Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 6 February 2017

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The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region compared with the previous 24-hour period. The SMM, in co-ordination with the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire around the Donetsk water filtration station which allowed repair to take place and pumping operations to resume, restoring supply to thousands in Donetsk region. The Mission observed damage caused by shelling in Pikuzy, Lobacheve, Pavlopil, Orlivske and Uzhivka. The SMM observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides on the contact line. The SMM continued monitoring in the disengagement areas in Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske but its access remained restricted.The Mission followed up on the relocation of civilians from Avdiivka. The SMM visited one border area currently not under control of the Government.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region, with about 550 explosions, compared with the previous 24-hour period.[1]

While in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city centre on the night of 5-6 February the SMM heard 130 undetermined explosions, 3-5km north-north-west.

On the night of 5 February the SMM camera at Oktiabr mine (9km north-west of Donetsk city centre) recorded 41 undetermined explosions 3-5km north-north-east and nine projectiles in flight from east to west. On 6 February the camera recorded 57 undetermined explosions 5-8km north-east, 118 projectiles in flight from south-east to north-west and 33 from north-west to south-east.

On the night of 5-6 February the SMM camera in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) recorded exchanges that began with 45 tracer rounds in flight from west to east followed by 11 tracer rounds from east to west, all north-east of the camera. Thereafter, the SMM recorded 151 tracer rounds in flight from west to east and 131 from east to west, 14 explosions assessed as outgoing rounds and seven undetermined explosions, all north-east of the camera. On the evening of 6 February the camera recorded five explosions assessed as impacts of artillery rounds 10km north-north-west.

While in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk) on the night of 5 February, the SMM heard 63 undetermined explosions, two explosions assessed as outgoing and two as incoming fire, two periods of uncountable overlapping bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all 5-15km south-west and west.

While in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk) on the same night, the SMM heard 12 undetermined explosions 5-7km south-east and bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 2-3km south-east. On 6 February the SMM heard 88 undetermined explosions 4-7km south-east and bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 2-3km south-east.

On 6 February, positioned in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) for about six hours the SMM heard four outgoing explosions assessed as artillery (152mm) rounds, one outgoing explosion assessed as an artillery (122mm) round, 11 explosions assessed as outgoing fire, five undetermined and 17 assessed as impacts, two assessed as mortar (120mm) round impacts and one assessed as an outgoing mortar (120mm) round; one explosion assessed as a mortar round impact (unknown calibre), two explosions assessed as outgoing mortar (82mm) rounds, four explosions assessed as impacts and seven bursts of automatic-grenade-launcher fire, and bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 2-5km south-east, south and east.

Positioned to the east of “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about 2.5 hours, the SMM heard 46 undetermined explosions and bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 3-10km south-west and west.

Positioned at the Donetsk water filtration station (15km north of Donetsk) for about two hours, the SMM heard eight undetermined explosions 2km south-west and bursts of heavy-machine-gun 1-2km south-east and 2-3km south-west.

Positioned in government-controlled Bohoiavlenka (46km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM heard 23 undetermined explosions 1-3km east.

In Luhansk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations compared with the previous 24-hour period, including 40 explosions. While in “LPR”-controlled Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov, 50km west of Luhansk) the SMM heard 28 undetermined explosions and small-arms fire 11-13km west.

The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas of Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (60km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September. The SMM’s access to all three areas remained restricted but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*

On the night of 5 February the SMM camera in Petrivske recorded three projectiles in flight from south-east to north-west assessed as probable anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) rounds 2-4km south-west (assessed as inside the disengagement area). A mini SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted numerous fresh craters, including some assessed as caused by multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), about 2km east of government-controlled Bohdanivka (assessed as inside the disengagement area).

While inside the disengagement area in government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska the SMM heard three undetermined explosions at an unknown distance west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). Ukrainian Armed Forces and armed “LPR” members – on opposite sides of the bridge - said that there had been no ceasefire violations the night before.

The SMM noted a calm situation while present at the Zolote disengagement area.

The SMM observed shelling damage on both sides of the contact line. In Pikuzy (formerly Kominternove, “DPR”-controlled, 23km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM observed a number of fresh impact sites. The SMM saw a house with significant damage to its outer wall and interior, assessed as having been caused by a direct hit from an artillery round (152mm) fired from a north-westerly direction. A neighbouring house had sustained broken windows, damage to the roof and minor damage to an east-facing wall. Another fresh impact site was observed about 30m from a house that the SMM assessed was caused by an artillery round (152mm) fired from a north-westerly direction. The SMM observed a fresh impact site in the middle of a road in the village that had caused minor shrapnel damage to a shop 50m away. Nearby, the SMM saw a fresh crater close to a shop which had sustained broken windows and shrapnel marks to its walls, and that power had been cut to the building. Residents were repairing the electricity power line. The SMM saw another impact site and damage to a house 30m away including shattered windows, damage to a wooden fence and shrapnel marks on the wall. The SMM assessed these three craters to have been caused by artillery (152mm) fired from a westerly direction. Residents told the SMM that the shelling had taken place late on 5 February and that no one was injured.

In government-controlled Lobacheve (17km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM observed four fresh craters close to a shop, which had sustained broken windows. The SMM saw a mortar tail fin nearby and assessed the craters to have been caused by mortar rounds (82mm) fired from a southerly direction. Residents told the SMM that there had been intense exchanges of fire on the night of 5 February.

In “LPR”-controlled Molodizhne (63km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM saw four fresh impact sites on both sides of a road about 6m from houses. The SMM assessed that they had been caused by mortar (82mm) rounds fired from a north-westerly direction. A resident (a woman about 55 years old) said she had been knocked to the ground by an explosion when the village had come under fire at about 11:00 on 5 February.

West of Kadiivka an SMM mini UAV spotted a fresh crater in a field, which the SMM assessed to have been caused by an artillery round (122 or 152mm) fired from a westerly direction.

Near “DPR”-controlled Uzhivka (formerly Leninske, 24km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM observed 15 fresh impacts sites in a field but could not approach them due to security concerns. In Uzhivka, armed “DPR” members showed the SMM a crater close to a house. The SMM could not determine the direction of fire.

Near government-controlled Orlivske (23km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM observed two fresh craters in a field and saw that power lines had been downed. In nearby government-controlled Pavlopil (26km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM saw a crater on a river bank and assessed that it was caused by a shell fired from an easterly direction, but could not determine the weapon type. A man in his sixties and two Ukrainian Armed Forces officers separately told the SMM of incoming shelling and an exchange of fire on the evening of 5 February. The SMM saw repair workers fixing the electricity line.

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

In violation of the respective withdrawal lines the SMM observed the following in government-controlled areas: six towed howitzers (D-30, 122mm), two of which were attached to trucks, and 11 self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm) near Bohoiavlenka. A mini SMM UAV spotted two multiple-launch-rocket-systems (MLRS; BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near government-controlled Aslanove (85km south of Donetsk).

In violation of the respective withdrawal lines the SMM observed the following in non-government-controlled areas: one howitzer (D-20, 152mm) towed by a truck in Snizhne (72km east of Donetsk) travelling as far as “LPR”-controlled Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, 56km south-west of Luhansk) and one tank (T-64) travelling west in Teplychne (8km west of Luhansk).

The SMM observed weapons that could not be verified as withdrawn, as their storage does not comply with the criteria set down in the 16 October 2015. In government-controlled areas the SMM observed: 17 self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) and four surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela-10, 120mm). The SMM continued to observe as missing 23 self-propelled howitzers (11 2S3 and 12 2S1).

The SMM revisited permanent storage sites in government-controlled areas, whose locations corresponded with the withdrawal lines, and noted that a total of seven tanks were missing from one site, as previously noted.

Despite the joint statement of 1 February by members of the Trilateral Contact Group the SMM received no information in relation to withdrawal of weapons from the area between Donetsk airport, Avdiivka and Yasynuvata.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles (ACV) and anti-aircraft weapons[2] in the security zone. In government-controlled areas the SMM observed: eight stationary infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; BMP-1) being refuelled near Luhanske (59km north-east of Donetsk) and one APC travelling south near Nyzhnia Vilkhova (27km north-east of Luhansk). Aerial imagery revealed one armoured vehicle near government-controlled Pisky (11km north-west of Donetsk) and two armoured vehicles near government-controlled Avdiivka, all on 3 February.

In areas not under government control the SMM observed: an infantry fighting vehicle (BMP-2) south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge; three IFVs (BMP-1) in Khoroshe (36km west of Luhansk); an APC (BRDM-2D) near Holubivka (formerly Kirovsk, 51km west of Luhansk); one multi-purpose tracked vehicle (MTLB) towed by a Ural truck driving west near Verhulivka (61km west of Luhansk); two ACVs (one BMP-1 and one BTR) near Svitle (11km north of Luhansk) and two stationary IFVs (BMP-1) in Debaltseve (58km north-east of Donetsk). Aerial imagery revealed five armoured vehicles near Kyivskyi district (5km north of Donetsk city centre).

The SMM observed three engineering minelayers (PMZ-4s) attached to Kamaz trucks and stationary in a compound near Holubivka.

North of “LPR”-controlled Oleksandrivsk (10km west of Luhansk) the SMM followed fresh tracks of heavy military-type vehicles on an unpaved road. The tracks led to an area which, based on the marks left on the ground and discarded boxes of ammunition, the SMM assessed had been a recent firing position for four howitzers (D-30,122mm).

The SMM observed new “LPR” positions between “LPR”-controlled Metalist (7km north Luhansk) and government-controlled Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk). About 2.5km south of Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM observed nine armed “LPR” members building an observation post and digging a trench.

Near “LPR”-controlled Zhovte (17km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM saw at least 15 armed men in trucks and three trucks transporting ammunition boxes.

The SMM, in co-ordination with the JCCC, contributed to localized cessation of fire, and so facilitated humanitarian efforts aimed at restoration of water, electricity and heating, including through repair of infrastructure in Avdiivka. The SMM observed that the power supply had been restored to the Donetsk water filtration station. Staff of the water supply company told the SMM that parts of the station, including pumps and the heating system, had been damaged as they were non-operational in freezing temperatures over the past week. In mid-afternoon, the SMM observed staff re-starting pumping operations. The station director told the SMM that some functions would resume on 7 February. The resumption of pumping operations will restore a potable water supply to several hundred thousand civilians in western and south-western areas of Donetsk, including Avdiivka, parts of Yasynuvata and Donetsk city and the settlements of “DPR”-controlled Kruta Balka (16km north of Donetsk), Vasylivka (20km north of Donetsk) and Betmanove (formerly Krasnyi Partizan, 23km north-east of Donetsk).

In “LPR”-controlled Donetskyi (50km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM continued to monitor repairs to a section of the Shepilovo-Sentianivka railway track that crosses the contact line.

The SMM visited one border area currently not under control of the Government. At the border crossing point in Voznesenivka (formerly Chervonopartyzansk, 65km south-east of Luhansk), for about an hour, the SMM observed a total of 11 cars (Ukrainian licence plates) and one covered cargo truck queued to leave Ukraine. Three pedestrians crossed out of Ukraine in this period.

The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Chernivtsi, and Kyiv.

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

The SMM’s monitoring and freedom of movement are restricted by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), 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. They have also agreed that the JCCC should contribute to such response and co-ordinate mine clearance.

Denial of access:

  • Armed “LPR” members told the SMM that that they could not guarantee the safety of the Mission in fields and side roads in the Zolote disengagement area (58km west of Luhansk) due to the possible presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). The SMM also observed mine signs in the area. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC.

  • A Ukrainian officer of the JCCC told the SMM that no demining activities had taken place during the previous 24 hours in the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area and that, with the exception of the main road, the SMM’s safety could not be guaranteed in the surrounding areas due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC.

  • The SMM was unable to travel west from “DPR”-controlled Petrivske due to the lack of security guarantees, the possible threat from mines and a road block on the road to Bohdanivka. The SMM informed the JCCC.

  • Anti-tank obstacles on the road and the presence of a mine hazard sign prevented the SMM from travelling between government-controlled Katerynivka and government-controlled Popasna. Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel told the Mission that the area had not been demined and that further permission from their headquarters would be required for the SMM to pass. The SMM informed the JCCC.

  • The SMM could not travel across the bridge in government-controlled Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk) as Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel said no demining had taken place and that mines remained on the bridge. The SMM informed the JCCC.

  • Ukrainian Armed Forces denied the SMM entry to part of a weapons holding area. Armed “DPR” members denied the SMM entry to Sosnivske (35km north-east of Mariupol). The SMM informed the JCCC.

Conditional access:

  • An armed “DPR” member stayed with the SMM while it retrieved video data from the SMM camera in Petrivske. The SMM informed the JCCC.

Other impediments:

  • In Donetsk city a car with “DPR” plates being driven aggressively by a man gesturing at the SMM deliberately struck an SMM vehicle twice. No SMM members were injured. The SMM vehicle sustained minor damage.

[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.

[2] This hardware is not proscribed by the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal of weapons.

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

Mariia Aleksevych
Senior Press Assistant
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
Office: +380 44 392 0832
Mobile: +380 50 381 5192
Mobile: +380 93 691 6790
mariia.aleksevych@osce.org
smm-media@osce.org