Skip navigation
125420
English
125420
Yes
No
Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 10 October 2014

Focusing on the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, the SMM continued monitoring the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, still noting that violence is continuing in a number of places.

Representatives of the Svoboda party informed the SMM that another Lenin statue had been toppled in Bogoduhiv (50km north-west of Kharkiv). Deputy Chief of Chervonozavodskoy District Police in Kharkiv informed the SMM that on 6 October the Lenin statue at Asnova had also been destroyed. The incident in Bogoduhiv would be the 11th incident of this kind having occurred in Kharkiv region since 28 September (See SMM Daily Report 8 October).

The SMM was informed by the Hirske (Luhansk region) chief of police that three “GRAD” rockets had struck the town on 5 October. The SMM observed impact sites consistent with this information. The SMM also met the Mayor of Hirske and representatives of the Women’s Council. Unlike its surroundings, Hirske has rarely been shelled and the interlocutors were concerned that schools in the city (two primary and two secondary) have not yet opened for the new school year. Hirske, which is subordinated to Pervomaisk under the control of the so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic”, is to be re-subordinated to Popasna district under the control of the Government of Ukraine. Funding for the schools and public employees will in the future start coming via Popasna. The representatives of the Women’s Council were concerned that the process of re-subordination might take time and delay the reopening of the schools and payment of salaries.

In Donetsk city the situation remained tense. The SMM visited the Azotnyi micro-district, in the vicinity of the airport, under the command of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (8km northwest of Donetsk). The SMM observed fresh material damages to civilian housing buildings caused by shelling earlier in the day, which had also been heard by the SMM. Throughout the patrol the SMM heard an unspecified number of artillery being shot from the north, north-northwest and north-northeast consistent with two unspecified parties engaging each other.

In Mariupol the overall situation was generally calm.

In Kramatorsk and its surroundings, the situation remained volatile. The deputy commander of the Ukrainian Army Checkpoint in Maiorsk (53km south-east of Kramatorsk) informed the 2

SMM that their position had been shelled during the night. The SMM observed fresh craters on site consistent with this information.

The SMM observed a funeral service organized by the Ukrainian Army at the Opera Square in Dnipropetrovsk with approximately 200 participants where the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate conducted funeral rites for 22 soldiers recently killed in the conflict.

On 7 October, the SMM met the head of administration of Yuzhnoukrains’k (189km north-west of Kherson) which is a ‘satellite’ city of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and was informed that security measures had been strengthened recently, in connection with the conflict in the east.

The SMM attended the roundtable “Sharing the Bosnian and Georgian Peace-Building Experience in Ukraine” in Odessa where representatives of local NGOs discussed the draft National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The action plan aims to increase the participation of women in the Ukrainian peace process and in the security sector and to address the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in all phases of the conflict cycle.

In Chernivtsi the situation remained calm.

The SMM met the deputy governor of Ivano-Frankivsk to discuss the commission dealing with the Ukrainian army’s ‘5th Territorial Defence Battalion’. The commission was established early September by the Regional Council to provide legal assistance to military staff and their families. The SMM was informed that the commander of the 5th Battalion, detained for retreating from a position (see SMM Daily Report 6 September) was released on bail, which was financed through donations, and he is now at a military training site in Rivne. The investigations by military authorities continue.

The SMM in Lviv monitored an action of the NGO “Economic Boycott” whose activists purchased items from two stores on Galitska Square and “Svoboda Prospect”. In one of the shops they identified and purchased items produced in the Russian Federation, which did not carry the marking labels stating that they had been produced in the Russian Federation, as per the administrative decree. The manager committed to comply within a week.

On 10 October, the Lviv Regional Prosecutor announced on its official website that a fraud investigation had found that two individuals knowingly supplied fake flak jackets to 150 soldiers assigned to the east. One suspect is being held in detention and the other was released pending trial.

On 9 October the SMM met the deputy police chief of Kyiv region who suggested that the current economic and employment situation created an environment conducive to increased criminality. He also informed the SMM that false bomb threats in Borispol International Airport happened almost on a daily basis, with most threats being made by telephone and originating from the east. The police are co-operating with the airport protection service. The police are also making preparations to ensure public peace and order during the upcoming parliamentary elections.

11 October 2014
Focusing on the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, the SMM continued monitoring the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, still noting that violence is continuing in a number of places.
No
125404
English
Yes
No
OSCE remains at forefront of conflict resolution through mediation, say participants of high-level meeting in Vienna

VIENNA, 10 October 2014 - Mediation, now more than ever, is an important tool for resolving conflicts through peaceful means, and the OSCE remains at the forefront of conflict resolution as a mediator, providing support as well as sharing expertise and knowledge, said participants of a high-level conference on mediation in the OSCE area, which opened today in Vienna.

The conference is organized by the Finnish non-profit organization Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), in co-operation with the Co-chairs of the OSCE Group of Friends of Mediation – Finland, Turkey and Switzerland, and with the support of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre. It was attended by more than 180 participants including envoys of regional and international organizations, negotiators and mediators from a number of peace processes from around the world as well as experts working in the field.

Opening the conference, Andrea Rauber, Deputy Head of the Swiss Mission to the OSCE, said that mediation and dialogue facilitation are the most effective means in bringing violent conflicts to a peaceful end. She highlighted OSCE mediation activities in the Ukraine crisis and the added value of involving civil society in mediation processes.

As OSCE Chair in 2014, Switzerland’s goal is to increase mediation support capacities within the Organization, Rauber said, and welcomed the efforts by Finland, Turkey and some other participating States in this area.

On a top-level panel about mediation in highly-politicized contexts, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari said that any mediator should act as an honest broker with an understanding of the external context of the process.

OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, called for creativity in mediation activities and strong dialogue and co-ordination among institutions and international organizations involved in mediation efforts.

Ambassador Herbert Salber, the EU’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia, stressed the importance of understanding the root-causes of a conflict and the ability to relate to the parties and their concerns and interests.

Other panel discussions, moderated by the Finnish and Turkish Permanent Representatives to the OSCE, Ambassador Katja Pehrman and Ambassador Tacan Ildem, focused on the dilemma of inclusive mediation versus broad participation in mediation processes, and the role the OSCE can play in promoting national dialogue and building confidence across different divides.

The conference concluded with final remarks by Katri Vilnikka, Director of the Unit for UN and General Global Affairs of the Finnish Foreign Ministry. She also advocated increased mediation capacities and its merits within the OSCE.  

10 October 2014
VIENNA, 10 October 2014 - Mediation, now more than ever, is an important tool for resolving conflicts through peaceful means, and the OSCE remains at the forefront of conflict resolution as a mediator, providing support as well as sharing expertise and knowledge, said participants of a high-level conference on mediation in the OSCE area, which opened today in Vienna.
No
125363
English
125363
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 8 October 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, focusing on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol/Memorandum. In Kyiv representatives of the Central Election Commission addressed some of the challenges that IDPs could face during the upcoming elections.

At a checkpoint controlled by “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) close to Debaltseve (80km east of Luhansk) the SMM spoke with a local Cossack commander. He informed the SMM that there were three sets of armed groups operating in the area of Fashivka (10km south-west of Debaltseve): The Cossacks led by Ataman Kozitsin; the “LPR”; and the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”). Each has its own chain of command and their respective area around Fashivka, which they control.

The SMM went to the Donetsk city morgue and spoke to the director of the forensic expertise of corpses’ department. He said 1,498 people, including 21 children, had been killed in the entire region of Donetsk from 13 March 2014 to 8 October 2014. According to the director there are 60 bodies in the basement of the morgue, 20 of which have not been identified. The procedure in such cases is that unidentified bodies are kept for a maximum of ten days in the morgue after which authorities examine bodies, document any special marks, and bury the body in a listed location. The SMM saw several bodies waiting for examination and observed that the overall process was handled appropriately and that all data was stored in a database.

In Mariupol the SMM met with a Ukrainian representative of a Joint Center for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), who gave a briefing on the deployment and functioning of the JCCC in the area. On 8 October the SMM monitored a press conference organized by the JCCC in Mariupol. The JCCC consists of Ukrainian and Russian military officers, though at the press conference it was only represented by two Ukrainian senior officers, who informed the journalists about their duties and work.

The SMM travelled to Debaltseve via Sloviansk junction along the E40/M03 road, north-west of Debaltseve town. Intermittently, the SMM saw five Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and one fuel truck of the Ukrainian army all of which were travelling in the opposite direction. Around 20km before reaching Debaltseve, the SMM overtook another three military vehicles, including one truck carrying a multiple-rocket launcher. On arrival at Debaltseve, in the north-western outskirts of the city centre, the SMM observed military equipment in a nearby field similar to a BM-21 (Grad) MRLS. Around 70km north-west of Debaltseve, on the road between Artemivsk and Konstantinovka, the SMM observed a new checkpoint of the Ukrainian Army.

In Artemivsk (approximately 50km south-east of Kramatorsk) the acting head of the local hospital informed the SMM that the hospital was running short of medical supplies. The hospital is heated through a dedicated gas supply network and the acting head did not foresee any cuts in gas supply during winter. If the gas supply is totally cut, the hospital does not have other ways to secure heating, he stated. 

The situation remained calm in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.

In Kyiv the SMM attended a press conference about Internally displaced People’s (IDPs) rights and possible problems they could face during the upcoming elections. According to the Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, IDPs from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, in order to exercise their right to vote in parliamentary elections, need to register with their passport (or temporary ID) in the registration outlets of the Central Election Commission and submit an application form before 20 October. After receiving a certificate they will be placed on the voters list and able to cast their votes in the polling station at their current place of residence. According to the Head of the Parliamentarian Committee on the rights of veterans, retired and disabled persons, there are more than 6,000 people who applied so far in the framework of this special procedure.

9 October 2014
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, focusing on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol/Memorandum. In Kyiv representatives of the Central Election Commission addressed some of the challenges that IDPs could face during the upcoming elections.
No
125296
English
Yes
No
29th round of Geneva International Discussions completed in a constructive atmosphere

The twenty-ninth session of the Geneva International Discussions has just been completed.

All participants reconfirmed their commitment to the Geneva Discussions as an important platform  to  strengthen  the  security  and  stability  on  the  ground  and  to  address  the humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population. The discussions in both Working Groups took place in a constructive and positive atmosphere.

In Working Group I, the participants began their discussion with a review of the security situation on the ground. The Co-Chairs and all participants have assessed the overall security situation as calm and stable. The participants exchanged views on non-use of force, international security arrangements, as well as best practices and cooperation. They have agreed to continue working on a draft joint statement by participants on non-use of force at the next Geneva round.

The participants welcomed the constructive work done within the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and once again called for the early resumption of the Gali IPRM.

In Working Group II, the participants addressed humanitarian issues by reviewing the developments that occurred on the ground since the previous round. Amongst others, they discussed issues such as freedom of movement, missing persons, cultural heritage and access to water.

The Co-Chairs and the Co-Moderators called on the participants to address relevant issues in greater depth in the framework of the Geneva Discussions, as well as to make full use of the IPRM meetings to follow-up on issues affecting the lives of the population on the ground.

The participants agreed to hold their next session on 9-10 December 2014.

8 October 2014
All participants reconfirmed their commitment to the Geneva Discussions as an important platform to strengthen the security and stability on the ground and to address the humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population. The discussions in both Working Groups took place in a constructive and positive atmosphere
No
125235
English
125235
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 6 October 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

Focusing on the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, the SMM continued monitoring the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, still noting that violence is continuing in a number of places.

A representative of the Kharkiv Regional Employment Centre told the SMM in Kharkiv that from 1 May to 6 October, 9,269 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Crimean peninsula had requested help in finding employment. Of those, only 1,331 were registered by the centre – after having had their employment histories verified – and 400 were helped find a job, according to the interlocutor.

The SMM noted that the situation was calm at the Melove Border Crossing Point (136 km north-east of Luhansk city) on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Ukrainian border guards said they had observed no significant movement of military personnel or hardware in the area, and none across the border, recently. The Border Crossing Point was, according to border guards at the time, subject to an RPG attack (see Daily Report of 11 August 2014).

The SMM heard a total of six rounds – of an unspecified nature – impacting in the north of Donetsk city at two separate times – at midday and in the late afternoon. Residents of a north-eastern suburb of the city also told the SMM that the area had been shelled the previous evening, consistent with what the SMM had heard at the time (see Daily Report of 6 October 2014). The SMM visited the area and noted some shrapnel damage, numerous craters, and what appeared to be an Uragan rocket in the area. A number of residents told the SMM that a man and woman had required hospitalization as a result of the shelling.

Ukrainian checkpoint commanders at various locations to the north and north-east of Mariupol (113 km south of Donetsk city) told the SMM of shelling directed at the checkpoints the previous evening. The SMM – whilst at the checkpoints – neither observed nor heard shelling, nor saw any indication that shelling may have recently taken place.

Whilst in Debaltseve (75 km north-east of Donetsk city), the SMM was informed by a senior Ukrainian military officer that there had in the previous 24 hours been 76 “ceasefire” violations – 42 by the separatists and 34 by the Ukrainian Army – in the Debaltseve area, resulting in one fatality and 13 injuries. The SMM observed no incidents in the area, and saw nothing that would substantiate the allegations made by the officer.

The situation remained calm in Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson.

The self-styled ataman (commander) of the “the Black Sea Cossack Army” – which is constituted as an NGO in Odessa city – told the SMM  that the 3,000 members of the group had been subject to what he described as persecution, following the 2 May Trade Union Building fire incident in Odessa. He informed the SMM that the members of the NGO were receiving military training to defend themselves against possible attack. 

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

 

7 October 2014
Focusing on the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, the SMM continued monitoring the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, still noting that violence is continuing in a number of places.
No
125153
English
125153
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 5 October 2014

Focusing on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, the SMM continued monitoring the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions where shelling continued to take place. The situation in the other regions of Ukraine remained calm.

In Kharkiv the SMM observed a small gathering on Liberty Square around the former statue of Lenin during the entire day on 4 October. The SMM initially observed a group of six men carrying flags of a Ukrainian NGO (“Civil Self-Defence”). The SMM did not notice any police presence in the area. The aforementioned individuals placed an Orthodox cross in the shoe of the toppled statue (which still remains on the pedestal). The individuals explained to the SMM that their action was a reaction to the recent statements made by the Governor of Kharkiv who is reportedly considering alternatives for replacing Lenin’s statue. Later that day, the SMM observed up to 250 individuals (of all ages, males and females in mixed proportions) peacefully gathering on Liberty Square around the pedestal of the toppled statue of Lenin. The participants were waving Ukrainian flags and made pro-unity public speeches. The SMM spotted 60 Ukrainian uniformed police officers reinforced by a number of plainclothes officers. The gathering peacefully disbanded in the late afternoon.

On 4 October the deputy mayor of Popasna (80km west of Luhansk) reported that the town had been shelled on 3 October (weapon system and direction of fire not specified). The local official added that the shelling had damaged several buildings in Popasna and resulted in one civilian casualty and two other civilians injured. The SMM spoke with local inhabitants of Popasna whose houses were reportedly damaged in the latest shelling which occurred on 3 October. The SMM met an elderly couple who sustained visible injuries during the shelling.

On 5 October the SMM spoke to a local Ukrainian police battalion Commander in Syrotyne located in the vicinity of Borovske (95km north-west of Luhansk). The Commander said to the SMM that a Ukrainian checkpoint located on the southern flank of Borovske had been shelled on 4 October with BM-21 “Grad” Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MRLS) (122mm). The interlocutor showed the SMM the leftovers of a “Grad” shell which had allegedly hit the aforementioned Ukrainian position on 4 October.

On 5 October the SMM spoke with a Commander of a Ukrainian police checkpoint deployed in the southern sectors of Lysychansk (90km north-west of Luhansk). The Commander reported that he had heard a volley of BM-21 “Grad” artillery fire impacting 5km south of his position on the afternoon of 4 October. The SMM spoke with local inhabitants in Mirnaya Dolina (75km north-west of Luhansk) who said that a volley of “Grad” artillery fire had impacted the same afternoon in the surrounding fields without causing damage or casualties. Local villagers in Hirske (70km north-west of Luhansk) told the SMM that the town had not been directly shelled since 26 September, although the artillery fire had targeted the surrounding areas since the aforementioned date (no further specification). The aforementioned interlocutors did not know the origins nor the bearing of the artillery fire. 

On 4 October throughout the entire day in Donetsk, the SMM heard regular volleys of incoming and outgoing heavy artillery fire concentrated in the northern sectors of the city. On 5 October at 11:00hrs the SMM observed that the vicinity of the Donetsk regional museum was under artillery attack (weapon systems and direction of fire unknown). On 5 October at 11:00hrs the SMM heard ten artillery explosions in the vicinity of the villages of Slavnoe (65km north-east of Donetsk) and Novomikhailovsk (45km north-west of Donetsk).

In Mariupol and Kramatorsk the overall situation remained calm on 4 and 5 October 2014.

The situation remained calm in Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Kherson.

In Kyiv the SMM observed a peaceful “March for Peace” organised by a newly created Ukrainian civic movement called “For Peace Today”. The march gathered 3,000 participants, representing civic, youth and religious groups coming from all over Ukraine. The participants were mainly female individuals of all ages. The participants were waving Ukrainian and foreign flags (including from the US and EU member States). They chanted slogans in favour of unity and peace in Ukraine. The march started from Kyiv city centre and ended peacefully at the “People’s Friendship” Arch. Personnel from the Ukrainian National Guard and the regular police escorted the march.

On 3 October the SMM met with the Head of the Social Protection Department of Nadvirna District (40km south of Ivano-Frankivsk). The interlocutor stated that there are currently 62 IDPs in Nadvirna District (13 families) who mainly come from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The interlocutor added that most local IDPs live in private accommodation in the district with their relatives. He explained that the Social Protection Department of Nadvirna has regular co-ordination meetings with relevant regional administrations and with the international NGO CARITAS in order to address the local IDPs’ issues. The interlocutor stated that CARITAS provides 300 UAH a month (approximately EUR 20) to local IDP families for covering their heating bills.  The SMM visited two different IDP families living in private accommodation in Nadvirna. Both families said that they are satisfied with their living conditions and with the assistance provided by the local authorities. However, the IDP interlocutors expressed their willingness to return to their home regions. They added that there are no tensions between the local population of Nadvirna and IDPs.

The situation remained calm in Chernivtsi and Lviv.

6 October 2014
Focusing on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, the SMM continued monitoring the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions where shelling continued to take place. The situation in the other regions of Ukraine remained calm.
No
124699
English
124699
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 29 September 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions focusing on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol/Memorandum. While the situation remained calm in the Luhansk region, the SMM observed ongoing fighting at Donetsk International airport and heard sporadic shelling in Donetsk northern sectors (Avdiivka). The SMM also heard artillery and mortar fire in the north-eastern sectors of Mariupol (Sartana and Oktaybr). The SMM monitored a simultaneous release of prisoners between the Ukrainian forces and representatives of “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”). In Kharkiv the situation remained calm in the hours which followed the toppling of the local Lenin statue.

In Kharkiv, following the toppling of Lenin’s statue on 28 September, the SMM continued monitoring the situation on Kharkiv Liberty Square. In the afternoon of  28 September, in the margins of the protest action on Liberty Square, the SMM observed approximatively 300 pro-Ukrainian and pro-Unity activists gathered on Constitution Square. The protesters said that they wanted Kharkiv to remain part of Ukrainian territory. They also demanded the dismissal of Kharkiv city mayor Hennadiy Kernes. The protesters were mostly young with a balanced gender representation.  In the morning of 29 September the SMM observed two groups of young men and women, both pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian supporters, engaged in fierce discussion. The encounter remained and ended peacefully. The SMM spotted very few Ukrainian Police Officers in the vicinity of the Square. On the same morning, the SMM saw that Kharkiv municipal workers were removing the statue. Local officials from the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior (MoI) and a representative of Kharkiv Governor reiterated that they would put an immediate end to the investigation and legal actions previously opened against those who toppled Lenin’s statue.

In Derhachi (15km north-west of Kharkiv), a local middle-aged male inhabitant told the SMM that a  group of young individuals (number not specified) reportedly came from Kharkiv in the morning of 29 September and toppled the Lenin statue located in Derhachi city centre. The SMM observed that the Lenin statue was indeed missing. The SMM noticed physical signs of damage on and around the empty pedestal, indicating that the statue might have been toppled earlier. The situation in Derhachi remained calm.

The SMM spoke with staff members of Shchastya (25km north of Luhansk) hospital following the shelling which took place in the area on 26 and 27 September 2014.
The interlocutors told the SMM that the hospital premises had not sustained severe damage after the aforementioned shelling. The SMM noticed craters and impacts of mortar shells around the hospitals’ facility. The SMM also noticed that mortar shrapnel had shattered the hospital’s windows and left superficial impacts on the external walls. Based on the observation of the impacts and shrapnel, the SMM assessed that the mortar shells were coming from the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled sectors.

The SMM monitored the areas of Hirske and Zolote located in the southern sectors of Lysychansk city (90km north-west of Luhansk). In Hirske the Ukrainian armed personnel manning the northern checkpoint reported no violent incidents during the night of 28-29 September 2014. The interlocutors added that they had received additional military vehicles (number, types not specified). They also reported that they were currently reinforcing their position. The SMM observed excavators digging near the position. In Zolote the SMM spoke with Ukrainian Armed Forces commander manning the south checkpoint close to the “LPR” controlled sectors (direction towards the city of Pervomaisk). The interlocutor said that the Ukrainian personnel deployed at the checkpoint frequently heard small arms and artillery fire in the area. The interlocutor stated that the Ukrainian armed personnel at the checkpoint do not allow local inhabitants to cross their position in either direction (from and towards Pervomaisk).

In the city of Donetsk the overall security situation was generally calm during the day. However, the SMM heard ongoing heavy fighting (exchange of small arms and artillery fire) at Donetsk International Airport. 

On 28 September in Avdiivka (20km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard five volleys of mortar shelling coming from the “DPR”-controlled areas. The mortar shells landed approximately 500 meters east of the Ukrainian checkpoint deployed in Avdiivka.

In Mariupol the security situation remained generally calm. However, the SMM heard sustained small arms fire in the areas close to Kalmius river and the adjacent rural areas located two kilometres north of Sartana village (20km north-east of Mariupol).  Additionally, the SMM heard five volleys of artillery fire coming from Oktaybr village (35km north-east of Mariupol).

In Kramatorsk the overall security situation remains calm.

On 28 September the SMM monitored a simultaneous release of prisoners between the Ukrainian armed forces and “DPR” representatives. The exchange took place on the main road (M04) separating the villages of Avdiivka and Iasinuvate (20km north of Donetsk). The “DPR” representatives released 30 while the Ukrainian side released 60 prisoners. The exchange remained peaceful.

In Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson the situation remained calm.

In Odessa the SMM attended a press briefing given by two representatives of Auto-Maidan.  The activists provided updates about their intervention against the “peace march” participants organised in Odessa on 27 September. The activists explained that they had captured the march’s leaders during the gathering before handing them over to the local Ukrainian police forces. On 27 September the SMM observed that Auto-Maidan activists had raided and captured participants of the march. The activists claimed that the “peace march” had a pro-Russian nature. They stated that a local member of the Odessa Oblast Council and his supporters had organised the “peace march”. The aforementioned Odessa official was not present on 27 September among the march’s participants.

Local officials of Yaremche Municipality (60km south of Ivano-Frankivsk) stated that there are currently 82 IDPs registered in the area, including 25 children and 8 social workers and teachers coming from Mariupol. The officials reported that the municipality copes with scarce financial and energy resources while supporting all the local IDPs.

In Chernivtsi and Lviv the situation remained calm.

In Kyiv the SMM met representatives from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.
The interlocutors said that the Foundation is providing relief to IDPs from Donbas (including the individuals displaced all over the Donbas region). The relief consists of humanitarian aid, psychological assistance, direct financial assistance to families, medical support, facilities, public building and housing reconstruction projects and temporary shelter.  Furthermore, the interlocutors stated that they currently work with local volunteers from Donetsk to organize the evacuation of local inhabitants from the Donbas areas still affected by ongoing fighting, primarily to Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhia. They added that the foundation had approved an additional budget of 100 million UAH (EUR 5.85 million) for funding their humanitarian and reconstruction project.

30 September 2014
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions focusing on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol/Memorandum. While the situation remained calm in the Luhansk region, the SMM observed ongoing fighting at Donetsk International airport and heard sporadic shelling in Donetsk northern sectors (Avdiivka). The SMM also heard artillery and mortar fire in the north-eastern sectors of Mariupol (Sartana and Oktaybr). The SMM monitored a simultaneous release of prisoners between the Ukrainian forces and representatives of “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”). In Kharkiv the situation remained calm in the hours which followed the toppling of the local Lenin statue.
No
124452
English
Yes
No
On the road to Basel Ministerial Council, Swiss Chair launches discussion on ways to overcome the crisis of European security

New York, September 26, 2014 - On the margins of the UN-General Assembly in New York, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter launched a discussion on how to overcome the crisis of European security that has deepened in the face of the crisis in and around Ukraine. At today’s informal meeting attended by more than 25 foreign ministers and representatives of around 35 OSCE participating States as well as representatives of partner States and security organizations, Burkhalter sketched out three avenues towards reconsolidating European security as a common project and invited participants to outline their views on how best to proceed.

Burkhalter stressed that the first priority would remain to stabilize the situation in Ukraine. Pointing out that the budget of the Special Monitoring Mission had grown by an extra 30 Million Euro as a result of additional activities relating to the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and the Minsk Memorandum, he urged OSCE participating States to provide the SMM with the necessary resources – in terms of experts, finances, and equipment – so that it can operate effectively, without delay, and in safe conditions.

As a second avenue, the CiO suggested that the lessons learnt from the crisis regarding Ukraine should be fed into the OSCE’s ‘Helsinki+40’ reform process, adding that strategic guidance by political leaders was required to strengthen the organization as an anchor of cooperative security in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions. He proposed, as a third avenue, to set up a Chairmanship-commissioned high-level panel of eminent persons with representatives of all regions of the OSCE to nourish a reflection process on issues such as how to ensure better compliance with the Helsinki Principles and how to rebuild confidence and reduce perceptions of threat.

Taking good note of the many interventions that followed, Burkhalter expressed his gratitude for all the insights and proposals offered. He welcomed the willingness of ministers to address these issues through dialogue. On the road to the OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel in early December, the Swiss Chairmanship would further consult with participating States on these avenues, he said. Burkhalter added that the Ministerial Council would provide an opportunity for ministers to continue their collective discussion. He concluded by calling upon participating States to help adopt at Basel a number of carefully selected decisions in areas that matter to people and where the OSCE offers comparative advantages.

26 September 2014
New York, September 26, 2014 - On the margins of the UN-General Assembly in New York, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter launched a discussion on how to overcome the crisis of European security that has deepened in the face of the crisis in and around Ukraine. At today’s informal meeting attended by more than 25 foreign ministers and representatives of around 35 OSCE participating States as well as representatives of partner States and security organizations, Burkhalter sketched out three avenues towards reconsolidating European security as a common project and invited participants to outline their views on how best to proceed.
No
124357
English
Yes
No
Minsk Group discusses preparations for Paris summit on Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers

New York City, 25 September 2014 – The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) met with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov this week at the United Nations General Assembly.  The Co-Chairs were joined by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk.

In a joint meeting, the Co-Chairs and the Foreign Ministers discussed preparations for the upcoming summit at the end of October in Paris.  At the summit, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan plan to continue their dialogue on key elements of a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  The Co-Chairs expressed their hope that the Presidents would hold productive discussions to make progress towards a lasting settlement.  Ambassador Andrieu briefed participants on issues that could be included on the summit agenda. The Co-Chairs intend to travel to the region soon.

The Co-Chairs also met with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) Didier Burkhalter to discuss the latest developments in the peace process.  They provided the CiO a readout of the Presidents’ recent meetings in Sochi and Wales, and informed him of preparations for the Paris summit.

25 September 2014
New York City, 25 September 2014 – The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) met with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov this week at the United Nations General Assembly. The Co-Chairs were joined by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk.
No
124216
English
124216
Yes
No
Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 23 September 2014

The SMM observed the situation in Donbas, with a particular focus on implementation of the provisions of the Memorandum signed on 19 September in Minsk. It also continued to monitor the situation of IDPs.

The situation in Kharkiv was calm.

Nikolay Kozitsyn, a commander of Don Cossacks, de facto controlling south-western areas of the Luhansk region, warned the SMM that he would not allow any patrols of OSCE monitors without prior arrangement.

The SMM heard sounds of shelling from 11:43 to 12:15 emanating from the vicinity of Shchastya (23km north of Luhansk) power plant, controlled by Ukrainian forces, notably a volunteer Aidar battalion. The shelling was also corroborated by local residents, but rejected by the commander of Aidar’s unit, stationed in the power plant. The latter also said that the power plant, providing energy for the whole region, was continuously attacked by irregular armed groups.

On 22 September, at 20:10, the SMM heard around 17 explosions in rapid succession in Tekstylnyk: the south-west district of Donetsk. The SMM saw also flashes in the clouds, similar to lightning. At 20:25 the SMM heard another series of 26 explosions.

The SMM observed a simultaneous release of hostages and detainees between the Ukrainian Army and the ‘LPR’ in the area of Krasnyi Luch village (26km west of Luhansk). One ‘LPR’ detainee and six Ukrainian soldiers were released.

The ‘military police’ of ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (‘DPR’) told the SMM that three unmarked graves allegedly containing multiple bodies had been found; two of them were located in a coal mine Komunar near the village Nyzhnia Krynka (35km north-east of Donetsk) and one inside the village. The SMM proceeded to the scene and saw in the coal mine two areas located fifty metres apart, each containing two human bodies. All four corpses were in the process of decomposition. The SMM also saw eight 9mm Makarov pistol cartridges approximately five meters away from the bodies. Near the road on the edge of the village, the SMM observed a pile of earth resembling a grave which had a stick with a plaque, written in Russian and containing the names (or in one case – initials) of five individuals. The plaque indicated that the individuals died on 27.08.2014. On top of the plaque there was another inscription saying: ‘Died for Putin’s lies’.   Neither in the coal mine nor in the village did the SMM see any forensic experts. COMMENT: The SMM cannot provide a forensic assessment of the sites.

Also in Nyzhnia Krynka the SMM observed a destroyed bridge over the water reservoir, connecting the locality with Donetsk. According to local residents the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian soldiers leaving the area around 18 September.

Acting head of Kramatorsk’s (97km north of Donetsk) administration informed the SMM there were approximately 1,700 registered IDPs in town, but their real number was much higher since many had not registered. She mentioned that the number of IDPs was growing and that currently IDPs were mainly coming from Horlivka (44km north of Donetsk). She also claimed that the city was not receiving any help to tackle the IDP issues. A staff member of the local registration centre estimated that the total number of IDPs in Kramatorsk is about 5,000, and that 2,000 of them are school children.

In Mariupol, on 22 September, the SMM heard sounds consistent with anti-aircraft and small arms fire from 20:10 to 20:45, emanating from the west. On the following day the ATO HQ representative confirmed this incident, and claimed that the Ukrainian army had been targeting unmanned aerial vehicles flying in the area.

The SMM visited a temporary checkpoint of the Ukrainian army near Talakivka (20km north-west of Mariupol), which had been shelled on 22 September from the north-east direction, and observed twelve shell craters in the vicinity of the checkpoint; at least eight houses and two gas pipelines were seriously damaged. The SMM observed checkpoint personnel preparing to detonate an unexploded mortar shell lodged in the road about 30 meters away from the area. One local resident, who lived across the street from one of the damaged pipelines, confirmed the attack.

The Co-ordinator of the Women’s Sotnia (literally: a centuria, a military unit of around 100 soldiers) of the National Defence Head Quarter in Dnipropetrovsk informed the SMM that female volunteers rendered assistance to IDPs, collected food, clothes and medicine for wounded soldiers, and organised fundraising to support Ukrainian troops and soldiers’ families. Some women from the sotnia served in conflict zones as volunteers in medical and logistical units; inter alia they took dead or wounded soldiers from the battle field. Between 10 and 15 women were fighting in different battalions.

The situation in Kherson, Odessa, and Chernivtsi was calm.

Representatives of Caritas, a charitable organization of the Catholic Church, told the SMM in Ivano-Frankivsk that there was enough accommodation suitable for winter in the region, however many IDPs had difficulties paying the rent and utilities – currently Caritas pay the rent for the first two months of their stay. Representatives of Caritas also highlighted that Ukrainian soldiers, injured in the ATO, often received less assistance than IDPs.

The situation in Lviv and Kyiv was calm.

24 September 2014
The SMM observed the situation in Donbas, with a particular focus on implementation of the provisions of the Memorandum signed on 19 September in Minsk. It also continued to monitor the situation of IDPs...
No