Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 9 November 2018

Source
Posted
Originally published
Origin
View original

Attachments

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 reporting period. The Mission’s long-range unmanned aerial vehicle experienced severe jamming near Korsun. It followed up on reports of shelling at the Bakhmut Agrarian Union’s pig farm near Novoluhanske. The Mission saw weapons in violation of withdrawal lines near Bila Hora and Zhelanne. The SMM recorded ceasefire violations near the Zolote and Petrivske disengagement areas. The Mission’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas, as well as at two border crossing points not under government control. The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to houses and essential civilian infrastructure on both sides of the contact line, as well as to enable demining near Nyzhnoteple. In Odessa, the SMM observed graffiti on two monuments associated with the 1905 mutiny on the battleship Potemkin.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations[1], including 260 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 115 explosions).[2]

In the morning on 9 November, while in Debaltseve (non-government-controlled, 58km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 50 undetermined explosions over a period of 30 minutes, all at an assessed range of 5-8km north-west.

During the day on 9 November, positioned about 1km north-west of the railway station in Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 90 undetermined explosions (27 assessed as outgoing rounds of cannon (30mm) fire, two assessed as outgoing rounds of mortar (undetermined type) fire, three assessed as impacts of undetermined weapons, about 50 assessed as undetermined explosions of cannon (30mm) fire and the remainder assessed as undetermined rounds of undetermined weapons) and 350 bursts and shots of small-arms fire, all at an assessed range of 1-6km at directions ranging from south-west to north.

During the day on 9 November, positioned 2km south-west of the entry-exit checkpoint near Pyshchevyk (government-controlled, 25km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard an explosion assessed as the impact of a mortar round at an assessed range of 2.5-3km east-south-east, followed by about 20 bursts and shots of small-arms fire at an assessed range of 3-4km south-south-east and south-east.

During the day on 9 November, positioned 2km south-east of Lebedynske (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard, in sequence, nine explosions assessed as impacts of undetermined weapon(s) rounds and about twenty bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all at an assessed range of 3-4km at directions ranging from north to east; an undetermined explosion at an undetermined distance north-north-east; five explosions (one assessed as outgoing and its resultant impact and four undetermined) 3-5km east and north-east; three explosions assessed as outgoing rounds and their resultant impacts at undetermined distances north-east and east-north-east; and over 100 bursts of small-arms fire 3-4km north-east.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including four explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 90 explosions).

During the day on 9 November, positioned on the north-eastern edge of Sentianivka (formerly Frunze, non-government-controlled, 44km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard two bursts of 30mm cannon fire and six shots of heavy-machine-gun fire, all at an assessed range of 6-8km north-west.

An SMM long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experienced severe jamming. On the evening of 8 November, an SMM long-range UAV temporarily lost its GPS signal, assessed as due to jamming, near Korsun (non-government-controlled, 31km north-east of Donetsk).[3] The incident was assessed as particularly severe, as it caused most of the control and communication links (including backup systems) between the Ground Control Station and the UAV to fail. Despite the severity of the jamming attack, the operating team regained control over the aircraft after it left the jamming area in emergency mode. In 2016, an SMM long-range UAV was lost while flying over Korsun (see SMM Spot Report of 3 June 2016).

The SMM followed up on reports of shelling near Novoluhanske (government-controlled, 53km north-east of Donetsk). In a parking lot of the Bakhmut Agrarian Union’s pig farm near Novoluhanske, about 10m south of its northwest entrance, the SMM observed five fresh impact sites consisting of small craters and charred asphalt over an area of 100 square metres. Approximately 5-10m south of these impacts, the SMM observed about 30 to 50 fresh shrapnel marks on the north-facing wall of the farm building, 2-3m above the ground. About 150m west of these craters, the SMM saw a large oak tree missing some bark and smaller branches which had about 20 fresh scratches assessed as shrapnel scars approximately 5m above the ground on the south-facing side of its trunk. A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces told the SMM that they had cleaned up the site after the shelling. The SMM assessed all the damage as having been caused by the explosion of 82mm mortar rounds fired from a southerly direction. A man (in his sixties) told the SMM he worked at the farm and had been present during the shelling which, he said, had occurred from 16:30 to 17:45 on 6 November.

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[4] (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 9 November, positioned on the south-western edge of Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (non-government-controlled, 58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 2-3km north (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

The same day, positioned on the northern edge of Kalynove-Borshchuvate (non-government-controlled, 61km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard an undetermined explosion at an assessed range of 5-7km north-north-east (assessed as outside the Zolote disengagement area).

Also on 9 November, positioned about 2km north of Petrivske, the SMM heard eight bursts of small-arms fire followed by a minute of uncountable overlapping shots and bursts of small-arms fire, all at an assessed distance of 2-3km south (unable to assess whether inside or outside the disengagement area), and then four instances (in total 15 minutes) of uncountable overlapping shots and bursts of small-arms fire at an assessed distance of 2-3km north (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 8 November, an SMM long-range UAV spotted an anti-tank guided missile system (9P148 Konkurs, 135mm) near Bila Hora (54km north of Donetsk) and an anti-tank gun (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) and three probable anti-tank guns (MT-12) near Zhelanne (36km north-west of Donetsk).

Beyond the respective withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, on 8 November, an SMM long-range UAV spotted two surface-to-air missile systems (9K37 Buk): one near Petropavlivka (49km west of Donetsk) and one in Novooleksandrivka (36km north-west of Donetsk).

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles (ACV), an anti-aircraft gun[5] and other indications of military-type presence in the security zone. In government‑controlled areas, on 8 November, an SMM long-range UAV spotted three armoured reconnaissance vehicles (BRDM-2), five infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP variants), two ACVs (type undetermined) and a modified military truck with an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23-2, 23mm) near Bila Hora; three IFVs (BMP-2) near Maiorsk (45km north-east of Donetsk); an ACV near Troitske (30km north of Donetsk); and two IFVs (BMP-1) near Marinka (23km south-west of Donetsk). On 9 November, the SMM saw an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BTR-80) east of Zolote-2/Karbonit (62km west of Luhansk), two IFVs (BMP-1) near Zolote (60km west of Luhansk), an APC (BTR variant) in Kriakivka (38km north-west of Luhansk) and an APC (BTR variant) east of Mariupol.

In non-government-controlled areas, on 8 November, an SMM long-range UAV spotted seven IFVs (four BMP-1 and three probable BMP variants) and an APC (MT-LB) near Novoselivka (37km north-east of Donetsk). On 9 November, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted a 400m-long trench (not seen in imagery from 25 August 2018) about 2.5km south-west of Naberezhne (77km south of Donetsk) and a new 270m-long trench with six firing positions about 1.5km north-west of Naberezhne.

The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works, on 9 November, to the Petrivske water pumping station near Artema (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk), a well in Krasnyi Lyman (non-government-controlled, 30km north-west of Luhansk), power lines Zolote-5/Mykhailivka, the phenol sludge reservoir near Zalizne (formerly Artemove, government-controlled, 42km north-east of Donetsk) and damaged houses in Marinka and Krasnohorivka (government-controlled, 21km west of Donetsk), as well as to enable demining activities near Nyzhnoteple (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk). The Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station. In Luhansk region, the Mission facilitated and monitored a transfer of funds from non-government to government-controlled areas, reportedly in relation to a water payment. On 8 November, the SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to power lines in the Vilnyi neighbourhood of Zolote-4/Rodina (government-controlled, 59km west of Luhansk)

The SMM visited three border areas outside government control. While at a border crossing point near Izvaryne (52km south-east of Luhansk) for about five minutes, the SMM saw a bus with Ukrainian licence plates and 15 pedestrians (eight men and seven women, aged 20 to 55) entering Ukraine. A member of the armed formations told the SMM to leave the area.* While at a pedestrian border crossing point near Verkhnoharasymivka (57km south-east of Luhansk) for about 25 minutes, the SMM saw three women and a man (aged 40 to 65) entering Ukraine and two men and a woman (aged 45 to 65) exiting Ukraine. While at a border crossing point near Sievernyi (50km south-east of Luhansk) for about three minutes, the SMM saw a woman in her sixties exiting Ukraine and a man in his sixties entering Ukraine. A member of the armed formations told the SMM to leave the area.*

In Odessa, the SMM continued to follow up on media reports of vandalism to monuments (see SMM Daily Report 6 November 2018). On 8 November, on Polskyi Descent, the SMM saw splashes of fresh red paint and the phrase “Death to the red slaughterers” in Ukrainian spray-painted onto a monument commemorating the 1905 mutiny on the battleship Potemkin. On 9 November, at 1 Mytna Square, the SMM observed that the words “Death to the Executioners” had been spray-painted in Ukrainian onto a statue to Hryhoryi Vakulenchuk, one of the sailors involved in the mutiny, and traces of red paint on a plaque honouring communists executed or sentenced to hard labour at 44 Preobrazhenska Street.

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

*Restrictions of SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate