Kiev is enforcing an economic blockade on eastern Ukraine, where banks are closed and cash machines and credit cards aren’t working. Disrupted social payments to the elderly have become the most acute issue.
Only a handful of cash machines are still functional in the breakaway parts of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions, after local banks received an order from Ukraine’s central bank earlier this week to “suspend” operations.
This follows a controversial decree signed by Ukrainian President Petro Porishenko on November 16 that is now coming into effect. Kiev is cutting economic ties with rebel-held areas by freezing bank accounts and stopping social payments, including pensions.