A map of Ukraine, before the war, painted on a wall at Maiorsk crossing point in Donetsk region.
The entry/exit control point “Maiorsk” is one of four vehicle and pedestrian crossing points in Donetsk region. It is located about 20 km from the non-government controlled Horlivka town. The grey zone between the Ukrainian checkpoint and self-proclaimed “DPR” is the widest among all of the EECPs. After the ECCP was opened in early 2015 there was no bus connection in this corridor, so people had to walk nearly 2-3 kilometres to take another bus. The situation changed in 2016, when it was agreed to launch bus shuttles. Over the period of its existence, the EECP has had many temporary closures due to escalation of the hostilities. Every day at least 7,000 people, mostly elderly, cross this entry-exit point to get their pension and social payments, visit their friends and relatives, buy essential goods. While crossing the contact line, concerned civilians are often exposed to serious security and safety risks such as minefields along the roads, periodic shelling and queuing at the checkpoints in harsh weather conditions for long hours.
Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC