Ukraine

OSCE SMM Spot Report 31/2021: Armed formations denied the SMM passage to non-government-controlled areas near Zolote and Molodizhne, Luhansk region

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On the morning of 27 November, the armed formations in Luhansk region denied two SMM patrols passage to non-government-controlled areas. Both patrols were travelling from government-controlled areas.

The first denial occurred at 09:10, at about 350m north of the southern edge of the disengagement area near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk). The second occurred at 11:10, at a checkpoint of the armed formations on road T-0504 about 1.5km south-west of Molodizhne (non-government-controlled, 63km north-west of Luhansk). On both occasions, members of the armed formations cited “orders from their superiors”. In the first instance, they also referred to “lack of security guarantees”.

Additionally, earlier in the morning, at 08:40, a member of the armed formations denied another SMM patrol passage inside the Zolote disengagement area at their checkpoint near the area’s southern edge, citing “orders from his superiors”. The patrol was to assist the SMM patrol crossing to non-government-controlled areas mentioned above.

For recent restrictions faced by the SMM when crossing the contact line, see SMM Spot Reports 27/2021, 28/2021, 29/2021 and 30/2021.

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