Ukraine

OSCE SMM Spot Report 15/2021: Members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage at the checkpoint near Olenivka, Donetsk region

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On the morning of 20 May, an SMM patrol travelling from non-government-controlled Donetsk city, consisting of two vehicles, one trailer and four mission members, arrived at the checkpoint of the armed formations near Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) to conduct an exchange of trailers with a second SMM patrol arriving from government-controlled areas.

At 10:47, while at the checkpoint, a member of the armed formations approached the patrol and requested the SMM’s vehicles’ registration documents. The patrol refused the request and remained stationary at the checkpoint.

At 11:40, the patrol again attempted to cross the checkpoint, but was denied once more for the same reason.

At 12:10, the patrol attempted for a third time to cross the checkpoint, but members of the armed formations declined to engage with the patrol.

At 12:30, the patrol left the checkpoint and returned to Donetsk city.

Since 1 March 2021, the Mission has faced similar denials in non-government-controlled Donetsk region seven times: four times at the same checkpoint of the armed formations near Olenivka, on 1 March, 15 March, 17 and 26 April; and three times at the checkpoint near Oleksandrivka (20km south-west of Donetsk), on 31 March, 2 April and 8 April (see SMM Spot Reports 1/2021, 3/2021, 4/2021, 5/2021, 7/2021, 9/2021, and 12/2021).

On all occasions, the SMM undertook efforts to facilitate the patrol’s crossing that would enable the exchange of trailers, but the vehicles were not allowed to pass.

The Mission again notes that such denials at checkpoints of the armed formations not only restrict the SMM’s freedom of movement across the contact line, but also prevent the SMM’s logistical operations, which are essential for the implementation of its tasks.

The OSCE Permanent Council Decision No. 1117 specifies that the SMM shall have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. Unrestricted and unconditional access to all areas is essential to ensure effective monitoring and reporting of the security situation, as well as other mandated tasks. The mandate also tasks the Mission to report on any restrictions of its freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate.

Contacts

Dragana Nikolic-Solomon
Chief of Press and Public Information Unit
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
Office: +380 44 392 08 55
Mobile: +380 95 291 99 18
Dragana.Nikolic-Solomon@osce.org
SMM-PRESS@osce.org

Iryna Korobko
National Media Officer
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
Office: +380 44 392 09 84
Mobile: +380 67 235 38 16
iryna.korobko@osce.org
smm-press@osce.org