Russia Allows Occupied Donbas Residents To Leave the Region
23 March, 2020

The Russian government has allowed residents of the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk to come to Russia, according to Russian state-owned news agency TASS, citing the Russian Cabinet of Ministers.

This is despite an otherwise full ban on foreign arrivals to Russia during the quarantine period. The Russian Cabinet of Ministers say that they decided “not to implement [the ban] in relation to Ukrainian citizens and stateless people who are full-time residents on the territory of the separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine.”

Russia framed Ukraine’s move to stop all movement across the contact line – due to the quarantine – as an “economic and transit blockade” of the occupied territories. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus and Donbas: Demarcation Line Checkpoints to Temporarily Close

Russia has additionally decided to keep open air transit for citizens of post-Soviet countries who are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Ukraine and the self-recognized territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. Citizens of CIS countries can also exit Russia via land and sea border crossing points.