Ukraine

OSCE SMM Spot Report 35/2021: Armed formations denied the SMM passage three times near Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote, Luhansk region

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On the morning of 5 December, the armed formations in Luhansk region twice denied the SMM passage to non-government-controlled areas. Both SMM patrols were travelling from government-controlled areas.

The first denial occurred at 09:40, at about 350m north of the southern edge of the disengagement area near Zolote. The second occurred at 10:50, at the checkpoint of the armed formations south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. On the first occasion, members of the armed formations cited a “lack of security guarantees” and a “lack of permission from those in control” on the second.

Additionally, earlier in the morning, at 09:27, at a checkpoint near the southern edge of the disengagement area near Zolote, two members of the armed formations denied another SMM patrol passage inside the disengagement area, citing a “lack of security guarantees” and “orders from their superiors”. The patrol was to assist the SMM patrol crossing to non-government-controlled areas mentioned above.

For recent restrictions faced by the Mission when crossing the contact line, see SMM Spot Reports 27/2021, 28/2021, 29/2021, 30/2021, 31/2021, 32/2021, 33/2021 and 34/2021.

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