Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 15 January 2019

This report is for the media and the general public.

Summary

  • Compared with the previous reporting period, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
  • Small-arms fire damaged a window of an apartment building in Dokuchaievsk.
  • A civilian woman died while crossing the contact line near Maiorsk entry-exit checkpoint.
  • The SMM recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area.
  • The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to essential civilian infrastructure in Luhansk region.
  • Restrictions of the Mission’s access continued in all three disengagement areas.*
  • The SMM continued to follow up on a fire at the Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv.
  • The Mission observed a calm situation at the crossing point in Chonhar and at a Ukrainian State Border Guard Service position in Valok, in the south-eastern part of Kherson region.

Ceasefire violations

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 25 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 75 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded mainly in directions south-east of Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk) as well as in areas west-south-west of the railway station in Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk).

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (about 40), compared with the previous reporting period (about 30 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded in areas north-north-east of Yuzhna-Lomuvatka (non-government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk) and north-west of Myrne (non-government-controlled, 28km south-west of Luhansk), where the SMM assessed the ceasefire violations as live-fire training exercises outside the security zone.

Small-arms round damages window of an apartment building in Dokuchaievsk

On 14 January, in Dokuchaievsk (non-government-controlled, 30km south-west of Donetsk), a member of the armed formations led the SMM to a five-storey apartment building at 9 Polova Street. The SMM saw a hole in the outer pane of a south-south-west facing double-paned window of a first-floor apartment. A resident of the building (woman, seventies) told the SMM that a woman (in her thirties) and a child lived in the apartment but had not been present when the window was hit, which she said had taken place the evening of 13 January. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by a single small-arms round but could not assess whether the damage was fresh.

Civilian woman died while waiting near entry-exit checkpoint in Maiorsk

The SMM followed up on reports that a woman (80 years old) had died on 5 January while waiting to cross the contact line near the entry-exit checkpoint at Maiorsk (government-controlled, 45km north-east of Donetsk). A representative of the State Border Guard Services and a police officer in Bakhmut (formerly Artemivsk, government-controlled, 67km north of Donetsk) told the SMM that a woman had died the morning of 5 January while waiting near the entry-exit checkpoint. On 8 January, staff at the morgue in Bakhmut confirmed that the woman had been brought in for a post-mortem examination and on 15 January, staff at the morgue in Bakhmut told the SMM that the woman had died of natural causes.

Disengagement areas

On the evening of 14 January, the SMM camera in Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk) recorded a projectile in flight at an assessed range of 3-5km east-south-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area) and two projectiles in flight at an assessed range of 1.5-4km south-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area).

On 15 January, positioned in Zolote-4/Rodina (government-controlled, 59km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard ten shots of small-arms fire at an assessed range of 1-3km south and south-west (all assessed as inside the disengagement area).

Positioned south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), near the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, the SMM heard nine undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 3-5km south-south-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

Positioned close to the disengagement area near Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk), the SMM observed a calm situation.

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 withdrawal lines

Government-controlled areas

  1. January

An SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted:

  • four tanks (T-72) north of Prychepylivka (50km north-west of Luhansk).

15 January

  • A surface-to-air missile system (9K33 Osa) parked near a house where the SMM has seen Ukrainian Armed Forces in Klynove (68km north-east of Donetsk) (see SMM Daily Report 12 January 2019)

Non-government-controlled areas

15 January

  • Two self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) and four towed howitzers (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) near Bile (22km west of Luhansk)

Beyond the withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites

Government-controlled areas

15 January

  • A surface-to-air missile system (9K33) near Kasianivka (22km north of Mariupol)

Weapons that the SMM was unable to verify as withdrawn:

Heavy weapons holding areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas of Donetsk region

15 January

  • 12 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) and a surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10) were present, and
  • 23 MLRS (BM-21), two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35) and a self-propelled howitzer (2S1) remained missing.

Weapons permanent storage sites:

A permanent storage site beyond the respective withdrawal lines in a non-government-controlled area of Luhansk region:

15 January

  • Five tanks (four T-64 and one T-72), four towed howitzers (D-30) and two self-propelled howitzers (2S1) remained missing.

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

Government-controlled areas

14 January

An SMM mid-range UAV spotted:

  • four infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP variants), two armoured personnel carriers (APC) (one MT-LB and one BTR variant), two armoured reconnaissance vehicles (one BRM-1K and one BREM-2) and an aircraft communications automatic jamming station (R-934B) near Prychepylivka.

15 January

  • Four IFVs (two BMP-1 and two BMP variants) and an APC (MT-LB S) used as a medical evacuation vehicle near Popasna (69km west of Luhansk)
  • Two IFVs (BMP variants) in Zolote-3/Stakhanovets (61km west of Luhansk)
  • An APC (BTR-80) in Stanytsia Luhanska
  • An IFV (BMP-1) on a trailer driving south-east near Bohdanivka (41km south-west of Donetsk)
  • An APC (MT-LB) near Klynove

Non-government-controlled areas

14 January

An SMM mini-UAV spotted:

  • two military-type positions, assessed as belonging to the armed formations about 2km south-south-east of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 77km south of Donetsk). About 70m south-east of the aforementioned positions, the same mini-UAV spotted two men in firing positions assessed as members of the armed formations and recorded at least three rounds of small arms flying past the mini-UAV. (See SMM Daily Report 15 January 2019)

SMM facilitation of repair works to civilian infrastructure

The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to water wells in Artema (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk). The Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station.

Fire at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

On 15 January, the SMM followed up on reports of a fire at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (see [SMM Daily Report 15 January 2019). The burned building had a plaque identifying it as an historic storehouse for books. The SMM could see at least six broken windows on the second floor as well as smoke marks and damage to the roof. The SMM observed no other security, law enforcement or firefighters in the area, where the overall situation was calm.

SMM observes a calm situation south-east of Kherson

The SMM observed a calm situation at the crossing point in Chonhar (163km south-east of Kherson) and at a Ukrainian State Border Guard Service security position in Valok (188km south-east of Kherson).

The Mission continued monitoring in Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Chernivtsi.