Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 14 April 2019

Summary

  • Compared with the previous reporting period, between the evenings of 12 and 13 April, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region.
  • Compared with the previous 24 hours, between the evenings of 13 and 14 April, the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region.
  • The Mission followed up on reports of a man injured by the explosion of a damaged cartridge in Dmytrivka.
  • It saw fresh damage caused by gunfire in a residential area of Chermalyk.
  • Small-arms fire was directed at SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicles near Prymorske, Vershyna and Heivka.
  • The SMM recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area.
  • The Mission observed weapons in violation of the withdrawal lines near Vynohradne.
  • The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to essential civilian infrastructure in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
  • Restrictions of the SMM’s access continued in all three disengagement areas. In addition, the Mission was denied access at a heavy weapons holding area in a government-controlled area of Donetsk region and at a checkpoint near non-government-controlled Starolaspa.

Ceasefire violations

In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 12 and 13 April, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 140 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 310 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at southerly directions of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol), at northerly, southerly and westerly directions of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and at northerly, southerly and westerly directions of Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk).

Between the evenings of 13 and 14 April, the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (190), compared with the previous 24 hours. The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at northerly, southerly and westerly directions of Yasynuvata and at southerly directions of Avdiivka (government-controlled, 17km north of Donetsk).

In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 12 and 13 April, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including about 110 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (23 explosions). About half of the ceasefire violations, including the majority of explosions, were recorded at southerly and easterly directions of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk).

Between the evenings of 13 and 14 April, the Mission recorded more ceasefire violations, including, however, fewer explosions (about 70) compared with the previous 24 hours. The majority of ceasefire violations were again recorded at southerly and easterly directions of Popasna.

Man injured by explosion of a damaged cartridge in Dmytrivka

The SMM followed up on reports of a man injured by the explosion of a damaged cartridge in Dmytrivka (government-controlled, 43km north of Luhansk). On 13 April, at a hospital in Novoaidar (government-controlled, 49km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM saw a 62-year-old man with his left ring finger missing, as well as deep cuts on his face and the palms of both hands. He told the SMM that on 11 April a damaged cartridge he had found at a scrap metal collection centre in Dmytrivka, where he is employed, had exploded when he had tried to cut it with an electric saw.

Damage caused by gunfire in a residential area of Chermalyk

On 13 April, accompanied by Ukrainian Armed Forces officers of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), the SMM followed up on reports of damage to a garage and a storage house due to gunfire on the eastern edge of Chermalyk. At 28 Nikitina Street, the SMM saw fresh burn marks on the north-east-facing side of the roof of a garage, about 8m north of a one-storey house. The SMM could not assess the type of weapon used or direction of fire. About 10m south-west of the house, the SMM saw a fresh crater in a back garden, as well as shrapnel scars on the north-east facing side of the tin roof of a storage house 1m further north-east, assessed as caused by rounds of a recoilless gun (SPG-type) fired from a north-easterly direction. Two residents of the house (a man in his sixties and a woman in her fifties) told the SMM that the damage to the storage house had been caused by gunfire on the evening of 8 April, whereas the damage to the garage had occurred in the early morning hours of 12 April, both while they were inside the house. (For previous observations regarding damage to residential buildings on this street, see SMM Daily Report 5 December 2018 and SMM Daily Report 26 January 2019.)

Small-arms fire aimed at SMM unmanned aerial vehicles

During the day on 13 April, on two occasions, while conducting mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights near Prymorske (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Mariupol) and Vershyna (government-controlled, 63km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard bursts of small-arms fire in the area where the UAVs were flying, assessed as aimed at the UAVs. During the day on 14 April, while conducting a mini-UAV flight near Heivka (government-controlled, 27km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard shots of small-arms fire in the area where the UAV was flying, assessed as aimed at the UAV. On all three occasions, the SMM landed the UAVs safely and immediately left the area. *

Disengagement areas

On the evening of 12 April, while in Popasna, the SMM heard three bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire at an assessed range of 5-7km east, assessed as close to the disengagement area near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk). On the evenings and nights of 12-13 April and 13-14 April, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded three undetermined explosions and 34 projectiles in flight, all at an assessed range of 2-4km south-south-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area) and 28 projectiles and a muzzle flash (assessed as near the disengagement area). On the night of 13-14 April, while in Popasna, the SMM heard five undetermined explosions and six bursts of small-arms fire near the disengagement area, as well as 11 undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 7-10km east (unable to be assessed as inside or outside the disengagement area). During the day on 14 April, positioned on the eastern edge of Kalynove-Borshchuvate (non-government-controlled, 61km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard an undetermined explosion and 55 bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire near the Zolote disengagement area.

On 13 and 14 April, positioned near the disengagement area near Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk) and inside the disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM observed calm situations.[4]

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.

Weapons in violation of withdrawal lines

Government-controlled areas

12 April

An SMM mini-UAV spotted two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela-10) near Vynohradne (10km east of Mariupol).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside of designated storage sites

Government-controlled areas

12 April

An SMM mini-UAV spotted six anti-tank guided missile systems (9P148 Konkurs, 135mm) in a compound in the northern outskirts of Mariupol.

14 April

The SMM saw a surface-to-air missile system (9K33 Osa) near Pidhorodne (73km north of Donetsk).

Weapons that the SMM could not verify as withdrawn

At heavy weapons holding areas in government-controlled areas of Donetsk region

13 April

The SMM noted that:

  • seven multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) and a self-propelled howitzer (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) were present, and
  • 35 MLRS (BM-21) and a self-propelled howitzer (2S1) were again missing.

Indications of military presence in the security zone

Government-controlled areas

12 April

An SMM long-range UAV spotted:

  • four probable infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP variant) near Novotoshkivske (53km west of Luhansk);
  • an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23-2) mounted on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (MT-LB), an IFV (BMP-1) and an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) near Krymske (42km north-west of Luhansk); and
  • an APC (BTR-80) in a compound near Kalynivka (11km north-east of Mariupol).

13 April

The SMM saw:

  • an APC (BTR-70) with a heavy machine-gun mounted on top in Trokhizbenka (32km north-west of Luhansk) and
  • an armoured recovery vehicle (BREM-2) and six IFVs (three BMP-1 and three BMP variant) near Popasna.

Unmanned aerial vehicle seen near Molodizhne

On 13 April, positioned near Molodizhne (non-government-controlled, 63km west of Luhansk), the SMM saw a black UAV flying above its location before heading west-north-west at an altitude of around 100-200m.

Mines near Popasna and mine hazard signs seen for the first time near Styla

On 13 April, the SMM again saw six anti-tank mines (TM-62) laid within 2m of the edge of road T-0504 (used by civilians and the SMM every day), about 180m south-east of a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint on the eastern edge of Popasna.

On 13 April, approximately 5km north of Petrivske, the SMM saw for the first time two red mine hazard signs (one on a wooden stick, the other lying on the ground) with “Mines” written in white in Russian on each side of a road leading to Styla (non-government-controlled, 34km south of Donetsk).

On 13 April, the SMM observed two red mine hazard signs with “Mine” written on them in Russian near Novokyivka (non-government-controlled, 25km east of Luhansk), one on each side of a road leading to Ohulchansk (non-government-controlled, 25km east of Luhansk).

On 13 April, the SMM saw that two previously reported mine hazard signs on the south-western edge of Avdiivka had been removed.

SMM facilitation of repairs to civilian infrastructure

On 13 April, the Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to a water pipeline in Obozne (non-government-controlled, 18km north of Luhansk). On 13 and 14 April, the SMM continued to facilitate and monitor adherence to the ceasefire to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk).

On 13 April, the SMM continued to monitor the security situation around the pumping station near Vasylivka (non-government-controlled, 20km north of Donetsk), which provides potable water to about 1.2 million people on both sides of the contact line. On the same day, employees of the Voda Donbassa water company told the SMM that the pumping station remains non-operational because of non-conflict-related damages to a water pipeline whose repair had been interrupted due to shelling in the area on the evening of 12 April and in the early morning hours of 13 April (see SMM Daily Report 13 April 2019). On 13 April, a resident of Volnovakha (government-controlled, 53km south of Donetsk) told the Mission that there were water shortages in the town on that day. On 13 and 14 April, in Dokuchaievsk (non-government-controlled, 30km south-west of Donetsk), residents said that there had been no running water in the town since 12 April.

Border areas outside government control

On 14 April, while at a border crossing point near Sievernyi (50km south-east of Luhansk) for about an hour, the SMM saw 23 pedestrians entering Ukraine and 25 pedestrians exiting Ukraine.

On 14 April, while at a border crossing point near Uspenka (73km south-east of Donetsk) for about two hours, the SMM saw 27 cars (five with Ukrainian, six with Russian Federation, three with Lithuanian and one with Polish licence plates, as well as 12 with “DPR” plates), three buses (one with Ukrainian licence plates, as well as two with “DPR” plates) and 57 pedestrians entering Ukraine. The SMM also saw 31 cars (seven with Ukrainian and 15 with Russian Federation licence plates, as well as eight with “DPR” plates and one with Transdniestrian plates), eight covered trucks with their cargo not visible (two with Ukrainian licence plates, as well as six with “DPR” plates) and 50 pedestrians exiting Ukraine.

On 14 April, while at a border crossing point near Ulianivske (61km south-east of Donetsk) for about 40 minutes, the SMM saw a pedestrian exiting Ukraine.

SMM monitors security situation south-east of Kherson region

On 12 April, the SMM observed calm situations at the crossing points between Kalanchak (67km south-east of Kherson) and Chaplynka (77km south-east of Kherson) and Crimea. On 12 and 13 April, the SMM observed calm situations in areas along the Black Sea coast south and west of Kherson.

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