Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 13 April 2018
This report is for the media and the general public.
The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and fewer in Luhansk region compared with the previous reporting period. The SMM followed up on reports of civilian casualties and observed damage to civilian houses as a result of shelling in Donetsk city. The Mission continued monitoring the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske; it heard an explosion near (but outside) the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area. Its access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas and elsewhere, including Trokhizbenka, Voznesenivka(near the border with the Russian Federation), and Uzhivka – where the SMM observed military hardware and a man in military-style clothing fired a shot in the air.* The SMM observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line. The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs to water pipelines near Obozne, where works were completed, and Zolote and a high-voltage power line near Yuzhna Lomuvatka. In Kyiv, the SMM followed up on reports of vandalism of a monument in Mariinskyi Park and of arson at a Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In Luhansk city, the SMM monitored a gathering in front of the SMM office.
In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations,including fewer explosions (about 280), compared with the previous reporting period (about 300 explosions).
On the evening and night of 12-13 April, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk) recorded, in sequence, six projectiles in flight from west to east, ten projectiles from east to west, an undetermined explosion, 11 projectiles from west to east, and six projectiles from east to west, followed by totals of 20 undetermined explosions and 68 projectiles (41 from west to east and 27 from east to west), all 1-3km south.
On the evening and night of 12-13 April, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 70 undetermined explosions, about 80 bursts and over 160 shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 2-7km at directions ranging from south-east to south-south-west.
During the day on 13 April, positioned on the south-western edge of Avdiivka (government-controlled, 17km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 40 undetermined explosions 3-5km east-south-east and 32 undetermined explosions 8-12km west.
Positioned about 2km west of Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk) for about one hour and forty minutes, the SMM saw three men armed with rifles in military-type clothing loading and firing four rounds from a mortar or artillery system (type undetermined) about 150-200m west of the SMM. The area where the men were firing was located about 200m north-west of inhabited civilian houses in Yasynuvata. About 20 minutes later, the SMM heard and saw eight impacts assessed as automatic-grenade-launcher (30mm) rounds about 1.5km west and heard over 400 shots of small-arms fire 3-7km south-west and west.
Positioned at the Yasynuvata railway station, the SMM heard 35 undetermined explosions 2-3km from directions ranging from north-west to north-east.
In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 14 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period(190 explosions).
The SMM followed up on civilian casualties as a result of shelling. In Donetsk city, at 13A Lenkoranska Street, a man (75 years old) showed the SMM a wound on the right side of his head, which he said he had sustained from shrapnel during an explosion around 05:00 on 11 April. His wife (about 70 years old) showed the SMM some scratches on the left side of her nose, which she said she sustained at the same time. Another man (45 years old) told the SMM separately that he had been outside about 60m from the building at the time of the explosion and showed the SMM minor wounds he had sustained to the right side of his neck.
The SMM observed fresh damage as a result of shelling in Donetsk city. At 11 Lenkoranska Street, the SMM saw a fresh crater 10m north of the north-facing wall of a five-storey apartment building. The SMM saw that glass had broken out of at least nine windows as well as shrapnel damage, all on the same north-facing wall of the apartment building.
At 12 Lenkoranska Street, the SMM saw a fresh crater about 20m south of the apartment building and that glass had broken out of at least 15 windows and shattered on the ground. The SMM also saw holes in the water and gas pipelines on the west side of the apartment building.
At 13A Lenkoranska Street, the SMM observed fresh shrapnel marks around a crater about 30m north-west of the apartment building, which had been filled in with soil.
The SMM saw that the glass had broken in over 20 windows at apartment buildings at 15 Lenkoranska Street (north-east-facing wall), 14 Lenkoranska Street (south-west-facing wall), and 17 Lenkoranska Street (south-east-facing wall). At 17 Lenkoranska Street, the SMM also saw two craters, 20m north of the apartment building and 30m west in an asphalt road, respectively. A resident (woman in her forties) of the building at 17 Lenkoranska Street told the SMM that she had been home at the time of an explosion, which she said had caused the damage. The SMM observed two north-west-facing windows in her ground-floor apartment where glass had broken. The SMM assessed the probable cause of the craters and of the damage to be explosions of at least three 120mm mortar rounds fired from a north-north-westerly direction.
In Kuibyshevskyi district, Donetsk city, the SMM saw a fresh crater in the roof of a two-storey house at 62 Vasylchenko Street. The SMM assessed that a 120mm mortar round had been fired from a north-westerly direction and had detonated inside the house. The SMM also observed fresh shrapnel fragments inside a one-storey house at 63 Vasylchenko Street, which the SMM assessed as having come through the roof from a north-westerly direction, and that the glass had been broken out of the windows of a one-storey house at 65 Vasylchenko Street; three residents (men, 55, 63 and 65 years old) from the houses told the SMM separately that they had all been home when the shelling had taken place around 05:00 on 11 April.
At 61 Vakrusheva Street, the SMM saw a fresh crater in the backyard of a one-storey house less than 1m to the east. The SMM observed debris including broken wooden planks and shattered bricks and broken glass out of the windows of the garage in the yard. The SMM saw fresh shrapnel damage and that glass had broken out of two and four windows at nearby one-storey houses at 59 Vakrusheva Street and 63 Vakrusheva Street, respectively. The SMM observed a fresh crater about 5m east of a house at 78 Vakrusheva Street and that the glass had broken out of the windows at houses at 75, 77 and 78 Vakrusheva Street (two, three and four windows, respectively). The SMM noted fresh shrapnel damage to a metal fence and gate at 76 Vakrusheva Street. The SMM assessed all the damage as caused by explosions of 120mm mortar rounds fired from a north-west or north-north-westerly direction.
At 6 Luzina Street, the SMM saw a fresh crater about 15m west of the entrance of a five-storey apartment building and that the glass from the windows on all five floors of the building had been broken. It also saw shrapnel damage on the west-facing façade of the building. The SMM assessed the damage as caused by explosions of 120mm mortar rounds fired from a north-west or north-north-westerly direction. Three residents (women, about 30, 50 and 60 years old) of the building all told the SMM that they had heard explosions around 05:20 on 11 April.
At 7 Luzina Street, the SMM saw two fresh craters 1m west of two garages; one of the garages had been reduced to broken wooden planks, shattered bricks and stones, and the other had only part of a metal frame and roof intact. A four-storey apartment building at 7 Luzina Street had glass broken out of 12 windows, several windows on each floor of the building. A man and his wife (30-40 years old) who lived in the building both told the SMM that they had heard two explosions after 05:00 on 11 April. The SMM assessed all the damage as caused by explosions of 120mm mortar rounds fired from a north-west or north-north-westerly direction.
At an apartment building at 33 Kremliovskii Avenue, the SMM saw broken glass from windows located on the north-facing wall on the second, third and fourth floors. At an apartment building at 39 Kremliovskii Avenue, the SMM saw a crater in front of a west-facing entrance and fresh shrapnel damage and broken windows on all five floors of the building. At one apartment on the ground floor, the SMM saw a broken west-facing window and fresh holes (1-3cm) on the opposite wall and ceiling of the room. The SMM assessed the damage as caused by explosions of 120mm mortar rounds fired from a north-west or north-north-westerly direction.
At a one-storey house at 69 Korabelna Street, the SMM observed fresh shrapnel damage to a front metal gate and a broken window. At 73 Korabelna Street, the SMM observed fresh damage to the north-facing upper wall and roof as well as broken windows (two north-west-facing and one north-east-facing window). At 71 Korabelna Street, the SMM saw a damaged metal gate around the house and that shrapnel had penetrated the door of a garage in the yard, as well as the roof of the car inside the garage. The SMM saw a fuse in front of the house, assessed as possibly from a 122mm artillery round. The SMM assessed all the damage as fresh and caused by an airburst near 71 Korabelna Street.
The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardwareof 21 September 2016. The SMM’s access remained restricted, but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*
While in Stanytsia Luhanska during the early morning, the SMM heard one undetermined explosion 3-5km west-south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area).
During the day, positioned near the Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske disengagement areas, 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 non-government-controlled areas, an SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted eight self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) near Manuilivka (65km east of Donetsk) on 12 April.On 13 April, the SMM saw seven tanks (seven T-72), seven self-propelled howitzers (2S1), seven multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm), seven surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela-10) and ten towed howitzers (five 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm and five D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) near an aerodrome in Luhansk city, and two tanks (type undetermined) near Uzhivka (formerly Leninske, non-government-controlled, 24km north-east of Mariupol). The SMM saw the two tanks as well as two armoured personnel carriers (APC) (BTR-80) in Uzhivka about150m west of the SMM’s position and located near civilian houses. Three men wearing military-style clothing saw the SMM and one of them fired a shot into the air, which the SMM assessed as a warning shot. The SMM immediately left the area.*
In violation of withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35) east of Mariupol (102km south of Donetsk) on 12 April.
Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in non-government-controlled areas, on 12 April an SMM mid-range UAV spotted 32 tanks (28 T-72 and four T-64) near Manuilivka. On 11 April aerial imagery revealed the presence of 16 tanks (type undetermined) near Hannivka (39km south-west of Luhansk), a tank (type undetermined) near Shymshynivka (27km south-west of Luhansk), and 31 tanks (type undetermined) near Kruhlyk (31km south-west of Luhansk).
The SMM observed armoured combat vehiclesand an anti-aircraft gun in the security zone. In government-controlled-areas on 11 April, an SMM mini-UAV spotted four infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP-2) near Mykolaivka Druha (55km north of Donetsk) and, on 12 April, the SMM saw an APC (BTR-60) near Pavlopil (84km south of Donetsk).
In non-government-controlled areas, the SMM saw seven IFVs (BMP-2), seven APCs (BTR-80), an armoured recovery vehicle (BREM-1), and one amphibious vehicle (type unknown) near an aerodrome in Luhansk city, and a military-type truck towing an APC (MT-LB) mounted with an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) travelling near Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk).
The SMM continued to observe mines. Near Lebedynske (government-controlled, 99km south of Donetsk), an SMM mid-range UAV spotted for the first time 26 anti-tank mines (TM-62) in a single 100m-long row perpendicular to and north of road T-0519.
The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs to a water pipeline in Obozne (non-government-controlled, 18km north of Luhansk), which repair workers told the SMM were completed around 17:00, to a water pipeline near Zolote, and a high voltage powerline near Yuzhna Lomuvatka (non-government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk). While monitoring the ceasefire as repairs were being undertaken and positioned in Obozne, the SMM heard six undetermined explosions 15-20km south-west.
The SMM monitored a border area outside government control. At a border crossing point near Voznesenivka (formerly Chervonopartyzansk, 65km south-east of Luhansk) a man in military-type clothing told the SMM to leave the area.* At the Chervona Mohyla railway station also in Voznesenivka, two men in military-type clothing told the SMM to leave the area.*
In Kyiv, the SMM followed up on media reports of paint being thrown on the monument dedicated to Red Army General Nikolai Vatutin in Mariinskyi Park close to the Parliament building (5 Mykhaila Hrushevskoho Street). The SMM saw that a red-coloured substance had been splashed on the front of the monument and that a message on the pedestal of the monument had been written in Ukrainian in red: “This is not paint, this is Ukrainians’ blood.” The Mission saw about 36 people (mostly men in their twenties, some with faces covered) standing close to the monument and wearing patches on their clothing of C14 (Sich) and Right Sector. The SMM saw a cordon of some 30 police officers standing directly in front of the monument and a group of 20 National Guard officers and six police officers nearby. The SMM recognized the C14 leader standing near the monument and speaking using a megaphone. The SMM also saw dozens of older people in the area (men and women in their seventies), some of them holding red carnations or placing flowers near the monument. The SMM observed that the gathering ended peacefully.
The SMM also followed up on media reports that a round from an anti-tank grenade launcher was fired at a building where a company and a restaurant are located (4/6 Mykhaila Omelianovycha-Pavlenka Street) around 02:00 on 13 April. The SMM observed fresh damage to one of the entrances of the company’s office and a broken sign for its business above the entrance. At the restaurant, the SMM observed broken glass and debris from the shattered outer windows of the second floor terrace.
The SMM followed up on reports of arson at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Babi Yar at 88 Hertsena Lane in Kyiv city. The SMM observed smoke damage on the roof of a small building near the main church. The SMM spoke to a priest from the church who said that it was the fifth arson attack on the church since 2013.
In Luhansk city, on 13 April, approximately 30 people (men and women, 17-25 years old) gathered in front of the SMM office. One of the participants told the SMM that they were protesting the fourth year of the conflict. The SMM invited some participants of the gathering for dialogue in its office, but the invitation was declined. After about two hours, the gathering ended peacefully.
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Chernivtsi.