KYIV 24 June 2014
This update is provided for the media and the public.
The situation across the country was calm except in parts of Donbas, where tensions remained. In Lviv an office of the Russian-owned ‘Sberbank’ was vandalised. Four SMM monitors from the Donetsk team have been missing for 29 days and four SMM monitors from the Luhansk team for 26 days.
The situation in Kharkiv was calm. On the evening of 22 June the SMM observed a rally of approximately 1,000 people, who called for a ban on both the Communist Party and demonstrations opposing Ukraine’s unity. Approximately 300 policemen escorted the rally. Some of the participants then moved towards another square, where a rally in support of ties with Russia and Ukraine’s transformation into a federal state was taking place (see SMM Daily Report of 23 June 2014). After a verbal confrontation involving participants from both rallies, the police, armed with batons, intervened and dispersed the crowd. Thirty activists on both sides were detained and later released. According to the members of the rally in support of Ukraine’s unity and media, one woman received a head wound and was taken to hospital.
No fighting has been observed in Luhansk or Donetsk.
In Donetsk the SMM had a meeting with the ‘minister of information’ of the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DPR), who informed the SMM that Viktor Medvedchuk, who previously served as head of former President Leonid Kuchma’s presidential administration, had recently been appointed as a representative of both the DPR and the so-called ‘Luhansk People's Republic' for negotiations with the Government, to be facilitated by the OSCE.
The situation in Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, Odessa, Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk was calm.
In Lviv the SMM monitored a demonstration in front of a branch of the Russian-owned ‘Sberbank’, organized by a social movement called ‘Economic Boycott’. Approximately 40 activists participated in the protest and put several car tyres in front of the bank's door. During the rally, the bank closed temporarily due to what it described as ‘service problems’. The SMM saw three policemen observing the demonstration.
According to the Lviv police, on the night of 22 to 23 June, two other branches of ‘Sberbank’ in Lviv were vandalised by unknown people. At one bank, a stone was thrown through its window and paint splashed on walls. The words ‘Glory to Ukraine’ were painted on the wall of the other bank. The SMM observed workers removing the paint at both banks. No police officers were observed outside the buildings.
In Kyiv the SMM visited a camp of ten tents in a Kyiv park. Approximately 50-60 ethnic Roma, including children, are living there. According to the unofficial leader of the camp, the inhabitants are from Sloviansk or its vicinity and fled from there because of fighting and instability. The Roma said that the city administration had already interviewed them, but so far they had not received any assistance. Local inhabitants corroborated that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) had arrived on 19 June.
Senior Press Assistant OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turgenevska Street
Mobile: +38 067 4021716
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turgenevska Street
Office: +380 44 382 0832
Mobile: +38 067 4083107