Ukraine

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 15 February 2016

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The SMM observed numerous ceasefire violations in Donetsk region; the majority of explosions were recorded in the evening/night hours. [1] In Kominternove it heard small-arms fire impacting close to its position. In Luhansk region the Mission recorded a number of ceasefire violations, some of them assessed as training related. It continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons. The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair of critical infrastructure.

The SMM observed ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Whilst in Donetsk city centre, during the night of 14 February, the SMM heard 50 undetermined explosions 7-10km north-north-west of its position. Positioned at the “DPR”-controlled central railway station (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre), between 8:00 and 11:45hrs[2], on 15 February, the SMM heard 31 undetermined explosions at locations 3-6km north and north-north-west of its position, and assessed 25 of them as caused by 82mm mortar and automatic grenade launcher (AGL) fire.

In “DPR”-controlled Debaltseve (58km north-east of Donetsk), on the evening of 14 February, the SMM heard 25 undetermined explosions 10-15km west-south-west of its position.

In government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), between 17:02hrs on 14 February and 6:00hrs on 15 February, the SMM heard 134 undetermined explosions (assessed as mortar, AGL and BMP-1) and multiple shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire 5-12km south-east and west-south-west of its position.

In “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), during the night of 14 February, the SMM heard ten undetermined mortar explosions and ten bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 6km west of its position.

In the wider areas of “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard 37 undetermined explosions – and assessed 20 of them as caused by 82mm mortar fire. At the eastern edge of the village of Kominternove, while patrolling on foot, escorted by two armed “DPR” members*, the SMM heard small-arms fire outgoing from a north-westerly direction (at an undetermined distance) and impacting close to its position. The SMM immediately left the area.

The SMM recorded a number of ceasefire violations in Luhansk region, including four bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire and three undetermined artillery explosions whilst positioned in government-controlled Troitske (69km west of Luhansk) and seven undetermined explosions whilst in “LPR”-controlled Veselohorivka (64km west of Luhansk). The SMM also recorded ceasefire violations in the government-controlled part of Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk) and “LPR”-controlled Myrne (41km south-east of Luhansk) and assessed them as training exercises.

In relation to the implementation of the Addendum to the Package of Measures, the SMM revisited one Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent storage site whose location corresponded with the withdrawal lines and noted that all weapons previously verified as withdrawn to this site were present.

The SMM also revisited a “DPR” permanent storage site and noted that all weapons previously verified as withdrawn to this site were present.

Beyond the withdrawal lines but outside storage sites, the SMM observed the following Addendum-regulated weapons: one tank at a training area in “LPR”-controlled Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk); 14 tanks (T64 and T72) positioned for a live-fire exercise at a training range in “LPR”-controlled Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk); 28 tanks (T64 and T72) at a training area in “LPR”-controlled Kruhlyk (31km south-west of Luhansk).

The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons foreseen in the Minsk Package of Measures. The SMM has yet to receive the full information requested in the 16 October 2015 notification. The SMM revisited locations known to the SMM as heavy weapons holding areas, even though they do not comply with the specific criteria set out for permanent storage sites in the 16 October 2015 notification.

In government-controlled areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM revisited such locations and observed: 12 self-propelled multiple launch rocket systems (BM-21 Grad, 122mm), 18 towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm), and six anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm).

On 14 February, in violation of the respective withdrawal lines, an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle spotted two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela-10, 120mm) in government-controlled Troitske.

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside storage sites, the SMM observed five self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) at a training area near “LPR”-controlled Uspenka.

The SMM monitored the presence of other hardware. It observed: near government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-west of Luhansk), a military vehicle towing one anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) heading south; parked in the area of “DPR”-controlled Staromykhailivka (16km west of Donetsk), one multi-purpose light-armoured towing vehicle (MTLB), one infantry fighting vehicle (BMD-1) and one armoured military-type truck.

Following up on reports of shelling, the SMM went to three locations in “DPR”-controlled Staromykhailivka (15km west of Donetsk) which had reportedly been shelled in the evening of 14 February. At the first site, the SMM observed a heavily damaged house with an entirely destroyed roof, which the SMM assessed to have been caused by an impact and subsequent fire. At the second site, the SMM found a crater consistent with an 82mm mortar round impact in the garden of a house. At the third site, the SMM found two impacts it assessed to have been caused by 30mm shells of BMP cannon. The SMM assessed that the rounds had originated from a north-north-westerly direction.

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair of critical infrastructure, namely at the Karbonit water supply plant close to Zolote. An employee of the water pipeline operator told the SMM that the pipeline, when repaired, would supply “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km of Luhansk) with water. The SMM also facilitated adherence to the ceasefire for repair work on high voltage pylons along the contact line near “LPR”-controlled Krasnyi Lyman (39km north-west of Luhansk), as well as for repair work on water pipelines in the vicinity of government-controlled Trokhizbenka.

The SMM observed a number of civilians at checkpoints near the contact line. At 8:20hrs the SMM observed 307 civilian vehicles waiting to travel towards government-controlled areas and 50 civilian vehicles in the opposite direction at a checkpoint near government-controlled Marinka (23km south-west of Donetsk). At a checkpoint on the side not controlled by the Government of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk) between 9:00 and 9:30hrs, it observed approximately 100 people waiting in line to travel towards government-controlled areas.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi, and Kyiv.

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

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including mine threats, damaged infrastructure, and the unpredictability of the situation in Donbas. “LPR” members continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring many areas alongside the border in parts of Luhansk region not controlled by the Government.

Delay:

At a checkpoint near “DPR”-controlled Sakhanka (24km west of Mariupol), “DPR” members insisted on seeing the SMM’s patrol plan. After 21 minutes, the SMM was able to proceed further without presenting its patrol plan. Conditional access:

In Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), two armed “DPR” members escorted the SMM during its monitoring in the village.

[1] For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.

[2] All times in this report refer to Eastern European Time.

Contacts

Iuliia Poberezhna
National Media Analyst
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
Mobile: +380 67 467 75 65
iuliia.poberezhna@osce.org
smm-press@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