The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to take a high toll on civilians, from threatening their physical safety to limiting access to food, medicines, adequate housing, and schools. Travel restrictions imposed by Russia-backed armed groups and by Ukrainian authorities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on economic and social rights, exacerbating hardship for civilians and driving them deeper into poverty. The pandemic disproportionately affected women, who account for over 80 percent of Ukraine’s healthcare and social workers and led to a surge in domestic violence cases. Journalists and media workers continue to face harassment and threats connected to their reporting. Ethnic minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and rights activists risk violence from far-right groups. The government maintains discriminatory policies toward pensioners in areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian proxies.

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