OSCE: Movement of people between occupied Donbas and Russia increases.

The movement of people across the uncontrolled section of the border with Russia in Donbas has increased over the past week, and regular bus connections have been restored.

“The average number of entries/exits significantly increased from 4,395 to 7,164 per day at both BCPs [border crossing points] compared to last week,” reads the weekly update from the OSCE Observer Mission at Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk based on information as of 7 July 2020.

During the reporting period, the majority of border crossings were to the Russian Federation, with an average net flow of 606 per day for both BCPs. The Donetsk BCP continued to experience much more traffic than the Gukovo BCP.

As noted, during the reporting period, the number of persons in military style outfits crossing the border was seven compared to six last week, three of them crossed into the Russian Federation and four into Ukraine. These individuals crossed the border on foot.

Regular local and long-distance bus connections between Ukraine (mostly from/to the Luhansk region) and the Russian Federation were restored from 25 June. “During the reporting period, the OTs observed an increase in the overall number of buses crossing the border at both BCPs (162 compared to 118 observed during the previous week). There were 76 buses bound for the Russian Federation and 86 bound for Ukraine,” the report reads.

During the reporting period, an increase in the overall number of trucks crossing the border at both BCPs was observed also (1,090 compared to 1,040 during the previous reporting week); 641 at the Gukovo BCP and 449 at the Donetsk BCP, 713 of these trucks crossed into the Russian Federation and 377 crossed into Ukraine. Most of the trucks observed by the OTs had Ukrainian licence plates issued in the Luhansk region; however, on a daily basis, the OTs also noted trucks registered in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine and trucks with “LPR” plates.

“The OTs continued to pick up the sound of trains on the railway tracks located approximately 150m south-west of the Gukovo BCP. During the reporting week, the OTs heard trains on 23 occasions; the OTs assessed that 12 trains were travelling to the Russian Federation and the remaining 11 trains were travelling to Ukraine,” the report reads.

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