Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 10 December 2017

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This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions between the evenings of 8 and 9 December compared with the previous reporting period. The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and a similar number in Luhansk region between the evenings of 9 and 10 December compared with the previous 24 hours. The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty and assessed damage to civilian properties in Dokuchaievsk. The Mission continued monitoring the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske; it recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area. Its access remained restricted in the disengagement areas and elsewhere, including at a checkpoint near Horlivka.* The SMM facilitated and monitored repairs to the broken wooden ramps at the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. The SMM monitored the situation at checkpoints in Zolote. It facilitated and monitored repairs and maintenance of essential infrastructure near Berezove. The SMM visited four border areas outside of government control. In Kyiv, it monitored a peaceful march in the city centre.

In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 8 and 9 December, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations[1], including about 240 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 560 explosions). Between the evenings of 9 and 10 December, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (about 860) compared with the previous 24 hours.

On the evening and night of 8-9 December, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk) recorded, in sequence, two projectiles in flight from east to west, two undetermined explosions, a projectile in flight from east to west and an undetermined explosion, all 0.5-1.5km south. On the evening and night of 9-10 December, the camera recorded, in sequence, two undetermined explosions, a projectile in flight from east to west, three undetermined explosions, followed by totals of 47 projectiles in flight (31 from east to west and 16 from west to east), about 70 explosions (one assessed as an impact and the remainder undetermined), and an illumination flare in vertical flight, all 0.5-1.5km south. During the day on 10 December, the camera recorded, in sequence, 12 projectiles in flight from west to east and an undetermined explosion, followed by totals of eight projectiles in flight (six from west to east and two from east to west), all 0.5-1.5km south.

During the day on 9 December, positioned at the railway station in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about five hours, the SMM heard 34 undetermined explosions and about 160 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 1-5km at directions ranging from south to west. On the same day, positioned 600m north-east of the railway station in Yasynuvata, the SMM heard a total of nine minutes of uncountable and overlapping bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire and about 25 undetermined explosions, all 1-5km at directions ranging from south-west to north-west. During the day on 10 December, positioned at the railway station in Yasynuvata for about six hours, the SMM heard about 100 undetermined explosions and about 400 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 1-6km at westerly directions.

On the evening of 8 December, while in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard an undetermined explosion and about 30 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 4-5km west-south-west and an undetermined explosion 5-7km north-east.

On the evening of 8 December, while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 15 undetermined explosions and about 60 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 3-6km at directions ranging from east to south-west. On 9 December, while at the same location, the SMM heard about 80 undetermined explosions and about 170 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 3-6km south-east and south-west. During the day on 10 December, while at the same location, the SMM heard 16 explosions (eight assessed as outgoing artillery (122mm) rounds, four as impacts of mortar (120mm) rounds, and the remainder as impacts), all 5-7km at directions ranging from south-east to north.

During the day on 9 December, positioned 1km north-east of “DPR”-controlled Zaichenko (26km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard about 30 undetermined explosions and small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire at unknown distances at directions ranging from south-west to north-west. During the day on 10 December, at the same location, the SMM heard three explosions assessed as outgoing mortar rounds 2km south-south-west and north-north-west.

During the day on 9 December, positioned 1km north-west of government-controlled Pyshchevyk (25km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard 21 explosions (seven assessed as outgoing, three as impacts, and the remainder undetermined), all 5km south-south-east. During the day on 10 December, at the same location, the SMM heard three undetermined explosions at unknown distances north-north-east and south-south-east. On the same day, positioned 2km south-west of Pyshchevyk, the SMM heard two explosions assessed as outgoing 10km south-south-east and five explosions (two assessed as outgoing, two as their subsequent impacts, and one undetermined) at unknown distances east-south-east and south-east.

During the evening of 9 December, the SMM camera 1km south-west of Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) recorded, in sequence, an undetermined explosion and 15 projectiles in flight from east to west, all 5-8km north. During the day on 10 December, the camera recorded five projectiles in flight from east to west 5-8km north.

On the night of 9-10 December, the SMM camera in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) recorded an illumination flare in vertical flight 3-5km east-south-east. During the day on 10 December, positioned on the south-western edge of Avdiivka for about four hours, the SMM heard about 530 undetermined explosions and about 230 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-fire gun fire, all 2-4km at directions ranging from east to south-south-west.

During the day on 10 December, positioned for about half an hour at the central railway station in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM heard 11 undetermined explosions, all 1-3km at directions ranging from east to north-north-west.

In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 8 and 9 December, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including fewer explosions (about 40), compared with the previous reporting period (about 70 explosions). Between the evenings of 9 and 10 December, the SMM recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations, including, however, fewer explosions (four), compared with the previous 24 hours.

During the day on 9 December, while on the northern edge of government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard about 50 shots of infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-2) cannon (30mm) fire, about ten shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire and 25 explosions (four were assessed as impacts of mortar rounds and the remainder undetermined), all 4-10km south-south-east and south-south-west. The same day, positioned on the southern edge of Popasna, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 1-2km south-east.

During the day on 10 December, positioned on the northern edge of government-controlled Orikhove (57km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 3km south.

The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty. On 9 December, at a hospital in “DPR”-controlled Dokuchaievsk (30km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM saw a man (aged 45), who told the SMM that he was in the yard of his house around 16:00 on 7 December when he heard an explosion and sustained shrapnel wounds to his legs, hips and left arm. Medical staff told the SMM that the man had been admitted to the hospital on 7 December with shrapnel wounds and had undergone an operation the same day.

The SMM assessed damage to civilian properties in residential areas. On 9 December, at 5 Furmanova Street in Dokuchaievsk, the SMM saw a fresh crater (approximately 20cm diameter and 40cm depth) in a yard about 2m south of the south-facing wall of a one-storey house. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by a round of an undetermined weapon fired from a westerly direction. The occupants of the house (a man aged 70 and a woman aged 60) told the SMM that they had heard shelling in the area around 16:00 on 7 December. At 8 Furmanova Street in Dokuchaievsk, the SMM saw two holes (with a diameter of 30cm and 40cm respectively) and fresh shrapnel damage to the west-facing wall of a one-storey house. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by a round of an undetermined weapon fired from a westerly direction.

The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, 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.*

During the evening of 8 December, while on the eastern edge of government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard seven bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 2-3km south-west. (The SMM was unable to assess whether inside or outside the disengagement area.)

During the day on 9 December, positioned in “DPR”-controlled Petrivske, the SMM heard 15 shots of small-arms fire 2-3km south. (The SMM was unable to assess whether inside or outside the disengagement area.)

During the day on 9 December, positioned in government-controlled Zolote, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 5-6km south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). On the same day, positioned in government-controlled Zolote-4 (60km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard an undetermined explosion and a burst of small-arms fire 1-2km south-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area). Positioned 1.5km west of Zolote, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions (one assessed as a mortar round) 3-4km south-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

During the day on 9 December, positioned 3km north of “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 11 undetermined explosions and a burst of heavy-machine-gun fire, all 3-8km south and south-west (assessed as outside the Zolote disengagement area). During the day on 10 December, positioned 3km north of Pervomaisk, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions and 130 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 3-5km south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area and as live-fire training inside the security zone, in violation of the decision of the Trilateral Contact Group as of 3 March 2016 that prohibits the conduct of live-fire training (exercises) in the security zone).

Positioned near the Petrivske disengagement area during the day on 10 December and in the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area on 9 and 10 December, 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.

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites, in government-controlled areas, the SMM saw a self-propelled howitzer (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm) on a flatbed trailer on road M03 road near Paraskoviivka (75km north of Donetsk) heading south.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[2] and other indications of military presence in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 9 December, the SMM saw an IFV (BTR-4), a reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM) and an automatic-grenade-launcher near Makarove (19km north-east of Luhansk). On 10 December, the SMM saw a trench digger (PZM-2) near Bobrove (56km north-west of Luhansk).

In non-government-controlled areas, the SMM saw, on 9 December, an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (MT-LB) near Irmino (54km west of Luhansk). On 10 December, the SMM saw a trench digger near Debaltseve (58km north-east of Donetsk).

The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire, co-ordinated by the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), to enable repairs to the wooden ramps at the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. On 9 December, the SMM saw seven workers, the owner of a private company from Luhansk that conducted the repairs, and representatives from an international organization present at the bridge. The SMM saw broken wooden planks being replaced with new ones. The SMM also saw the workers placing handrails on the ramps. On 10 December, the SMM saw that the repairs had been completed.

On 9 December, positioned at the government checkpoint in Zolote for almost seven hours, the SMM saw an increased presence of Ukrainian State Border Guard Service officers. The SMM saw there also a group of civilians (three men and a woman, aged about 60), who asked the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service officers present at the checkpoint whether they could proceed through the checkpoint towards non-government-controlled areas. The SMM saw that the group of civilians eventually did not attempt to proceed through the checkpoint. During its stay at the checkpoint, the SMM heard ceasefire violations (see above). On 10 December, positioned at the same location for about five hours, the SMM saw that no civilian attempted to cross; it also saw that the vegetation along the road leading to Pervomaisk had not been removed. The SMM, positioned at the “LPR” checkpoint on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, for about five and a half hours on 9 December and for about seven hours on 10 December, did not observe any people attempting to proceed through the checkpoint in either direction. At the same location, however, on 9 December, several civilians approached the SMM asking when the checkpoint would be open.

The SMM also continued to facilitate and monitor repairs and maintenance works, co-ordinated by the JCCC, to a water pipeline between government-controlled Berezove (31km south-west of Donetsk) and “DPR”-controlled Olenivka (23km south-west of Donetsk).

The SMM visited four border areas outside of government control. On 9 December, during about an hour at the border crossing point near Izvaryne (52km south-east of Luhansk), the SMM saw 17 cars and 61 pedestrians (42 women and 18 men aged 30-60, and a child,) exiting Ukraine. The SMM saw 25 cars and 20 pedestrians (12 women and eight men aged 30-60) entering Ukraine. On 10 December, during about an hour and a half at the same border crossing point, the SMM saw 21 cars (one with “LPR” plates), a bus, two covered trucks, and 126 pedestrians (52 men and 74 women aged 18-65) exiting Ukraine. The SMM saw seven cars, two buses, and 67 pedestrian (51 women and 16 men aged 18-65) entering Ukraine.

On 9 December, during about an hour at the border crossing point near Voznesenivka (formerly Chervonopartyzansk, 65km south-east of Luhansk), the SMM saw nine pedestrians (six men and three women aged 30-55), 20 cars, a bus, and a covered cargo truck exiting Ukraine. The SMM saw 31 pedestrians (24 men and seven women aged 25-70), 25 cars and a bus entering Ukraine. On 10 December, during about an hour at the same border crossing point, the SMM saw 20 cars (one with “LPR” plates) and ten pedestrians (seven men aged 20-60 and three women aged 25-70) entering Ukraine. The SMM saw 25 cars (two with “LPR” plates), two buses, and 38 pedestrians (17 men aged 30-65 and 21 women aged 25-70) exiting Ukraine.