Ukraine

OSCE SMM Spot Report 27/2020: Members of the armed formations continued to deny SMM patrols passage at checkpoints in Donetsk and Luhansk regions

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From 23 to 29 May, members of the armed formations again denied SMM attempts to cross into non-government-controlled areas along official crossing routes: five times in Donetsk region and four times in Luhansk region, while further attempts to cross into government-controlled areas were also denied, once in Donetsk region and three times in Luhansk region.

On 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 May, at a checkpoint south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage towards non-government-controlled areas on four occasions, and passage towards government-controlled areas on three other occasions, referring to the closure of the checkpoint due to COVID-19.

On 23 and 27 May, at a checkpoint 600m west of Verkhnoshyrokivske (formerly Oktiabr, non-government-controlled, 85km south of Donetsk), members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage towards non-government-controlled areas, referring to quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19.

On 24 and 28 May, at a checkpoint near Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage towards non-government-controlled areas, referring to quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19.

On 25 May, at a checkpoint near Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage towards government-controlled areas on one occasion, stating that the SMM did not have permission to pass, and again denied passage towards non-government-controlled areas on another occasion, referring to quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19.

The Mission began facing repeated denials when attempting to cross into non-government-controlled areas at checkpoints of the armed formations in Donetsk region on 21 March and Luhansk region on 23 March (see previous SMM Spot Reports). They restrict the SMM’s freedom of movement across the contact line, thus impeding the implementation of its mandate throughout the country.

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With regard to COVID-19, the SMM has introduced a number of stringent mitigation measures into its operational procedures. These include strict adherence to social distancing rules both internally and with external interlocutors, daily temperature checks, use of PPE and minimizing the number of personnel in vehicles.

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