Ukraine

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30, 22 July 2016

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

This report is for the media and the general public

The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region compared with the previous reporting period, particularly in the Yasynuvata and Shyrokyne areas. In Luhansk region, the SMM noted fewer ceasefire violations, the majority of which during the night near Stanytsia Luhanska. The Mission noted a heavy weapon in violation of the withdrawal line and saw for the first time two anti-tank mines outside Molodizhne. The SMM conducted crater analysis in Semyhiria, Kodema and at the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. The Mission facilitated and monitored repair work in Pryshyb and Shchastia. Its freedom of movement was restricted on two occasions, in areas outside government control.*

The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations[1] in Donetsk region compared with the previous reporting period.

Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), during the day on 22 July, SMM heard sporadically: 166 undetermined explosions, bursts and shots of small-arms fire at a range of 1 to 7km west-south-west, west, west-north-west and north-west of its position. In government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard eight undetermined explosions 4-6km south-east of its position.

During the night hours of 21 July, in Donetsk city, the SMM heard 19 undetermined explosions 5-7km north-west of its position. During the night hours of 22-23 July, from the same location, the SMM recorded 151 undetermined explosions at a range of 3 to 15 km north and north-west of its position.

The SMM camera in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol), during 83 minutes on the night of 21-22 July, recorded 47 explosions, including 32 assessed as impacts, two rocket assisted projectiles and four outgoing mortar rounds, and at least 59 bursts of direct tracer fire west to east and later one heavy-machine-gun burst fired north-north-east to south-south-west.

In the evening hours of 21 July, whilst in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard four explosions assessed as impacts of recoilless gun (SPG-9) projectiles, 16 as impacts of automatic grenade-launcher rounds, sporadic heavy-machine-gun bursts, and small arms bursts 1-4km south-east and east of its position. Around midnight on 21 July, the SMM heard one explosion assessed as an impact of a 120mm mortar round 5km south-west of its position. In the night hours of 22 July, whilst in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka, the SMM recorded 38 explosions, including 30 assessed as tank fire and 17 impacts assessed as caused by 120mm mortar rounds at a range of 4 to 6km south and south-west of its position.

On the evening of 21 July, near the government-controlled industrial zone of Avdiivka SMM aerial imagery revealed the launch of a rocket of more than 100mm, which had an initial trajectory towards the east-north-east. The launch was followed by more than 100 airbursts assessed as rounds of anti-aircraft gun fire (ZU-23, 23mm) apparently targeting the rocket. Within just over ten minutes, three explosions assessed as impacts of 82mm mortar rounds were recorded in an area within 0.8km from the launch site. The imagery also revealed three houses on fire and a car on fire in an area of summer houses directly adjacent to the industrial area.

On 22 July, positioned at the “DPR”-controlled Donetsk central railway station (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre), within 45 minutes in the afternoon, the SMM heard nine undetermined explosions at a range of 2 to 5km north, west-north-west, and west-south-west of its position.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations compared to the previous reporting period.

While in government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard an exchange of fire 3-5km south of its position around midnight on 21 July. The exchange lasted about 45 minutes, began with four undetermined explosions assessed as caused by rocket-propelled grenade launcher rounds and included a total of at least 28 machine-gun bursts assessed as fired from north to south and 24 machine-gun bursts assessed as fired from south to north.

During the day, positioned in “LPR”-controlled Veselohorivka (65km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard three undetermined explosions assessed as caused by 122mm artillery rounds 1 to 2km north-west of its position.

In the evening hours of 22 July, positioned in Shchastia (government-controlled, 20km north of Luhansk), the SMM heard ten explosions assessed as outgoing and ten as impacts of 82mm mortar rounds, as well as ten undetermined explosions assessed as caused by recoilless gun (SPG), all within seven minutes and 1-4km south of its position. Later, the SMM heard six bursts of anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23), four explosions assessed as outgoing mortar rounds and two bursts of machine-gun fire within six minutes 0.5-1km east of its position.

The SMM conducted crater analysis. The SMM saw two fresh craters 30m apart in agricultural fields south of Semyhiria (government-controlled, 56km north-east of Donetsk) and assessed them as impacts of a 122mm artillery rounds fired from a southerly direction. In government-controlled Kodema (56km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM saw ten fresh craters, nine of which were on the western edge of the village on soft terrain; crater analysis could not be conducted, because fragments had been removed. The tenth crater was in a garden, approximately 50m from a house, and the SMM assessed it as caused by a 122mm artillery round, fired from a southerly direction. The SMM saw shrapnel damage to a tractor in the garden; there were no casualties. The owner of the house (man, about 50 years old) told the SMM that all craters had been caused by shelling that occurred on 19 July after 23:00.

At the first Ukrainian Armed Forces position north of the bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM observed approximately 50 fresh impacts in the south-facing area of the position. The SMM assessed that most of the impacts were caused by bullets, while about ten were caused by a larger calibre weapon, no greater than 30mm. The SMM also saw two man-portable rocket launchers (RPO-A Shmel, 93mm) inside the position.

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

In violation of respective withdrawal lines, on 21 July, the SMM saw one stationary anti-tank guided missile launcher (9K111 Fagot, 120mm) mounted on an armoured vehicle (assessed as MTLB) in government-controlled Novozvanivka (70km west of Luhansk). The vehicle was in a ditch on the side of the road.

Beyond the respective withdrawal lines, but outside assigned areas, the SMM observed 18 stationary tanks (T-64) at the training area near “LPR”-controlled Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk).

The SMM monitored weapons holding areas that do not comply with the criteria set out in the 16 October 2015 notification. In government-controlled areas, the SMM noted for the first time that five such areas were empty and the following weapons were missing: 12 multiple-launch rocket systems (BM-21 Grad, 122mm), 36 self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm), ten mortars (2B11, 120mm) and four anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm).

The SMM observed the presence of armoured combat vehicles and other hardware in the security zone. In government-controlled areas the SMM observed: one armoured personnel carrier (BTR-4) at a checkpoint in Makarove (19km north-east of Luhansk); one light-armoured vehicle (Kraz Cougar) mounted with a heavy machine-gun at the eastern outskirts of Shchastia, moving north.

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to essential infrastructure. The SMM monitored gas pipeline repair works conducted near “LPR”-controlled Pryshyb (34km north-west of Luhansk). The SMM monitored adherence to the ceasefire to facilitate repair work near the Shchastia power plant (cleaning and widening of the water canals providing water to the plant) in Shchastia.

The SMM observed the presence of mines. The SMM saw for the first time two anti-tank mines on the side of the road at an “LPR” checkpoint between “LPR”-controlled Molodizhne (63km north-west of Luhansk) and government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk).

*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 men stopped the SMM at the “LPR” checkpoint immediately south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk) and asked the SMM to show its patrol plan (in the Russian language). The SMM left the area after 30 minutes. The SMM informed the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC).

Armed men denied the SMM access to a compound in “LPR”-controlled Luhansk city for the second consecutive day. One of them told the SMM to wait for permission from his superiors. After 30 minutes of waiting, he denied the SMM access. The SMM informed the JCCC.

[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.

  • Please see the section at the end of this report entitled “Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate”.

Contacts

Alexandra Taylor
Head of Press and Public Information Unit
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
Mobile: +380 67 650 31 57
alexandra.taylor@osce.org
smm-media@osce.org

Iryna Gudyma
Senior Press Assistant
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
Mobile: +38 067 4021716
Iryna.Gudyma@osce.org