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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 22 May 2015

Author: Ayre от 23.05.2015, 22:30
(голосов: 1)

 The SMM observed a decrease in ceasefire violations as compared to previous days. Specifically, the SMM observed a small number of ceasefire violations in the area of “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk and Donetsk airport (“DPR”-controlled, 10km north-west of Donetsk). The violations were limited to light-weapons fire, including a limited number of bursts from anti-aircraft guns, automatic grenade launchers, and 82mm mortars. The SMM observed no ceasefire violations in the vicinity of Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol).

The Ukrainian Armed Forces Major-General at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) headquarters in Soledar (government-controlled, 77km north-north-east of Donetsk) told the SMM that the coke and chemical plant in Avdiivka (government-controlled, 17km north-north-west of Donetsk) had been shelled on 21 May. The Chief Engineer of the plant later corroborated the information, telling the SMM that thirty 120mm mortars had impacted in the plant, killing one worker and injuring two.

At Donetsk airport, the SMM observed the recovery of human remains at the “old terminal building” and the vicinity to the west of it. The remains were recovered by members of the “DPR”. Representatives of the JCCC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, along with international and local media representatives were present.

In the Luhansk region the SMM observed that the overall security situation remained calm.

At Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM observed approximately 100 vehicles and 500 people (mixed gender, all ages) waiting to cross the bridge into “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled territory. Approximately 300 people were waiting on the “LPR” side of the bridge to cross. The Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint commander explained to the SMM that the crossing point had been temporarily closed due to what he described as shelling coming from “LPR”-controlled territory across the bridge, and would be re-opened at 06:00hrs on 23 May if there were no overnight incidents.

The SMM revisited five “DPR” heavy weapons holding sites, and found that most of the previously-recorded weapons were in situ and that their location complied with the respective withdrawal lines. The SMM did take note of a number of discrepancies, however, including one site where the SMM was told that, ‘all the weapons were out for training and would be back in the evening.’ In one additional location, one 152mm Msta-B Howitzer was missing and serial numbers of two howitzers were different from those previously recorded by the SMM.

The SMM revisited a number of heavy weapons storage areas of the Ukrainian Armed Forces where most previously-recorded weapons were in situ, though the SMM observed discrepancies where nine MT-12 and one T-12 antitank guns at one site did not match the 14 x MT-12 100mm previously observed at that location. 

Despite claims that the withdrawal of heavy weapons has been completed, the SMM observed four tanks (T-72) in the general vicinity of Torez (“DPR”-controlled, 58km east of Donetsk). The SMM also observed another seven tanks (T-64) elsewhere in the Donetsk region, three in government-controlled areas and four in “DPR”-controlled areas.

The SMM attended an internally displaced persons (IDP) protection co-ordination meeting held at the local office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Dnepropetrovsk. The meeting was attended by 35 persons (mixed gender, young to middle aged adults), representing organizations assisting IDPs (UNHCR, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Save the Children, Danish Refugee Council, and the national non-governmental organization ‘Dopomoga Dnepro’). Participants elaborated how IDPs faced difficulties in accessing social services and registering as IDPs, and in crossing the contact line, including but not limited to the lack of personal documentation. The lack of personal documentation is attributed to inter alia their loss while hastily departing from conflict areas as well as “confiscation” by “DPR” “authorities”.  It was noted that “DPR”-issued documents – including birth “certificates” – were not accepted by Government officials.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, 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 ceasefire does not hold everywhere.

  • At a checkpoint leading to one of the heavy weapons holding areas (government-controlled), the SMM was held up for fifty-five minutes before it was allowed to proceed, with no reason given.
  • When the SMM visited a “DPR” heavy weapons holding area, the SMM had to wait for about one hour after being told that a new regulation required that the “Division Commander” had to be present during the inspection.
  • The SMM received a phone call at 10:00 hours on 21 May from “LPR” “border guards” from Rovenky (“LPR”-controlled, 55km south of Luhansk), cancelling a previously-arranged escort to the southern border with the Russian Federation. The reason given was a ‘high security threat level.’
  • The SMM met the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk) to discuss yesterday’s delay at the checkpoint under his command (see daily report 21 May http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/159656). The interlocutor apologized for the inconvenience that his personnel caused and pledged better co-operation with the SMM in the future.


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