Ukraine’s New Front Line Civilian Crossings

In Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast (province) 2 new front line civilian crossings have been constructed. These have been created to make it far easier for civilians and vehicles to cross the front line in the Luhansk region. The joint agreement with Russia-led eastern Ukraine was for their opening to have happened back in Nov 2020. However, for no apparent good reason, the corresponding crossing points in occupied Ukraine have remained firmly closed. Goes without saying this unfathomable decision has caused much hardship for tens of thousands of civilians living in occupied Ukraine, especially at winter time when travel is particularly tough going.

In 2021 we can but hope Russia eventually sees sense and allows civilians to start using the crossings. That said, it’s worth noting that the more front line crossings there are and the larger and more permanent they become, the more their very existence can normalise Russia’s occupation of eastern Ukraine. Below are some recent #OSCE images of the crossings.

Ukrainian crossing at Zolote.
Corresponding Russia-led crossing at Zolote. 3km separates the two crossings.
Ukrainian crossing at the town of Shchastia, located on the northern side of the Siverskyi Donets river. Understandably worried about security and possible Russia’s forces attack across the river, the crossing infrastructure looks to be set up for purely bus transportation rather than full vehicle access. Presumably, passengers would be transported by bus back and forth across the front line.
Corresponding Russia-led crossing 3km south of the river. As you can see, this one is much larger and set up for vehicle access.

Map below shows the location of both crossings. When fully operable, both crossing points are expected to be very busy. Shchastia (Shchastya) is only 11km from the occupied city of Luhansk and to the west, there are several large occupied towns near the Zolote crossing. Currently the only operable crossing in the Luhansk region is at Stanytsia Luhanska, 20km down the river from Shchastia. This crossing will likely see a drop off in usage once the other two are opened.

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