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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 14 July

Author: Ayre от 15.07.2015, 23:30
(голосов: 1)

The level of violence at and around the destroyed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled airport (12km north-west of Donetsk) decreased compared to previous days. Positioned at the “DPR”-controlled central railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk), the SMM heard on 14 July, between 9:00 and 17:00hrs, multiple skirmishes and exchange of fire between government-controlled areas in the vicinity of Pisky (12km north-west of Donetsk) and areas around the “DPR”-controlled Volvo centre (13km north-west of Donetsk). On multiple occasions, direct fire rounds (heavy machine-gun, automatic grenade launcher and small arms and light weapons) were exchanged.[1]  Between 11:14 and 14:15hrs, the SMM heard 25 explosions 15km south-west of its position.

From its observation point on the eastern outskirts of Berdianske (government-controlled, 1.5km west of Shyrokyne, 18.5km east of Mariupol), the SMM did not observe any ceasefire violations during the day.

The SMM continued to facilitate vital repair work on the water-supply system around “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk). Workers were able to finalize repair works at the first pipeline (see SMM Daily Report 11 July 2015 and SMM Daily Report 13 July 2015). The SMM met the director of the water-supply company, Voda Donbassa, who estimated that repair works on the second pipeline will start 15 July. While in Maiorsk (government-controlled, 45km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM heard incoming artillery and unspecified small-arms and light-weapons fire throughout the day at a distance of 2-7km from its position, originating from south and south-west.

At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint in Maiorsk, the SMM saw 150 civilian vehicles and ten minibuses queuing in order to enter “DPR”-controlled territory. On the other side, in the “DPR”-controlled area, the line of vehicles was approximately 3km long.

At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint in Volnovakha (government-controlled, 55km north of Mariupol) the SMM saw a 2km-long queue of civilian vehicles waiting to enter “DPR”-controlled area. Passengers reported to the SMM that waiting time in order to pass the checkpoint was up to nine hours. They said the main reason for them travelling to “DPR”-controlled area was to visit relatives and provide them with food and other goods.

The SMM could not facilitate repair works by the local administration on power lines in Marinka (government-controlled, 23 south-west of Donetsk), as the area was not demined adequately. Due to lack of proper demining equipment, Ukrainian Armed Forces were not able to clear the area and were only able to guarantee removal of booby traps.  While at the location, the Ukrainian Armed Forces representative to the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) told the SMM about shelling of houses located close to a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint during the previous night. The SMM observed several craters at two locations and estimated that there had been recent shelling of various calibres originating from a north-easterly direction. The SMM saw several houses with damage caused by shelling. In two streets, the SMM observed a total number of five houses which had been partially destroyed.

In Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), residents told the SMM about shelling on 13 July during the evening hours. The SMM observed six craters. Furthermore, the SMM observed one unexploded shell and informed the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The SMM estimated, based on crater analysis, that the shells were fired from a south-easterly direction.

The security situation in Luhansk region was relatively calm, though the SMM observed a total number of four ceasefire violations in two locations: it heard the sounds of two distant explosions in Vrubivka (government-controlled, 71km north-west of Luhansk); in Shchastia (government-controlled, 20km north of Luhansk) the SMM heard two distant explosions in the vicinity of the power plant. Due to security concerns the SMM left the place immediately.

In government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM met with Ukrainian Armed Forces representatives to the JCCC, who said that exchange of fire between government forces and “Lugansk People’s Republic (“LPR”) had occurred during the night of 13 July. According to them, the exchange of fire started at 22:15hrs and lasted five hours and causing damage to houses in Stanytsia Luhanska. The SMM saw one fire-damaged shed. In a back garden of another house, the SMM observed five fresh craters, caused by shelling of an automatic grenade launcher.

Despite claims by all sides that heavy weapons had been withdrawn, the SMM continued to observe heavy weapons in areas proscribed by the Minsk arrangements: in government-controlled areas, a twin-barrelled anti-aircraft gun (ZSU-23-2), four multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21), four main battle tanks (MBT) (T-64), four MLRS (BM-21), four MBTs (T-64) and five military trucks transporting various types of ammunition. In “LPR”-controlled areas, at two different locations the SMM noted in total 36 MBTs (T-64).

In addition, SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continued to observe concentrations of military hardware in and around “DPR”-controlled Komsomolske (49km south of Donetsk), noting five MBTs, 43 armoured personnel carriers and 100 military-type trucks. Furthermore, in “DPR”-controlled areas the UAVs spotted the following: in Bezimene (13km east of Mariupol) three MBTs, in Novolaspa (48km south of Donetsk) one MBT, in Bila Kamyanka (54km south of Donetsk) one MBT and one self-propelled howitzer and in Yakovlivka (7km east of Donetsk) three artillery pieces.  In government-controlled areas the UAVs spotted three MBTs  in Starohnativka (52km south of Donetsk) and one MBT near Berezove (30km south-west of Donetsk). While monitoring DPR-controlled territory east and north-east of Mariupol

The SMM continued to observe rallies in various cities by Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) members and supporters, demanding an investigation into the Mukacheve incident (see SMM Spot Report 12 July 2015) and protesting against what they described as state corruption, slow reform process and government’s policies towards volunteer battalions. The SMM saw about 50 Right Sector members wearing uniforms, gathering in front of the presidential administration building in Kyiv. Fifteen National Guard members opposite of the building, as well as two buses carrying traffic police in protective gear were on standby. In Chernivtsi, the SMM saw about 10 Right Sector members gathered at the central square. In Dnepropetrovsk, about 15 Right Sector members assembled in front of the regional police building. Right Sector logos and flags were displayed; a tent, previously set up by protestors remained in place. The SMM observed two members of Right Sector in front of the Lviv regional administration building. No police presence was observed. The SMM visited a checkpoint established by the Right Sector on the Lviv-Kyiv road (E40) in Hamaliivka (13km north-east of Lviv), which was staffed by five unarmed men, dressed in uniforms. They told the SMM that they are supervising traffic and focusing on military vehicles and equipment movements.

On 14 July, the SMM was told by police representatives in Lviv that two separate explosions had taken place in the morning at two police stations in the city. According to them, at approximately 9:10hrs a grenade explosion took place at the police station located on Pluhova Street; one police officer was injured. The other explosion, they said, occurred at 10:00hrs at the police station in Yuriia Lypy Street; one female police officer was seriously wounded. According to the interlocutors, in both cases explosives were arranged as improvised booby traps near the building entrances. The SMM visited both places, but was not allowed to enter the perimeter due to on-going police investigations.

The SMM continued to monitor the situations in Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Odessa.

 

* 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, particularly those controlled by the “LPR”, have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM.  The SMM UAVs cannot operate in Luhansk region as it is beyond their range.

Prevented access:

  • The SMM was denied access at two “DPR” heavy weapons holding areas. In both cases, the SMM was told by “DPR” guards that they had no instructions by their superiors to allow access to the SMM and verify weapons.

Interference with UAVs:

  • Between 21:59 and 7:30hrs, while flying over “DPR”-controlled areas north and north-east of Mariupol, the SMM UAV experienced jamming on 21 occasions, resulting in loss of video data.

 

* Please see the section at the end of this report entitled “Restrictions on SMM access and freedom of movement” for further information.

[1]  For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table

 

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