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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 29 July 2015

Author: Ayre от 30.07.2015, 22:30
(голосов: 1)

The situation at and around Donetsk airport was tense. Between 08:00 and 18:35hrs, at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at the Donetsk central railway station (“Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled, 8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM heard 120 explosions, consistent with incoming and outgoing mortar fire, as well as bursts of small-arms and heavy machine-gun fire. The SMM assessed that the explosions occurred at locations to the north, north-east, south, west and north-west at distances between 2 and 6km from its position. While the fire exchange and shelling were only sporadic in the early afternoon, they became intensive by the evening hours, with explosions heard by the SMM constantly.

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 104 ceasefire violations; 19 attributed to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and 85 to “DPR” and “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”). The Russian Federation Armed Forces logbook contained 100 ceasefire violations; 36 attributed to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and 64 to “DPR” and “LPR”.

In Mariupol, the SMM met a delegation of residents of Shyrokyne and representatives of Volna, an association of owners of secondary residence in Shyrokyne who expressed concern at what they said was the access of unknown civilians to the western part of the village and the possible looting of their properties.

The SMM continued to follow up media reports (see SMM Daily Report 28 July, 2015) that on 25 July a military truck carrying ammunition had been seized and its driver and passenger arrested by the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Berezove (government-controlled, 36km south-west of Donetsk). Customs officials at a customs compound in Volnovakha (government-controlled, 53km south-west of Donetsk) presented a truck to the SMM, which they said was the one in question. The SMM observed that the truck was a green Kamaz military-type truck with a green canopy, a metal bumper and a commander’s cupola; the customs officials said its ammo cargo consisted of 36 boxes of hand grenades, 30 boxes of rocket propelled grenade warheads, 110 boxes of small arms ammunition and various types of ammunition. The SMM saw that some of the boxes were sealed. The SMM saw some food items behind the seats.

The heads of city administrations in Krasnohorivka and Marinka (government-controlled, 21 and 23km west of Donetsk, respectively) independently told the SMM that shelling occurred every night in both towns. In Marinka, during the shelling, civilians are using shelters equipped with food and water, which are located in each apartment block, the head of the Marinka city administration added.

At the international border crossing point between Ukraine and the Russian Federation near Uspenka (“DPR”-controlled, 72km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM observed 100 civilian vehicles and 35 civilian trucks, the majority with Ukrainian number plates, waiting to cross into the Russian Federation. Some of the queuing persons said they had been waiting for more than 12 hours. “DPR” members at the crossing point declined to comment to the SMM.

Near Uspenka (“LPR”-controlled, 23km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM saw 12 main battle tanks (MBT) (T-64) static on a training ground (see SMM Daily Report 29 July 2015).

The SMM heard small-arms fire coming from what appeared to be a shooting range located near Sievierodonetsk (government-controlled, 74km north-west of Luhansk).

Seven priests, representatives of the diocesan administration of the Russian Orthodox Church in “LPR”-controlled Luhansk city voiced concerns to the SMM regarding the humanitarian situation in the area, which according to them had deteriorated following the closure of crossing points such as Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk) and would further deteriorate during the winter.

The “deputy mayor” of Stakhanov (“LPR”-controlled, 50km west of Luhansk) told the SMM that the city water was no longer running following a supply cut off from the government-controlled side on 29 July.

The SMM visited the Karbonit water supply station near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km north-west of Luhansk) and observed repair works taking place after the 24 June and 22 July 2015 shelling. The SMM spoke with two employees, who said that a new transformer had been installed and that the facility is expected to be operational at full capacity once the repairs on the electric lines are completed.

The SMM revisited three “DPR” and six Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding areas, the locations of which complied with the respective withdrawal lines. At one of the “DPR” sites, all previously recorded weapons were in situ, while at another, one howitzer (2S1-Gvozdika) was missing. At the third “DPR” site, which was unguarded, the SMM observed that the serial number of one anti-tank gun (MT-12 Rapira) did not match the serial number previously recorded. The SMM observed that one Ukrainian Armed Forces site was empty, while it was denied access by the Ukrainian Armed Forces at another site.* At two Ukrainian Armed Forces sites the SMM verified that all weapons were in situ, while at two others, three field guns (2A36 Giatsint-B) and three multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) (122mm Grad) respectively were missing.

In one location in a government-controlled area, in violation of the weapons’ respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed 22 MBTs and two anti-aircraft vehicles.

The SMM visited Melioratyvne (32km north-east of Dnepropetrovsk) and saw the aftermath of a clash that had reportedly occurred on 26 July involving members of the Aidar volunteer battalion under the Ministry of Defence and residents. The SMM saw track marks consistent with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in front of the town council building, and saw debris from where a statue of Lenin had been toppled. The head of the town council of Melioratyvne told the SMM that Aidar volunteer battalion members had arrived by train in town on 26 July on their rotation out of the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone. According to him, at around 22:00hrs, some 35 members of the volunteer battalion drove an APC through a pedestrian zone and used it to topple the statue. Local residents gathered to protest at this behaviour, and a physical clash broke out between them and the volunteer battalion members, which led to five civilians receiving medical treatment, he added. He said the volunteer battalion members had fired in the air during the clash, and the situation calmed by 02:00hrs.

In Poltava (149km south-west of Kharkiv), the SMM monitored a protest in front of the courthouse where the trial of mayor Hennadii Kernes, on charges of torture, illegal confinement or abduction of a person and threat to murder (Articles 127, 146 and 129 of the Criminal Code) was on-going. Some 60 men and women of different ages, activists of several groups and the Batkivshchyna party had gathered against the mayor. The judge adjourned the trial until 26 August. Around 100 police were present at the scene. 

In Odessa, the SMM monitored a protest at the Primorskyi district court during a preliminary hearing for murder charges against a defendant in relation to the Odessa events of 2 May 2014. Some 45 pro-Maidan activists, men and women of different ages, demonstrated in favour of the defendant both outside the court and inside the courtroom. When the court ruled that the case would go to trial the three judges quickly exited amid chants of "shame" by the protestors. All activists left the courtroom. Three police officers were present outside the court and seven inside the courthouse.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kyiv, Kherson, Lviv, 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 the 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. 

Denied access:

  • The Ukrainian Armed Forces did not allow the SMM access to a heavy weapons holding area on the grounds that it was empty.

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



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