Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 5 December 2017

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The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including over 1,300 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period. The Mission continued monitoring the disengagement areas; it recorded ceasefire violations near the Petrivske disengagement area. Its access remained restricted in the disengagement areas and elsewhere, including in Sosnivske and Mykolaivka.* The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty in the Trudivski area of Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district and observed damage caused by shelling in residential areas in Vrubivka, Novotoshkivske and Pervomaisk. The Mission observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line. The SMM observed an unexploded mortar round placed on a roadway near Nova Marivka. The Mission visited two border areas not under government control. In Kyiv, the SMM monitored a protest in support of an opposition politician.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations,[1] including about 760 explosions, compared to the previous reporting period (about 590 explosions).

On the night of 4-5 December, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk) recorded, in total, 94 undetermined explosions, 172 projectiles in flight from east to west, and one projectile from west to east, all 0.5-1.5km south.

During the day on 5 December, positioned at the south-western edge of government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) for about six hours, the SMM heard about 30 explosions and six bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 3-5km east-south-east.

During the day on 5 December, positioned at the south-western edge of “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about six hours, the SMM heard about 340 undetermined explosions and more than 500 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 1-12km at directions ranging from west-south-west to north-east.

During the day on 5 December, positioned at the central railway station in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM recorded about 60 explosions 2-4km north-north-east and two explosions 2-4km north-north-west.

On the evening of 4 December, while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard more than 50 explosions assessed as outgoing rounds 5-7km north-east, and six explosions assessed as outgoing rounds 4-6km south-east, and one undetermined explosion 8-10km south-west.

On the evening of 4 December, while in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 70 undetermined explosions 8-12km south-west. On 5 December, from the same position, the SMM heard nearly 200 shots of small-arms fire 0.8-1km south-west. The same day, positioned on the north-western edge of Horlivka, the SMM heard about 100 undetermined explosions 6-8km at directions ranging from south to south-west.

On the night of 4-5 December, the SMM camera in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) recorded, in sequence, 20 projectiles in flight from east to west, one projectile from west to east, 33 projectiles from east to west, four projectiles from west to east and an undetermined explosion, all 5-8km north.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 600 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (83 explosions).

On the night of 4-5 December, while in government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 285 explosions: 163 assessed as artillery rounds 10-15km south-west; as well as 71 assessed as artillery rounds, 40 assessed as mortar rounds and 11 assessed as infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-1) cannon (73mm) rounds), all 3-8km south‑east.

On the night of 4-5 December, while in “LPR”-controlled Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov, 50km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard approximately 200 undetermined explosions 6-18km at directions ranging from south-west to north, and approximately 100 overlapping explosions assessed as outgoing rounds of multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) 6-9km away.

The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty at Hospital no. 14 in Donetsk city, where medical staff told the SMM that a man had been admitted at 09:25 on 5 December with severe injuries to his right cheek, teeth and lips due to shrapnel and was awaiting surgery. A Russian Federation Armed Forces officer of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) told the SMM that the man had been injured on Amudarinska Street in the Trudivski area of Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district (15km south-west of Donetsk city centre); a “DPR” member at a checkpoint in the Trudivski area told the SMM the man had sustained head injuries when a mortar round or rocket-propelled grenade had struck the sanitation truck he was driving. While the SMM was speaking with staff at the hospital, another staff member told the SMM that the OSCE was not on the list of organizations with which he was allowed to talk.*

The SMM observed damage caused by shelling in residential areas in government-controlled Vrubivka (72km west of Luhansk) and Novotoshkivske (53km west of Luhansk), and in non-government-controlled Pervomaisk (60km west of Luhansk), as well as to a military installation near Popasna.

In Vrubivka, the SMM, accompanied by a Ukrainian Armed Forces officer of the JCCC, observed two fresh craters: the first was on an asphalt road at the south-eastern entrance to the village, the second was about 500m east of the first crater, in the backyard of a house. The SMM observed that all three west-facing windows of the house had been shattered and that tiles had been displaced from the western part of the house’s roof. Public workers were repairing two electricity pylons about 70m from the house. The SMM assessed both craters as caused by 122mm artillery shells fired from a south-easterly direction. The SMM saw seven armed individuals wearing military-type clothes transporting their belongings (including two Fort-221 assault rifles) from the damaged house to a minibus; one of them told the SMM that the house was inhabited by both civilians and Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel.

Approximately 5km north-west of Novotoshkivske, the SMM observed two fresh craters, 10m and 20m south of a house at 12 Radhospna Street. The SMM observed no damage to the house and assessed the craters to have been caused by 152mm artillery shells fired from a south-south-westerly direction. The house’s owner told the SMM that eight rounds had impacted the area at 23:30 on 4 December.

At the western edge of Pervomaisk, the SMM saw a fresh crater, approximately 400m west of the nearest house. The SMM observed workers fixing damage to a powerline alongside road T0504 and assessed the crater to have been caused by a 152mm or 122mm artillery shell fired from a westerly or south-westerly direction.

The SMM observed two further fresh craters, about 250m west and 150m south-east from the first crater, both less than 400m from the nearest house. The SMM assessed these two craters to have been caused by a 120mm mortar or 122mm artillery shell fired from a westerly or south-westerly direction. A resident of Pervomaisk told the SMM that he had heard shelling from 23:30 on 4 December to 02:00 the following morning.

On 4 December the SMM observed that a concrete block used as a barricade north of a checkpoint of the Ukrainian Armed Forces east of Popasna had been severely damaged, with chunks of concrete missing in a pattern consistent with shelling.

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.*

On the evening of 3 December, the SMM camera in “DPR”-controlled Petrivske recorded eight tracer rounds in flight from west to east 1-2km south, which could not be assessed as in- or outside the disengagement area.

On the evening of 4 December, while on the eastern edge of government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard three bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 1km south, assessed as outside the disengagement area.

On 5 December, positioned near the SMM camera in Petrivske, the SMM heard ten undetermined explosions 4-10km west-north-west and a shot of small-arms fire 500m west-north-west, all assessed as outside the disengagement area.

On 5 December, positioned near the disengagement areas in Stanytsia Luhanska and government-controlled Zolote, and in government-controlled Bohdanivka west of the Petrivske disengagement area, the SMM observed calm situations.

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 government-controlled areas, an SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted nine self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) in Oleksandropil (43km north of Donetsk) on 3 December and two self-propelled mortars (2S9 Nona-S, 120mm) near Novoselivka Druha (23km north of Donetsk) on 4 December. On 5 December, the SMM observed three towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) near Vodiane (42km south-west of Donetsk) and a self-propelled anti-aircraft system (2K22 Tunguska) near a house in Novohnativka (40km south of Donetsk).

In a non-government-controlled area, on 5 December, the SMM observed ten MLRS (BM-21) in a compound in the area of Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, 56km south-west of Luhansk).

The SMM revisited an “LPR” heavy weapons permanent storage site and noted that six towed howitzers (one 2A65 and five D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm), three self-propelled howitzers (2S1), and four MLRS (BM-21) were again missing.

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in non-government-controlled areas, the SMM observed four tanks (type unknown) near Manuilivka (65km east of Donetsk) and six tanks (type unknown) near Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk) on 5 December.

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 government-controlled areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM saw eight self-propelled artillery systems (2S1); and noted as missing: 44 towed howitzers (2A36 Giatsint-B, 152mm), 15 towed howitzers (2A65) (including 12 for the first time), 15 mortars (2B11 Sani, 120mm), 12 self-propelled howitzers (2S19 Msta-S, 152mm) (all missing for the first time), four self-propelled artillery systems (2S1), 18 self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm), one mortar (BM-37 82 mm), 28 towed howitzers (D-20, 152mm), six towed howitzers (D-30), 12 anti-tank guns (D-48, 85mm), 12 mortars (M-120 Molot, 120mm), and nine anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm).

The SMM revisited a permanent storage site of the Ukrainian Armed Forces beyond the respective withdrawal lines and found 15 mortars (2B11) again missing.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[2] and newly dug trenches, and reinforcement works in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, an SMM mini UAV spotted five armoured personnel carriers (APC) (BTR-80) and a fire control vehicle (1VXX series) in Verkhnotoretske (23km north-east of Donetsk) and an artillery command vehicle (BTR-D 1V119 Reostat) near Novoselivka Druha on 4 December. Also on 4 December the SMM observed an IFV (BTR-4) near Makarove (19km north-east of Luhansk) and an APC (MT-LB) near Popasna. On 5 December, the SMM observed two IFVs (BMP-2) near Buhas (44km south-west of Donetsk), an IFV (BTR-4) near Makarove, and an IFV (BTR-4) near Plotyna (28km north-east of Luhansk).

In non-government-controlled areas, an SMM mini UAV spotted five IFVs (BMP-1) and one APC (MT-LB) near Sentianivka (formerly Frunze, 44km west of Luhansk), and newly dug trenches and underground bunkers near Dovhe (22km north-west of Luhansk) on 2 December. On 5 December, the SMM observed four IFVs (BMP-1) parked in a residential area of Nova Marivka (64km south of Donetsk). South-east of Dokuchaievsk (30km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM observed “DPR” members moving earth using heavy machinery to reinforce positions and putting up mine hazard signs (see below) along road T0509.

The SMM again observed unexploded ordnance (UXO). South of Nova Marivka, the SMM observed an 82mm mortar round embedded in the surface of a road. According to “DPR” members at a nearby checkpoint, the round had been placed there to prevent civilian traffic through the village. Near “DPR”-controlled Sakhanka (24km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM again observed a 120mm mortar round lying on road E58, which it again brought to the attention of the JCCC (see SMM Daily Report 11 August 2017).

Near Dokuchaievsk, the SMM saw mine hazard signs in addition to those already reported. (See SMM Daily Report 5 December 2017.) The signs read “STOP! MINES!” in Russian in red letters on a white background and in white letters on a red background, placed at the entrance of a dirt track on the south side of road T0509.