Ukraine

OSCE SMM Spot Report 28/2021: Armed formations denied the SMM passage on two occasions at their checkpoint near Horlivka, Donetsk region

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On 24 November, at 10:39, an SMM patrol consisting of two vehicles and five people arrived from Donetsk city at a checkpoint of the armed formations near Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), travelling to government-controlled areas. At the checkpoint, two visibly armed members of the armed formations denied the Mission passage, citing a "lack of permission" for the SMM to cross. At 14:54, the patrol returned to Donetsk city.

At 11:40, a second SMM patrol consisting of two vehicles and five people arrived from Kramatorsk (government-controlled, 83km north of Donetsk) at a checkpoint of the armed formations, travelling to non-government-controlled areas on the same crossing route as the first patrol. At the checkpoint, one member of the armed formations denied the Mission passage, citing a "need for permission" from his superior. At 12:22, the patrol left the checkpoint and returned to Kramatorsk.

In both cases, the SMM had notified the armed formations of the patrols' crossings in advance, according to COVID-19 operating procedures.

To recall, on 23 November, the armed formations denied the SMM crossing from government-controlled to non-government-controlled areas in three locations in Luhansk region. (see SMM Spot Report 27/2021) The Mission again notes that such denials 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 effective functioning of the Mission.

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

Alesia Bolot

National Public Relations Officer

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

26 Turhenievska Street

01054 Kyiv

Ukraine

Mobile: +38 063 022 9600

smm-press@osce.org