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

This report is for the media and the general public.

Summary

  • Compared with the previous reporting period, the SMM recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region.
  • The Mission saw fresh damage caused by gunfire to a residential building in Dokuchaievsk.
  • The SMM recorded over 60 ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area and 25 near the area.
  • Small-arms fire was directed at an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle after it spotted hardware assessed as electronic warfare equipment near non-government-controlled Lozivskyi.
  • The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to essential civilian infrastructure as well as damaged houses in Marinka and Krasnohorivka. It continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station.
  • The SMM monitored the transfer of persons convicted before the beginning of the conflict in 2014 from non-government-controlled to government-controlled areas of Donetsk region.
  • Restrictions of the Mission’s access continued in all three disengagement areas. The SMM was also restricted at a checkpoint near Starolaspa.

Ceasefire violations

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (about 460), compared with the previous reporting period (about 230 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at westerly directions of Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk), south-westerly directions of Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk) and north-east of Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk).

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 30 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (ten explosions). About one-third of ceasefire violations were recorded at south-easterly directions of Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk).

Damage caused by gunfire to a residential building in Dokuchaievsk

At 85 Tsentralna Street in Dokuchaievsk (non-government-controlled, 30km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM saw a hole in the frame of a south-west-facing window, in its windowsill and in the adjacent west-south-west-facing wall of a ground-floor apartment of a five-storey residential building. The SMM assessed the damage to have been caused by a 12.7mm or 14.5mm bullet. The playground of a functional kindergarten is located about 35m south-west of the building. A resident of the apartment told the SMM that in the early hours of 7 December, while inside his apartment, he had heard the sound of an object hitting a flower pot on a windowsill and hitting the wall of the apartment.

Disengagement areas

During the day on 13 December, the SMM again saw an anti-tank mine (TM-62 variant) about 10m west of road T1316, about 400m north-north-west of the checkpoint of the armed formations on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area.

In the late afternoon of 13 December, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded ten explosions (nine assessed as impacts and one undetermined) and 51 projectiles in flight (28 from south to north, 13 from south-west to north-east, seven from north-east to south-west and three from north to south), all at an assessed range of 2-4km east-south-east and south-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area). The camera also recorded an undetermined explosion at an assessed range of 1-2km south-east (unable to determine inside or outside the disengagement area) and an undetermined explosion at an assessed range of 1-2km east-south-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area), as well as 20 projectiles (14 from north to south, three from south to north, two from north-east to south-west and one in vertical flight) and four bursts, all at an assessed range of 1-2km at directions ranging from east-north-east to south-east (all assessed as outside the disengagement area).

On the evening of 12 December, while on the eastern edge of Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard two bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire at an assessed range of 3-5km south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

During the day on 13 December, positioned near Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk), the SMM observed a calm situation in the disengagement area.[3]

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.

Beyond the withdrawal lines but outside of designated storage sites

12 December

Government-controlled areas

  • Four tanks (T-72) stationary at the train station in Bakhmut (formerly Artemivsk, 67km north of Donetsk)[4]

13 December

  • Two tanks (T-72) stationary at the train station in Bakhmut
  • A self-propelled anti-aircraft system (2K22 Tunguska) being transported on a flatbed trailer moving east near Novoolenivka (48km north-west of Donetsk)

Non-government-controlled-areas

  • Two towed howitzers (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) and three self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) at a training area near Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk) (In the same area, the SMM saw about 50 armed members of the armed formations and heard four explosions assessed as artillery rounds as well as ten bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all assessed as live-fire training.)

Indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone

Government-controlled areas

13 December

  • An anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) near Muratove (51km north-west of Luhansk)
  • An anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) near Trokhizbenka (32km north-west of Luhansk)
  • An armoured combat vehicle (type undetermined) near Marinka
  • Four anti-aircraft guns (ZU-23) near Umanske (25km north-west of Donetsk)
  • Seven infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP-2) near Sukha Balka (36km north of Donetsk)
  • An armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM variant) and an IFV (BMP-2) near Novotroitske (36km south-west of Donetsk)

Non-government-controlled areas

On 13 December, an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) again spotted two military trucks with multiple masts, each with several antenna arrays, a generator unit and a trailer assessed as electronic warfare equipment near Lozivskyi (32km west of Luhansk) as well as four persons in camouflage clothing (three in green and brown and one in blue patterns) nearby. Shortly thereafter, the SMM heard five shots of small-arms fire at an assessed range of 100-200m north, assessed as aimed at its UAV and originating from the location of the four persons. The SMM immediately left the area.*

SMM facilitation of repairs to civilian infrastructure

The SMM 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), to a power line near Zolote-2/Karbonit (government-controlled, 62km west of Luhansk) and to damaged houses in Marinka and Krasnohorivka (government-controlled, 21km west of Donetsk). The Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk).

SMM monitoring of transfer of persons convicted before the conflict in Donetsk region

The SMM monitored the transfer of persons convicted before the beginning of the conflict in 2014 from non-government-controlled to government-controlled areas of Donetsk region.

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