Ukraine will supply the coal from Donbas through Russian territory, uncontrolled regions in the East get medicines from Russia, the Cabinet slows down the action of laws aimed at the adaptation of IDPs. More details about key events related to the conflict in Donbas – in our weekly review of major news.
Situation on Donbas territory, which is controlled by Ukraine
Significant part of the news, which were coming last week from the controlled regions, related to the economy of the region, in particular – the coal mining industry. Thus, according to Vladimir Demchishin – Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine – in January-July 2015 the coal-mining enterprises of Ukraine have reduced the coal production by 50.8% compared to the same period in 2014. Demchishin also stated that the losses of state mines amounted UAH 2 billion during the first half of the current. Meanwhile, the lack of coal in Ukraine, which in peacetime was mined in Donbas, is becoming more apparent. Namely, Zmiivska TPP terminated its operation in Kharkiv region due to lack of fuel.
In addition, issue of the heating season in the Donbas becomes increasingly important due to the oncoming autumn. In Lugansk region it was in jeopardy due to the population’s debts for gas. By July 1, 2015 population of the region has owed UAH 109.8 million for the services.
The good news for the economy of the region was the information that the main part of the reconstruction work after the bombing on August 4 at Avdeevka coke plant has been completed. Moreover, restoration work was ended on the right thread of channel Seversky Donets-Donbas – one of the places, where repairers could not reach due to the hostilities.
Meanwhile, the State Agency for the Reconstruction of the Donbas, which was established in September 2014 and devoted to deal with the adjustment of life on the territories under Ukrainian control, got UAH 4.1 million last week. State body still does not operate.
According to the experts of the community initiative “Restoring Donbas”, State Agency will be able to dial staff not earlier than November-December 2015.
On Donbas territories, which are beyond Ukrainian control
Due to the critical situation related to maintenance of Ukrainian fuel thermal power plants, issue of export coal from the territories beyond Ukrainian control became the crucial one. Last week, it was reported that a train for export of fuel from Donbas will be launched during autumn-winter period in order to ensure the operation of energetics.
Later, the Cabinet stated that there is a possibility of agreed export coal from ATO area to the territory under Ukrainian control through the territory of Russia. At the same time, Volodymyr Demchishin – the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine – stated that 15 thousand tons of coal transport from ATO zone per day.
Another important economic news regarding the uncontrolled territories was the information that the Russian “Gazprom” called the debt of “Naftogaz Ukraine” for gas supplying to Donbas territories beyond the Ukrainian control. According to the report of “Gazprom”, the debts for delivery in 2015 is $ 217 million.
Meanwhile, medical supplies from Russia to Ukraine have decreased by almost half, and most of the remaining imported medicines come from the Russian Federation on Donbas territory beyond Ukrainian control. According to the analyst firm RNC Pharma, in the first half of 2014 the volume of supplies from Russia to uncontrolled territories of Donbas is 3 million Russian rubles, while in the first six months of 2015 – there is 590 million rubles.
Pass-entry system in ATO zone
On the background of information on the supply of Russian medicines to Donbas, media reported that law enforcers at the checkpoint «Bugas» near Volnovaha have detained a man, who was transporting drugs in Donetsk. They identified 12 types of medicines, 2233 are plate tablets, 398 are vials and 3 bottles of liquid medicines.
In general, last week, the situation at the checkpoints created difficulties for citizens. Due to the worsening of hostilities in the region, transport corridors from ATO area have been repeatedly blocked. Local company «LuxAvtoKom» reported on its Facebook page about closing directions. Thus, it changed its route to Kiev and back. In particular, buses drove through Volnovakha, Kurakhovo, Pavlograd, Novomoskovsk and Poltava instead of Artemovsk.
IDPs from Donbas
Last week, according to the Ministry of Social Policy, the number of IDPs has reached 1,428,077 people. In addition, it was revealed the approximate number of Ukrainian refugees in Belarus. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country, the number has reached 100 thousand people.
Meanwhile, in spite of the laws, which were adopted by Verkhovna Rada, designed to simplify the lives of displaced persons, the Cabinet has not developed neither government program for adaptation of internally displaced persons. These data are presented in the monitoring project “Power efficiency in resolving problems of Donbas residents and IDPs”, implemented by community initiative “Restoring Donbas”.
International situation and assistance to Donbas
Last week, European Union condemned the escalation of the conflict in Donbas. Petro Poroshenko -President of Ukraine – ordered Pavel Klimkin, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to hold urgent consultations at the level of MFA of four Normandy on the situation in Donbas.
Meanwhile, last week, representatives of the OSCE recorded an increasing of wounded and dead among the civilian population. At the same time, representatives of the mission are not planning to leave Donetsk and Luhansk, even despite the fact that the unknown set fire to several of their cars.
Last week most of the facts of international assistance to Donbas related to practical assistance to residents of the region. For instance, the UN World Food Programme has started the distribution of cash in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. At the same time, international organization UNICEF handed reagents and equipment for the rapid control of the quality of drinking water in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Last week there were another fields of UN work on the region. It comes about the provision of investment aid for job creation in Ukrainian villages and the work of the organization, together with employment centers to launch training programs for entrepreneurs, immigrants from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.