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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 15 July 2015

Author: Ayre от 16.07.2015, 23:30
(голосов: 1)

Violence continued at and around the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk airport. At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at Donetsk central railway station (“DPR”-controlled, 8km north-west of Donetsk city centre) the SMM heard 178 instances of firing[1]. Of these, 144 were heard in the morning and comprised of tank and cannon rounds and sporadic automatic weapons fire. Between 13:00 and 18:00hrs the SMM heard a further 34 instances of firing, including multiple exchanges of fire between Pisky (government-controlled, 5.6km north-west of the JCCC observation point) and the Volvo Centre (“DPR” -controlled 3.9km west of the JCCC observation point).

The situation in and around Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) remained calm. The SMM observed no ceasefire violations in the area during its presence from 09:30 until 16:30 at observation points west of Shyrokyne and in nearby villages.  

For the eleventh consecutive day the SMM facilitated and monitored repair works on a major water pipeline leading north-south across the contact line between Maiorsk (government-controlled, 45km north of Donetsk) and Horlivka (“DPR”-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk). In Horlivka the SMM met the director of the water company, the local “DPR” “commander”, members of the “DPR” “emergency services” and a Russian Federation Armed Forces JCCC representative. In co-ordination with a second SMM team in Maiorsk, the SMM facilitated dialogue between parties on both sides of the contact line, conveying when all sides were ready to commence repair work. At the repair site the SMM heard two instances of small arms fire 1.5-2km from its location but this did not disrupt the repair work.

The SMM was independently told by both the “DPR”, and by Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel at the JCCC, that the water pipeline was shelled and damaged the night before. The SMM visited the location, 400m south-east from where it observes the repairs, and saw a large amount of water leaking from the pipe and, after it was turned off, saw a large hole in one of the pipes; there are three parallel pipes. The first and most northern one remains shut down. The second, which has been the focus of repair work this week, is the one that had sustained the fresh shelling damage. This has delayed the start of repair work on the third pipe.

At the JCCC headquarters in Soledar (government-controlled, 75km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM was presented with two logbooks, compiled independently by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives to the JCCC. The Ukrainian Armed Forces logbook recorded 124 violations on 15 July, while the Russian Federation Armed Forces logbook recorded 159. The Ukrainian Armed Forces and Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives to the JCCC each told the SMM that in the past 24 hours the security situation had significantly deteriorated, and each representative highlighted different areas they said had come under fire. The Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives said that Horlivka and Novhorodske (government-controlled, 34km north-east of Donetsk) had both been shelled. The Ukrainian Armed Forces representative stated that “DPR” forces continue to fire from areas in Donetsk city at Pisky, and said that Luhanske (government-controlled, 57km north-east from Donetsk) had also come under heavy shelling.

In Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 55km north-east of Donetsk), which is adjacent to Luhankse, the SMM was approached by about 50 civilians (aged around 40 and above, more women than men) who said they had heard outgoing shelling from the outskirts of Luhanske. The mayor of Svitlodarsk said that since last week he had heard incoming and outgoing shelling to and from the outskirts of the city, and that residents have observed shelling over Luhanske. A Ukrainian Armed Forces representative at the JCCC in Svitlodarsk said that Ukrainian Armed Forces positions on the outskirts of Luhanske had been subjected to several hours of shelling on the evening of 14 July, and an attempt by six-eight armed individuals to attack Luhanske had been repulsed by Ukrainian Armed Forces artillery.

In Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM observed approximately 100 people, predominantly elderly women, queuing to receive humanitarian aid from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. The SMM were told by some present that aid had arrived for the first time since May, and that these food packages were distributed to those older than 65. In the north-eastern part of Marinka, residents told the SMM that they had to leave their houses in haste due to a military clash between armed “DPR” members and Ukrainian Armed Forces on 3 June. They said they were accommodated in other parts of the village and that they had not been able to return to their homes.

The SMM did not observe any ceasefire violations in the Luhansk region. On 14 July the SMM visited “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled Smile (32km north-west of Luhansk) after receiving information from civilians in Smile that it had been shelled the previous evening. The SMM examined eight fresh craters, observing damage to the top side of a roof of a farm building but no damage to residential buildings. From these impacts, the SMM assessed the shelling to have originated from north of Smile. Civilians in Smile did not report any casualties to the SMM as having been caused by this shelling.

The SMM revisited three “DPR” heavy weapons holding areas whose locations comply with the weapons’ respective withdrawal lines. In all three of these sites, all the heavy weapons were in situ, and their serial numbers matched those previously recorded by the SMM.

Following the incident in Mukacheve (Zakarpattia region, 152km south-west of Ivano-Frankivsk, 605km south-west of Kyiv) (see SMM Spot Report 12 July 2015), the SMM were told by a press secretary for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) that negotiations were underway with the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) members for a peaceful resolution of the situation, and that an “antiterrorist operation” was also on-going near Bobovyshche village, 20km north of Mukacheve. The SMM has observed an increased presence of police patrols at checkpoints throughout Zakarpattia region.

The SMM observed the continuation of rallies in several cities by Right Sector members and supporters, all of which were peaceful, and all of which were attended mainly by men of all ages in military-style uniforms. In Ivano-Frankivsk, the SMM observed a protest of some 100 people being addressed by the head of the Right Sector’s Ivano Frankivsk branch. He told the crowd of the Right Sector’s petition to the city and regional councils demanding that the police reduce their recently reinforced presence in areas around Mukacheve. Three police were nearby. In Dnepropetrovsk the SMM observed a Right Sector protest in front of the regional police building attended by around 25 people. The SMM saw badged members of the Dnipro-1 volunteer regiment under the Ministry of Internal Affairs talking to members of the Right Sector. Around 15-20 police were present.

In Kyiv the SMM monitored the fourth consecutive day of protests in support of the Right Sector in front of the gate to the presidential administration building. Approximately 50 demonstrators held flags of the Right Sector and of Aidar volunteer battalion under the Ministry of Defence. The SMM saw 15 National Guard soldiers standing on the opposite side of the gate leading to the Presidential Administration. The event was peaceful. The SMM also noted a small tent with Right Sector flags displayed on the side of the highway leading from Boryspil Airport to Kyiv’s city centre. On 14 July the SMM monitored the plenary session of the parliament (Verkhovna Rada). Among the decisions made was the establishment of a Temporary Special Investigation Committee on the armed incident in Mukacheve on 11 July which, passed with 287 votes (37 voted against; 15 abstained; and 42 did not vote).

The SMM continued to monitor the situations in Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv, Kherson 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:

  • In government-controlled Horodyshche (59km north-east of Luhansk), Ukrainian Border Guard Service personnel manning a checkpoint at the edge of the village delayed the SMM for around ten minutes while recording vehicle registration plate numbers and the names of the SMM patrol members. The personnel did not explain why they were recording data about the SMM team.

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

 

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