Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 27 November 2017

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This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region compared with the previous 24 hours. In Dovhe, the Mission heard small-arms fire assessed as aimed at its unmanned aerial vehicle. The SMM observed damage to civilian properties from shelling in residential areas in Dokuchaievsk. The Mission continued monitoring the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske; it recorded ceasefire violations inside the Petrivske disengagement area. Its access remained restricted in the disengagement areas and elsewhere, including at a heavy weapons holding area and a permanent storage site in non-government-controlled areas.* The SMM saw weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line. It facilitated and monitored repairs and maintenance of essential infrastructure in Shchastia and Zolote-4, and near Krasnyi Lyman, Artema and Troitske. The SMM visited four border areas not under government control.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations,[1] including about 260 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours (about 280 explosions).

On the evening and night of 26-27 November, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk) recorded, in sequence, an undetermined explosion, a projectile in flight from east to west, followed by a total of seven undetermined explosions and 29 projectiles in flight from east to west, all 0.5-1.5km south.

During the day on 27 November, positioned on the south-western edge of government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) for about five hours, the SMM heard about 200 undetermined explosions and about 90 bursts and shots of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 2-5km east and south-east.

The same day, positioned at the railway station in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about six hours, the SMM heard about 40 undetermined explosions and about ten bursts and shots of small-arms fire, all 2-4km west.

On the evening of 26 November, while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard four undetermined explosions 6-8km east, and about 240 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 5-6km south-east.

During the day on 27 November, positioned 2.5km south-south-east of government-controlled Lomakyne (15km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard nine undetermined explosions and about 130 bursts and shots of automatic-grenade-launcher and small-arms fire, all at unknown distances at directions ranging from east-north-east to east-south-east.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations (however, no explosions), compared with the previous 24 hours (one explosion).

On the morning of 27 November, positioned 3.5km south-east of “LPR”-controlled Dovhe (22km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard at least 100 shots of small-arms fire 500m west of its position – in the area where the SMM was flying a mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The SMM assessed the shots were fired from “LPR” positions and were aimed at the UAV, which was landed safely. Earlier in the day the SMM had informed the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) about the plan to conduct the UAV flight in this area. After the incident, the SMM informed the JCCC and requested that it follow up.

The SMM observed damage to civilian properties from shelling in residential areas of “DPR”-controlled Dokuchaievsk (30km south-west of Donetsk), following up on allegations from Russian Federation Armed Forces officers of the JCCC.

At 2D Shchorsa Street, the SMM saw a fresh hole (25-30cm long and 10-15cm wide) in the north-facing wall of a house, assessed as caused by a 73mm round fired from a westerly direction. The Mission was unable to assess the type of weapon used. A man (in his thirties) told the SMM that his father had been in the house when the latter heard “a loud noise” between 10:20 and 10:30 on the morning of 26 November.

About 6-8m east of the first impact site, at 2G Shchorsa Street, the Mission saw three fresh holes in the west-facing wall of the garage of a house. The SMM assessed that the damage had been caused by the same round that impacted on the house at 2D Shchorsa Street. While at the site at around 12:00 on 27 November, the SMM heard a burst of heavy-machine-gun fire 1-3km south-west and its subsequent impact 300-500m south-west of its position. The Mission left the area immediately.

The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas near 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 2016. The SMM’s access remained restricted but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*

In the early hours of 25 November, the SMM camera in “DPR”-controlled Petrivske recorded a tracer round in flight from north-east to south-west, followed by an undetermined explosion, both 0.5-2km south-west and assessed as inside the disengagement area. On the evening of 25 November, the same camera recorded 14 tracer rounds in flight from west to east 0.5-2km south-west, followed by a tracer round from west to east 0.5-2km south, both assessed as inside the disengagement area.

On 27 November, positioned in government-controlled Zolote-4/Rodina (60km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard three shots of small-arms fire 2-3km north-north-east.

The same day, positioned in the Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote disengagement areas, in Petrivske and in government-controlled Bohdanivka (41km south-west of Donetsk), west of the Petrivske disengagement area, the SMM observed calm situations.

On 25 November, a Ukrainian Armed Forces officer of the JCCC in government-controlled Volnovakha (42km south-west of Donetsk) told the SMM that anti-tank mines on the road between Bohdanivka and Viktorivka (42km south-west of Donetsk) had been moved to the side of the road. On 27 November, however, an SMM mini UAV spotted 33 previously observed anti-tank mines (TM-62), across the road and into the fields on both sides of the road, about 20m north of the northern edge of the disengagement area. The same UAV also spotted a previously observed infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-1) inside the disengagement area; the IFV’s tracks appeared to be leading from government-controlled areas. (See SMM Daily Report 11 November 2017.)

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 withdrawal lines, in a government-controlled area, the SMM saw a stationary surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10) near Roty (66km north-east of Donetsk).

In a non-government-controlled area, the SMM saw four stationary multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Novoamvrosiivske (56km east of Donetsk).

Beyond the respective withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites, in a government-controlled area, the SMM saw four stationary towed howitzers (2A36 Giatsint-B, 152mm) near Azovske (22km south-west of Mariupol).

The SMM observed weapons that could not be verified as withdrawn, as their storage did not comply with the criteria set out in the 16 October 2015 notification from the SMM to the signatories of the Package of Measures on effective monitoring and verification of the withdrawal of heavy weapons. In non-government-controlled areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM saw two towed howitzers (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) and five self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), and noted that a tank (T-64) and two self-propelled howitzers (2S1) continued to be absent. At one heavy weapons holding area, an armed “DPR” member delayed the Mission access for 24 minutes and denied it access to parts of the weapons holding area.*

The SMM revisited weapons permanent storage sites in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region whose locations were beyond withdrawal lines and noted that 20 tanks (eight T-64 and 12 T-72), nine mortars (2B14 Podnos, 82mm) and 15 anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) were absent. An armed “DPR” member at the site delayed the SMM access for 25 minutes.*

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[2] in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, the SMM saw an IFV (BTR-4), an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BRDM) and an automatic grenade launcher (AGS-type), all stationary in Makarove (19km north-east of Luhansk), three stationary IFVs (BMP-2) near Popasna (69km west of Luhansk), a stationary IFV (BMP-1) near Svitlodarsk and three APCs (BTR-80) moving west near Novokalynove (29km north-west of Donetsk). On 27 November, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted three APCs (two BTR-70 or BTR-80 and one MT-LB) near Pyshchevyk (25km north-east of Mariupol).

In the Petrivske disengagement area on 27 November, an SMM mini UAV spotted an IFV (BMP-1) whose tracks appeared to be leading from government-controlled areas (see above).

In a non-government-controlled area, the SMM saw a stationary IFV (BMP-2) in Vesela Hora (16km north of Luhansk).

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs and maintenance work, co‑ordinated by the JCCC, to the thermal power plant in government-controlled Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk), to water wells near “LPR”-controlled Krasnyi Lyman (30km north-west of Luhansk), to the Petrivske pumping station near government-controlled Artema (26km north of Luhansk), to the power substation in Zolote-4/Rodina and to high-voltage lines between government-controlled Troitske (69km west of Luhansk) and Novozvanivka (70km west of Luhansk). Later in the day, a civil-military administration officer told the SMM via telephone that repairs to the power substation in Zolote-4/Rodina had been completed and that electricity had been restored.

The SMM visited four border areas not under government control. At the border crossing point near Izvaryne (52km south-east of Luhansk), during one hour, the SMM saw 16 cars (11 with Ukrainian and five with Russian Federation licence plates), one bus (with Ukrainian licence plates, carrying about 50 passengers) and 40 pedestrians (24 women and 16 men, aged 35-50) exit Ukraine, and seven cars (six with Ukrainian and one with Russian Federation licence plates), one bus (with Ukrainian licence plates, carrying about 40 passengers) and 13 pedestrians (nine women and four men, aged 35-50) enter Ukraine.

At the border crossing point in Sievernyi (50km south-east of Luhansk), during about 45 minutes, the SMM saw two pedestrians (one man and one woman, aged 20-30) exit Ukraine and four pedestrians (three women and one man, aged 20-30) enter Ukraine.

At the border crossing point near Uspenka (73km south-east of Donetsk), during about 30 minutes, the SMM saw seven cars (all with “DPR” plates), one bus (with “DPR” plates) and one covered cargo truck (with “DPR” plates) exit Ukraine, and seven cars (all with “DPR” plates), one bus (with Ukrainian licence plates) and one covered cargo truck (with Ukrainian licence plates) enter Ukraine.

At the border crossing point in Ulianivske (61km south-east of Donetsk), during about 20 minutes, the SMM saw no vehicles or pedestrians exit or enter Ukraine.

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