Ukraine

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30, 1 July 2016

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This report includes also some observations outside that period.

This report is for media and the general public.

In Donetsk region the SMM recorded a similarly high number of ceasefire violations compared to the previous reporting period. In Luhansk region, the SMM observed fewer ceasefire violations compared to the previous day. The SMM members in Svitlodarsk were redirected to Kramatorsk for the night, due to the deterioration of the security situation in the area. The SMM followed up on reports of shelling and conducted crater analysis in Kominternove and Yasynuvata. It continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons. The SMM continued to monitor the situation of civilians at entry-exit checkpoints along the contact line. The Mission monitored a border area not controlled by the Government and its access was denied at one border crossing point The Mission’s freedom of movement was restricted on three occasions.* In Odessa, the SMM observed a demonstration gathering about 500 people in front of the city council.

The SMM observed a similarly high number of ceasefire violations [1] in Donetsk region compared to the previous reporting period.

Whilst at the “DPR”-controlled Donetsk central railway station (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM heard 20 undetermined explosions and at least 100 single shots of small-arms fire, along with multiple bursts of heavy-machine-gun-fire at locations ranging from 2 to 7km east, north-east, north and north-west of its position. The SMM heard one explosion assessed as an impact of a round from an unknown weapon type 2-3km north of its position.

Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 119 undetermined explosions and an uncountable number of single shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire at locations ranging from 1.5 to 10km north-east and west of its position.

Whilst in Debaltseve (“DPR”-controlled, 58km north-east of Donetsk), during the evening of 1 July and during the night hours of 1-2 July the SMM heard 160 undetermined explosions at locations ranging from 5 to 10km north-east, north-north-east, north–west and south-west of its position.

As some of the outgoing artillery fire on 30 June and 1 July (see SMM Daily Report 1 July 2016) was identified as occurring in the vicinity of the forward patrol base in Svitlodarsk (“DPR”-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM decided to redirect the personnel to Kramatorsk for the night.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations compared to the previous day. Whilst at an “LPR” checkpoint south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard three explosions assessed as impacts of automatic grenade launcher (AGS-17) rounds: one explosion about 0.2km north-north-east and two explosions 0.5km south-west of its position.

Whilst in “LPR”-controlled Donetskyi (49km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 14 undetermined explosions 8km south-east of its position.

Whilst in “LPR”-controlled Shymshynivka (27km south-west of Luhansk) and Vrubivskyi (22km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard approximately ten bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 10km south-east and four tank rounds fired from 9km south-east of its position. The SMM assessed that the shooting was related to training activity in the training area in “LPR”-controlled Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), outside the security zone.

The SMM followed up on reports of shelling. In “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM observed an impact on the second floor at the southern corner of a building, assessed as caused by a recoilless-gun (SPG-9) round fired from a south-westerly direction. The SMM observed remnants of a recoilless-gun (SPG-9) round at the corner of the building. According to a female resident, in the evening of 29 June an explosion occurred when the recoilless-gun round hit the building in which she lived. In front of a house which has been previously burnt, the SMM remnants of an anti-tank guided missile (type 9K113 Konkurs). The SMM saw in the backyard of the house fresh wires from an anti-tank guided missile. In Yasynuvata, at Kurortna Street 39, the SMM observed a small hole in a south-westerly facing window, as well as a second impact on the wall (hosting the window), approximately 25cm away from it. The SMM assessed the hole and the impact to have been caused by two rounds of small-arms fired from a north-west to south-westerly direction. According to “DPR” members, one male adult was wounded in his left arm. At the Yasynuvata hospital, staff confirmed to the SMM that a wounded man had been transferred to Donetsk trauma hospital. There, the doctor responsible for the patient told the SMM that the wounded person had been hit in the upper left arm by what appeared to be small-arms fire. In LPR”-controlled Raivka (16km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM observed a shell-damaged north-facing wall of a house in the area along the Siverskyi Donets river and assessed it as caused by rocket-propelled grenade (RPG-26) fire. The SMM also saw seven fresh craters in the area.

The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons, in implementation of the Package of Measures and its Addendum, as well as the Minsk Memorandum.

In violation of respective withdrawal lines, the SMM saw in government-controlled areas: one towed howitzer (D-30, 122mm) in Novozhelanne (34km north-west of Donetsk), five self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) in Tarasivka (43km north-west of Donetsk); 18 towed howitzers (D-20, 152mm) in Zelene Pole (40km north-west of Donetsk).

Beyond the withdrawal lines, but outside assigned areas, the SMM observed at training sites in “LPR”-controlled areas: three self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika,122mm) in Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), ten tanks in Shymshynivka on 30 June, six towed howitzers (D-30, 122mm) and six stationary tanks (T-64) and four stationary tanks (T-64) in Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk).

The SMM also observed heavy weapons in areas known to the SMM, which it could not verify as withdrawn as they do not comply with the criteria set in the 16 October 2015 notification. In government-controlled areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed 11 multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS, BM-21 Grad, 122mm).

The SMM revisited permanent storage sites, whose locations corresponded with the withdrawal lines. In government-controlled areas, the SMM noted as missing 13 tanks (T-64) and two mortars (2B9 Vasilek, 82mm) (all tanks and all of the mortars were noted as missing during previous visits).

The SMM observed the presence of armoured combat vehicles in the security zone. In government controlled areas the SMM saw: one stationary infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; BMP-2) in the area of Nyzhnie (56km north-west of Luhansk); two IFVs (BMP-2) and one armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) in stationary positions at the entrance of Krymske (42km north-west of Luhansk); five stationary IFVs (BMP-2) east of Novotoshkivske (53km west of Luhansk); and one IFV (BMP-1) leaving Troitske (69km west of Luhansk).

At the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM saw a queue of about 300 people at the “LPR” checkpoint south of the Siverskyi Donets river waiting to travel towards government-controlled areas. The SMM saw a man (over 70 years old) who fell and hit his forehead on the ground, which caused bleeding.

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to essential infrastructure. In Shchastia (government-controlled, 20km north of Luhansk), the SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable workers to conduct maintenance on a water pump within the power plant. In the morning, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions at an unknown distance south of its position.

The SMM monitored a border area not controlled by the Government and its access was denied at one border crossing point. The SMM visited the border crossing point near Uspenka (“DPR”-controlled, 73km south-east of Donetsk) and observed 34 cargo trucks and 69 civilian cars (the majority with Ukrainian licence plates). The SMM observed three buses escorted by “DPR” “police” leaving towards the Russian Federation. Later, upon their return, the SMM spoke with the drivers who said the buses were transporting youth to the Russian Federation to attend summer camps. Additionally another 11 buses were seen heading towards the border under “DPR” “police” escort. One of the buses had a sign in its window with “Donetsk–Simferopol–Yalta” written in Russian on it. The drivers of two different cars, 100m and 150m from the border crossing point, waiting to enter the Russian Federation, stated that they had been waiting for three hours and expected to cross after two more hours.

In Odessa, the SMM observed on 30 June a demonstration in front of the city council building, where about 500 people (men and women of different ages) gathered. The demonstration was organized in protest at the zoning regulations for construction in the city and against the mayor. The SMM saw many Ukrainian national flags as well as Right Sector flags. There were around 250 police officers at the scene. The SMM saw about 100 protesters attempting to break into the building, but they did not succeed in getting past the police lines as the police were pushing them back. From a distance, the SMM saw that police used pepper spray against two protestors. Tyres were burnt in front of the building and the SMM observed seven protestors being detained by police. After two and a half hours the crowd dispersed, without further incidents.

  • Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate

The SMM’s monitoring is restrained by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines and unexploded ordnance, and by restrictions of its freedom of movement and other impediments – which vary from day to day. The SMM’s mandate provides for safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. All signatories of the Package of Measures have agreed on the need for this safe and secure access, that restriction of the SMM’s freedom of movement constitutes a violation, and on the need for rapid response to these violations.

Denial of access:

  • Armed “LPR” members at the “LPR” checkpoint at the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk), requested the SMM’s patrol plan. The SMM informed the JCCC, but access to the bridge was not granted.

  • At the “LPR”-controlled border crossing point in Izvaryne (52km south-east of Luhansk), “LPR” members insisted on the SMM leaving the area, citing lack of co-ordination of the SMM’s patrol plan with their superiors. The SMM informed the JCCC.

  • In government-controlled Petrivka (114km north of Luhansk), a Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier did not allow the SMM to check the presence of heavy weapons at a facility, citing lack of agreement in advance between the SMM and his superior.

[1] Please see the annexed table for a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations as well as map of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions marked with locations featured in this report.

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/250301

Contacts:

Alexandra Taylor
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
mobile: +380 67 650 31 57
alexandra.taylor@osce.org

Iryna Gudyma
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
mobile: +38 067 4021716
Iryna.Gudyma@osce.org