Has anyone here recently traveled to any cities in the Donetsk Oblast that are supposed to be Ukraine army controlled, as opposed to areas or cities around Donetsk that are supposed to be controlled by non-Ukraine army forces? My fiancee lives in Konstantynivka which is a city about 50 - 70 km north of Donetsk and according to the conflict maps I have seen, has been held by Ukraine army forces for quite some time. I am under the impression that the city has been stable for a while now.
My fiancee has repeatedly told me it is not safe for an American to visit this city and other Ukraine citizens who live in the western parts of Ukraine (Chernivtsi for instance) have told me the same thing. In fact an interpreter/guide from Chernivtsi who I have used before has refused to travel as my guide and interpreter to this area because he feels it is too dangerous and he is a Ukraine citizen.
I want to be able to go visit my fiancee and her family but as I said my fiancee has said I will be robbed, kidnapped, or injured by "dangerous characters" if I do.
I have traveled to other areas of Ukraine before such as Kharkiv, Chernivtsi, Zaporizhzia, and Kiev with no problems at all.
Specifically can I expect to encounter any sorts of Ukraine army checkpoints as I take a train journey from Kiev to Konstantynivka? If there are any sorts of checkpoints will I have issues as a non-russian speaker in passing through those checkpoints?
Any and all advice regarding an american traveling to this city or other conflict areas around Donetsk would be appreciated.