Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 22 October 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 24 hours. It recorded ceasefire violations assessed as inside the Zolote disengagement area and near the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area. The SMM’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas as well as near Zaichenko, Bezimenne, Novoazovsk, Lebedynske, Alchevsk and Bohdanivka.* The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to the Petrivske and Aidar water pumping stations, a gas pipeline near Yasynuvata and the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station, as well as to enable demining in Zolote-2/Karbonit and Nyzhnoteple.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations,[1] including about 140 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours (about 115 explosions).

On the evening and night of 21-22 October, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (15km north of Donetsk) recorded 45 explosions (two assessed as incoming and one as outgoing, one as an airburst and the remainder undetermined), 46 projectiles in flight (the majority from south-easterly to north-westerly directions) and 13 muzzle flashes, all 0.5-3km at southerly directions.

On the evening of 21 October, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 50 undetermined explosions and about 445 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire (mostly 2-3km east), all 2-6km east and south-east. During the day on 22 October, while in the same location, the SMM heard about 30 undetermined explosions and about 120 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire (mostly 2-3km east), all 2-7km east and south-east.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 15 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours (about 40 explosions).

Positioned about 800m east of Svitle (non-government-controlled, 11km north of Luhansk), the SMM heard 12 explosions (ten assessed as outgoing and the remainder undetermined) as well as eight bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun fire, all 5-7km south-south-west.

The SMM continued to follow up on reports that a woman and a man (both in their forties) had died in a location between Zolote-4/Rodina (government-controlled 59km west of Luhansk) and Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (non-government-controlled, 58km west of Luhansk). As of the morning of 23 October, no agreement had been reached on a recovery operation despite dialogue facilitation efforts undertaken by the Mission since the explosion was reported on 18 October. (See SMM Daily Report 22 October 2018.)

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 22 October, while on the eastern edge of Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard 11 shots and bursts of small-arms fire 2km south-south-west, assessed as outside of the disengagement area.

On the evening of 21 October, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded seven projectiles in flight from south-west to north-east, all 2-4km south-east and assessed as inside the disengagement area.

Positioned about 2km north of Petrivske and also in Bohdanivka (government-controlled, 41km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM observed a calm situation in the Petrivske 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 respective withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas, on 21 October, an SMM long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted three towed howitzers (probable D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) near Dyliivka (49km north of Donetsk), three self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm) in firing positions near Vershyna (63km north-east of Donetsk) and a self-propelled howitzer (2S19 Msta-S, 152mm) near Bila Hora (54km north of Donetsk).

In violation of respective withdrawal lines in non-government-controlled areas, on 21 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted six multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) in a training area near Miusynsk (62km south-west of Luhansk), four self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) in a training area near Manuilivka (65km east of Donetsk) and eight MLRS (BM-21) about 2km west of Sadovyi (57km south-west of Luhansk).

Beyond the respective withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, on 21 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted a self-propelled anti-aircraft system (2K22 Tunguska) about 3.5km north of Bila Hora. On 22 October, an SMM mini-UAV spotted a surface-to-air missile system (S-300) and two towed howitzers (D-20, 152mm) on trucks near Nikolske (formerly Volodarske, 97km south of Donetsk). The same day, the SMM observed two towed howitzers (D-20) on the western outskirts of Urzuf (40km south-west of Mariupol).

Beyond the respective withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in non-government-controlled areas, on 21 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted four surface-to-air missile systems (9K35, Strela-10), 12 towed howitzers (D-30), nine self-propelled howitzers (2S1) and 11 tanks (T-64) in a training area near Miusynsk; nine tanks (type undetermined), six self-propelled howitzers (2S1) and three towed howitzers (D-30) in a training area near Pokrovka (36km east of Donetsk); and 45 tanks (type undetermined) in a training area near Manuilivka. The same long-range UAV spotted a surface-to-air missile system (9K33 Osa) near Zhytenko (70km east of Donetsk), which was turned on and operating, north-west of a non-government-controlled area near the border with the Russian Federation where the SMM had previously observed convoys entering and exiting Ukraine (for most recent observations see SMM Daily Report 18 October 2018).

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles (ACV) and anti-aircraft guns[3] and other signs of military-type presence in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 21 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted an ACV (type undetermined) near Yurivka (35km north of Donetsk), three ACVs near Novoselivka (31km north-east of Donetsk), an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BTR-80) and an ACV (type undetermined) near Verkhnotoretske (23km north-east of Donetsk), an infantry fighting vehicle (BMP-1) near Opytne (12km north-west of Donetsk) and an APC (type undetermined) near Troitske (30km north of Donetsk). On 22 October, the SMM saw two APCs (BTR-70) in Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk).

In non-government-controlled areas, on 21 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted a probable ACV (type undetermined) near Shyroka Balka (34km north-east of Donetsk). The same long-range UAV spotted two sets of trenches seen for the first time about 2km north-west of Stavky (30km north of Donetsk). Also on 21 October, an SMM mid-range UAV for the first time spotted about 300m of trenches, assessed as belonging to the armed formations (not visible in imagery from 15 August 2018), on the western outskirts of Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk) and three houses destroyed by recent shelling (probable artillery) (not visible on imagery from 8 October 2018) about 500m north of the trenches. On 22 October, the SMM observed two APCs (MT-LB) mounted with anti-aircraft guns (ZU-23, 23mm) near Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk).

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs to the Petrivske pumping station near Artema (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk), the Aidar water pumping station near Raivka (non-government-controlled, 16km north-west of Luhansk), a gas pipeline near Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk) and at the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station between Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) and Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk). The SMM continued to monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable demining in Zolote-2/Karbonit (government-controlled, 62km west of Luhansk) and in Nyzhnoteple (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk). The SMM continued to facilitate the operation of the DFS.

The SMM visited two border areas not under government control. While at a border crossing point near Novoborovytsi (79km south of Luhansk) for about 20 minutes, the SMM did not observe traffic traveling in either direction and noted that the border crossing point on the Ukrainian side continued to not be staffed.

While at a border crossing point near Marynivka (78km east of Donetsk) for about 30 minutes, the SMM saw seven vehicles (three with Ukrainian, three with Russian Federation licence plates and one with “DPR” plates) as well as three covered cargo trucks (two with Ukrainian licence plates and one with “DPR” plates) exiting Ukraine. The SMM observed five vehicles (two with Ukrainian and three with Russian Federation licence plates) and a bus with Ukrainian licence plates entering Ukraine.

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