Ukraine

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 13 November 2018

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This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, compared to the previous reporting period. It observed for the first time anti-tank mines inside the Zolote disengagement area. The SMM’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas.* It observed weapons in violation near Volnovakha. The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to houses and essential civilian infrastructure, as well as to enable demining near Nyzhnoteple and the clearance of unexploded ordnance near Marinka.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations[1], including, however, more explosions (about 170), compared with the previous reporting period (about 140 explosions).

On the evening and night of 12-13 November, the SMM camera in Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol) recorded 100 projectiles in flight (mostly from east-north-east to west-south-west) at an assessed range of 2-4km south-east and south-south-east. During the day on 13 November, the same camera recorded four undetermined explosions and about 30 projectiles in flight (mostly from east-north-east to west-south-west), all at an assessed range of 2-4km south-east, south-south-east and south.

On the evening of 12 November, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard about 60 undetermined explosions and about 50 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all at an assessed range of 3-4km south-south-east.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 70 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 110 explosions).

On the morning of 13 November, positioned in the north-western part of Holubivske (non-government-controlled, 51km west of Luhansk) for about 40 minutes, the SMM heard 25 explosions assessed as caused by mortar rounds (120mm) at an assessed range of 4-5km north-north-east and north-west.

During the day on 13 November, positioned about 1.5km south-west of Molodizhne (non-government-controlled, 63km north-west of Luhansk) for about five minutes, the SMM heard 18 undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 7-10km north-east.

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 morning of 13 November, positioned on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area for about ten minutes, the SMM heard 18 undetermined explosions and 19 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all at an assessed range of 7-10km north-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area). On the same morning, the SMM saw a military truck (ZIL-131) entering the disengagement area from the north and driving south. It also observed a Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier inside a black Volkswagen Passat civilian car with military plates driving out of the Zolote disengagement area, near Katerynivka (government-controlled, 64km west of Luhansk).

On the same morning, inside the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM observed for the first time six anti-tank mines (TM-62 variant) 2m east of road T1316, about 350m north of the checkpoint of the armed formations on the southern edge of the disengagement area, as well as an anti-tank mine (TM-62 variant) 8m west of the same road, about 450m north of the abovementioned checkpoint and 1.6km west of the disengagement’s eastern edge. About 600m south-east of the same anti-tank mine, the SMM also saw for the first time a remnant of an anti-tank guided missile 2m west of road T1316 and previously observed remnants of a grenade round (PG-9) 3m west of the same road, both inside the disengagement area (see SMM Daily Report 15 September 2018).

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 a government-controlled area, on 12 November, the SMM saw a towed howitzer (D-20, 152mm) near Volnovakha (53km south of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in non-government-controlled areas, on 13 November, an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted 32 tanks (20 T-64 and 12 T-72) in a training area near Kruhlyk (31km south-west of Luhansk). On 13 November, the SMM saw five tanks (type undetermined) in a training area near Ternove (57km east 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. In a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region, the SMM observed five self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) and noted that two self-propelled howitzers (2S1) were again missing.

The SMM revisited a permanent storage site whose location was beyond withdrawal lines in a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region and noted that 11 tanks (seven T-72 and four T-64) were again missing. The SMM revisited a permanent storage site whose location was beyond withdrawal lines in a government-controlled area of Donetsk region and noted that the site continued to be abandoned and that 53 tanks (T-64) and seven mortars (two M120-15 Molot 120mm and five 2B9M Vasilek 82mm) were missing.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[3] and other signs of military presence in the security zone. In a government-controlled area, on 12 November, an SMM mini-UAV spotted four infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-2) and an aircraft communications automatic jamming station (R-934B/BM VHF/UHF) near Prychepylivka (50km north-west of Luhansk).

In non-government-controlled areas, on 13 November, the SMM saw an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BTR-80) in Oleksandrivsk (10km west of Luhansk) and two APCs (one BTR-80 and one type undetermined) near Sentianivka (44km west of Luhansk).

The SMM observed the presence of a mine. About 1.4km west of Verkhnoshyrokivske (formerly Oktiabr, non-government-controlled, 29km north-east of Mariupol), 1.5m north of a paved road, the Mission again saw a mine, assessed as a MON-100 anti-personnel type, fastened to a tree about 1.5m from the ground.

The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable the clearance by the Ukrainian State Emergency Services of a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO), assessed as the tailfin of a 120mm mortar round, on the side of road H-15 about 400m east of a checkpoint near Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) (for previous observation, see SMM Daily Report 12 November 2018). The SMM heard an explosion and observed a plume of black smoke rising from the location of the UXO. Later on, it noted that the UXO was no longer present.

The SMM also facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to the Petrivske water pumping station near Artema (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk), a gas pipeline in Marinka, water pipelines near Zaitseve (50km north-east of Donetsk) and near a coal mine near the Gagarina settlement of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km 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.

The SMM visited a border area outside government control. While at a border crossing point near Marynivka (78km east of Donetsk) for about 90 minutes, the SMM saw 22 cars (eight with Ukrainian and five with Russian Federation licence plates, as well as nine with “DPR” plates), three vans with Ukrainian licence plates and six covered cargo trucks (five with Ukrainian licence plates as well as one with “DPR” plates) exiting Ukraine, and 27 cars (seven with Ukrainian, 15 with Russian Federation and one with Georgian licence plates, as well as four with “DPR” plates), a van with Ukrainian licence plates and three pedestrians entering Ukraine.

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