Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 24 October 2018

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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. It followed up on reports of a civilian casualty in Marinka. An explosion occurred 100m from an SMM patrol, assessed as inside the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area. The Mission also recorded ceasefire violations near the Petrivske disengagement area. The SMM’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas as well as near Zaichenko, Bezimenne, Kozatske and Novolaspa. The SMM observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line. It facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to critical civilian infrastructure in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as to enable demining in Zolote-2/Karbonit and Nyzhnoteple. In Kyiv and Dnipro, the SMM monitored public gatherings against rising gas costs.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations,[1] including 140 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 150 explosions).

On the evening of 23 October, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 35 undetermined explosions 3-12km at directions ranging from east to west-south-west and about 160 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 3-7km at directions ranging from south-east to west-south-west.

On the evening and night of 23-24 October, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (15km north of Donetsk) recorded 13 explosions (one assessed as an airburst and the remainder undetermined) and 34 projectiles in flight (mostly from north-east to south-west and from west to east), all 0.5-4km at southerly directions.

On the evening and night of 23-24 October, the SMM camera 1.5km north-east of Hnutove (government-controlled, 20km north-east of Mariupol) recorded four undetermined explosions and about 55 projectiles in flight (mostly from north to south), all 2-4km at directions ranging from north-east to east-south-east.

During the day on 24 October, positioned about 1km north-west of the railway station in Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 23 undetermined explosions and about 290 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small arms fire, all 1-4km at southerly and westerly directions.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including 45 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (one explosion).

On the afternoon of 24 October, positioned in Zolote-2/Karbonit (government-controlled, 62km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 42 explosions assessed as artillery rounds and uncountable bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun, automatic grenade launcher and infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) cannon fire, all 3-8km south-east.

The SMM followed up on reports of a civilian casualty in Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk). On 22 October, at the Marinka District Hospital in Kurakhove (government-controlled, 40km west of Donetsk), accompanied by a Ukrainian Armed Forces officer of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), the SMM saw a man (aged 40) with a bandage on his right thigh. He told the SMM that during the day on 21 October, while repairing the roof of his house at 28 Matrosova Street in Marinka, he had heard a burst of small-arms fire and then felt pain in his right thigh. On 24 October, medical staff at the same hospital told the SMM that the man had been admitted to the hospital on the evening of 21 October with a wound in his right thigh caused by a bullet.

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 the evening and night of 23-24 October, while on the eastern edge of Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 4-5km south-south-east and 34 shots of small-arms fire 3-5km south-west, all assessed as outside the disengagement area. In the morning of 24 October, positioned about 300m north of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), inside the disengagement area, the SMM heard an explosion approximately 100m west, assessed as probably caused by a mine or unexploded ordnance (UXO) inside the disengagement area.

On the morning of 24 October, positioned about 2km north of Petrivske for about 60 minutes, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 5-6km south and two bursts of small-arms fire 2-3km south, all 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 government-controlled areas, on 23 October, an SMM long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted a surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10) near Novoluhanske (53km north-east of Donetsk).

In violation of withdrawal lines in non-government-controlled areas, on 23 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted two surface-to-air-missile systems (9K35) in Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk).

Beyond the respective withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, on 23 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted six tanks (T-72) near Siversk (99km north of Donetsk), six anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) near Vyimka (93km north of Donetsk), 19 tanks (T-64), three surface-to-air missile systems (9K35) and two self-propelled anti-aircraft systems (2K22 Tunguska) near Spirne (96km north of Donetsk) and three surface-to-air missile systems (9K33 Osa) near Verkhnokamianka (84km north-west of Luhansk).

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles and an anti-aircraft gun [3] in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 23 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted eight IFVs (BMP-1) and an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (MT-LB) near Troitske (69km west of Luhansk), and four IFVs (BMP-1) and an APC (BTR-70 or BTR-80) near Novoluhanske. On 23 October, the SMM saw an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) mounted on a truck near Zalizne (formerly Artemove, 42km north-east of Donetsk). On 24 October, the SMM saw two APCs (BTR-80) near Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk).

In non-government-controlled areas, on 23 October, an SMM long-range UAV spotted five APC (MT-LB) in Pervomaisk and two IFVs (BMP-1) near Sanzharivka (67km north-east of Donetsk). On 24 October, the SMM saw an IFV (BMP-1) near Starolaspa (51km south of Donetsk).

The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to water wells near Krasnyi Lyman (non-government-controlled, 30km north-west of Luhansk), to water pipelines and the phenol sludge reservoir near Zalizne and to the Petrivske pumping station near Artema (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk). The SMM continued to monitor adherence to the ceasefire to enable demining in Zolote-2/Karbonit and in Nyzhnoteple (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk). The SMM also continued to facilitate the operation of the DFS.

The SMM monitored two public gatherings in Kyiv and one in Dnipro against rising gas costs. In Kyiv, the SMM saw about 500 people (mostly aged 60-80; 70 per cent women and 30 per cent men) near the building of the Presidential Administration at 11 Bankova Street. Participants were holding dozens of flags of a political movement and banners with messages critical of the increase of gas prices. In front of the building of the Cabinet of Ministers at 12/2 Mykhaila Hrushevskoho Street, the SMM saw about 100 people (aged 40-60, 60 per cent men and 40 per cent women), many of whom were holding flags of a political movement and similar banners. In Dnipro, the SMM observed about 450 people (mixed genders and ages) gathered in front of the building of the Regional State Administration at 1 Oleksandra Polia Avenue, some of them carrying national Ukrainian flags and flags of a political movement. Some participants held speeches critical of the Government’s decision to increase the cost of gas from 1 November. All three protests ended peacefully.

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