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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 2 July 2015

Author: Ayre от 3.07.2015, 22:30
(голосов: 1)

The situation at and around Donetsk airport was tense. Between 08:00 and 18:00hrs, at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at Donetsk central railway station (“Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled, 8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM observed a total of 114 explosions, consistent with incoming and outgoing mortar fire, as well as bursts consistent with automatic grenade launcher, heavy machine-gun and small-arms and light-weapons (SALW) fire. The SMM assessed that the explosions occurred at locations to the north, north-east, west and north-west at distances between 3 and 8km from its position.

In Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol), the SMM observed that a “DPR” bunker complex at the northern entrance of the village was vacant and that a nearby building previously used as a “DPR” strongpoint was on fire. In the village, the SMM observed that all positions and bunkers previously occupied by “DPR” members, including command posts and billets were also vacant. The SMM observed significant amounts of small-arms ammunition, grenades, rocket-propelled grenade warheads and other military equipment throughout the village. In the south-eastern part of the village, the SMM saw a crater of 12m diameter and 4m deep, many 82mm mortar shells, the remnants of ammunition crates and numerous impacts of 152mm artillery strikes, which based on their location, the SMM assessed to have been fired from the west. The SMM observed no armed formation in the village, except for some Ukrainian Armed Forces positions at the village’s south-western edge.  

From its observation points located 1.5km and 3.5km west of Shyrokyne, the SMM heard, between 12:20 and 13:30hrs, 31 explosions in the distance, north of its position.

At the JCCC headquarters in Soledar (government-controlled, 75km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM was presented with two logbooks in the period of 1 July, compiled independently by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives to the JCCC. The Ukrainian Armed Forces logbook recorded 66 ceasefire violations, 12 attributed to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and 54 to “DPR” and “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”). The Russian Federation Armed Forces logbook contained 98 ceasefire violations; 50 attributed to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and 48 to “DPR” and “LPR”.

The representative of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the JCCC office in Donetsk city told the SMM that on 2 July, in Horlivka (“DPR”-controlled, 36km north-east of Donetsk), there was an exchange of artillery fire between 03:20 and 04:20hrs.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces representative at the JCCC office in Avdiivka (government-controlled, 14km north-west of Donetsk) told the SMM via phone that the area had been calm for the last 24 hours. The deputy mayor of Avdiivka told the SMM that there was no water in the town due to shelling on 29 June and that repair works of the water supply system were underway. Part of the town has been without electricity, he added.

The SMM visited Sakhanka (“DPR”-controlled, 24km north-east of Mariupol), where local residents said that the village had been shelled on 30 June and 1 July. The SMM observed five fresh craters and damage on 15 houses and assessed that the fire originated from the south-west. The interlocutors also said they experienced difficulties including long waiting time and redirection of traffic while crossing Ukrainian Armed Forces and “DPR” checkpoints to and from Mariupol, and could therefore not access their pensions.

At a location south of Sontseve (“DPR”-controlled, 62km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted ten main battle tanks (MBTs) during the night between 1 and 2 July. During the day on 2 July, an SMM ground patrol dispatched to the same area did not hear or see any tanks, heavy weapons or armed personnel. Of note, the patrol had only limited access to that area*. It observed recent tracks from tracked vehicles on a dirt road, which led to an area south of the village to what appeared to be a military training area.

The SMM visited the orphanage in Mariupol (government-controlled, 102km south of Donetsk), which hosts 112 children between the ages of 21 days and 18 years old. The director informed that since the conflict erupted, there had been an increase in the number of requests for children to be admitted to the institution.  

The SMM visited several international border crossing points between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in “DPR”-controlled areas. The situation at Uspenka, Ulianivske and Marynivka (71km, 61km and 77km south-east of Donetsk) border crossing points was calm. The SMM observed queues of 60 civilian trucks and 60 passenger vehicles at Uspenka, 22 passenger vehicles and one bus at Marynivka waiting to cross to the Russian Federation, and no movement at Ulianivske.

In Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM met a Ukrainian Armed Forces colonel, who was assessing the impact of shelling on 1 July north-west of the bridge. He said the situation in the town remained tense, with periodic exchange of fire and that on 1 July, between 21:00 to 22:20hrs, the shelling of the government-controlled areas had resulted in the burning of two houses. The SMM saw that the two houses had been burnt.

The SMM revisited two “DPR” heavy weapons holding areas, the location of which complied with the respective withdrawal lines. At one site the SMM verified that all nine previously-recorded multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS, BM-21 Grad) were in situ. At the other site, the SMM observed that three self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) were missing, and it was not permitted* to verify the serial numbers on three self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm). The SMM also visited, for the first time, a Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding area and observed 12 MLRS.

Despite claims by all sides that the withdrawal of heavy weapons was complete, the SMM observed one main battle tank (MBT) (T-64) in “DPR”-controlled area and one MBT (T-72) in government-controlled area. The SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted in “DPR”-controlled areas a total number of 14 main battle tanks (MBTs) in the areas of Sontseve (59km north-east of Mariupol) and Bezimmene (30km north-east of Mariupol).

In Odessa the SMM followed up on media reports of an explosion at the “U Angelovykh” restaurant at 02:50hrs on 2 July. On site, it observed that there was a detonation on the top step in front of the restaurant, causing damage to the staircase and front door of the restaurant, as well as blasting windows on the third floor of a nearby building and a large window pane in the neighbouring restaurant. The owner of “U Angelovykh” restaurant told the SMM that she supports wounded servicepersons. The police informed the SMM that the device was a home-made, non-fragmentary device containing between 450 and 600 grams of TNT and that they had opened an investigation on terrorism charges. The restaurant had been attacked previously in February 2015 (see SMM Daily Report 23 February 2015).  

The SMM observed a protest in front of the Lviv regional administration building just prior to the meeting of President Poroshenko with law enforcement agencies. Some 50 people demanded transparency in the process of appointment of the head of the regional fiscal service. Some 100 police were present at the event which ended peacefully.

In Kherson the SMM followed up on media reports of two separate arson cases on 27 and 28 June targeting respectively the private residence of the acting head of the Kherson Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector) and the offices of the Kherson Svoboda party. The police told the SMM that it had opened an investigation and identified suspects in both cases. The head of the Svoboda party told the SMM that it was the second time their offices were set on fire, the first one having occurred in February 2014.

In Kyiv the SMM monitored a demonstration of around 750 people in front of the parliament (Verkhovna Rada). The protestors, men and women of all ages, were representing a wide range of organizations, including trade unions and farmers’ groups demanding economic and social reforms. At the same location a second simultaneous protest of around 25 people, mostly elderly women wearing “mothers against war” headbands demanded the end of the war. The police, national guard and a large number of volunteer battalion members were present at the events, which ended peacefully.

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

* Restrictions on SMM monitoring, 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 – and lack of information on the whereabouts – of mines, and 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. Most areas along the Ukraine-Russian Federation international border have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM by both “DPR” and “LPR”.  The SMM UAVs cannot operate in the Luhansk region as it is beyond their range.

Delay:

  • At the border police-controlled checkpoint south of Raihorodka (government-controlled, 34km north-west of Luhansk), the commander asked the SMM to present the OSCE identity cards; OSCE red booklets; national passports and; accreditation cards of all patrol members.  He explained that as of 6 June, a new directive has been in force in the Luhansk and Donetsk Anti-Terrorism Operation areas according to which the SMM would not be allowed to travel around this area without all four documents. Following the inspection of the documents the SMM was allowed to pass.

Interference with the UAV:

  • An SMM UAV was subjected to jamming in the vicinity of “DPR”-controlled Rozdolne (47km south-east of Donetsk), Komsolmolske (45km south-east of Donetsk), Petrivske (38km south-east of Donetsk) and in “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km west of Luhansk).

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