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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 11 May 2015

Author: Ayre от 13.05.2015, 00:00
(голосов: 1)

The SMM noted long periods of calm – followed by intense fighting – in areas in and around the destroyed Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk airport (8km north-west of Donetsk) and Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol).

At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation post at “DPR”-controlled Donetsk railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk), JCCC representatives told the SMM that there had been no shelling in the area on the night of 10-11 May. However, whilst at the observation post from 08:05 to 17:00hrs, the SMM heard a total of 105 explosions, and sporadic small arms and heavy machine gun fire.

The SMM noted a calm situation in areas around government-controlled Berdianske (1.5km west of Shyrokyne) in the morning of 11 May. At a regular SMM observation post on the eastern outskirts of the village, however, it observed numerous fresh craters – one just metres from the actual observation post. The SMM observed an additional eight craters in residential areas in the village – caused by 122mm artillery rounds – and a further two, caused by 152mm artillery rounds. Local people told the SMM that the shelling had occurred the previous night.

In nearby Shyrokyne village, the SMM noted that a calm situation prevailed. It observed, however, a crater, which, after analysis, it concluded had been caused by an 82mm mortar. According to local people, the round had killed a 47-year-old man on 29 April. The SMM assessed that the round had been fired from a position to the west. As the SMM was leaving the village at 16.15hrs, it heard small-arms and mortar fire in the north-west of the village.

The general calm in the Berdianske-Shyrokyne area came to an end at 16:30hrs, when an intensive exchange of tank, mortar and anti-aircraft rounds began, which continued even as the SMM left the area at 19.20hrs.   

In government-controlled Luhanske (62km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM noted no ceasefire violations, little or no military movement and a relaxed posture amongst Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel. Numerous Ukrainian Armed Forces interlocutors told the SMM that the situation had been calm in the area over the past few days.

The situation in the Luhansk region remained relatively calm, with the SMM noting two instances of limited shelling.

In government-controlled Pervomaiske (16km north-west of Donetsk), Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers told the SMM that a Pravyy Sektor (Right Sector) medical unit in the area had been replaced by a Ukrainian Armed Forces medical unit.

In government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM noted two houses next to a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint, one destroyed and the other damaged. Checkpoint personnel and local residents told the SMM that a barrage of small arms, anti-aircraft, and automatic grenade launcher fire – emanating from across the bridge in “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled territory – had been directed towards the checkpoint for four hours in the evening of 10 May. Interlocutors explained that a gas explosion had resulted, causing the damage to the houses. A fire brigade was on the scene.

Despite claims that withdrawal of heavy weapons was complete, the SMM observed the following weapons’ movement/presence in areas that are in violation of the Minsk withdrawal lines: (i) in “LPR”-controlled areas, three artillery pieces (122mm D-30); and, (ii) in government-controlled areas, six tanks (T-64).

The SMM noted approximately 70 men and women – overseen by 110 police officers – demonstrate in Odessa, demanding the release of Nadiya Savchenko. The protest was organised by the Batkivshchyna Party. A similar gathering – organised by a student non-governmental organisation – took place in Kyiv, at which 300 men and women demanded the release of the Ukrainian Armed Forces pilot from custody in the Russian Federation. Overseen by six police officers, the protests passed off peacefully.

Also in Kyiv, the spokesperson for the Pravyy Sektor (Right Sector) told the SMM that the Pravyy Sektor volunteer battalion had not integrated into regular Ukrainian military structures. He said one proposal – placing the battalion under the control of the National Guard – had been rejected because the National Guard is under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which the interlocutor said had still to be “lustrated”. A subsequent proposal – allowing individual Pravyy Sektor members to enlist in the Armed Forces – was also unacceptable, according to the interlocutor, as it would have entailed the dissolution of the battalion.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Lviv.


* Restrictions on SMM access and freedom of movement:

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by third parties and security considerations including the lack of information on whereabouts of landmines.

The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the cease-fire does not hold everywhere.

  • Near “LPR”-controlled Ohulchansk (26km east of Luhansk), the SMM was prevented from travelling to “LPR”-controlled Parkhomenko (29km east of Luhansk) by “LPR” “border guards”, who said a “letter of access” was required if the SMM wished to visit the border zone.
  • The SMM was stopped and held for an hour and a half near “LPR”-controlled Komisarivka (61km south-west of Luhansk) by two “LPR” members, who did not recognize the SMM’s right to unhindered access to all areas. The situation was only resolved upon the arrival of four other “LPR” members, who allowed the SMM to proceed.
  • Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel stopped and searched an SMM vehicle at a checkpoint near government-controlled Nyzhnie (56km north-west of Luhansk). The patrol was allowed to proceed after five minutes.


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