Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 5 April 2017
This report is for the media and the general public.
The SMM observed more ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions compared with the previous 24 hours, despite a recommitment to the ceasefire on 1 April. The Mission followed up on two reports of civilian casualties in Troitske and Verkhnotoretsk. The Mission monitored the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske, but its access there and elsewhere remained restricted.* It continued to observe weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line. The SMM facilitated and observed demining activity as well as the restoration of operations at the Donetsk Water Filtration Station. The Mission monitored a border area currently not under government control. The SMM noted no changes and a calm situation at the blockade sites near Hirske and Buhas. Shots were fired near an SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle on the outskirts of Luhansk city. The SMM followed up on a recent incident when a hand grenade was reportedly detonated in a café in Dnipro. In Balakliia, the SMM saw repair work underway and that a local school resumed operations following explosions at the ammunitions depot.
In Donetsk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations  including about 570 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (420 explosions). The majority of explosions were recorded in the Avdiivka-Yasynuvata area.
During the night of 4-5 April, while in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city centre, the SMM heard 14 undetermined explosions 8-10km north-west. During the day on 5 April, positioned at the “DPR”-controlled Donetsk central railway station (6km north-west of the city centre) the SMM heard 20 undetermined explosions and small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire 4-12km north-east and north-north-east, two undetermined explosions 5-8km west and one explosion assessed as an impact of a round from an unknown weapon 3-5km north-north-west.
During the night of 4-5 April, the SMM camera in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) recorded eight explosions (seven undetermined, one assessed as an impact of a round from an unknown weapon) and an exchange of fire that began with two illumination flares in vertical flight and one tracer round in flight from west-north-west to east-south-east, and was followed by three tracer rounds and eight projectiles in flight from west-north-west to east-south-east, five tracer rounds and two projectiles in flight from east-south-east to west-north-west, two rocket-assisted projectiles in flight from south-west to north-east and one projectile in flight from north to south, all at distances 4-6km east-south-east. The following day, while positioned on the north-west edge of Avdiivka, the SMM heard 28 undetermined explosions 6-10km south-east. From a different location in Avdiivka, the SMM heard 105 explosions, of which over 100 were 1-6km east, south-east, and east-south-east and the rest 3-6km south-west, west, and north-north-west.
Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about six hours, the SMM heard 129 undetermined explosions and hundreds of shots and bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 1-7km at directions ranging from south-west to north-west. At the same time, positioned 4km west of Yasynuvata, the SMM heard 28 undetermined explosions at distances 500m-2km south, south-west and west as well as 18 undetermined explosions 2-3km north-north-east.
While in “DPR”-controlled Oleksandrivka (20km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM heard 12 undetermined explosions 2-7km south-west and north-west.
On the evening of 4 April, while in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 16 explosions (12 undetermined and four assessed as outgoing explosions of unknown weapon type) 10-12km north-north-east and heard 13 explosions (seven undetermined and six assessed as impacts of rounds of unknown weapon type) 8-9km north-north-west. During the same period while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard six undetermined explosions, five outgoing explosions of unknown weapon type, and five explosions assessed as mortar rounds all 2-4km south-east. The following day, while positioned in government-controlled Kodema (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 20 explosions assessed as outgoing infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-1) cannon (73mm) fire 4-5km south.
Positioned 1.5km south of government-controlled Kamianka (20km north of Donetsk) the SMM heard 45 outgoing explosions of 82mm mortar rounds, 21 outgoing explosions and two explosions assessed as impacts of 122mm artillery rounds, nine outgoing explosions of recoilless gun (SPG-9) cannon (73mm) fire, four outgoing explosions of automatic-grenade-launcher fire, and two undetermined explosions all 1-3km east, east-south-east and south. The SMM also heard an explosion assessed as an impact of a round from an undetermined weapon 3-4km west and eight undetermined explosions 1-4km south, south-west and west.
On the night of 3-4 April, the SMM camera in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) recorded an exchange of fire that started with eight tracer rounds from west to east, followed by a total of three undetermined explosions, 363 tracer rounds and two rocket-assisted projectiles in flight from west to east and 105 tracer rounds and 14 rocket-assisted projectiles in flight from east to west, all at undetermined distances north and north-north-east of the camera.
In Luhansk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including 156 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 15 explosions). While flying an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) 200m west of an aerodrome in the south-eastern outskirts of Luhansk city, the SMM heard two bursts of small-arms fire (a total of 10-20 shots in the duration of 30 seconds), 1km east of the patrol’s position. (See 6 April SMM Spot Report.)
Positioned in “LPR”-controlled Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk) near a known training area, the SMM heard five outgoing explosions of tank rounds (type unknown) and five outgoing explosions of artillery rounds (type unknown), assessed as live-fire exercise, 15km south-west of its position.
Positioned in “LPR”-controlled Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk) near a known training area, the SMM heard and saw 20 outgoing explosions of tank rounds (type unknown), 20 outgoing explosions of artillery rounds (type unknown), and more than 100 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, assessed as live-fire exercise, 600m north-west of its position.
Positioned in “LPR”-controlled Malomykolaivka (36km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 25 outgoing explosions of tank rounds (type unknown), 25 outgoing explosions of artillery rounds (type unknown), and more than 100 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, assessed as live-fire exercise, 20km north-west of its position.
From the north-eastern edge of government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 25 outgoing explosions of unknown weapon type 3-4km east-north-east of its position. Positioned in “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard seven undetermined explosions of rounds from undetermined weapon 5km south-west. Positioned in “LPR”-controlled Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (61km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard nine undetermined explosions of rounds from an unknown weapon about 5km south-west.
The SMM followed up on reports of civilian casualties in two towns along the contact line. A woman (64 years old) told the SMM by phone that she had been transferred to a hospital in government-controlled Lysychansk (75km north-west of Luhansk) for treatment of injuries to her legs, which she had sustained during an explosion outside of her house on Shchiorsia Street 47 in government-controlled Troitske (69km west of Luhansk). A village council member and a Ukrainian officer of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) told the SMM that a woman (64 years old) had been initially taken to a hospital in government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk) but was later transferred to Lysychansk.
In government-controlled Toretsk (formerly Dzerzhynsk, 43km north of Donetsk), the SMM spoke to medical staff at a hospital who told the SMM that a man (48 years old) had been admitted with injuries he had sustained when the tractor he was driving hit an anti-tank mine in government-controlled Verkhnotoretske (23km north-east of Donetsk). They told the SMM that the man was undergoing tests for possible spinal injuries. The SMM was unable to speak to the man. A municipal council representative from Verkhnotoretske and the director of an agricultural company, where the man had reportedly worked, told the SMM that the man had been working in a field near a local railway station.
The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas of Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (60km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September 2016. The SMM’s access remained restricted but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*
The SMM observed no ceasefire violations in and near the Stanytsia Luhanska and Petrivske disengagement areas while present.
Positioned on the northern edge of “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 5km north-west followed by one shot of small-arms fire 2km west, assessed as outside the disengagement area.
Positioned near Zolote in government-controlled Katerynivka (64km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard one undetermined explosion 7-10km north-west of its position, assessed as outside the disengagement area.
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons, in implementation of the Package of Measures, its Addendum, and the Memorandum. 
In violation of the respective withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas the SMM saw one self-propelled howitzer being transported south-east near Bakhmut (formerly Artemivsk, 67km north of Donetsk); 12 self-propelled howitzers (2S1) near the train station in Kostiantynivka (60km north of Donetsk); and twelve multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) (9P140 Uragan, 220mm) near Dobropillia (75km north-west of Donetsk). On 3 April, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted a tank near government-controlled Vodiane (19km north-east of Mariupol).
In violation of the respective withdrawal lines in non-government-controlled areas, the SMM saw: ten towed howitzers (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) near Novooleksandrivka (75km south-east of Donetsk); two trucks each towing one MLRS (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, 45km south-west of Luhansk); five Ural trucks traveling south and each towing one towed howitzer (D-20, 152mm) on road M-04 in Luhansk city; three heavy-equipment transport vehicles traveling south-east on road M-04 in Luhansk city and each loaded with one tank (T-64); one MLRS (BM-21) traveling south-east on road M-04 in Luhansk city.
An SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted three MLRS (BM-21), five towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm), seven self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), and seven tanks (T-72) in the south-eastern outskirts of Luhansk city, before small-arms fire was registered in the area (see Ceasefire Violations).
Beyond withdrawal lines, but outside storage sites in government-controlled areas, the SMM saw: six tanks (T-64), five of which were being transported on flatbed trailers and one of which was stationary, near government-controlled Berkhivka (73km north of Donetsk); two tanks (T-64) loaded on flatbeds moving east in Bakhmut; and nine tanks (four T-64 and five type not known) stationary in the south-western outskirts of Bakhmut.
Beyond withdrawal lines, but outside storage sites, in non-government-controlled areas, the SMM saw 13 tanks (seven T-64s and six type unknown) and nine towed howitzers (D-30) in a known training area near Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk) and 12 tanks (T-64) in a known training area near Kruhlyk (31km south-west of Luhansk).
The SMM observed weapons that could not be verified as withdrawn, as their storage does not comply with the criteria set in the 16 October 2015 notification. In government-controlled areas beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed: 29 tanks (T-64) and two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela-10, 120mm); and four MLRS (BM-21). The SMM noted that six mortars (RM-42, 120mm), 11 self-propelled howitzers (six 2S1 and five 2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm), and 15 towed howitzers (2A65 Giatsint-B, 152mm) were again missing. Two tanks (T-64) were noted as missing for the first time.
In non-government-controlled areas, the SMM noted 15 mortars (RM-38, 120mm) as missing.
The SMM revisited “DPR” permanent storage sites, whose locations corresponded with the withdrawal lines, and found that 29 tanks (15 T-72 and 14 T-64), nine mortars (2B14 Podnos, 82mm), and 15 anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) were again missing.
The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles  in the security zone. In government-controlled areas the SMM saw: two IFVs (BMP-2) and one armoured personnel carrier (APC) (MT-LB) in Popasna (69km west of Luhansk); one APC (BMP-2) between Popasna and Katerynivka (64km west of Luhansk); one APC (BTR-60) moving east on road T-1309 south-east of Petrivka (27km north of Luhansk); one APC (BTR-60) parked near road H-21 5km north of Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk); one APC (BRDM-2) south of government-controlled Komyshuvakha (68km west of Luhansk); one APC (BTR-4) on a flatbed carriage near Sukha Balka (36km north-east of Donetsk); and eight IFVs (BMP-1, BMP-2, and BTR) and two support trucks filled with military personnel near Novoselivka Druha (23km north of Donetsk).
In non-government-controlled areas, the SMM saw two IFVs (type not known) near Uzhivka (formerly Leninske, 24km north-east of Mariupol).
On 5 April, in the same flight during which small-arms fire was registered in the area in Luhansk city (see Spot Report reference above), an SMM mid-range UAV also spotted seven infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-2), 13 armoured personnel carriers (five BTR-70, one BTR-80, seven MTLB, one of those mounted with anti-aircraft gun), six military-type trucks, and at least 35 men in military-style clothes.
The SMM monitored and facilitated adherence to the ceasefire, co-ordinated by the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) to enable demining and repair works. In government-controlled Zolote/Karbonit (60km west of Luhansk), the SMM monitored repairs to a 1200mm water pipe conducted by Popasna Vodakanal.
Along road H20, north of the junction with road M04 near the Donetsk Water Filtration Station located between Avdiivka and Yasynuvata, the SMM saw a “DPR” demining team check the highway for explosive devices. After about ten minutes, the SMM heard a series of 23 loud explosions followed by eight shots and four bursts of automatic-grenade-launcher fire and saw columns of smoke, all between 500m-1km to the west. The demining team took shelter in their vehicle and the SMM withdrew to a safe distance. The SMM liaised with the Russian officer of the JCCC present in order to re-establish a ceasefire to facilitate the work. After approximately 40 minutes, the demining team continued clearing the highway. At the road turn to the Donetsk Water Filtration Station, the SMM observed a demining team from the Ukrainian Armed Forces; deminers from government and non-government controlled areas continued to demine the road leading to the Filtration Station. A bus with Voda Donbassa workers arrived and the SMM observed them restarting the Donetsk Water Filtration Station by turning on machinery. The SMM could see water pouring over filtration beds and that power had been restored to control panels.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation of civilians travelling across the contact line. While present for 30 minutes at the “DPR” checkpoint near Horlivka, the SMM observed that the standard line did not move at all and that cars in the priority line moved slowly. Six women told the SMM that the queue had not moved for nearly six hours. On 2 April, the SMM saw a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) between the last “DPR” and government checkpoints between Horlivka and Maiorsk (45m north-east of Donetsk), respectively. On 5 April, the SMM was present to monitor the scheduled removal of the UXO and to observe the rotation of the Russian officers of the JCCC through the checkpoints. However, Russian officers of the JCCC informed the SMM that the “DPR” did not provide security guarantees for the Ukrainian demining team to remove the UXO and that as a result the rotation was cancelled.
Over about 2.5 hours, while positioned at the government entry-exit checkpoint near government-controlled Maiorsk, the SMM heard 14 undetermined explosions, five bursts of heavy-machine-gun and five bursts and nine shots of small-arms fire, all 1-5km east and south.
The SMM visited a border area currently not under the control of the Government. During a 60-minute visit at the border crossing point near Voznesenivka (formerly Chervonopartyzansk, 65km south-east of Luhansk), the SMM saw 16 vehicles (eight with Russian licence plates, seven with Ukrainian licence plates and one with Lithuanian licence plates) and ten pedestrians enter Ukraine and 24 vehicles (17 with Ukrainian licence plates and seven with Russian Federation licence plates), one small truck with a covered bed with Ukrainian licence plates and 22 pedestrians exit Ukraine.
The SMM noted no changes and a calm situation at blockade sites near government-controlled Hirske (63km west of Luhansk) and government-controlled Buhas (44km south-west of Donetsk). When passing a power plant in government-controlled Myronivskyi (62km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM observed that only one of three smoke-stacks was producing smoke.
On 4 April the SMM visited Znamenivka, Novomoskovsk district (45 km north-east of Dnipro) where a hand grenade explosion had reportedly taken place in a café on 2 April. The SMM saw small cracks in a north-west facing window of the cafe, which an employee told the SMM was the result of a hand grenade exploding on 2 April. At the Regional Children’s Hospital in Dnipro, the SMM spoke with four people (three male, one female, 16-18 years old) who said they had been wounded in the incident; the SMM saw bandages on the legs of the three young men. On 5 April, the Chief of the Novomoskovsk District Police Station told the SMM that they had detained a suspected perpetrator.
On 4 April, in Balakliia, (Kharkiv region, 74km south-east of Kharkiv) the SMM saw about 15 State Emergency Services personnel marking fields for demining and a large number of UXO hazard signs in the fields near the ammunition depot, which had caught fire and caused explosions of ammunition beginning on 23 March (see SMM Daily Report 24 April). The SMM saw at least 20 construction workers repairing the roofs of six damaged apartment buildings near the depot as well. The SMM revisited a damaged school (see SMM Daily Report 30 March 2017) and saw that students had resumed classes. A teacher told the SMM that the school had reopened on 3 April.
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, and Kyiv.
*Restrictions of SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate
The SMM’s monitoring and freedom of movement are restricted by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other impediments – which vary from day to day. The SMM’s mandate provides for safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. All signatories of the Package of Measures have agreed on the need for this safe and secure access, that restriction of the SMM’s freedom of movement constitutes a violation, and on the need for rapid response to these violations. They have also agreed that the JCCC should contribute to such response and co-ordinate mine clearance.
Denial of access:
- At the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, a Ukrainian officer of the JCCC told the SMM that its safety still could not be guaranteed in the areas surrounding the main road due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. The SMM informed the JCCC.
- The possible presence of mines and UXO prevented the SMM from travelling further south-east into the Zolote disengagement area from government-controlled Katerynivka (64km west of Luhansk). The Mission informed the JCCC.
- At an “LPR” checkpoint on the edge of the Zolote disengagement area, armed men told the SMM that its safety still could not be guaranteed in the fields and side roads due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. The SMM informed the JCCC.
- The SMM was unable to travel west from “DPR”-controlled Petrivske due to the possible presence of mines. The Mission informed the JCCC.
- The SMM still could not travel south of the bridge in government-controlled Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk), as Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel said there were mines on the road south of the bridge. The SMM informed the JCCC.
- The presence of anti-tank obstacles and mine hazard signs on the road again prevented the SMM from traveling between Katerynivka and Popasna. Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel present told the SMM that the road was mined. The SMM informed the JCCC.
- A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer denied the SMM access to a military compound near government-controlled Chermalyk (31km north-east of Mariupol). The SMM informed the JCCC.
- Two Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers denied SMM access to a heavy-weapons holding area. The SMM informed the JCCC.
- At a “DPR” permanent storage site, no guard or “DPR” member was present to open the site for SMM observation.
- In Luhansk city, armed “LPR” members denied the SMM access to a warehouse that was reportedly being used as an ammunitions depot.
- In “LPR”-controlled Luhansk city, while flying an SMM mid-range UAV near an aerodrome, the SMM heard two bursts of small-arms fire (a total of 10-20 shots for a duration of 30 seconds), 1km east of the patrol’s position. The SMM recalled the UAV and informed the JCCC about the incident and requested that it follow up. (See 6 April SMM Spot Report.)
 Please see the annexed table for complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations as well as map of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions marked with locations featured in this report.
 Following renewed commitment made at the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on 29 March 2017 according to which the sides agreed on full adherence to the ceasefire and the completion of the withdrawal of weapons by 1 April, in the course of 31 March Ukrainian authorities and “LPR” members provided the SMM with some information related to weapons which they declared as withdrawn. The SMM received some information from “DPR” members on some weapons which they declared that they intended to withdraw.
 This hardware is not proscribed by the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal of weapons.