Ukraine

OSCE SMM Spot Report 9/2020: Members of the armed formations continued to deny SMM patrols passage at checkpoints in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions

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On 7 and 8 April, members of the armed formations again denied attempts of the SMM to cross into non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, as well as an attempt to cross into government-controlled areas in Luhansk region, all along official crossing routes.

On the morning of 7 April, at a checkpoint near Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), an armed member of the armed formations denied an SMM patrol, travelling from government-controlled areas, passage into non-government-controlled areas, citing “orders from superior command due to established COVID-19 restrictions”.

On the morning of 8 April, at the checkpoint of the armed formations south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), two members of the armed formations denied an SMM patrol, travelling from non-government-controlled areas, passage into government-controlled areas, citing “closure of the checkpoint due to COVID-19”.

On the morning of 8 April, at a checkpoint on road H-15 near Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk), three armed members of the armed formations denied an SMM patrol, travelling from government-controlled areas, passage into non-government-controlled areas, citing “orders from their commanders related 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 SMM Spot Reports 2/2020, 3/2020, 4/2020, 5/2020, 6/2020, 7/2020, 8/2020). They restrict the SMM’s freedom of movement across the contact line, thus impeding the implementation of its Mandate throughout the country.

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