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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 18 June 2015

Author: Ayre от 19.06.2015, 23:30
(голосов: 1)

Donetsk airport and its environs were relatively calm for the fourth consecutive day. Both Ukrainian Armed Forces and Russian Federation Armed Forces personnel at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation post at “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk city) told the SMM that there were no significant incidents during the night of 18-19 June. The SMM observed incoming artillery hits (possibly 122mm or 152mm calibre), airbursts, mortars (outgoing and incoming), as well as small arms and light weapons (SALW) fire in the area of Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol).

In government-controlled Volnovakha (35km south-west of Donetsk) the head of administration told the SMM that the 16 June decree adding amendments to the T-144 order on crossing between government and non-government-controlled areas is not yet in force (The amendments include, inter alia, electronic permits replacing the paper-based system).

The SMM observed eight trucks marked “Humanitarian Aid of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation” in a government-controlled area to the north of Horlivka (36km north-east of Donetsk) proceeding south towards “DPR”-controlled areas.

The Luhansk region remains tense with shelling heard in several places.

A convoy of 41 trucks (with “Humanitarian aid convoy from the Russian Federation” written on the sides) was observed by the SMM entering Luhansk city and cargo was seen being unloaded at three different warehouses. Twenty-six trucks were observed by the SMM at one location, five trucks at a second and seven trucks at a third location. Three additional trucks with what the “LPR” said was approximately 30 tons of medication were directed towards an “LPR” “ministry of health” storage facility. The SMM monitored some unloading of medication, but did not observe the entire process.

The SMM revisited Ukrainian Armed Forces and “DPR” heavy weapons holding areas, the locations of which are in compliance with Minsk withdrawal lines. At two Ukrainian Armed Forces holding sites some weapons remained in situ, though the following weapons were missing: one self-propelled howitzer (152mm 2S3 Akatsiya), eight anti-tank guns (100mm 2A19 MT-12 Rapira), and five multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (122mm BM-21 Grad). One Ukrainian Armed Forces holding area was inaccessible due to poor road conditions. Though the SMM was prevented from entering one “DPR” heavy weapons holding area by the “DPR” “commander” citing ongoing training at the site, the SMM saw two MLRS (BM-21 Grad) and 20-25 “DPR” members at this location*. At another “DPR” heavy weapons holding area, the SMM saw that six self-propelled howitzers (Gvozdika 122mm), previously recorded at this location, were in situ.

Despite claims that the withdrawal of heavy weapons was complete, the SMM observed the following weapons’ movements in areas that are in violation of Minsk withdrawal lines: in areas under the control of the “LPR”, the SMM observed 33 self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika 122mm), 12 towed howitzers (D-30 122mm) said by an “LPR” member at the site to be a training area; 15 main battle tanks (MBT) (T72 and T64) taking part in what the SMM assessed was an exercise; six 100mm anti-tank guns (T-12 Rapira), 11 MLRS (BM-21 Grad) and six 152 mm towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B); one Ural truck with a mounted anti-aircraft machine-gun (ZSU-23) and six T-64 tanks (five at one location). In government-controlled areas, the SMM observed one 120mm artillery tube hidden under camouflage; and one MBT (T-64) and one MBT (T-72) being transported by trucks. In “DPR”-controlled areas, the SMM saw a concentration of 24 MBTs (T-72) undertaking what the SMM assessed to be training manoeuvres. In “DPR”-controlled areas, an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) detected four howitzers, 11 armoured personnel carriers, a concentration of 11 MBTs in the area of Michurine (63km south of Donetsk) and a further ten MBTs around Komsomolske (43km south of Donetsk).

The head of the Dniprovsky police department in Kherson confirmed to the SMM that investigations are ongoing into an alleged explosion at the residence of the head of the Kherson regional state administration. The incident is being investigated by the regional investigative department for organized crime as an act of terrorism under Article 258 part II of the Criminal Code. According to the deputy head of the regional state administration, the incident occurred on the night of 13 June.  

The SMM saw approximately 50 persons (mostly younger men) who identified themselves to the SMM as members of Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector) and 70 civil society activists (mostly men) block the entrance to the regional tax administration building in Lviv. The protest (ongoing since 8 June) was against what civil society members said were irregularities in the appointment of the head of the tax office. Six police officers and eight guards from a private security company observed proceedings. The protest ended peacefully. Civil society members later suspended protests, as the authorities announced their intention to restart the appointments process.

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

* 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 presence of mines, the lack of information on whereabouts of landmines, as well as damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government.

Delay:

  • In government-controlled Komyshuvakha (66km west-north-west of Luhansk) SMM monitors were requested to provide their nationalities by Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint personnel. They were asked if there were any nationals from the Russian Federation amongst them, and if there were, the SMM would not be allowed to travel further. After a five-minute delay, the SMM was allowed to proceed.
  • At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near government-controlled Berezove (35km south-west of Donetsk), personnel recorded the names of SMM monitors. The monitors were allowed to proceed after a seven-minute delay.
  • The SMM was initially prevented from passing a checkpoint by “LPR” members in “LPR”-controlled Smile (32km north-west of Luhansk). The SMM was allowed to proceed after a ten-minute delay.

Prevented access:

  • The SMM was prevented from entering “LPR”-controlled Slovianoserbsk (28km north-west of Luhansk) by an “LPR” “special unit” despite being given assurances previously by the “LPR” “commendatura” of the village that the SMM could enter.
  • Near government-controlled Lebedynske (16km east-north-east of Mariupol) the SMM was stopped at a checkpoint by Ukrainian Armed Forces. The latter called superiors for instruction and denied the SMM passage.
  • At a checkpoint on the northern outskirts of Mariupol, the Ukrainian Border Guard commander did not allow the SMM to proceed without escort. As the alternative would have entailed a long detour, the SMM agreed to the escort.
  • The SMM was prevented from entering one “DPR” heavy weapons holding area by the “DPR” “commander” citing ongoing training at the site.

Interference with UAV:

  • The SMM UAV was subject to jamming in the “DPR”-controlled areas of Novoazovsk (40km east of Mariupol), the settlement of Parus (25km east of Mariupol) and Svobodne (55km south-west of Donetsk).   

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