Talk:Eastern Ukraine

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How should we handle the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics?[edit]

How should we handle the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics? Normally, Wikivoyage handles unrecognized states by treating them as countries, same as any other. But in this case, that might be premature: The situation with Donetsk and Luhansk doesn't seem as stable as the other unrecognized states. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 13:56, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

If they're unstable war zones, they are treated as such. Crimea's occupation was quick and thorough, so it was changed from a region of Ukraine to a region of Russia quite quickly. What's the current status of those areas of Ukraine? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:03, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
For what it's worth: Here's Wikipedia's map of of the war, showing who controls what. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 19:24, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough, but are the areas controlled by both sides under constant attack, or is there a degree of stability? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:07, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
It's hard to find good information. From what Wikipedia's w:War in Donbass#Minsk II ceasefire and denouement says, there seems to be a degree of stability. But it seems like that could change quickly. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 05:17, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
On a related note: Here's what someone with "relatives in many cities under rebel control and elsewhere in Ukraine" has to say about travailing to Donetsk and Luhansk: https://www.quora.com/Is-it-possible-to-travel-to-Donetsk-or-Luhansk-peoples-republic-for-a-tourist-at-the-moment-If-yes-how
Donetsk and Luhansk look like Eastern Europe's version of Nagorno-Karabakh, except that Nagorno-Karabakh seems a lot more stable. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 14:23, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it's time for us to consider them a fait accompli and create travel articles for them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:05, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
If Mr. Lazarev is right, and travel from Russia to Donetsk\Luhansk is as easy as he describes, then we should probably cover the Republics in some form. Be it in this article, or in a separate article. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 07:02, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Probably separate articles, with links here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:12, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll get started. I'm not sure about spiting the article just yet, but we can at least separate the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk into their own sub-section.
And I found an article about some Finnish tourists who visited the Republics. However, the tourists were politically motivated and pro-Donetsk\Luhansk, so take what they say with a grain of salt.Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 10:16, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Actuality, I'm going to hold off on separating the cities. Partly because I'm having some trouble reading the map, and I'm worried about making a mistake. But partly because I'm not sure what to do about the Donetsk\Luhansk cities controlled by Ukraine: Do we want our Donetsk\Luhansk region to exclude areas claimed but not controlled by their governments, like most of our unrecognized state guides? Or do we want to handle this like Western Sahara, and just throw the whole of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in there, regardless of who controls what? Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 10:36, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
And I found this article from (what I think is) Donetsk-Luhansk state media. According to the article: There's been some fighting today, and the cease-fire might not hold long. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 16:14, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I think that active fighting is the most important issue. If the frontiers are not the least bit stable, it's hard to have travel guides about them. I'm really not sure what the most useful way to cover this area would be. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:05, 31 August 2017 (UTC)


It's best not to handle them. Or, well, what kind of response do you expect? Regardless of the sporadic fightings, Donetsk and Luhansk Republics are well-definite entities with their own border regime (and even the border between the two!), transport, usage of cell phones and currencies, and all other travel peculiarities. Each of the republics merits its own article, but you need your own ground knowledge (or at least decent knowledge of Russian for reading travel reports) in order to write anything. It makes little sense to create empty articles.
Technically, many of the Russian travel bloggers visited Donetsk and Luhansk over the last 1.5 years, so there are plenty of travel reports, should anyone be interested. --Alexander (talk) 19:25, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
You mean it's best not to handle the areas controlled by Ukraine in the Donetsk-Luhansk article (or articles)? Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 14:14, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
I mean that traveling to these regions is technically possible (although the fact of visiting Donetsk or Luhansk may result in heavy fines and deportation, should you choose to travel to the rest of Ukraine afterwards), but there are many details that have to be considered and covered in the article. Unless anyone plans to explore this topic in detail, it would be enough to say that Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (called "Donbass region" in the article) are a territory of the ongoing military conflict, and Wikivoyage neither provides up-to-date information nor recommends anyone travelling there. --Alexander (talk) 21:25, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
You said it makes little sense to create empty articles. That's a lot like a thought I had: I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't be in a rush to create Donetsk and Luhansk articles, but for now, just add information about the republics to this article. Once this article is more devolved, and there's enough information about Donetsk and Luhansk, we can split the republics off into their own articles. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 14:40, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Probably leaving for now is for the best. I guess the real world status of Crimea is settled (to the clear dissatisfaction of some), but these regions will remain under dispute for travel purposes for some time. Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:52, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
According to the TTCF principle, countries should mainly be defined by the immigration procedure; that is why we describe Somaliland and Hong Kong as countries. Do these entities have any immigration procedure at all? /Yvwv (talk) 15:14, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Republics visit[edit]

Leaving my 50 cents here, as having myself traveled to the Luhansk Republic in 2017.

  • You can travel from Russia to the Luhansk or Donetsk Republic directly, but you'll be denied entry to Ukraine (much as with the case of Crimea, Ukraine considers the Republics as a special area of the corresponding oblasts). So if you entered the Republics from Russia, that passport is pretty much banned from Ukraine, because the Russian exit/entry stamps will tell where you crossed even though the Republics do not stamp passports with neither entry stamps nor exit.
  • To enter the Republics from Ukraine legally, without the risk of fines/deportation, you must issue a visit permit from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) at https://urp.ssu.gov.ua/ and have the permit approved before attempting to cross the internal "border" from Ukraine to the "Anti-Terroristic Operation Zone", and only use the designated crossings. Information about "Temporary Provisions about Crossing Of People by the Internal Borders of the Luhans'k and Donets'k Regions (oblasts)" is at SBU at https://ssu.gov.ua/ua/pages/32 in Ukrainian only.
  • The site is Ukrainian only. Have someone who knows the language to fill the permits site forms (do not use English there, the only Latin information should be the name from your passport if your passport does not double your name in Cyrillic) for you and operate your permits account if you do not know Ukrainian.
  • The electronic permit approval process takes about 10 days, depending on what you wrote in the application about the purpose of your visit. The permit may also be denied if the information about the purpose of stay does not satisfy the officials who review your application for the permit, and if you get a permit denial, you cannot travel to the zone.
  • Before going to approach the border, familiarize yourself with the current situations near the borders and choose a day when there is less likely to be military confrontations in the area where you chose to cross (cease-fire). Maps of the border areas are updated daily at https://ukr.media/news-ato/ .
  • At Ukrainian side of the crossing, your passport will be stamped with an Ukrainian army border type exit stamp (as opposed to other transit means usually shown on stamps, such as car, plane, boat or rail, these display a tank or other military transport). You cross the border after the official checks the e-permit information in their databases. On the Republics side of the border you will be subject to thorough questioning about your purpose of stay. If accepted, then you pass along, and no republics' entry stamp will be stamped. If denied, you will be sent back to Ukraine for re-entry (and no republics' entry denial stamp either).
  • The Republics use Russian Rubles as the official currency.
  • On your way back from the republics, you exit through their border (no republics' exit stamps) and enter Ukrainian border control, where you will be admitted with the above-described army border type entry stamp back to Ukraine and also be questioned about what you did in "there".

--Arseny1992 (talk) 08:23, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

Should this be mentioned anywhere? Should we separate the republics from the rest of Ukraine? Ceever (talk) 13:21, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
In my opinion and based on the above data (and considering the earlier discussion in the previous section above) - yes, by the current state, these should be separated into their own country pages.
The Republics consider themselves as completely separate states, complete even with their own versions of the laws even though no other country recognize them. They are NOT a region of Russia, as it de-facto became with Crimea.
Here are a few examples: separate Constitutions of Luhansk People's Republic and of Donetsk People's Republic. Complete with the entire set of all the laws for each [ Donetsk | Luhansk ]. These are their official government law sites (for instance here is the document that define nslnr.su as such for Luhansk Republic).
Reviewing the law lists: each have their own parliament, head of state, coat of arms, anthem, elections system, court system, social security, labor code, criminal code, civil code, public service, tax system, education regulations, construction regulations, communication regulations, transport regulations (complete with modifications to driving rules, and issuance of local vehicle license plates), police, military, customs regulations, even issue state passports to citizens, etc. I.e. almost everything is quite well-established (self-proclaimed independence), except the fact that no other country recognize the republics.
They recognize South Ossetia as an independent state.
I'm not familiar with South Ossetia, or Nagorno-Karabakh, but after reading these a bit, I agree that the republics should be treated as such cases of disputed territories. Another example I can think of, is the case with Gaza Strip having very similar provisions for to be visited (must obtain a permit from Israel etc.).
--Arseny1992 (talk) 16:14, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree. Whatever we think of the justice or injustice of the situation on the ground, it seems sufficiently irreversible for the reasonably foreseeable future that in the interest of travellers, we should treat these areas as countries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:48, 24 October 2019 (UTC)


Is anyone able to find proper GPX for the two separatist regions? Cheers Ceever (talk) 05:30, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
Seems one has to be created... Unfortunately I lack the skills for this map editing. --Arseny1992 (talk) 07:21, 6 November 2019 (UTC)