Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 13 May 2018

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions between the evenings of 11 and 12 May compared with the previous reporting period. Between the evenings of 12 and 13 May, it recorded more ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions compared with the previous 24 hours. The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty and damage to properties from gunfire in Dokuchaievskand a residential area in Sakhanka. The Mission continued monitoring the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske; it recorded ceasefire violations near the Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement areas and its access remained restricted there and elsewhere, including again in Kozatske and at a location near the border with the Russian Federation.* It continued to facilitate access to the Donetsk Filtration Station for Voda Donbassa employees and heard ceasefire violations in the area, despite security guarantees being provided. The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs to power lines near Yuzhna-Lomuvatka.In Lviv, the SMM followed up on reports of an attack against members of the Roma community.

In Donetskregion, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations[1]between the evenings of 11 and 12 May, including about 160 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 50 explosions). Between the evenings of 12 and 13 May, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 360 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours.

On the evening and night of 11-12 May, while in Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 90 undetermined explosions and about 90 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all 4-7km at directions east, west and north-west.

On the evening and night of 12-13 May, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard ten explosions assessed as impacts of rounds from multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) 2-5km south-east and about 270 explosions (about 160 undetermined and 110 assessed as impacts of undetermined weapons) about 205 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire and four airbursts assessed as anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) fire, all 2-8km at directions ranging from east to south-west. The next day, at the same location, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 7-8km west and about 75 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 3-5km south-east.

During the day on 12 May, positioned at the railway station in Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM heard ten undetermined explosions, about 110 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire and about ten minutes of uncountable overlapping bursts of small-arms fire, all 1-5km at directions ranging from south-south-west to north-north-west.

On the evening of 12 May, positioned 3km south-west of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard and saw 18 explosions (one assessed as an airburst and 17 undetermined) and an additional airburst, all at undetermined distances ranging from east to south, as well as heard two shots of small-arms fire assessed as live-fire training (exercise) 1km north-north-west.

During the day on 12 May, positioned on the north-western edge of Horlivka, the SMM heard 30 undetermined explosions and 85 bursts of heavy-machine gun and small-arms fire, all 1-6km at directions north, north-west and south-west.

During the day on 12 May, positioned in Bakhmut (government-controlled, 67km north of Donetsk) for 15 minutes, the SMM heard 12 undetermined explosions 6-8km south-east.

During the day on 13 May, positioned on the south-west edge of Avdiivka (government-controlled, 17km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard 24 undetermined explosions and 16 bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 2-4km at directions ranging from east-north-east to south-east.

In Luhanskregion, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violationsbetween the evenings of 11 and 12 May, including about 25 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (20 explosions). Between the evenings of 12 and 13 May, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations and more explosions (about 30), compared with the previous 24 hours.

During the day on 12 May, positioned in Sentianivka (formerly Frunze, non-government-controlled, 44km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 19 explosions (17 assessed as impacts, two undetermined) and 27 shots and bursts of an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-2) cannon (30mm), heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 2-5km north-north-west.

During the day on 13 May, positioned 2.5km south-east of Dovhe (non-government-controlled, 22km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 30 shots of small-arms fire 0.8-1km west, assessed as directed at an SMM mini-unmanned-aerial vehicle (UAV).* The SMM landed the UAV without any damages.

The same day, positioned 2km west of Orikhove-Donetske (government-controlled, 44km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 150 shots of small-arms fire 1km east.

The SMM followed up on reports of damage caused by gunfire to properties in Dokuchaievsk (non-government-controlled, 30km south-west of Donetsk). On 13 May, in the presence of members of the armed formations, the SMM assessed damage from a reported 11 May shelling near the bus station at 51-53 Lenina Street and at boarding school No. 27 at 40 Lenina Street. The SMM saw a divot in the asphalt in front of the bus station entrance and dents in a cement trash bin located a few metres north of an employment centre at 51 Lenina Street. The SMM assessed the trash bin damage as caused by shrapnel from a round that had hit the asphalt. The SMM also saw fresh shrapnel damage to the north- and east-facing walls of the employment centre. On the northern side of the bus station the SMM observed small chips to two south-facing ground floor windows of a café at 55 Lenina Street, assessed as caused by an IFV (BMP-2) cannon 30mm round. The SMM saw several pieces of black plastic and fiberglass, assessed as likely from a vehicle, near the trash bin that was impacted. Local residents told the SMM that shrapnel from the round had also damaged a vehicle that had been driving south on Lenina Street at the time of the incident.

On 11 May,at the above mentioned school across the street from the bus station, in the presence of a member of the armed formations, the SMM saw four broken windows and fresh shrapnel damage to a door on the west-facing side of the building and a broken south-facing window. It assessed that the damage to the windows had been caused by fragments of shrapnel of a 30mm shell. Two of the employees at the boarding school (women, 40-50 years old) told the SMM that they had heard explosions nearby and saw plumes of smoke emanating from behind the bus station before noon that day. They also said that no one had been inside the school at the time of shelling.

The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty in Dokuchaievsk. At the hospital in Dokuchaievskon 11 May, in the presence of members of the armed formations, the SMM saw bandages on the left arm and wrist of a woman (52 years old) who told the SMM that she had suffered wounds caused by shrapnel from the abovementioned shelling. The woman told the SMM that at around 11:30 on 11 May, she and her sister had been walking on Lenina Street near the bus station in Dokuchaievsk, when they had heard explosions coming from behind the station and had taken cover at the employment centre.

The SMM followed up on reports of damage to a house in a residential area of Sakhanka (non-government-controlled, 24km north-east of Mariupol). On 12 May, at a two-storey house at 2 Oktiabrske Street, the SMM observed burn marks 10-15 cm wide and 2cm deep on the south-south-west-facing outside stairs of the house assessed as from a 12.7mm tracer round fired from a south-south-west direction. The owner told the SMM that the damage had occurred on the evening of 9 May. The SMM also saw at least three bullet holes in the south-south-west-facing wall of the house, assessed as also caused by 12.7mm tracer rounds, however the owner of the house (woman, in her fifties) told the SMM that those impacts were older.

The SMM continued to follow up on the 17 April incident of Voda Donbassa water company employees wounded by gunfire near the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS). (See SMM Daily Report 18 April 2018.) Further assessment of the SMM camera footage from that date revealed that when the bus reached the connector between road H-20 and road M-04 – about 175m south of the location where, according to the driver, the bus had been shot – it came to a brief stop, while a second vehicle (a small dark-green car) had been travelling in a convoy ahead of the bus. After pausing for a few moments, the bus resumed travelling east on road M04.

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 hardware of 21 September 2016. The SMM’s access remained restricted, but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*

On 11 May at an armed formations checkpoint on the southern edge of the disengagement area near Zolote, the SMM observed two fresh divots in north-north-west facing concrete blocks, 2-3m south-east of the checkpoint. The SMM assessed the divots were likely caused by small arms fired from a north-north-westerly direction. A member of the armed formations at the checkpoint told the SMM that at around 20:00 on 10 May, the checkpoint had come under small-arms fire. On 11 May, while on the northern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM saw three Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel inside an armoured van (UAZ-452) heading west inside the disengagement area. Positioned on the north-eastern edge of Katerynivka (64km west of Luhansk), on 12 May, the SMM saw two Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel inside an armoured van (UAZ-452) inside the disengagement area moving north towards Zolote.

On 12 May, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded five explosions and a projectile in flight from north-west to south-east, 6-13km east-north-east and east, all assessed as outside the disengagement area.

During the day on 13 May, positioned in Zolote-5 (Mykhailivka, non-government-controlled, 61km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM heard 16 undetermined explosions, 8-15km north-east.

During the night of 13 May, positioned near Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 4-5km south, assessed as outside the disengagement area.

Positioned near the Petrivske disengagement area, the SMM observed 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 non-government-controlled areas, the SMM saw two tanks (type undetermined) loaded on flatbed military trucks moving west in Luhansk city and tenMLRS (BM-21) near Khrustalnyi (non-government-controlled, formerly Krasnyi Luch, 56km south-west 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. On 11 May in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, the SMM saw six self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), and noted as missing 13 mortars (12 PM-38, 120mm and one 2B11 Sani, 120mm).

In government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, on 12 May, the SMM saw six mortars (Molot, 120mm) and 31 tanks (T-64) and noted as missing 55 tanks (T-64), 18 towed howitzers (D20, 152mm), 26 self-propelled howitzers (20 2S3 Akatsiya, 152 mm, six 2S1), two surface-to-air missile systems (9K33 Osa, 210mm) and six mortars (PM38, 120mm).

On 13 May, the SMM revisited two heavy weapons permanent storage sites whose locations were beyond the respective withdrawal lines in areas of Luhansk region outside government control, and saw 18 self-propelled howitzers (2S1) and 15 towed howitzers (10 D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm, five 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) and noted that 13 towed howitzers (12 D-30, one 2A65) and three self-propelled howitzers (2S1, 122mm) were missing. At one heavy weapons permanent storage site in an area of Luhansk region outside government-control, the SMM noted six MLRS (BM-21) were missing.

On 11 May, the SMM revisited two permanent storage sites whose locations were beyond the respective withdrawal lines in areas of Donetsk region outside government control and saw two tanks (one T-64, one T-72) and noted that 18 tanks (eight T-64, ten T-72),nine mortars (2B14 Podnos, 82mm) and 15 anti-tank guns were missing (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm). The following day, at a permanent storage site in a government-controlled area, the SMM observed three surface-to-air missile systems (9K37 Buk, 400mm) and noted as missing 13 anti-tank guns (MT-12).

On 13 May, the SMM revisited two permanent storage sites whose locations were beyond the respective withdrawal lines in areas of Luhansk region outside government control, and saw 18 self-propelled howitzers (2S1) and 15 towed howitzers (ten D-30 and five 2A65 Msta-B) and ten MLRS (BM-21) and noted that thirteen towed howitzers (12 D-30 and one 2A65, 152mm) three self-propelled howitzers (2S1, 122mm) and six MLRS (BM-21) were missing.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles, recently excavated trenches, unexploded ordnance, anti-aircraft guns and other signs of military presence in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 7 May, the SMM saw a trench (assessed as at least one week old) 1m from the fence of a house in Zolote-4/Rodina (60km north-west of Luhansk) extending 15m around the house, as well as an armed soldier entering another house and five soldiers present in its yard. On 10 May an SMM mid-range UAV spotted two IFVs (BMP-2) and a probable IFV (BMP-variant) near Prychepylivka (50km north-west of Luhansk), four freshly dug trenches (two 30m, one 50m and one 150m) three near the side of different roads and one close to road P66 in the tree-line, and two trenches about 15m and 40m in a field, all south-east of Prychepylivka. In non-government-controlled areas, on the same day, the SMM UAV spotted two sites of freshly dug trenches and three extensions to trenches south of road P66 east of Zholobok (47km west of Luhansk).

Positioned at the railway stationin Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk) on 12 May the SMM saw an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BTR variant) moving west-south-west on Ordzhonikidze Street towards the contact line.

On the same day, in government-controlled areas the SMM saw an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-variant) under camouflage netting at a checkpoint near Vodiane (15km north-west of Donetsk), and two APCs (BTR-variant) and two ARV (BRDM-2) covered in camouflage netting at the junction of the M03 road and the road to Klynove (68km north-east of Donetsk).

On 13 May, while traveling from Orlivka (government controlled, 22km north-west of Donetsk) towards Avdiivka, the SMM saw an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) loaded on a truck traveling west. On the same day the SMM also saw three armoured personnel carrier (BTR-80) and three military trucks (type undetermined) each carrying an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) in the outskirts of Romanivka (government-controlled, 41km north of Donetsk).

On 13 May, the SMM saw a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) assessed as a BMP2 grenade laying in dirt on the pavement in front of the bus station in Dokuchaievsk. The tip of the UXO was pointing north which the SMM assessed was likely fired from a southerly direction. The SMM informed members of the armed formations in the area about the presence of the UXO.

The SMM continued to observe mines. On 11 May, an SMM mini-UAV again spotted two anti-tank mines (TM62) near the intersection of road T-0509 and the access road to Zernove (non-government-controlled, 33km south of Donetsk) 5m south-west of the road in the treelines between the road and a field. (See SMM Daily Report 11 April 2018.)

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs to high-voltage power lines near Almazna (55km west of Luhansk). While present near Veselohorivka (non-government-controlled, 64km west of Luhansk) on 12 May staff from the Luhansk Main Power Transmission Lines Company expressed concerns to the SMM regarding shelling they say took place near their worksite on 12 May.

The SMM continued to facilitate the access of Voda Donbassa water company employeesto the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) in order to keep the station operational, and monitored demining activities around the DFS. Positioned at the DFS as well as in the nearby areas of Avdiivka, Yasynuvata and Kamianka (government-controlled, 20km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard undetermined explosions, heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire (see ceasefire violations section above and ceasefire violations table below), despite security guarantees provided.

The SMM visited two border areas not under government control. On 11 May, while at a border crossing point near Novoazovsk (102km south-east of Donetsk) for about one hour, the SMM saw 28 cars (ten with Ukrainian, 12 with Russian Federation, one with Polish and one with Georgian licence plates, and four with “DPR” plates) and two lorries (one with Ukrainian and one with Russian Federation licence plates) queuing to exit Ukraine, and 11 cars (two with Ukrainian andfive with Russian Federation licence plates and four with “DPR” plates) and four lorries (one with Ukrainian and two with Russian Federation licence platesand one with “DPR” plates) entering Ukraine. On 13 May, while at a border crossing point near Dovzhanske (84km south-east of Luhansk), the SMM was approached by an unarmed member of the armed formations and told to leave the area immediately.

In Lviv city, the SMM followed up on media reports of an attack on members of the Roma community. In the western outskirts of Lviv in a bush area opposite 24 Koniushynna Street on 12 May the SMM found the location where the attack was alleged to have occurred to be abandoned; cooking utensils and children’s toys were seen strewn about. A representative of the police confirmed the location of a fire at the location and told the SMM that a hooliganism criminal proceeding was initiated in relation to the event but no victims of the fire have lodged an official complaint with the police.

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