Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 26 November 2018

This report is for the media and the general public.

Summary

  • Compared with the previous 24 hours, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
  • Following developments at sea near the Kerch Strait, the SMM continued to monitor the security situation and observed protests in different regions of Ukraine.
  • The Mission observed heavy weapons in violation of withdrawal lines in Karlivka and Lebedynske.
    -The SMM recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area and near the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area.
    -The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to the Petrivske pumping station near Artema and to enable an assessment of a water pipeline near Popasna. The Mission also continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station.
  • In Zakarpattia and Lviv regions, the SMM monitored protests blocking roads leading to the international border crossing points in relation to import taxes.
  • The SMM’s access remained restricted in all three disengagement areas as well as near Bezimenne and Novoazovsk, an area close to the border with the Russian Federation.*

Ceasefire violations

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 100 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours (about 170 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded east of Hnutove (government-controlled, 20km north-east of Mariupol), south-east of Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk) and south-east of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol).

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 60 explosions, compared with the previous 24 hours (about 115 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded north-west of Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov, non-government-controlled, 50km west of Luhansk) and near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk) (see below).

Security situation following developments at sea, near the Kerch Strait

Following reported developments on 25 November at sea, near the Kerch Strait (see SMM Spot Report 26 November 2018), on 26 November the SMM monitored the security situation and observed protests in different regions of Ukraine.

In Kyiv, at 14A Yaroslava Khomova Lane, the SMM saw a white car (with diplomatic licence plates of the Russian Federation) with scorched marks parked on the roadside. The SMM saw ten people (all men, aged 20-35) gathered outside the Embassy and noted a calm situation.

Also in Kyiv, the SMM saw about 600-800 people (mostly men, aged 18-60) march on Institutska Street to 11 Bankova Street. Half of them were wearing Natsionalini Druzhyny and National Corps insignia. Outside the Parliament building, the SMM saw about 200 protesters (mostly men, aged 20-60). Some of them were carrying flags of Svoboda, Sokil and Right Sector and chanting messages critical of the Russian Federation. Inside the building, the SMM saw some members of Parliament preventing an extraordinary session from taking place. Parliament subsequently adopted a draft law approving a presidential decree “On the Imposition of Martial Law” for a period of 30 days in ten regions.

In Kharkiv and Odessa, the SMM observed similar protests in front of the buildings of the Consulate-General of the Russian Federation (see SMM Spot Report 26 November 2018). In Odessa, scuffles between law enforcement officers and protesters occurred.

In Lviv, the SMM followed up on reports of a protest outside the Consulate-General of the Russian Federation on 25 November. On 26 November, the SMM saw a pile of three tyres with a paper boat on top of it, as well as ashes, assessed as caused from recently burnt tyres, in front of the premises of the Consulate-General. The Mission noted a calm situation there.

Disengagement areas

On the evening and night of 25-26 November, while on the eastern edge of the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion and about 30 bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun fire, all at an assessed range of 1-5km south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). On the morning of 26 November, while at the same location, the SMM heard 32 undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 4-6km west-south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). The same morning, positioned just south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 15 km west-north-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). Positioned 1km north of the bridge, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion at an assessed range of 5-7km south (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

On 26 November, an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle again spotted an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) inside the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, about 400m north-east of its south-western edge. The same UAV also spotted four members of the armed formations nearby.

Positioned near the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, the SMM observed a white signal flare fired by a member of the armed formations near a checkpoint south of the bridge. Members of the armed formations told the SMM that the flare had been launched to indicate readiness to disengage.

On the evening of 25 November, the SMM camera in Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk) recorded a projectile in flight from south to north (assessed as outside the disengagement area). The following day, positioned on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM heard two explosions assessed as impacts and three bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all at an assessed range of 2-3km north-west (all assessed as inside the disengagement area).

During the day on 26 November, positioned north of Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk), the SMM observed a calm situation near the Petrivske disengagement area.