This report is for the media and the general public.
Between the evenings of 16 and 17 November, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region, compared with the previous reporting period. Between the evenings of 17 and 18 November, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in both regions, compared with the previous 24 hours. The SMM saw recent damage caused by shelling to civilian properties in Zolote-5 and Kruta Balka. The SMM observed heavy weapons in violation of the withdrawal lines in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region. The SMM recorded a ceasefire violation inside the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area. The SMM continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station. In Kyiv, the Mission monitored a gathering in relation to attacks against civil activists, including Kateryna Handziuk. It also monitored a pre-announced gathering in support of transgender rights and saw two female participants being treated for pepper spray irritation. The SMM’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas as well as near Bezimenne, Novolaspa and Dovzhanske, an area close to the border with the Russian Federation.* * Please see the section at the end of this report entitled “Restrictions of the SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate”.
In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 16 and 17 November, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including a similar number of explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 110 explosions). The majority of the ceasefire violations was recorded in areas south and south-west of the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (15km north of Donetsk), north-west of Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk) and south-east and south of Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk).
Between the evenings of 17 and 18 November, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including, however, a similar number of explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours. The majority of the ceasefire violations was recorded in areas south of the DFS, south-east of Svitlodarsk and south-east of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol).
In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 16 and 17 November, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 30 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (ten explosions). Between the evenings of 17 and 18 November, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 70 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours. The majority of the ceasefire violations were recorded in areas west and north-west of Kalynove (non-government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk).
Damage caused by shelling in residential areas
At 15/1 Dundycha Street in Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (non-government-controlled, 58km west of Luhansk), on 16 November, the SMM saw fresh shrapnel embedded in the west-facing side of a two-storey apartment building and a broken window on the same side. The Mission assessed the damage to have been caused by a round of an undetermined weapon fired from a north-westerly direction. A neighbour told the SMM that shelling had occurred near the building at 18:00 on 14 November.
In Kruta Balka (non-government-controlled, 16km north of Donetsk), on 18 November, the SMM saw two fresh impacts (scorch marks) on the north-facing side of a single-storey house and a broken window on the same side, assessed as caused by round(s) of an undetermined weapon. The Mission was unable to assess the direction of fire. A resident of the house told the SMM that at around 14:00 on 17 November, while at home, he had heard explosions and seen the abovementioned damage.
During the day on 17 November, positioned near the entry-exit checkpoint inside the disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 1km east, assessed as inside the disengagement area. The following day, the SMM observed a calm situation.
During the day on 17 November, positioned about 5km north-north-west of the disengagement area near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard ten undetermined explosions assessed as artillery rounds and 18 bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all at an assessed range of 5-10km south (assessed as outside the disengagement area). The same day, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded a projectile in flight from south-south-east to north-north-west at an assessed range of 3-5km east (assessed as outside the disengagement area). In the early evening of 18 November, the same camera recorded six projectiles in flight from north-west to south-east at an assessed range of 2-5km north-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area).
During the day on 18 November, the SMM observed a calm situation in the disengagement area near Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk).
Withdrawal of weapons
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 the withdrawal lines
21 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, 56km south-west of Luhansk) (see SMM Daily Report 8 November 2018) Four self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) and four towed howitzers (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) near Bile (22km west of Luhansk) Weapons storage sites beyond withdrawal lines
Heavy weapons permanent storage sites in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region:
13 MLRS (BM-21), 17 towed howitzers (16 D-30 and one 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) and 14 self-propelled howitzers (2S1) remained missing New weapons observed present for the first time Permanent storage site in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region:
Five tanks (four T-64 and one T-72) remained missing A new weapon observed present for the first time Indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone
One armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BTR-70) near Novobakhmutivka (28km north of Donetsk) One infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-2) in the yard of a house in Orikhove-Donetske (44km north-west of Luhansk) Non-government-controlled areas:
Mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted three 10m-long trenches (not visible in imagery from 9 July 2018), each in the yard of houses in the Marivka neighbourhood of Zolote-5 17 November:
Five APCs (four MT-LB and one BTR-80) in Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk) Tracks assessed as those of a tank (T-72) leading to an area near the contact line, north-west of Kalynove-Borshchuvate (61km west of Luhansk) Civilian infrastructure
On 17 and 18 November, the Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the DFS.
Situation of civilians at entry-exit checkpoints
On 16 November, the SMM saw two shelters (one under construction), a tent for heating and seven sanitary facilities at the entry-exit checkpoint in Pyshchevyk (government-controlled, 25km north-east of Mariupol). A woman (in her sixties) told the SMM that she had been waiting to cross for one hour, expressing concern over the lack of covering which protects pedestrians from weather.
On 17 November, at the checkpoint of the armed formations south of the bridge, the SMM saw about 400 people waiting for a bus to non-government-controlled Luhansk city. The Mission also saw an ambulance arrive at the site. A paramedic from the ambulance told the SMM that a man (aged 75) had required cardiac treatment and had been taken to a hospital in Luhansk city.
Border area not under government control
On 18 November, while at a border crossing point near Dovzhanske (84km south-east of Luhansk) for half an hour, the SMM saw four cars (two with Ukrainian, one with Russian Federation, and one with Belarusian licence plates) and a bus (with Ukrainian licence plates) entering Ukraine and two buses (with Ukrainian licence plates) exiting Ukraine. A member of the armed formations told the SMM to leave the area.*
Gatherings in Kyiv
On 17 November, the SMM monitored a gathering in relation to investigations into attacks against civil activists, including Kateryna Handziuk (see SMM Daily Report 16 November 2018). The Mission saw about 130 protesters (mostly men, aged 17-45) gathered at 2 Volodymyrskyi Descent. It heard some of them complain about the reaction of law enforcement agencies. Later, the SMM saw a convoy of vehicles carrying half of the protesters drive to Minsk Avenue, where two police officers were present. Some of the protesters were carrying signs with messages, including “Who ordered the murder of Katya?” The Mission saw some of them spray-paint similar messages on the exterior wall of the residence of a government official and light flares. The SMM did not observe further incidents.
On 18 November, the SMM monitored the “Trans-March 2018” organized by the LGBTIQ community in support of transgender rights. The Mission saw around 50 people (20-40 years old) gathered on Shevchenko Boulevard. Some of them were holding rainbow and transgender flags. The SMM also saw about 40 young men gathered nearby – later joined by an additional 60 people (mostly men), some of them holding Katekhon and Tradition and Order flags – and heard some of them chanting messages critical of the LGBTIQ community. About 40 police officers in riot gear were separating the two groups. The Mission later saw paramedics of a non-governmental organization treating two female participants for pepper spray irritation. The SMM did not observe further incidents during its presence.
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Chernivtsi.