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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 20 July 2015

Author: Ayre от 22.07.2015, 00:30
(голосов: 1)

The situation in Donetsk region was relatively calm during the day. The SMM did not register any ceasefire violations in and around Donetsk city (including at the Donetsk airport). Positioned at the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk central railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk), between 07:30 and 18:15hrs, the SMM did not observe any ceasefire violation. Representatives of both Russian and Ukrainian Armed Forces at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination headquarters in Soledar (government-controlled, 77km north-east of Donetsk) jointly confirmed this observation.

In Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM observed several unexploded ordnances (UXOs) (five mortars and two rockets) at the eastern outskirts as well as on the H15 road at the checkpoints operated by Ukrainian Armed Forces. The SMM estimated that the UXOs originated from when Marinka came under heavy shelling on 3 June 2015.

The security situation remained calm in Mariupol city. In Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM was told by local residents about six 82mm mortar shells having impacted in the village on 19 July. The SMM analysed two craters and estimated that they were caused by 82mm mortars incoming from an east-south-easterly direction. According to the residents, the shelling did not cause any casualties or injuries, but the SMM saw shrapnel damage to the facades of civilian houses (parts of the gardens were also destroyed).

The SMM visited Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) again and did not observe any “DPR” or civilian presence; however, Ukrainian Armed Forces remained present at the south-western edge of the village. The SMM saw that rifles, anti-tank rockets, rocket propelled grenade launchers (RPGs) and 30mm grenades, left by armed “DPR” members when they vacated the village on 2 July and still present two days before, were no longer visible. The SMM found and marked about 40 unexploded ordnances (UXOs). While in the village, between 13:00 and 13:15hrs, the SMM heard ten single rifle shots[1] 500m north-west of its position.

At a checkpoint operated by Ukrainian Armed Forces on the outskirts of Volnovakha (government-controlled, 53km south-west of Donetsk), at around 10:00hrs, the SMM observed 300 civilian vehicles waiting to cross into government-controlled territory. At 16:00hrs, there were no vehicles waiting on either the Ukrainian or the “DPR” side. At the Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint at Zaitseve (50km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM observed 235 vehicles queuing on each side and 100 people (men and women, all ages), in line on the “DPR” side waiting to cross into government-controlled areas. The SMM observed on the Ukrainian side of the checkpoint two first aid stations and four water supply points managed by Médecins Sans Frontières.

At the international border crossing point between Ukraine and the Russian Federation near Novoazovsk (“DPR”-controlled, 53km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM found a queue of some 30 civilian vehicles waiting to pass into the Russian Federation. Most of the vehicles had Ukrainian registration plates. The SMM talked with the “DPR” “border guard”, who said that he did not notice any change in the number of vehicles compared with other days.

The security situation in Luhansk region remained relatively calm with only one instance of ceasefire violation observed. Between 12:10 and 12:35hrs, in Troitske (government-controlled, 69km north of Luhansk), the SMM heard the use of small arms, 2-3km south-west of its position.

The SMM visited for the first time one Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapon holding area, whose location complied with the weapons’ withdrawal lines. The SMM counted ten main battle tanks (MBT) (T-64). The SMM revisited two “DPR” and one Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapon holding areas, whose locations comply with the weapons’ respective withdrawal lines. At all the sites, all the weapons previously recorded were in situ.

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. Near “LPR”-controlled Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM saw a concentration of 21 tanks (T-64). The SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) observed the following in government–controlled areas: 17 MBTs and several military trucks near Zaporizke (33km north-east of Mariupol), and an anti-craft missile system (SA-8 “OSA”) with a towed radar near Shevchenko (46km north of Mariupol). While monitoring “DPR”-controlled areas, the SMM UAV was jammed.*

Following up on media reports, on 20 July the SMM monitored in Odessa city centre the scene of an explosion in front of a bar. On the spot, the SMM observed traces of a small explosion. The police confirmed that the explosion had occurred at 04:00hrs. It informed the SMM that one male person had been injured on the leg by fragments of the explosive device. The police said it was treating the incident as attempted murder. Also in  Odessa, at 18:00hrs on 18 July, the SMM observed a group of 70 activists, aged between 45 and 75, mainly women, in front of the Trade Union building, commemorating the victims of the incident of 2 May 2014. Forty police officers separated the activists from 15 pro-Maidan protestors (aged between 30 and 50 years, mostly men), and managed to avoid physical altercation between the groups. The rally ended peacefully.

On 19 July at 11:45hrs, 3km outside of Kyiv, the SMM observed six men dressed in Ukrainian Armed Forces uniforms and armed with AK-47 rifles checking traffic towards Odessa. The checkpoint commander informed the SMM that they were regular Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen and that their task was to check vehicles.

The SMM continued following up on the Mukacheve 11 July incident. The deputy head of the district police in Mukacheve (230km south-west of Ivano-Frankisvk) told the SMM that all the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) activists currently hiding in the forests nearby had been identified. The SMM also met with members of the investigation commission set up by the Parliament and made up of representatives of all the political parties represented in the Parliament. They related that, once the investigation was completed, they would produce a report including recommendations for legislative amendments as well as proposals to improve trans-border co-operation with the European Union to prevent smuggling.

From 18 July onwards, Right Sector protests in public places noticeably decreased. In Kyiv, Right Sector activists protesting in front of the presidential administration building were no longer visible. In Kharkiv centre, on 18 July, the SMM observed on the Liberty Square that the tent erected there by the Right Sector had been dismantled. Local Right Sector activists explained that they had taken it down.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Dnepropetrovsk, Lviv, 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, 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.

Delay:

- At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint on the H20 road, north of Mariupol, personnel informed the SMM that they had to receive approval from their superiors. Only after an intervention with the headquarters of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, with a 15-minute delay, the SMM was allowed to pass.

Interference with the UAV:

- On 20 July, between 05:08 and 06:27hrs, the SMM UAV experienced jamming while flying over “DPR”-controlled areas, east, north-east and north of Donetsk city.

 

 

[1]  For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please click here.

 

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