Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 10 October 2018

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region, compared with the previous reporting period. The Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station; it heard small-arms fire overhead, despite security guarantees having been provided. The SMM followed up on reports that a man had been injured by an explosion while handling an explosive device in Lutuhyne. The Mission observed damage caused by gunfire in residential areas of Oleksandrivka and in the Trudivski area of Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district. It recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote and Petrivske disengagement areas. The SMM’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas as well as near Verkhnoshyrokivske, Yuzhna-Lomuvatka and Zoria. The SMM observed weapons in violation of the agreed withdrawal lines near Dokuchaievsk and Vilkhivka. An SMM long-range unmanned aerial vehicle again spotted vehicles moving on a dirt road towards the border with the Russian Federation where there are no border crossing facilities in a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region. The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to critical civilian infrastructure near Zalizne, Artema, Vesela Nora, Donetskyi and Mykhailivka, as well as to enable demining in Zolote-2/Karbonit. In Kyiv region, the Mission followed up on reports of an explosion at an apartment of a C14 member and monitored a public gathering in relation to the explosion.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations,[1] including 305 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 520 explosions).

On the evening and night of 9-10 October, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (15km north of Donetsk) recorded about 60 undetermined explosions, seven airbursts, 22 muzzle flashes, about 70 projectiles in flight (mostly from west to east and from north-west to south-east) and an illumination flare, all 0.5-4km at southerly directions.

On the evening and night of 9-10 October, the SMM camera 1.5km north-east of Hnutove (government-controlled, 20km north-east of Mariupol) recorded about 60 undetermined explosions and about 40 projectiles in flight (mostly from north to south, from south to north and from west-south-west to east-north-east), all 1-4km at easterly directions.

During the day on 10 October, positioned on the northern edge of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard four explosions (two assessed as impacts and two undetermined) 1-2km south-west, 12 undetermined explosions 2-5km at south-easterly directions, and about 40 undetermined explosions and a burst of heavy-machine-gun fire 1-5km at directions ranging from west-north-west to north-north-east.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 120 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 50 explosions).

On the evening of 9 October, the SMM camera in Kriakivka (government-controlled, 38km north-west of Luhansk) recorded an explosion assessed as an impact 2-4km south-south-west, as well as six undetermined explosions, 15 muzzle flashes, about 90 projectiles in flight (mostly from east-south-east to west-north-west and from west-north-west to east-south-east) and an illumination flare in vertical flight, all 1-5km south-south-west and south-west.

The following day, positioned about 2km south of Muratove (government-controlled, 51km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard about 90 explosions assessed as rounds of automatic grenade-launcher(s) and infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) cannon fire and 85 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 2-7km east-south-east.

The SMM heard small-arms fire overhead while monitoring the security situation in the area of the DFS to facilitate repair works and rotation of workers at the station. Positioned on road H20, about 1.5km south of Kamianka (government-controlled, 20km north of Donetsk), SMM patrol members heard the whistling sound of two bullets flying 10-50m over their heads, despite security guarantees having been provided for adherence to the ceasefire. The SMM could not assess the direction of fire. The SMM left the location safely. It notified the Ukrainian Armed Forces side of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) and the armed formations about the incident and requested follow-up. (See SMM Spot Report 10 October 2018.)

The SMM followed up on reports that a man had been injured by an explosion while handling an explosive device. In Lutuhyne (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Luhansk), on 10 October, medical staff at an emergency centre told the SMM that they had received an emergency call at around 10:15 on 3 October that a man who had been injured by an explosion in the town while handling an explosive device. They said that the man had been transferred by an ambulance to a hospital in Luhansk city. In Lutuhyne, a man and a women (both in their fifties) separately told the SMM that the explosion had occurred on Administratyvna Street. At 7/1 Administratyvna Street, the SMM saw shrapnel damage to the fence and gate of a house but it was unable to assess whether the damage was recent. A guard of a factory about 50m from the house told the SMM by telephone that at around 10:00 on 3 October, he had heard an explosion from the house and had seen a man (in his fifties) in front of the gate, who had been injured with a part of his left arm and several figures of his right hand missing.

The SMM observed damage caused by gunfire in residential areas. In Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk), at 344 Horkoho Street, the SMM saw a fresh gouge and shrapnel damage on the west-south-west-facing side of a garage in the courtyard of a house. At 346 Horkoho Street, the SMM saw eight fresh holes in the west-south-west-facing fence around a house and a shattered west-south-west-facing window. The SMM assessed that all above damage had been caused by a 30mm round fired from a west-south-westerly direction. Residents of the houses at 344 and 346 Horkoho Street separately told the SMM that they had had been at their homes when they heard an explosion at around 19:45. About 300m further north-west, at 336 Shkilna Street, the SMM saw a fresh hole in the south-facing side of a garage, assessed as caused by a 30mm round fired from a west-south-westerly direction.

In the Trudivski area of Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district (non-government-controlled, 15km south-west of Donetsk city centre), at 11/1 Vyborzkyi Lane, the SMM saw a broken south-west-facing window of a house and shrapnel damage to the window sill, as well as a fresh hole in the south-west-facing part of the roof. Residents (a man and a woman in their late sixties) of the house told the SMM that the damage had occurred on 8 October at around 18:45. At a neighbouring house, at 12/1 Vyborzkyi Lane, the SMM saw a fresh hole in the south-west-facing side of the roof. The SMM assessed that all damage had been caused by rounds of anti-aircraft cannon (ZU-23, 23mm) fire from a south-westerly direction.

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[2] (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 8 October, inside the Zolote disengagement area, an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2), near previously observed positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, about 150m south of the area’s northern edge and about 1km west of its eastern edge (for previous observations in the area, see SMM Daily Report 9 June 2018).

During the day on 10 October, positioned on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM heard 25 shots of small-arms fire 1km north-north-west, followed by nine shots of small-arms fire 1km north-north-east, all assessed as inside the disengagement area. The same day, the SMM saw two men (one in camouflage clothing) in a previously observed position (bunker) of the Ukrainian Armed Forces south of the railway bridge inside the disengagement area (see SMM Daily Report 1 September 2018 and SMM Daily Report 10 October 2018).

During the day on 10 October, positioned 1.8km north of Petrivske, the SMM heard five minutes of uncountable and overlapping shots of small arms 2-3km south-south-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area), followed by two undetermined explosions 2km south-south-west (assessed as inside the disengagement area).

Positioned inside the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, the SMM observed a calm situation.

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 non-government-controlled areas, on 9 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted two tanks (one T-72 and one undetermined variant) and a surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10) near Dokuchaievsk (30km south-west of Donetsk) and a towed howitzer (2A36 Giatsint-B, 152mm) near Vilkhivka (40km east of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, on 9 October, an SMM mini-UAV spotted 15 self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), two anti-tank guided missile systems (undetermined variant) and six anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) at the railway station in Rubizhne (84km north-west of Luhansk). The same day, the SMM saw two towed howitzers (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) moving east in the northern outskirts of Sievierodonetsk (74km north-west of Luhansk). On 10 October, the SMM saw 24 tanks (T-72) in and near Rubizhne, as well as 24 towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) and three self-propelled howitzers (2S1) at the railway station in Zachativka (74km south-west of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in a non-government-controlled area, the SMM saw a tank (undetermined variant) about 3km south-east of Rozkishne (9km 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 non-government-controlled areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines in Donetsk region, the SMM noted that six multiple launch rocket systems (BM-21 Grad, 122mm), six towed howitzers (D-30), six self-propelled howitzers (2S1) and 12 mortars (11 PM-38, 120mm and one 2B11 Sani, 120mm) were again missing. The SMM also noted that four anti-tank guns (MT-12) were missing for the first time.

The SMM revisited a permanent storage site whose location was beyond the respective withdrawal lines in a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region and noted that 11 tanks (four T-64 and seven T-72) were again missing.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles (ACV)[3] and other indications of military-type presence in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 9 October, an SMM mini-UAV spotted two IFVs (BMP-1) and an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) near Trokhizbenka (32km north-west of Luhansk). The same day, an SMM long-range UAV spotted an ACV (type undetermined) near Taramchuk (29km south-west of Donetsk), three IFVs (BMP-1) and two ACVs (type undetermined) near Berezove (31km south-west of Donetsk), an ACV (type undetermined) near Novotroitske (36km south-west of Donetsk), two IFVs (BMP-1) and an ACV (type undetermined) near Mykolaivka (40km south of Donetsk) and three ACVs (type undetermined) near Troitske (30km north of Donetsk). The same day, the SMM saw an IFV (BMP-1 variant) just north of the Zolote disengagement area, an IFV (BTR-4) near Kamianka, three IFVs (two BMP-2 and one BMP-1) near Sopyne (16km east of Mariupol) and an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRM-1K) near Buhas (44km south-west of Donetsk).

In non-government-controlled areas, on 8 October, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted three new trench systems (30m, 25m and 15m in length) north of Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (58km west of Luhansk) (all not visible in imagery from 29 August 2018), one of them in the yard of a house. On 9 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted two armoured recovery vehicles (BTS-4A), an armoured personnel carrier (BTR variant) and an IFV (BMP-1) in Kalmiuske (42km south-east of Donetsk) as well as new trenches (not seen in imagery from 17 July 2018) about 30m in length south-east of Dokuchaievsk. The same day, an SMM mini-UAV spotted 55 craters in a field about 650m south-west of Petrovenky (40km west of Luhansk), assessed as caused by 122mm or 152mm artillery rounds probably fired from a northerly direction (not visible in imagery from 19 June 2018). An SMM mini-UAV spotted two craters in a field about 1km north-west of Zarichne (44km west of Luhansk), assessed as probably caused by 152mm artillery rounds fired from a north-north-westerly direction (not visible in imagery from 9 July 2018).

An SMM long-range UAV again spotted vehicles move north-east on a dirt road near the border with the Russian Federation where there are no border crossing facilities in a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region. At around 23:00 on 9 October, the UAV spotted five covered cargo trucks (four Ural and one Kamaz) and four cars (three SUV and one sedan), all stationary, as well as about 20 persons walking between the vehicles on an unpaved dirt road near a treeline, all about 3.5km east-north-east of Manych (non-government-controlled, 76km east of Donetsk). By 00:30 on 10 October, the UAV spotted all people enter the vehicles and four trucks (three Ural and one Kamaz) and three cars (two SUV and one sedan) moving further north-east towards the border with the Russian Federation while the fifth truck (Ural) and the fourth car (SUV) travelling south-west towards Manych.

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), to the Petrivske pumping station near Artema (government-controlled, 26km north-west of Luhansk), to a power line in Vesela Hora (non-government-controlled, 16km north-west of Luhansk), to water distribution infrastructure in Donetskyi (non-government-controlled, 49km west of Luhansk) and to power lines near Zolote-5/Mykhailivka. In Luhansk region, the SMM monitored the security situation to reportedly transfer funds from non-government to government-controlled areas in relation to a water utility debt. It monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable demining in the area of Zolote-2/Karbonit (government-controlled, 62km west of Luhansk). The SMM continued to facilitate the operation of the DFS, including through monitoring adherence to the ceasefire (see above).

The SMM visited a border area not under government control. While at a border crossing point near Dovzhanske (84km south-east of Luhansk) for about 40 minutes, the SMM saw five cars and a van, all with Ukrainian licence plates, and 11 covered cargo trucks (nine with Ukrainian and two with Russian Federation licence plates) exiting Ukraine, and six cars and four covered cargo trucks (all with Ukrainian licence plates) entering Ukraine.

In Boryspil (32km south-east of Kyiv), the SMM followed up on reports of an explosion at the apartment of a member of C14 (Sich) on the night of 9-10 October. At 52 Momota Street, the Mission saw a broken window on the second floor of a building and broken glass on the street. It saw that the area was cordoned off and that ten police officers and an investigation team were present. The Ministry of Internal Affairs later announced that that an investigation into the incident had been launched under Article 15 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (attempted murder).

In relation to the abovementioned explosion, the SMM monitored a public gathering outside the Ministry of Internal Affairs building at 10 Akademika Bohomoltsia Street in Kyiv, where it saw approximately 60 protesters (mainly men, 20-50 years old), some of whom were wearing jackets with the C14 (Sich) insignia. The Mission saw that the street in front of the building was blocked by a police car and about 60 police officers, including some in riot gear, securing entrances to the building. The SMM heard a member of C14 (Sich) say that the abovementioned explosion had occurred at his apartment. The Mission then saw three men splash a bottle of dairy product over the head of a female journalist and police intervene. The SMM saw the right arm of another male protester bleeding. The Mission did not observe further incidents.

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