Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 2 February 2018

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions compared with the previous reporting period. Small arms were fired toward an SMM patrol and an SMM UAV. The SMM observed damage from an explosion in Donetsk city centre. The Mission continued monitoring the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske, and while present in Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote it observed a calm situation. Its access remained restricted in all three areas and elsewhere, including in Novolaspa.* The SMM observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines near Yablunivka, Oleksandropil, Orikhove-Donetske and Poltavka. The Mission continued to facilitate and monitor repair works at a pumping station in Artema. The SMM visited two border areas not under government control.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations[1], including nearly 1,100 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (120 explosions).

On the evening and night of 1-2 February, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk) recorded, in sequence, two projectiles in flight from south to north, three projectiles from west to east and a projectile from south to north, followed by a total of three explosions and 71 projectiles (37 from east to west, 30 from west to east and four from south to north).

On the evening of 1 February, the SMM camera 1km south-west of Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) recorded a projectile in flight from west to east, followed by seven projectiles from east to west, all 5-8km north. Early the following morning, the same camera recorded, in sequence, three projectiles from east to west, an undetermined explosion, and four projectiles from east to west, all 5-8km north.

On the evening of 1 February, while in non-government-controlled Debaltseve (58km north-east of Donetsk) for about 80 minutes, the SMM heard about 350 explosions, all 3-8km at directions ranging from north-west to north.

On the evening of 1 February, while in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 50 explosions (including three assessed as outgoing rounds of artillery, two assessed as outgoing rounds of infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-1) cannon (73mm) fire, 15 assessed as impacts of automatic-grenade-launcher rounds, one assessed as an impact of a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG-7), two assessed as outgoing rounds of a recoilless gun (SPG-9, 73mm) and the rest undetermined), as well as about 100 bursts and shots of recoilless-gun (SPG-9, 73mm), IFV (BMP-2) cannon (30mm), heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 3-7km south-west and west.

During the day on 2 February, positioned at the railway station in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about four hours, the SMM heard 120 undetermined explosions, as well as over 400 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 1-5km south-west to north-west.

During the evening on 1 February, while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 184 undetermined explosions and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 2-6km south-east and north-east.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (225), compared with the previous reporting period (140 explosions).

During the evening of 1 February, while in “LPR”-controlled Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov, 50km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 223 undetermined explosions 8-22km west and west-south-west.

Small arms were fired toward an SMM patrol and an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). (See Spot Report 3 February 2018.) About 2.5km south-west of Yasynuvata, five SMM patrol members standing between the SMM’s armoured vehicles heard the hissing sound of three bullets flying west to east overhead and saw one of the bullets impact 10-15m east of the SMM. The SMM immediately left the area and returned safely to its base in Donetsk city.

While conducting a mini-UAV flight near government-controlled Verkhnotoretske (23km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard six shots of small-arms fire near its UAV, which was flying about 700m south-south-west of the SMM’s position. The SMM assessed the fire as being directed at its UAV. The SMM retrieved the UAV and left the area.

The SMM followed up on an explosion in Donetsk city centre that occurred on the evening of 1 February. (See SMM Daily Report 2 February 2018.) The SMM observed two damaged windows on the first floor of the four-storey building at 1 Pokrysheva Lane as well as shattered glass and damaged north-east-facing windows on the first two floors of the nine-storey building at 212a Cheliuskintsiv Street, which faces the building at 1 Pokrysheva Lane. The SMM also saw damaged north-east-facing windows on the ground floor of the adjoining building at 212 Cheliuskintsiv Street. The SMM assessed the damage to the buildings on Cheliuskintsiv Street to have been caused by a jet of hot gas from the firing of a grenade launcher just outside the buildings and the damage to the building on Pokrysheva Lane to have been from the impact of an explosive round.

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.*

During the day on 2 February, positioned in the Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote disengagement areas, the SMM noted a calm situation.

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 UAV observed six self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm) in Yablunivka (49km north of Donetsk) and four self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) in a residential area of Oleksandropil (43km north of Donetsk) on 1 February. The following day, the SMM saw a self-propelled howitzer (2S1) stationary near Orikhove-Donetske (44km north-west of Luhansk) and four multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Poltavka (54km north-west of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted eight tanks (five T-64 and three undetermined) and two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela‑10) in Vozdvyzhenka (40km north-west of Donetsk) on 1 February. The following day, the SMM saw a tank (T-64) being transported north on a flatbed truck near Volnovakha (53km south of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in non-government-controlled areas, aerial imagery revealed the presence of four surface-to-air missile systems (9K35) near Kalmiuske (formerly Komsomolske, 42km south-east of Donetsk) on 1 February. The same day, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted five tanks (type unknown) near Myrne (41km south-east of Luhansk), eight probable self-propelled howitzers (2S19 Msta-S, 152mm) and six mortars (type undetermined, 120mm) near Lutuhyne (20km south-west of Luhansk), and 29 tanks (type undetermined) near Bile (22km west of Luhansk). On 2 February, the SMM saw a tank (T‑64) being towed south near Heorhiivka (15km south of Luhansk).

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, the SMM observed four anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) and noted as missing eight MLRS (BM-21).

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[2] in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 2 February, the SMM saw two armoured reconnaissance vehicles (BRDM-2) and two armoured personnel carriers (APC) (MT-LB) near Orikhove-Donetske, an IFV (BTR-3) near Kyrylivka (26km north-east of Mariupol) and two IFVs (BMP-2) in Novotroitske (36km south-west of Donetsk).

In non-government-controlled areas, an SMM mini-UAV spotted five IFVs (BMP variants) near Vesela Hora (16km north of Luhansk) on 1 February. The same day, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted an IFV (BMP-1) near Novolaspa (50km south of Donetsk), four IFVs (BMP-1) near Bila Kamianka (51km south of Donetsk) and the SMM saw four IFVs (BMP-1) and two APCs (MT-LB) in Debaltseve.

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repair works at the Petrivske pumping station in government-controlled Artema (26km north of Luhansk).

The SMM visited two border areas not under government control. While at a border crossing point near Izvaryne (52km south-east of Luhansk) for about an hour, the SMM observed two cars (with Ukrainian licence plates) and a bus (with Ukrainian licence plates) as well as 45 pedestrians (25 men, 20 women) exiting Ukraine, as well as a car (with Russian Federation licence plates) and two busses (with Ukrainian licence plates) entering Ukraine. While at a border crossing point near Verkhnoharasymivka (57km south-east of Luhansk), the SMM observed two men and three women entering Ukraine.

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