Spot report by OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine: SMM spearheads efforts for the cessation of hostilities in Shyrokyne, 17 April 2015

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Following the escalation of violence in Shyrokyne (22km east of Mariupol) over the Orthodox Easter weekend, SMM Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug and his team travelled to Mariupol on 13 April to spearhead efforts for a localised ceasefire. Since 13 April the SMM has visited Shyrokyne on a daily basis, engaging the two sides in a dialogue aiming at the cessation of hostilities. The SMM directly negotiated with the actors on the ground in an effort to gain unrestricted access to the village. Consequently, the SMM conducted a humanitarian assessment of the location, which included personal interaction with over 35 of the civilians left in the conflict-torn village.

On 15 April the SMM discussed in Shyrokyne with the senior Ukrainian and Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) strategies for establishing a sustainable ceasefire regime in the area. This meeting was a follow-up to a discussion held on 9 April with the two senior officers. The senior Ukrainian and Russian representatives at the JCCC came with separate proposals for a ceasefire regime, based on the demilitarisation of Shyrokyne village. This included the withdrawal of all mortars, tanks, and artillery to locations preventing their engagement, as well as the removal of all armed formations to a distance of five to eight kilometres from the village.

The SMM intends to capitalise on the emerging momentum for a sustainable ceasefire, while at the same time reducing the security dilemma of the parties by diminishing their uncertainty about each other’s intentions. Also, it aims at establishing solid ground for confidence building measures.

The SMM is currently looking at the security considerations and logistical requirements involved in maintaining an overnight static presence in Shyrokyne, one that would demonstrate the SMM’s commitment to the process, and instil confidence in the ceasefire amongst the sides and the local population.

The SMM hopes its efforts and initiatives in Shyrokyne can be replicated in other key hotspots and so may contribute to securing a more viable and tenable generalised ceasefire throughout the conflict zone.


Michael Bociurkiw
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turgenevska Street
01054 Kyiv
Office: +380 44 382 0832
Mobile: +38 067 4083107

Iryna Gudyma
Senior Press Assistant
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
26 Turgenevska Street
01054 Kyiv
Mobile: +38 067 4021716