Kyiv, December 18, 2014. The humanitarian situation in the Donbas is becoming increasingly difficult for the inhabitants who remain on the territory occupied by pro-Russian militants. Among many hardships, the most pressing problems facing locals in the conflict zone remain access to basic goods and services, medical care, and security. Ukrainian authorities are especially concerned about at-risk individuals, such as orphans and the elderly. This was stated at Ukraine Crisis Media Center by MP Maria Ionova, MP and President’s envoy for conflict settlement in Donetsk and Luhansk regions Iryna Gerashchenko.
Occupied areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are in a state of crisis. Many of the civilians in occupied areas, particularly vulnerable individuals, are subject to a hostage-like situation. Civilians who are staying in medical centers, orphanages, and other institutions are often not allowed to leave the conflict zone. “There are people who cannot leave these facilities,” said Gerashchenko. The Member of Parliament says that the militants in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts also use threats to persuade teachers and orphanage directors to return children who have relocated to other parts of Ukraine to return. “That is an anti-humane policy,” Gerashchenko said.
Another major problem is the issue of food supplies to the territories. Both the governor of Donetsk oblast and Kyiv are working on a solution to help alleviate the suffering of those in occupied areas. “The president of Ukraine had a special meeting on how to supply food,” Gerashchenko stated. In addition, the Ukrainian government is trying to work with the International Red Cross to deliver supplies to the region. The government also urges the assistance of other international humanitarian organizations to create a humanitarian corridor. Gerashchenko added that thus far the pro-Russian groups have prevented the delivery of aid from international organizations. “Even Saddam Hussein allowed the Red Cross to enter,” she said. Both members of parliament pledged that Ukrainian authorities will do everything in their power to assist those in occupied territory.