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123704
English
Yes
No
Acknowledging recent progress in implementing Minsk protocol, OSCE CiO says stabilizing cease-fire key for peace process in eastern Ukraine

Bern, September 17 2014 – Following the adoption of two important laws in the Ukrainian Parliament, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter commended Ukraine for the progress made in the implementation of the Minsk Protocol signed on 5 September. This protocol aims at the implementation of President Poroshenko’s Peace Plan and of President Putin’s initiatives.

The CiO referred in particular to the passing of a law regarding the special status of certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, also allowing for early local elections there, and to the adoption of the legal basis for the application of amnesty rules regarding activities in connection with events in the region. He also considered it an encouraging signal that numerous detainees from both sides have been released in the last few days. These were major steps that could pave the way towards a lasting solution of the crisis, Burkhalter stressed.

Regarding the commitment reached in the Minsk protocol on ensuring the immediate cessation of the use of weapons, Burkhalter underlined the importance of stabilizing the cease-fire and avoiding any erosion of this commitment. A comprehensive ceasefire regime and a common understanding on the details of a monitoring mechanism need to be established, he said. The OSCE has been assisting in monitoring the cease-fire as well as in verifying information and has doubled the number of monitors in eastern Ukraine since the cease-fire was established. The CiO also stressed that it was indispensable that the OSCE monitors who were present in the affected regions could count on effective security assurances from all sides.

Burkhalter concluded by pointing to the need of restoring effective control over the entire Ukrainian-Russian border as a key prerequisite for a lasting solution. In line with the Minsk protocol, particular attention should now be given to establishing a security zone along the border and effective monitoring of the border.

 

17 September 2014
Bern, September 17 2014 – Following the adoption of two important laws in the Ukrainian Parliament, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter commended Ukraine for the progress made in the implementation of the Minsk Protocol signed on 5 September. This protocol aims at the implementation of President Poroshenko’s Peace Plan and of President Putin’s initiatives.
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123532
English
123532
Yes
No
Spot report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), 14 September 2014

This report is for the media and general public.

On 14 September, at about 15:00 hrs, the SMM was on patrol close to the Putilovka market, Kievskyi district, Donetsk city. The market appeared to have been subjected to shelling prior to the SMM’s arrival. Smoke was coming from one building and a fire brigade was at the scene. Members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) present at the location reported that a total of four people had been killed in the incident. About 20 m from its position, the SMM team could see the body of a civilian woman lying on the street.

While at the scene, the SMM team heard mortar shelling. Subsequently, four shells impacted and exploded within 20 seconds about 200 m from the team’s position.

The SMM monitoring team stopped at another location about 1 km away from the market. About 10 minutes later another mortar shell exploded about 100 m from the SMM’s position. The SMM team immediately left the area.

14 September 2014
On 14 September, at about 15:00 hrs, the SMM was on patrol close to the Putilovka market, Kievskyi district, Donetsk city. The market appeared to have been subjected to shelling prior to the SMM’s arrival. Smoke was coming from one building and a fire brigade was at the scene. Members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) present at the location reported that a total of four people had been killed in the incident. About 20 m from its position, the SMM team could see the body of a civilian woman lying on the street.
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123531
English
123531
Yes
No
Spot report by the OSCE Observer Mission, 13 Sept. 2014: Russian convoy returned from Ukraine and crossed into the Russian Federation at Donetsk BCP

This report is for media and the general public

SUMMARY

On 13 September, between 15:30 and 20:25 (Moscow time), the OSCE Observer Mission (OM) observed a total number of 216 vehicles of the Russian convoy crossing at the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) from Ukraine into the Russian Federation. Earlier today, the OM reported that 220 vehicles had passed Donetsk BCP towards Ukraine (see Spot Report of 13 September 2014). The discrepancy of four vehicles is explained by an erroneous double count of the very first trucks that had arrived to the Donetsk BCP yesterday at 22:20. Thus, OM concludes that all 216 vehicles of the convoy, which had crossed, have returned to the Russian Federation (RF).

DETAIL

On 13 September, from 15:30 to 20:25, the OM observed the arrival of vehicles belonging to the Russian humanitarian aid convoy returning from Ukraine. The crossing of the entire convoy took place in seven groups:

A first group of 35 vehicles returned between 15:30 and 15:57.

A second group of 37 vehicles returned between 16:52 and 17:13.

A third group of 23 vehicles returned between 17:29 and 17:43.

A fourth group of 5 vehicles returned between 17:51 and 17:56.

A fifth group of 5 vehicles returned between 18:20 and 18:24.

A sixth group of 36 vehicles returned between 18:50 and 19:17.

A seventh group of 75 vehicles returned between 19:45 and 20:25.

The total number of vehicles (including support vehicles) was 216.

The cargo trucks arrived with the rear cargo tailgate open. After the Russian authorities had checked the trucks, the cargo tailgates were closed and the vehicles departed.

14 September 2014
On 13 September, between 15:30 and 20:25 (Moscow time), the OSCE Observer Mission (OM) observed a total number of 216 vehicles of the Russian convoy crossing at the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) from Ukraine into the Russian Federation. Earlier today, the OM reported that 220 vehicles had passed Donetsk BCP towards Ukraine (see Spot Report of 13 September 2014). The discrepancy of four vehicles is explained by an erroneous double count of the very first trucks that had arrived to the Donetsk BCP yesterday at 22:20. Thus, OM concludes that all 216 vehicles of the convoy, which had crossed, have returned to the Russian Federation (RF).
No
123529
English
123529
Yes
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Revised Spot Report by the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk (OM), 13 September 2014

Russian convoy of 216 vehicles entered Ukraine through the Donetsk Border Crossing Point

This report is for media and the general public.

SUMMARY

On 12 September 2014 starting at 22:20 (Moscow time) and throughout the night, a Russian convoy of 216 vehicles, including 189 cargo trucks, entered the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) and crossed into Ukraine in six groups. By 13 September at 07:45, all the vehicles had crossed into Ukraine. According to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations (MES), the convoy is carrying only food products and heading to Luhansk.

The first group of 36 trucks were quickly checked by the Russian border guard and customs services. The 180 other vehicles were not inspected. All vehicles crossed into Ukraine without being inspected by Ukrainian border guard and customs officers or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

DETAIL

On 12 September 2014 at 22:10 (Moscow time), the Observer Mission (OM) observed the arrival of vehicles belonging to a second Russian humanitarian aid convoy.

At 22:10, two cars arrived at the BCP. One of the passengers introduced himself to the Observer Team (OT) as an official of the MES of the Russian Federation (RF). He explained that soon a humanitarian aid convoy consisting of 200 vehicles loaded with food products but without medicines, would arrive at the BCP. The MES official added that the vehicles would undergo a control by the RF customs and the border guard services. According to him, the process would not involve Ukrainian customs and border guard officers who are still present in the vicinity of Donetsk BCP. He also stated that the convoy was due to cross the border on 13 September at around 06:00 hrs.

The convoy entered the BCP compound in groups as detailed below:

At 22:20, a first group of 36white coloured trailer trucks accompanied by one workshop truck, one tow truck and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP. By 23:30, Russian border guard and custom checks were completed and all vehicles were parked in the buffer zone between the Russian and Ukrainian BCPs (outside of OSCE sight).

At 03:50, a second group of 34 cargo trucks accompanied by one workshop truck, one tow truck and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP. The second group of vehicles joined the first group parked in the buffer zone between Russian and Ukrainian BCPs (outside of OSCE OM’s sight).

At 04:50, a third group of 25 cargo trucks accompanied by five fuel trucks, one ambulance, two workshop trucks, one tow truck, and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP and joined the other two groups.

At 06:00, the fourth group of 30 cargo trucks accompanied by one spare tractor, one ambulance and one tow truck entered the BCP and joined the rest of the convoy.

At 06:45, the fifth group of 33 cargo trucks accompanied by one spare truck tractor and one workshop truck entered the BCP and joined the rest of the convoy.

At 07:00, the sixth and final group of 31 cargo trucks accompanied by one ambulance, two spare trucks tractor, two workshop trucks and one tow truck entered the BCP.

By 07:45, all vehicles of the convoy had crossed the checkpoint and exited into Ukraine.

The movement of the first groups into Ukraine must have started earlier because of the lack of space in the aforementioned buffer zone. Since this area was out of sight, the OM cannot confirm the exact time of departure of the convoy. Most of the trucks were marked with a Russian flag.

Total number of vehicles which crossed into Ukraine: 216 (189 cargo trucks and 27 support vehicles).

14 September 2014
Russian convoy of 216 vehicles entered Ukraine through the Donetsk Border Crossing Point On 12 September 2014 starting at 22:20 (Moscow time) and throughout the night, a Russian convoy of 216 vehicles, including 189 cargo trucks, entered the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) and crossed into Ukraine in six groups. By 13 September at 07:45, all the vehicles had crossed into Ukraine. According to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations (MES), the convoy is carrying only food products and heading to Luhansk.
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123528
English
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 12 September 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

The SMM observed a simultaneous release of 68 people in Donetsk; and monitored the non-use of weapons regime established under the Minsk Protocol.

In the early hours of 12 September, the SMM observed the simultaneous release of 68 hostages/prisoners close to Avdeevka (18km north of Donetsk city). The Ukrainian side handed over 31 members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”), whilst the “DPR” side handed over 37 Ukrainian servicemen. In addition, the SMM at 17:00 hrs that day observed the handover of six more prisoners by the Ukrainian side to the “DPR” at the same location, thereby balancing the figures. The releases followed a verbal agreement between the sides made the previous evening – as part of the implementation of the Protocol signed in Minsk on 5 September – at an SMM-facilitated session of the Tri-lateral Contact Group held in Kyiv.

The SMM – located close to Donetsk airport – heard what appeared to be a number of detonations, seemingly coming from the direction of the airport, at 11:00hrs. Local people told the SMM that sporadic fire of automatic weapons had been heard throughout the night in the same area.

The SMM observed a large crater near a bus-stop in the village of Gornikov (15 km northeast of Donetsk city). Four people in the village separately told the SMM that the crater was the result of shelling at 08:00 hrs that morning. They said three people had been wounded as a result. The SMM observed another crater in the neighbouring village of Khanjenkovo (26 km northeast of Donetsk city), also caused by shelling at around 08:00 hrs, according to a local man whose home had sustained some minor damage as a result of the shelling. No casualties were reported.

Mariupol appeared to have been calm during the reporting period, with various interlocutors in and around the city reporting no signs of fighting.

The SMM received numerous reports– from Ukrainian military personnel and local people in a number of towns in the vicinity of Pervomais’k (70 km west of Luhansk city) – that there had been small arms fire and shelling over the previous 24 hours in the area. The acting District Police Chief of one of the towns – Popasna – later outlined several alleged incidents spanning the period of 8 to 11 September, in which Popasna had been shelled. In another of the towns in the area – Zolotoye – local people told the SMM that four different separatist groups were engaged in a power struggle in the area.

Later in Luhansk city, a senior representative of the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) told the SMM that Pervomais’k was under the control of a Cossack commander unanswerable to the “LPR”. The SMM subsequently visited Pervomais’k, where they met the commander, the self-styled Colonel Pavel Dremov. He confirmed that he had been involved in shelling, saying he had done so because he had received information that there had been a substantial build-up of Ukrainian military forces around Pervomais’k, including at least 64 tanks. He said there were about 700 Cossack armed personnel in the town, equipped with three D-30 artillery pieces.

In Stanitsa-Luhanska (24 km northeast of Luhansk city), the SMM observed a civilian vehicle carrying at least half a dozen separatists, armed with a 122 m anti-tank weapon, moving in the direction of a Ukrainian military checkpoint.

The SMM, at around 09:30 hrs, observed Ukrainian military personnel laying 10 to 12 anti-tank mines, in two rows, on the road from Shchastye (24 km north of Luhansk city) to Metallist (9 km north of Luhansk city).

The situation remained calm in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.

The SMM observed on 11 September people in Tavriis'k (80 km east of Kherson city) digging trenches on the side of the main road connecting Kherson with Crimea. There is also a hydro-power plant and a bridge over the Dnepr River in the vicinity.

A high-ranking Ukrainian military official told the SMM in Odessa that there had been a significant recent build-up of Russian military forces in both Transdniestria and northern Crimea.

The situation remained clam in Chernivtsi.

The SMM in Ivano-Frankivsk city, observed 1,000 college students, wearing yellow and blue t-shirts, moving along the streets, singing Ukrainian patriotic songs and chanting slogans. The participants dispersed peacefully.

The situation remained calm in Lviv and Kyiv.

13 September 2014
The SMM observed a simultaneous release of 68 people in Donetsk; and monitored the non-use of weapons regime established under the Minsk Protocol.
No
123527
English
Yes
No
Spot report by the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk (OM), 13 September 2014

Russian convoy of 220 vehicles entered Ukraine through the Donetsk Border Crossing Point

This report is for media and the general public

SUMMARY

On 12 September 2014 starting at 22:20 (Moscow time) and throughout the night, a Russian convoy of 220 vehicles, including 193 cargo trucks, entered the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) and crossed into Ukraine in six groups. By 13 September at 07:45, all the vehicles had crossed into Ukraine. According to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations (MES), the convoy is carrying only food products and heading to Luhansk.

The first group of 40 trucks were quickly checked by the Russian border guard and customs services. The 180 other vehicles were not inspected. All vehicles crossed into Ukraine without being inspected by Ukrainian border guard and customs officers or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

DETAIL

On 12 September 2014 at 22:10 (Moscow time), the Observer Mission (OM) observed the arrival of vehicles belonging to a second Russian humanitarian aid convoy.

At 22:10, two cars arrived at the BCP. One of the passengers introduced himself to the Observer Team (OT) as an official of the MES of the Russian Federation (RF). He explained that soon a humanitarian aid convoy consisting of 200 vehicles loaded with food products but without medicines, would arrive at the BCP. The MES official added that the vehicles would undergo a control by the RF customs and the border guard services. According to him, the process would not involve Ukrainian customs and border guard officers who are still present in the vicinity of Donetsk BCP. He also stated that the convoy was due to cross the border on 13 September at around 06:00 hrs.

The convoy entered the BCP compound in groups as detailed below:

At 22:20, a first group of 40 white coloured trailer trucks accompanied by one workshop truck, one tow truck and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP. By 23:30, Russian border guard and custom checks were completed and all vehicles were parked in the buffer zone between the Russian and Ukrainian BCPs (outside of OSCE sight).

At 03:50, a second group of 34 cargo trucks accompanied by one workshop truck, one tow truck and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP. The second group of vehicles joined the first group parked in the buffer zone between Russian and Ukrainian BCPs (outside of OSCE OM’s sight).

At 04:50, a third group of 25 cargo trucks accompanied by five fuel trucks, one ambulance, two workshop trucks, one tow truck, and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP and joined the other two groups.

At 06:00, the fourth group of 30 cargo trucks accompanied by one spare tractor, one ambulance and one tow truck entered the BCP and joined the rest of the convoy.

At 06:45, the fifth group of 33 cargo trucks accompanied by one spare truck tractor and one workshop truck entered the BCP and joined the rest of the convoy.

At 07:00, the sixth and final group of 31 cargo trucks accompanied by one ambulance, two spare trucks tractor, two workshop trucks and one tow truck entered the BCP.

By 07:45, all vehicles of the convoy had crossed the checkpoint and exited into Ukraine.

The movement of the first groups into Ukraine must have started earlier because of the lack of space in the aforementioned buffer zone. Since this area was out of sight, the OM cannot confirm the exact time of departure of the convoy.

Only the cargo trucks of first group were inspected by Russian authorities as mentioned above. The cargo trucks of groups two to six had their trailer doors open upon arrival but were not inspected at all by the Russian border guard and customs services. Most of the trucks were marked with a Russian flag.

Total number of vehicles which crossed into Ukraine: 220 (193 cargo trucks and 27 support vehicles).

13 September 2014
Russian convoy of 220 vehicles entered Ukraine through the Donetsk Border Crossing Point On 12 September 2014 starting at 22:20 (Moscow time) and throughout the night, a Russian convoy of 220 vehicles, including 193 cargo trucks, entered the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) and crossed into Ukraine in six groups. By 13 September at 07:45, all the vehicles had crossed into Ukraine. According to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations (MES), the convoy is carrying only food products and heading to Luhansk.
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123526
English
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 11 September 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

The SMM continued to observe the situation in regard to the Minsk agreement with a focus on the non-use of weapons.

At the Shchastya filtration point (25km northwest of Luhansk city) the SMM saw more traffic compared to previous days. More than 70 cars and hundreds of people were using the possibility to leave Luhansk city. In Shchastya the SMM spoke with the Ukrainian commander near the bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River. He reported that on 9 September he did not observe any significant incidents in regard to the Minsk agreement on non-use of weapons within Shchastya but he did hear shooting in the distance towards Stanitsa Luhanska. The SMM proceeded towards Stanitsa Luhanska (25km northeast of Luhansk) and entered territory controlled by the “Luhansk People’s Republic (“LPR”) –the southern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. No significant incidents were reported by the “LPR”. The SMM observed 50 to 60 civilian vehicles per hour, departing and arriving into “LPR”-controlled area. The Ukrainian military commander at a nearby checkpoint (CP) likewise did not report any incidents. The Ukrainian military reported that at 20:30hrs, on 10 September, a civilian car drove into a marked but unguarded minefield. One civilian was killed, and one Ukrainian soldier seriously wounded in the blast. The SMM saw two destroyed cars and human remains at the site.

In Stanitsa Luhanska, at the last Ukrainian CP, the Ukrainian commander informed the SMM that there had been no shelling but that he had heard shooting from the south-western part of “LPR”-controlled territory. The SMM then continued to the “LPR” CP behind the Siverskyi Donets River. The “LPR” CP commander likewise reported no problems during the last 24 hours, and attributed the shooting in the distance to target practice by the “LPR”.

The SMM monitored the situation in Donetsk city and around the international airport. On the way to the airport, the SMM observed that the main bridge was closed for traffic and guarded by soldiers from “Vostok” battalion (affiliated to the “Donetsk People’s Republic”-“DPR”).

In Avdeevka (15km north of Donetsk) the situation appeared relatively calm. The SMM saw that a couple of shops were open. Electricity supply was partially restored, though surrounding villages were still not supplied due to repair works. The SMM spoke with the commander of a Ukrainian CP located at the south exit of Avdeevka, who stated that for the past days the situation was calm and quiet, though shelling and explosions could be heard farther southwest. The SMM could hear artillery coming from a southwest direction for approximately 30 minutes at the CP at the eastern exit of Andeeveka. The SMM spoke to local inhabitants who said that schools and kindergartens remained closed.

In Orlivka (26km north of Donetsk), a local resident stated that the fields south of the village were shelled with Grad rockets and mortars. The SMM could not confirm the shelling, as no shelling craters were visible. However, the SMM observed one unexploded ordnance, a Multiple Launch Rocket System rocket.

In Karlivka (30km northwest of Donetsk), the SMM observed that schools were operational and the situation appeared to be calm. At a Ukrainian military CP the SMM was informed that there had been shelling in the night of 10 to 11 September on the neighbouring villages. Leaving the village, the SMM spoke to the military personnel from the Ukrainian Army on the H15 road CP, who said that the CP was attacked during the night of 10 to 11 September with two mortars located approximately 500 meters north of their location; the shelling lasted for 40 minutes, according to the interlocutor.

At the Ukrainian CP on the road from Debaltsevo towards the Russian Federation the commander stated that on 11 September around 08:00hrs, two Ukrainian soldiers in armoured personnel carrier (APC) were shot from the direction of Vulegirsk supposedly controlled by irregular armed forces. The injured were sent to the hospital in Artemivsk (80km north of Donetsk). The SMM visited the hospital in Artemivsk and learnt that one soldier died of injuries and the other one survived.

The SMM met with a representative of DTEK Electrical Company in the Donetsk region who presented the report on “Restoring Electricity Supply in Donetsk region” saying that as of 10 September, power engineering specialists using specially equipped vehicles were working on electricity restoration in the Donetsk region. All information about the status of the electricity supply provided by this company was available on their public website. Electricity was restored to 30 towns in the Donetsk region. The representative explained that in the region 132 settlements remained without power, either partially or completely. The first section of the pumping facility of Yuzhno-Donbassky water line was still without power, thus water was not supplied to Krasnoarmeysk and Velikoanadol filtering stations. Donetsk filtering station, Novostozhkovskyi water juncture, and Kirovskyi water juncture were left without power.

In Mariupol on 10 September the SMM observed a live concert “in support of the defenders of the city”. The event was attended by 100 participants (aged from 20 to 50 years, with equal representation of women and men). A significant number of police and perhaps two dozen “Azov” battalion soldiers in full combat gear were present. On the other hand, security restrictions were introduced in the area, on 10 September, by Ukrainian headquarters of the security operation “for the purpose of providing for national security, promoting peace, contributing to the country’s defense, and countering terrorism”. Vehicle and personal movement restrictions were enforced from 20:00hrs until 6:00hrs. Other limitations include hunting, fishing, public assembly, vehicle speed, and movement without identification documents, using radio stations, taking pictures and recording videos of military objects. The area covered by the restrictions include several districts of the Donetsk region (Pershotravneviy, Novoazovsky and Telmanovsky), but did not include the city of Mariupol. The Ukrainian army stated that the restrictions were not a curfew, and in no way limited citizens’ rights. The SMM visited several CPs around Mariupol city (15km northeast of the city centre) and was told by local residents living in the respective area that they had heard gun fire during the night 10 to 11 September coming from the southeast direction.

The Director of the Regional Employment Centre in Zaporizhzhia city (67km south of Dnipropetrovsk city) told the SMM that the region was suffering from unemployment. The interlocutor said that Zaporizhzhia’s industries were not working to their full capacity, partly because exports to Russia have decreased sharply. In the case of “Motor Sich” – the largest employer in Zaporizhzhia, a manufacturer of helicopters, aeroplane engines – sales to Russia had been affected by the imposed sanctions. According to the interlocutor, “Motor Sich” was on the verge of ceasing production and laying off 16,000 people as a result. The unemployment rate in Zaporizhzhia Region was 7.7 % and more businesses were closing than opening.

In Mykolaiv (70km northwest of Kherson) the region’s first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine explained to the SMM that, despite required documentation stipulated in the electoral law, the party had not received a certified copy of the party`s registration certificate and charter by the Ministry of Justice. These documents were needed in order to register candidates for the elections. He criticized limitations imposed on his party regarding campaigning on local TV channels.

In Kharkiv, Odessa, Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk the situation remained calm.

In Lviv, the SMM attended a meeting between Crimean Tatar IDPs and Refat Chubarov, the head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, at the Regional Department for Social Protection. The aim of the meeting was to establish co-operation among all Crimean Tatars. The head of the Mejlis said that an umbrella organization had been established in Kyiv to support Crimean Tatars at the local level and co-ordinate between regional associations. The interlocutor informed the SMM that a representation office of the Crimea Mejlis would be opened in Kyiv.

In Kyiv the SMM met with the former editor of the Crimean based magazine “Zerkalonedeli” who said that, in her opinion, freedom of the press in Crimea was severely limited. According to the interlocutor, accreditation for meetings with officials was only provided to journalists complying with the de facto authorities. The journalist stated that all Crimean media companies were currently still registered in Ukraine, but, as of next year, Russian legislation would be applied, and expected that registration of media companies with critical political views would become impossible.

On 11 September the SMM spoke on the phone with a member of the Mejlis who had difficulties when crossing the administrative boundary line (ABL) in Armyansk from Crimea towards mainland Ukraine. The Mejlis member was, at the time of the conversation, on his way to Lviv where he would seek medical treatment. The interlocutor said that his intention was to return to Crimea but again expected difficulties at the ABL.

 

 

12 September 2014
The SMM continued to observe the situation in regard to the Minsk agreement with a focus on the non-use of weapons.
No
123407
English
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 9 September 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

The SMM continued to observe the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in light of the Minsk agreement on non-use of weapons. IDPs continue to leave the east of the country.

The situation in Kharkiv remained calm.

The SMM visited Luhansk city and assessed that the situation had improved slightly. People and cars appeared to move more freely, and limited commercial activities were noted. However, the SMM observed citizens still waiting in long queues to receive water, food and medicine. Mains water and electricity are still unavailable in the city.

The SMM met in Svatovo (150 km to the northwest of Luhansk) with the deputy head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration in charge of finance and economy, who stated that more funds are urgently needed from the central government, because the current regional budget is only about 7 billion UAH (around 400 million EUR), as opposed to a normal level of about 20 billion UAH (around 1.2 billion EUR). The interlocutor stated that currently the Ukrainian Government controls thirteen territories where financial institutions are working normally. However, he stated that in areas currently controlled by the “Luhansk People’s Republic”, people have not received wages and pensions for more than three months.

The SMM in Donetsk on 8 September, between 20:21 and 21:14 hrs recorded the sound of eight to ten instances of outgoing shelling which appeared to have originated both from the west and the north of the city centre. At 01:35hrs the SMM heard sounds consistent with the detonation of heavy mortar rounds which appeared to have originated from the airport area. The shelling continued for nearly two minutes with short intervals.

On 9 September in Kievski district, to the north of Donetsk city centre, local residents told the SMM that the area had been shelled since Friday night, and persistently in the following days, by an unspecified number of howitzer artillery pieces and “Grad” missiles. According to local inhabitants, five men have died as a result of the impacts and many others were injured. The SMM could not independently verify this information.

On 9 September, at 11:50hrs, the SMM visited the northern outskirts of Donetsk city and entered a nine storey apartment building, located less than one km away from the airport, from where it observed the airport area and its surroundings. At 12:34 hrs, mortar shelling was heard, but the SMM could not ascertain its origin. The SMM saw two impacts caused by shelling, and resultant smoke, one in the airport area and the second one 200-250m from the building where the SMM stood. The SMM could not ascertain from where the shelling had originated. The SMM in total observed up to 15 instances of shelling at the airport area, which according to the SMM’s assessment were also very close to the airport. The SMM could not ascertain their origin.

The SMM visited the village of Spartak (17 km to the north of Donetsk) where it observed the aftermath of what appeared to be a mortar attack that directly hit a small family house, located in the village’s centre. The house was badly damaged. The SMM was told by “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) representatives, present at the scene, that the shelling had taken place on the night of 8 to 9 September. The SMM could not independently verify this information.

In Mariupol city the SMM observed that the bus and train stations were working normally. The SMM spoke to a bus driver, who stated that to reach Donetsk city it is no longer necessary to make a long detour, as was the case last week, but it is now possible to travel directly via the highway.

The SMM met with the governor of Donetsk Region in Mariupol, Mr Serhiy Taruta, who said that on Thursday and Friday last week the rebels made two attempts to take over the city in order to try to gain a stronger negotiating position. He said that Russian regular forces are the driving force in the south-eastern region, and that, on 9 September, Russian military hardware was moved across the border to Bezimenne (33 km to the east of Mariupol), where he said they are concentrating their forces. According to the governor, control of the strategic cities of Mariupol and Debaltsevo, and of Donetsk and Luhansk airports, is the main aim of the “DPR” forces, as this would give them stronger leverage for negotiations.

Two residents of thevillage Shyrokyne (15km to the east of Mariupol city),in separate conversations with SMM by phone, said that on 8 September irregular armed groups, affiliated to “DPR”, had entered the village.

The SMM was informed by representatives of the IDP Co-ordination Centre in Dnipropetrovsk city that during recent days they had seen an increase in the number of IDPs registering officially. The interlocutors stated that those IDPs who have been in the city for some time without registering are now doing so, in order to enrol their children in school or receive other types of assistance. According to the Centre’s estimate, only 10 to15 per cent of the recently-registered IDPs are new, whilst the majority of them have been in the city for some time.

The situation in Kherson remained calm.

In Odessa the SMM visited the Emergency Services Coordination Centre for IDPs, located at the city’s railway station. The representative of the Department of Social Protection, in charge of registration procedures, stated that IDPs are continuously arriving, mainly from the Luhansk region but more recently from Mariupol, too. According to the interlocutor, a significant movement of IDPs from Mariupol started approximately two weeks ago.

In Chernivtsi the SMM met the director of economic development and the head of international co-operation and investments of the Chernivtsi region, both newly appointed to their positions. Regarding mobilization, the interlocutors stated that for businessmen, credits are frozen during their period of service, as they neither have to pay back the loan nor have to pay interest, and that employers have to give employees a job guarantee for one year.

The SMM in Ivano-Frankivsk met with the head of “Right Sector” in Pricarpathia. He stated that the organization is creating battalions in every region. Concerning the ceasefire, the interlocutor stated that “Right Sector” supports the president’s decision; however, should the shelling continue, their position may change. The interlocutor described Ukraine as a buffer for Europe, and said that Europe should understand how dangerous it would be if this buffer is lost.

In Lviv and Kyiv the situation remained calm.

   
11 September 2014
The SMM continued to observe the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in light of the Minsk agreement on non-use of weapons. IDPs continue to leave the east of the country.
No
123104
English
123104
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 31 August 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

Donetsk city was affected by sporadic shelling in the early hours of 31 August. “DPR” announced its intention to release 15 Ukrainian soldiers held in Ilovaysk. The situation in Mariupol was calm; the SMM observed checkpoints around the city.

In Kharkiv city the situation remained calm.

The SMM visited Shchastya (25km north of Luhansk city) and received information from IDPs that Luhansk city remained without water, electricity and gas. The local Red Cross was, according to several interlocutors, distributing humanitarian assistance in schools. According to the IDPs only one hospital was operational, using its own electric generator. Shelling however decreased over the last couple of days, the interlocutors said. The SMM was informed that on 29 August, 467 people and 99 cars passed through Shchastya filtration point. On 31 August the number of IDPs had already reached 300 by 11:00hrs, according to Ukrainian police present at the filtration point.

In Donetsk city the SMM observed sporadic shelling in the very early hours of 31 August. The SMM met with the “prime minister” of the “Donetsk People's Republic” (“DPR”) Alexander Zaharchenko and his deputy Vladimir Antyufiev. The “deputy prime minister”, speaking on behalf of Zaharchenko who was answering questions from media, said that the “prime minister” had met with 15 young Ukrainian soldiers who were held near Ilovaysk (47km southeast of Donetsk city). He announced that “DPR” intended to release all of them as they were conscripts. According to the “prime minister” on 30 August the “DPR” released 18 Ukrainian soldiers near Marinka (40km southwest of Donetsk city) when they were handed over to the Ukrainian army.

The SMM visited four government-controlled checkpoints (CP) located around Mariupol. Three of them (direction Yalta, Melitupol, and Donetsk) seemed to be operating normally with only light traffic. The SMM observed that the number of vehicles leaving the city on the road to Melitupol (Zhaporozhye region - E58) was fewer compared to previous days, when there were more than 100 vehicles in the queue. On the main road towards Novoazovsk, exiting Mariupol city, the SMM was told by Ukrainian security personnel present at the CP that no traffic was allowed to pass the CP in the direction of Novoazovsk.

The SMM observed relatively few pedestrians in Mariupol city centre and light traffic. The SMM visited the bus station number 2 on the west side of Mariupol city and observed only a few people there. The station’s chief administrator told the SMM that in the past week demand was exceptionally high for bus tickets, and in connection with this, on 29 August additional bus trips to Kyiv were scheduled to meet the increased demand. However, the interlocutor said, the situation had recently calmed down, and this weekend a sizeable number of clients had been returning the tickets they previously purchased.

In Dnipropetrovsk the SMM monitored, on 29 August at 18:00hrs, a demonstration in the city’s central “Europe Square”, organised by the association ‘Anti-Crisis Media Centre’. According to the SMM’s estimate about 400-500 people, mostly young, but also middle aged and elderly men and women, were present. Speakers talked about the need for Ukraine to be strong and united, and called for help from western countries, since Ukraine ‘is in a difficult situation, with a lack of resources’ to fight on its own. No police presence was visible. The event passed off peacefully.

In Kherson city the SMM observed on 30 August an anti-war demonstration at Freedom Square with about 30 people, mainly middle aged men, gathering and demanding a stop to ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine. The demonstration lasted only a few minutes, after which about 70, mainly male local activists carrying flags of “Right Sector” and “Svoboda”, as well as people from the “Odessa Maidan” group arrived and chased the protesters away. The SMM saw that the main organizer of the anti-war protest was beaten by the opponent activists and suffered a head injury. After the protesters dispersed, the “Maidan” activists stayed on, sung the national anthem and Ukrainian slogans.

In Odessa the SMM observed, at Kulikovo Polye, a gathering of 70-80 opponents of Ukraine’s unity. Thirty police officers were present. At the rear of the trade union building there were two buses with approximately 60 additional police officers. The gathering began with a eulogy to one of the people who died on 2 May in the fire of the trade union building. The SMM witnessed an assault on a man who approached one of the opponents of Ukraine’s unity and was then punched by another activist of the same group. Apparently the man, wearing Ukrainian colours, was a soldier who returned from eastern Ukraine a month ago and seemed intoxicated. The police intervened quickly and took the man away.

The situation in Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv remained calm.

In Kyiv the SMM visited on 31 August a Lukoil gas station which had been reportedly attacked by unknown assailants on 28 August. The windows of the gas station were missing and were covered with plastic sheets and electrical wiring was hanging from above the entrance of the store. According to an employee, up to 30 people took part in the attack. Allegedly this was the second attack on the gas station in the last 10 days.

On 30 August the SMM monitored a gathering in Kyiv outside the President’s administration, consisting of approximately 70 relatives of soldiers from the 51st and 24th brigades of the Ukrainian army from the Volhynian region (western Ukraine) sent to Luhansk and Donetsk on the 8 April. The protestors said that the soldiers did not have a single day of leave since April. On 31 August the SMM followed up on the event and got in touch with one of the mothers, who informed that a representative of the President’s administration promised that soldiers could take their leave.

On 31 August the SMM monitored the situation outside the Ministry of Defense in Kyiv, where 12 women were demonstrating requesting the return of their sons, who have participated for more than 120 days in the security operation in eastern Ukraine, and asked for their rotation and/or leave. They mentioned that their sons were summoned for military training, without any notification that they would participate in the security operation in eastern Ukraine.

Contact:

Iryna Gudyma Kyiv Mobile: +38 067 4021716 Iryna.Gudyma@osce.org

 

1 September 2014
This report is for media and the general public. Donetsk city was affected by sporadic shelling in the early hours of 31 August. “DPR” announced its intention to release 15 Ukrainian soldiers held in Ilovaysk. The situation in Mariupol was calm; the SMM observed checkpoints around the city.
No
123074
English
123074
Yes
No
Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 29 August 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) monitored a demonstration in Kharkiv attended by approximately 400 supporters of Ukraine’s unity in front of the Consulate of the Russian Federation on 28 August. The participants voiced their concerns over Russia’s Ukraine policy and called for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and unity. The peaceful protest was interrupted by flash bangs and other devices thrown at the Consulate which was followed by a police intervention. The crowd dispersed and continued the protest at Liberty Square where a cordon of about 100 police guarded the statue of Lenin. The protest finished peacefully.

In Luhansk, the SMM met the representative of volunteer battalion “Aidar” who confirmed that the battalion had a negative overall reputation. The interlocutor admitted that occasionally misbehaviour had occurred in the battalion and they had lacked support to handle these cases, and confirmed that cases of alleged abuses by “Aidar” members had been referred to the prosecutor.

Shelling continued in Donetsk. The SMM visited School 33 in Leninski district, which had been affected by shelling and observed medium to severe damage including the destruction of the fourth floor and the school equipment. The school director said that parents of 80 of the 483 pupils of the school had asked to transfer their school documents to other educational facilities outside Donetsk. The SMM also visited the Regional Clinic and Hospital situated next to the school, the surgery department of which had been affected by shelling causing moderate damage. The hospital’s pharmacists informed the SMM that the hospital lacked basic medication. The SMM also observed consequences of shelling in Kalininskii and Kievskii Regions, where a number of houses and buildings were destroyed.

The SMM was deployed to Mariupol area to monitor developments in the area of Mariupol and Novoazovsk.

The SMM attended a press conference following the Regional Defence Council meeting in Dnipropetrovsk. It was announced that the security situation on the ground had called for close co-ordination between the Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia Regional Defence Councils, who from now on would take joint measures to reinforce the border area by strengthening existing checkpoints and establishing new ones.

The SMM met the Head of Public Peace and Order at the Kherson Regional Police Headquarters, who noted Crimea’s strong dependence on water and electricity supplies from Kherson region and Russia’s possible interest in creating a “corridor” from Mariupol to Crimea through various Ukrainian regions as key sources of tension in the Kherson region.

In Odessa, The SMM attended the press conference of Odessa Governor and the Vice Admiral Commander of the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet, who called for replacing the Anti-War Protest March planned for 30 August with a gathering at the Potemkin Steps, as a march could potentially pose a greater security risk. The Governor also reiterated that necessary security measures are in place for the forthcoming Odessa Day Concert on 2 September.

The situation in Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk remained calm.

The SMM monitored a demonstration of approximately 70 participants in front of the Russian Federation Consulate in Lviv. The protesters expressed dissatisfaction with Russian Federation policies towards Ukraine. The protest was monitored by the local police and ended peacefully.

The SMM in Kyiv monitored the area of Border Crossing Point Grem’jach to the North-East of Kyiv along Route P12 and met representatives of the Ukrainian National Border Guard Service. The situation was observed as calm.

30 August 2014
This report is for media and the general public. The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) monitored a demonstration in Kharkiv attended by approximately 400 supporters of Ukraine’s unity in front of the Consulate of the Russian Federation on 28 August.
No