Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 7 October 2018

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions between the evenings of 5 and 6 October, compared with the previous reporting period. Between the evenings of 6 and 7 October, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions, compared with the previous 24 hours. The SMM saw damage caused by shelling to a farm near Novoluhanske. The SMM continued monitoring all three disengagement areas; it recorded ceasefire violations inside the Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote disengagement areas. Its access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas; it was also restricted near Novoazovsk, near the border with the Russian Federation, and again near Zaichenko.* The SMM saw multiple launch rocket systems near Novoamvrosiivske. The Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station. It also facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to the phenol sludge reservoir near Zalizne.

In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 5 and 6 October, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including a similar number of explosions (about 80), compared with the previous reporting period. Between the evenings of 6 and 7 October, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (about 120), compared with the previous 24 hours.

On the evening of 5 October, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (15km north or Donetsk) recorded 16 undetermined explosions, about 20 projectiles in flight (mostly from east-south-east to west-north-west) and a muzzle flash, all 0.5-4km south and south-south-west. During the evening and night of 6-7 October, the same camera recorded an undetermined explosion, 18 projectiles and an illumination flare in vertical flight, all 1-2km at southerly directions.

On the evening and night of 5-6 October, the SMM camera in Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol) recorded seven undetermined explosions and about 60 projectiles in flight (mostly from north-north-east to south-south-west and from west-north-west to east-south-east), all 3-7km south-east, south-south-east and south. During the evening and night of 6-7 October, the same camera recorded three undetermined explosions, about 40 projectiles (mostly from east-north-east to west-south-west) and five muzzle flashes, all 3-5km south-east and south.

On the evening and night of 5-6 October, the SMM camera 1.5km north-east of Hnutove (government-controlled, 20km north-east of Mariupol) recorded three undetermined explosions and about 90 projectiles in flight (mostly from north-westerly to south-easterly directions), all 3-4km east-north-east and east. On the evening and night of 6-7 October, the same camera recorded six undetermined explosions, about 140 projectiles (mostly from westerly to easterly directions and from northerly to southerly directions) and 14 muzzle flashes, all 2-4km at easterly directions.

On the evening of 6 October, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard four undetermined explosions and 125 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 2-7km at southerly and westerly directions. While at the same location during the day on 7 October, the SMM heard 30 undetermined explosions and about 30 shots and bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 2-6km east and west.

On the night of 6-7 October, while in Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 24 undetermined explosions 2-5km west.

During the day on 7 October, positioned in Pavlopil (government-controlled, 26km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard four explosions assessed as outgoing mortar rounds 1km north-west and their subsequent impacts 2-3km north-east and an undetermined explosion and six bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire at undetermined distances east-north-east. Positioned 1km north-west of Pavlopil, the SMM heard five undetermined explosions 2-4km east-north-east.

In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 5 and 6 October, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about eight explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 120 explosions). Between the evenings of 6 and 7 October, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (12), compared with the previous 24 hours.

On the evening and night of 5-6 October, the SMM camera in Kriakivka (government-controlled, 38km north-west of Luhansk) recorded six undetermined explosions, about 100 projectiles in flight (mostly from west-north-west to east-south-east), two bursts and four muzzle flashes, all 2-5km at south-westerly directions. On the evening and night of 6-7 October, the same camera recorded seven undetermined explosions, 14 projectiles (mostly from northerly to southerly directions), eight muzzle flashes and two illumination flares, all 1-5km south-east and south-west.

The SMM observed damage caused by shelling to a pig farm in Novoluhanske (government-controlled, 53km north-east of Donetsk). On 6 October, the SMM, accompanied by a representative of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) and the farm’s chief engineer, saw shrapnel damage and holes in the southern part of the roof of a pig enclosure. It also saw shrapnel damage to the southern and northern outer walls of the pig enclosure; most southern- and northern-facing windows of the same building had been shattered. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by a possible mortar round, but it could not assess the direction of fire. The pig farm’s chief engineer told the SMM that the building had sustained damage during shelling on 29 September 2018. While present at the site, the SMM saw four armed Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier walking south from the area of the farm.

The SMM continued to monitor 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 the night of 5-6 October, the SMM camera positioned at the Prince Ihor monument south-east of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk) recorded two projectiles in flight from north-west to south-east at undetermined distances north and west-north-west (unable to assess whether inside or outside the disengagement area). During the day on 7 October, positioned 2.5km south-west of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, the SMM heard five shots of small-arms fire 2-3km north-north-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area) and ten shots of small-arms fire 2-3km east (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

During the day on 6 October, positioned on the south-western edge of Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (non-government-controlled, 58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 1km north (assessed as outside the disengagement area). Positioned on the north-eastern edge of Zolote-5/Mykhailivka, the SMM heard a shot of small-arms fire 1.5km north-west (unable to assess whether outside or inside the disengagement area). On the evening of 6 October, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded three bursts 4-5km south-south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

During the day on 7 October, positioned on the northern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM heard six shots of small-arms fire 1-2km south-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area). The same day, positioned on the north-eastern edge of Zolote-3/Stakhanovets (government-controlled, 61km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard seven shots of small-arms fire 1-4km south-east (unable to assess whether inside or outside the disengagement area).

During the day on 7 October, positioned about 2km north of Petrivske, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 2-3km south and heard and saw an undetermined explosion 0.5-1km north-west (both assessed as outside the disengagement area).

The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons in implementation of the Memorandum and the Package of Measures and its Addendum.

In violation of withdrawal lines in a non-government-controlled area, on 6 October, the SMM saw four multiple launch rocket systems (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Novoamvrosiivske (56km east of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, on 5 October, the SMM saw an anti-tank gun (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) near Druzhkivka (72km north of Donetsk) heading north, a stationary tank (T-64) near Kostiantynivka (60km north of Donetsk) and two stationary surface-to-air missile systems (9K33 Osa) near Khlibodarivka (65km south-west of Donetsk). On 6 October, the SMM saw a stationary surface-to-air missile system (9K33) near Pokrovsk (formerly Krasnoarmiisk, 55km north-west of Donetsk) and a stationary tank (T-64) near Spirne (96km north of Donetsk).

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. At such sites in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, the SMM saw six towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) and five self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm). It also noted that two self-propelled howitzers (2S1) continued to be missing.

The SMM revisited permanent storage sites in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region whose locations were beyond the respective withdrawal lines and noted that 18 tanks (eight T-64 and ten T-72), nine mortars (2B14 Podnos, 82mm) and 15 anti-tank guns (MT-12) continued to be missing.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[3] and other indications of military presence in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 4 October, an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP variant) and a recently dug 20m-long trench with two Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers in it east of Zolote-4/Rodina (59km north-west of Luhansk) (the trench and the IFV were about 50m from the closest inhabited residential house); about 300m east, it spotted a recently dug approximately 75m-long trench network. About 700m west of the latter, the same UAV spotted a truck loaded with boxes and household items, including chairs and tables. (For previous observations in the area, see SMM Daily Report 28 September 2018.) On 5 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) and four IFVs (one BMP-1 and three BMP-2) near Orikhove and two IFVs (BMP-2) south of Krymske (42km north-west of Luhansk). On 6 October, the SMM saw an IFV (BTR-4) near Novokalynove (29km north-west of Donetsk) and an IFV (BMP variant) near Zaitseve (62km north-east of Donetsk). On 7 October, the SMM saw an IFV (BMP-1) north of the Zolote disengagement area.

In non-government-controlled areas, on 5 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted two IFVs (BMP-2) near Vesela Hora (16km north of Luhansk) and a probable IFV (undetermined variant) near Sentianivka (44km west of Luhansk).

The SMM saw new mine hazard signs. On 7 October, on the north-eastern edge of Rybynske (government-controlled, 49km south of Donetsk), the SMM saw five hazard signs for the first time: two were placed on each side of a road block preventing passage; the other three were placed on the side of the road. The SMM noted that the signs were yellow with “Warning, Mines” written on them in Russian.

The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to the phenol sludge reservoir near Zalizne (government-controlled, 42km north-east of Donetsk). On 6 and 7 October, the SMM continued to facilitate the operation of the DFS, including through monitoring adherence to the ceasefire.

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