Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 22 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 Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region. Small-arms fire damaged a functioning kindergarten in Chermalyk. The Mission saw weapons in violation of the withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line. The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to essential civilian infrastructure in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Restrictions of the Mission’s access continued in all three disengagement areas. It was also restricted at a checkpoint near Yasynuvata.* The SMM followed up on reports of an incident at a newspaper office in Kherson. In Kyiv and Chernivtsi, the Mission observed public gatherings on the occasion of the Day of the Unity of Ukraine.

Ceasefire violations

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (about 190), compared with the previous reporting period (about 110 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations, including over 180 explosions, were recorded at northerly directions of Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) and Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk) during repair works to the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station (see below).

In Luhansk region, the Mission recorded more ceasefire violations, including 12 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (two explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations, including eight explosions assessed as outgoing artillery and mortar rounds, were recorded in a training area near Myrne (non-government-controlled, 28km south-west of Luhansk) (assessed as part of live-fire exercises outside the security zone).

Small-arms fire damaged a functioning kindergarten in Chermalyk

Accompanied by a Ukrainian Armed Forces representative, the SMM visited a functioning kindergarten at 21A Myru Street in Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol). Inside the kindergarten, the Mission saw a fresh hole in a south-facing window frame as well as fresh scarring on a western wall and a piano next to a northern wall. The SMM assessed the damage to have been caused by a small-arms round (7.62mm), which had pierced the window frame and ricocheted off the wall and the piano. An employee of the kindergarten told the SMM that she had found a bullet lying on the floor near the piano on the morning of 22 January.

Disengagement areas

On 19 January, an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted three fresh impact craters assessed as caused by mortar (120mm) rounds inside the disengagement area near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk), about 900m south of the disengagement area’s northern edge and about 1.5km west of its eastern edge – between the forward positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the armed formations. The SMM could not determine the direction of fire.

On the evening of 21 January, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded a projectile in flight from south-south-west to north-north-east at an assessed range of 1.5-3km east-south-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area).

During the day on 22 January, positioned close to the disengagement areas near Zolote and Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk) as well as inside the disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM observed calm situations.[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.

In violation of withdrawal lines

Government-controlled areas

22 January

The SMM saw:

six anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) on stationary trains at the railway station in Kostiantynivka (60km north of Donetsk) and a surface-to-air missile system (9K33 Osa) moving south near Vidrodzhennia (66km north-east of Donetsk).

Non-government-controlled areas

21 January

An SMM mini-UAV spotted:

three tanks (T-64) about 1.5km north-west of Lobacheve (13km east of Luhansk). 22 January

The SMM saw:

26 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, 56km south-west of Luhansk). Beyond the withdrawal lines but outside of designated storage sites

Government-controlled areas

22 January

The SMM saw:

three tanks (T-72B) at the railway station in Bakhmut (formerly Artemivsk, 67km north of Donetsk). Non-government-controlled areas

22 January

The SMM saw:

six towed howitzers (D-30, Lyagushka, 122mm) at a training area near Myrne (see above). Weapons storage sites:

At a heavy weapons permanent storage site in a non-government-controlled area of Luhansk region

22 January

The SMM noted that:

14 self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), ten towed howitzers (nine D-30 and one 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) and five MLRS (two for the first time) were missing. Indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone[4]

Government-controlled areas

22 January

The SMM saw:

an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) and an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) near Muratove (51km north-west of Luhansk) and three armoured personnel carriers (BTR-60) near Klynove (68km north-east of Donetsk). Non-government-controlled areas

21 January

An SMM mini-UAV spotted:

three infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP-1) near Lobacheve and an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) near Pionerske (19km east of Luhansk). 22 January

The SMM saw:

an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) in Luhansk city.

SMM facilitation of repair works to civilian infrastructure

The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to water pipelines in Artema (government-controlled, 26km north of Luhansk) and Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk), to a powerline near the entry-exit checkpoint near Maiorsk (government-controlled, 45km north-east of Donetsk), and to the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station between Marinka and Oleksandrivka. The Mission continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk).

The SMM followed up on reports of an incident at a newspaper office in Kherson

On 21 January, in Kherson, at the office of the Novyi Den newspaper, the SMM saw broken glass of a door and four holes in two windows. Three journalists told the SMM that during a press conference on 18 January, they had heard the “sound of five shots”. A local police representative told the SMM that a traumatic [non-lethal] pistol and rubber bullets had been used and that a suspect had been charged under Article 296 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code.

The SMM observed public gatherings in Chernivtsi and Kyiv

In Kyiv and Chernivtsi, the SMM observed peaceful public gatherings on the occasion of the Day of the Unity of Ukraine. At Sofiiska Square in Kyiv, the SMM saw about 2,000 people (mixed gender and ages) gathered and approximately 500 law enforcement officers present. In Chernivtsi, the SMM observed two gatherings of about 200 people (mixed gender and ages) and about 300 people (mixed gender and ages) at two different locations. The SMM saw about 20 law enforcement officers present at both locations.

Also in Kyiv, the SMM observed a peaceful march of about 80 people (mixed gender and ages) dedicated to four Maidan activists who had reportedly been killed on 22 January 2014.

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