Repairs Begin on Critical Crossing

ICRC partially reconstructs the Stanytsia Luhanska Bridge in eastern Ukraine

Repairs to the Stanytsia Luhanska pedestrian bridge. (Source: Photo by LIC via ICRC)

On December 9, after 18 months of discussions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) successfully conducted a partial reconstruction of a decrepit pedestrian crossing bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska. @DFRLab has previously reported about the situation in Stanytsia Luhanska, which remains in critical condition with 8,000 persons crossing daily.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) to Ukraine facilitated and monitored adherence to a ceasefire, which enabled workers to enter the area and conduct repairs after the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) agreed to close the bridge and conduct repairs. The TCG consists of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE, which meets regularly in Minsk to discuss peaceful resolutions to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The ICRC reported the dilapidated pedestrian bridge remains the only crossing point between government and non-government-controlled areas in Luhansk Oblast, seeing over 8,000 persons crossing daily. An approved private company replaced the wooden planks and handrails on the bridge.

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The bridge is located inside the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, which still hosts a military presence that should have been long withdrawn, Minsk-banned heavy weapons, and regular ceasefire violations. The OSCE SMM continues to lack freedom of movement in the area due to the presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Partial reconstruction will make this crossing point less dangerous, but the entire bridge needs full reconstruction, which the @ICRC will continue to try to facilitate. The crossing point is still very dangerous as hundreds of pedestrians wait in long queues for hours in inhospitable weather conditions and very near ongoing fighting.


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