Ukraine

Latest news from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received until 18:00 hrs, 13 June (Kyiv time)

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KYIV 14 June 2014

This update is provided for media and general public

The situation in Ukraine was calm, except parts of Donbas where serious tensions remain. The SMM spoke to the opponents of unitary Ukraine, held in custody in Kharkiv. It also continues to receive reports from internally displaced people (IDPs) about alleged human rights violations. The SMM has not reestablished communication with the four monitors from the Donetsk team and four monitors from the Luhansk team with whom it lost contact on 26 May and 29 May respectively.

SMM visited the pre-trial detention centre in Kharkiv, where nine opponents of Ukraine’s unity are held in custody, being accused of causing public disturbance at a polling station in Novoaidar (56 km north of Luhansk) during the presidential election on 25 May. All of them found the conditions in the pre-trial detention centre to be satisfactory. A few of them complained that they had been beaten at the moment of their detention. The SMM saw bruises on face and wrists of one of the detainees.

Several IDPs from Sloviansk, currently in Izyum (123 km south-east of Kharkiv), reported to the SMM that there was no water or electricity in Sloviansk and that most of the pharmacies of the city had been closed. A representative of the business organization from Izyum informed the SMM that the situation in Donbas has negatively affected the local economy, which is reliant on the effective co-operation with Luhansk and Donetsk regions and Russia.

Police and local residents in Makarove (24 km north-east of Luhansk) reported to SMM that in the early hours of 12 June, mortars hit the market place in the city.

The city of Donetsk has remained generally quiet since the cessation of fighting at Donetsk airport on 28 May. Shops in the city centre were open, although traffic was light and few customers were seen by SMM in the local mall. The two multiplex cinemas were working – staff told the SMM that it was safe for customers to get home in the evening after the last film ends.

A single large explosion occurred outside the Regional Administration building at 22.05 hrs 12 June. A wrecked and burned Chevrolet van – reported to belong to the ‘chairman’ of the so- called 'Donetsk People’s Republic’s’ ’Supreme Council’ Denis Pushilin's – could be seen outside the building on 13 June in the morning.

The situation in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Odessa was calm. The SMM noticed that clearly visible defensive measures have been taken by the Ukrainian army on the Kherson region’s side of the administrative boundary line with Crimea, including the mining of certain areas.

The situation in Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv was calm.

The SMM in Kyiv spoke to three journalists from the Donbas and one from Crimea. All of them had come to Kyiv in April-May 2014, due to safety reasons, and told similar stories: in March 2014 groups of people who do not recognise the Ukrainian government started to threaten and intimidate local media, including beating of their staff which was critical of their policy; some editors-in-chief have been replaced by ‘supervisors’, loyal to the above-mentioned groups, while other newspapers chose to close the businesses.

Contacts

Iryna Gudyma

Senior Press Assistant

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

26 Turgenevska Street

01054 Kyiv

Ukraine

Mobile: +38 067 4021716

Iryna.Gudyma@osce.org

Michael Bociurkiw

Spokesperson

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

26 Turgenevska Street

01054 Kyiv

Ukraine

Office: +380 44 382 0832

Mobile: +38 067 4083107

michael.bociurkiw@osce.org