Spot Report by the OSCE SMM: Casualties, damage to civilian infrastructure registered in Donetsk region following fighting

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On 3 February the SMM followed up on reports of casualties following fighting in Donetsk region. Medical staff at a hospital in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) informed the SMM about two civilian fatalities and two other persons who had suffered shrapnel injuries. According to them, a 25-year-old man had died as a result of an explosion from shelling at a school in Avdiivka and a 47-year-old female employee of the Avdiivka coke factory had died in the operating room due to injuries received after an explosion from shelling. They said that a 48-year-old commander of the State Emergency Services and a British journalist had been injured; adding that the commander was in critical condition, while the journalist had been transferred to a hospital in Dnipro for further care. A member of the regional administration in Dnipro told the SMM that a foreign journalist wounded in Avdiivka on 2 February had been brought to hospital in Dnipro and had undergone surgery.

The SMM observed shelling damage to three residential buildings at the intersection of Vorobiova and Molodizhna Streets in Avdiivka. The SMM saw a large hole in the third floor wall of one of the buildings and an impact near the road. The SMM assessed the latter as caused by a 122mm artillery round fired from a south-easterly direction. Several windows were blown out and the exterior walls of the buildings were damaged. According to residents, the damage had occurred at around 20:30 on 2 February.

In Kalininskyi district of Donetsk city, the SMM observed a fresh impact next to a roundabout assessed as caused by a single multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS; likely Smerch or Uragan) rocket fired from a direction ranging from west to north. Its blast wave had shattered windows and damaged doors and gates in a radius of 170m. A shop about 10m south-east of the roundabout and very close to the impact site had been destroyed. About 70m from the impact site a car had also been destroyed and a metal gate of a house had been ripped open by overpressure, indicating an explosion.

An SMM mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted a five-storey dormitory building, about 30m south of the impact, whose roof had been completely ripped off and all windows shattered. About 170m north-west of the impact, the gates of a car wash had been blown in, while a gas station behind the car wash had sustained slight damages. The UAV spotted a “DPR” compound some 260m south-east of the impact site with two multi-purpose armoured tracked vehicles (MTLB) inside. The head of the dormitory where internally displaced persons reside said that two of them had been injured. At a morgue, staff said that the body of a dead man had been brought in together with partial remains of another person.

On Artema Street in Donetsk city the SMM observed two fresh impacts: one in the entry steps of a residential apartment building and another on the road 15-20m north of the building. The SMM assessed the impacts as caused by MLRS (BM-21Grad, 122mm) rockets fired from a westerly direction. Half of the windows on the south-west-facing side of the building were destroyed. On Sobinova Street the SMM observed a fresh impact in the garden of a house assessed as caused by a single MLRS (BM-21) rocket. Two east-facing windows of the neighbouring house were shattered. At a school on the same street the SMM saw one fresh impact 10m from the school building assessed as caused by a single MLRS (BM-21) rocket. The north-facing windows and façade were shattered. The SMM could not determine the direction of fire.

On Kievskyi Avenue the SMM observed two impacts, one on the first and another on the fourth floor of two residential buildings, as well as shrapnel damage to nearby buildings. The SMM saw holes in the exterior west-facing walls of several apartments and broken windows. The SMM assessed one impact as caused by an MLRS (BM-21) rocket and the other by an artillery round at least 122mm, both fired from a north-westerly direction. According to local residents the above explosions in Donetsk city had occurred between 22:20 and 23:30 on 2 February.

The SMM is continuing to follow up on other reports of casualties.

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Alexandra Taylor
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Mariia Aleksevych
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mobile: +380 93 691 6790