appropriate status could be an obstacle to passing the necessary medical examinations to confirm the child’s disability and receive the necessary medical and sanatorium treatment in the Government-controlled areas of Ukraine. After many years of treatment, the son of our beneficiary has only recently started to walk on his own. In addition, this child with disabilities is not the only one in the family.

The main “stumbling block” for Ukrainian officials was that the guy, after obtaining a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, was not registered at the place of residence in his city in the occupied territories, and thus, he could not prove that he had lived there permanently since the beginning of the armed conflict and that he left only in October 2021. It should be noted that the mother and the youngest son were registered and received IDP certificates, and the eldest son, who lived with them permanently, was left without a certificate.

During the meeting with a specialist of one of the local units of the social protection service, officials have categorically and in oral form refused to register the child as an Internally Displaced Person because they “did not see” evidence of a child’s permanent residence at the Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA). According to the law, they had to take the documents to work, after which, within 15 days, they must have made an informed written legal decision in accordance with the documents, provided by the applicant, which confirms the fact of a residence in the occupied territory.

After this happened the family called the Mariupol office of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) by the hotline. The boy and his mother were invited to a personal meeting, where after a thorough analysis of the situation, lawyer Galemskiy Serhiy provided advice, and the process of a legal aid provision began.

Lawyer Iryna Nikolenko submitted an application to the Department of Social Protection, provided a list of the necessary documents, and made requests to the relevant authorities to confirm the legal position in the case of our beneficiary.

The situation was further complicated by the fact that most of the documents confirming permanent residence at the NGCA were issued by the illegal authorities and were not taken into account in the decision-making.

During the daily meeting of the specialists of Mariupol and Kurakhiv offices it was found out that the colleagues who work in Mariinsky, Pokrovsky, and some other districts of Donetsk region also have had similar situations, so they decided to discuss this issue directly with the leadership of the Department of Social Protection of the Donetsk region.

Отримати статус ВПО для дитини з інвалідністю. Історія сім’ї з ТОТ

At the online meeting with the leadership of the Department of Social Protection of the Donetsk region, the lawyer of the Kurakhiv office of Bereteli Ruslan discussed this issue to develop guidelines for practical use in the field. As a result of the meeting, there was a common opinion that a well-established algorithm and an approach to solving such situations need to be created.

The head of the IDP department contacted colleagues from the education department, who confirmed the information in the electronic registers that the boy studied at a Donetsk school before the conflict, ie lived there permanently. This information and the information contained in the documents provided by the family became a sufficient basis for a decision in favor of the beneficiary.

IDP certificates provide the ability to those who desperately need them to apply for financial support from the state.

We express our sincere gratitude to the leadership of the Department of Social Protection of the Donetsk region for efficiency and lack of unnecessary bureaucracy.

Отримати статус ВПО для дитини з інвалідністю. Історія сім’ї з ТОТ

We thank our colleagues for their perseverance,
efficiency, and good heart:)


The CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) provides free legal aid
not only to the IDPs but also to the communities.

Meeting with the representatives of the amalgamated territorial communities (ATCs or “hromadas” in Ukrainian)

oday, we held an online meeting with representatives of the Hirska Civil-Military Administration. The key theme of the meeting was a search for ways to improve the quality of medical services that are provided in the community. According to Yana Omelchenko, Acting Head of the Center for Primary Health Care in Hirske city, the existing medical equipment in the hospital has failed a long time ago.

For example, the X-ray machine has been operating since the 1970s. The building of the medical institution also needs to be repaired. In fact, the community is in dire need of funds.

Thus, the representatives of the Hirska CMA wished to join the discussion of the procedure for participation in the Program for the Reconstruction of Ukraine. The program provides subsidies from the state budget for the implementation of social projects in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the area up to 25 km from the contact line. The source of the subsidy is a loan from the European Investment Bank.

Why do hromadas apply for help?

Communities need to apply for participation in the short term and include all the total estimated costs of construction projects. The leadership of the Hirska CMA faced difficulties in preparing a package of documents, so they turned for help to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), which already has the experience of working with the communities on addressing such issues.

Within the ACCESS Project which is funded by the UNHCR, we have provided general consultation on the existing fundraising opportunities to support health care in the Hirska Civil-Military Administration. In addition, the lawyers of the R2P answered the questions of Inna Demidenko, the Deputy Head of Social Affairs on the peculiarities of drafting project estimates. For our part, we also insisted on the need for the community to appeal to the Ministry of Communities and Territories Development to extend the deadline for submitting program participation proposals,

– said Yanina Rebenkova, Community Development Specialist, CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).



In December, residents of Zolote-1 (“Karbonit” mine, the Severodonetsk district of the Luhansk region of Ukraine) asked the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) for help. 

The social dental office was about to be shut down

And the problem is that this office is the only one in Zolote and the surrounding villages.

Concerned residents expressed their fears about the closure of the dental office at the Outpatient Clinic of General Practice and Family Medicine №1 in Zolote (11 Medychna Street). The dental office serves the residents of several settlements: Zolote-1, Zolote-2, Zolote-3, Zolote-4, Katerynivka, other villages, and urban-type settlements along the ‘contact line’.

Specialists of the R2P consult the residents of Zolote

According to them, the dentist Raisa Lukinichna has treated many generations of residents and has never stayed away from human misery. In addition, she is often approached by socially vulnerable groups: retirees, people with disabilities, single mothers, etc. Most of them have no physical or financial ability to get to another settlement to receive the services from a private dental clinic.

Negotiations with the Hirska CMA

Specialists of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) – Dmytro Shcherbakov, a social affairs consultant, and Nataliia Zygula, a community consultant, met with the population of Zolote-1, after which they asked Oleksiy Babchenko, Head of the Hirska Civil-Military Administration, to settle the issue and keep the dentist at the clinic.

Dental office at the Outpatient Clinic of General Practice
and Family Medicine №1 in Zolote

The most valuable reward – gratitude from the residents

The next day we were informed that the head of the Hirska CMA decided to keep the dental office. Raisa Lukinichna, the dentist, confirmed that the office, which had already been sealed, had reopened and she now continues to receive patients. Meanwhile the residents of Zolote, Zolote-1, -2, -3, -4, Katerynivka, Orikhove, Novotoshkivske have sent this Thank-You Letter to us:

«We express our respect and sincere gratitude to You for taking care of the problems of the people of our region who have found themselves in a difficult situation due to the hostilities. With Your help, together we have defended our right to a dental office. In such a difficult time, when more and more people need care, it is difficult to find a person who can solve other people’s problems as their own. And there are people to whom you can safely trust your tasks. Thank You for Your work, for Your efforts! Good luck and all the best!»

On behalf of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Oleksiy Babchenko, the Chairman of the Hirska CMA, and the residents of Zolote for fruitful cooperation and their active citizenship.

Our specialists will continue to work on solving the problems of the communities to help improve access to health care for the residents of the villages and areas near the contact line.