Ukraine

Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine based on information received until 26 June 2014, 18:00 (Kyiv time)

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KYIV, UKRAINE 27 June 2014

This update is provided for the media and the public.

The situation across the country was calm. A Holocaust memorial was vandalised in Kherson region, and some internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Roma community faced difficulty in having their housing needs met in Kharkiv. Four SMM monitors from the Luhansk team have been missing for 28 days. Four SMM monitors from the Donetsk team who had been missing for 32 days were released late on 26 June.

The situation in Donetsk was generally calm. Two directors of a local business were, however, kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Karlivka on 25 June, according to SMM sources.

The first parliamentary session of the so-called “Union of People’s Republics” took place in Donetsk city. The constituent parts of this union – the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” – each sent 30 “members of parliament” to the session. The union was formed on 25 June.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs launched a recruitment drive for three new special police “battalions” to be deployed in Donetsk, according to the ministry’s official website.

The situation in Dnepropetrovsk was calm.

The situation in Kherson was calm. On 25 June the SMM noted that a Holocaust memorial in Mykolaiv (69 kilometres north-west of Kherson) had been vandalised, with green paint daubed on it. Previously the SMM noted that the memorial had been targeted. On 24 April the SMM noted burn marks on it, following a Molotov cocktail attack, and on 25 April the SMM noted anti-Semitic messages spray-painted on it.

The situation in Kharkiv was calm. The SMM did, however, witness a confrontation between Roma IDPs and police in Vysokyi (three kilometres north of Kharkiv). Approximately 100 Roma were warning that they would block the main road in protest at conditions at a camp they were staying. A number of the younger Roma did in fact do so for a few moments, whereupon police with assault rifles arrived. Even though some of the Roma were able to prove that they had lived in Sloviansk – the scene of intense fighting – and others claimed to have lived there but were unable to prove so (because, they said, their documents had been left behind in the rush to leave the city or had been stolen) – the police insisted that the Roma were not IDPs.

IDPs elsewhere in the country faced other difficulties, notably in Lviv, where a civic activist informed the SMM that there was an element of resentment against IDPs creeping into public discourse, particularly in social media. The activist explained that the resentment is especially targeted towards male IDPs, seen by some people as trying to avoid their duty while men from the west are being conscripted to fight in the east, from where the IDPs have fled. In Dnepropetrovsk, a religious charity, which transports, according to one of its members, 250 people from Sloviansk to Dnepropetrovsk every day, has faced difficulties on entering Dnepropetrovsk.

In this reporting period, there are preliminary indications that resources being allocated to IDPs may be strained. In Lviv, NGO activists informed the SMM that the city had already reached its limits in terms of housing IDPs; and nursery schools, they said, had been overcrowded even before their arrival. Similarly, the deputy mayor of Lisovsky (145 kilometres south-east of Kharkiv) noted his concerns about the capacity of host communities to absorb more IDPs, given budgetary and resource considerations

In Odessa a Right Sector activist complained to the SMM that corruption and vested interests – which he said the Maidan protests had intended to challenge – were still omnipresent.

The situation in Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Kyiv and Chernivtsi remained calm.

Contacts

Olesia Oleshko

Media Analyst

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

26 Turgenevska Street

01054 Kyiv

Ukraine

Office: +380674662563

olesia.oleshko@osce.org

Michael Bociurkiw

Spokesperson

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

26 Turgenevska Street

01054 Kyiv

Ukraine

Office: +380 44 382 0832

Mobile: +38 067 4083107

michael.bociurkiw@osce.org