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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.
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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.
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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.
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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...
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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 22 September 2014

This report is for media and the general public.

The SMM noted a number of instances of artillery fire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The SMM on 21 September met the leader of an irregular armed group – a self-styled Cossack commander – in Pervomais’k (70km north-west of Luhansk city).  He insisted on being told in advance of any future SMM visit to territory controlled by him, saying the SMM’s security could not be guaranteed otherwise. The “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) has previously told the SMM that the “commander” in question is not under the command or control of the “LPR”. (See Daily Report 139/2014)

The SMM – stationary in Stanitsa Luhanska (24km north-east of Luhansk city) – heard two incoming artillery rounds, seemingly emanating from territory controlled by the “LPR”. Ukrainian soldiers manning a nearby checkpoint told the SMM that the rounds had been fired from Metalist (9km north of Luhansk city).

On the road between Shchastya (24km north of Luhansk city) and Novoaidar (58km north of Luhansk city), the SMM observed a Ukrainian military convoy comprising of three tanks, six GRAD MLRSs, one BTR 80 and eight trucks carrying equipment and troops. The convoy was moving south, in the direction of Shchastya.

The SMM observed on 21 September a pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Severodonetsk (98km northwest of Luhansk city). Approximately 200 people – two thirds female with a large number of young people – listened to speeches, chanted pro-Ukrainian slogans and displayed the Ukrainian national flag. The event was peaceful, with nine police officers in attendance.

The SMM, on the outskirts of Talakivka (20km north-west of Mariupol), heard four incoming 120mm artillery rounds at 11:30hrs, emanating from a north-easterly direction.  On leaving the area, the SMM observed two columns of smoke rising from Talakivka.

A Ukrainian checkpoint commander – speaking to the SMM 8km north-east of Sartana (19km north-east of Mariupol) – claimed the checkpoint had been hit by three artillery rounds and a salvo of GRAD rockets on 21 September. The SMM observed three craters and a destroyed military vehicle at the scene.

The SMM – stationed approximately 5km east of Debaltseve (72km north-east of Donetsk city) – heard a number of incoming 120mm artillery rounds, coming from a south-easterly direction. On reaching a nearby Ukrainian military checkpoint, the SMM were told by the checkpoint commander that the checkpoint had just been hit by artillery fire, resulting in three soldiers being injured. The commander also claimed that an eastern suburb of Debaltseve had been subjected to a GRAD attack the previous day, resulting in the death of one woman and the wounding of a child. Municipal officials in Debaltseve corroborated the information supplied by the commander. The SMM later visited the scene of the alleged attack, observing eight damaged apartment blocks, with smashed window panes.

On the Avdeevka-Yatsinovata road (approximately 18km north of Donetsk city), the SMM observed on 21 September the simultaneous release of 28 Ukrainian servicemen and 28 members of irregular armed forces affiliated to the “Donetsk People’s Republic”.

Scuffles broke out in Kharkiv city centre when approximately 45 people broke away from a pro-unity demonstration to attack people attending a nearby pro-Russian demonstration. Police did not intervene to stop the violence but did help escort the mostly older female pro-Russians – who numbered approximately 50 – to safety. There were also a number of masked youths amongst the pro-Russian demonstrators, whom police arrested. The pro-unity demonstrators were mostly young and with an equal gender balance. 

A District Election Commission official in Odessa city told the SMM that IDPs living in the region would be able to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He said those from Crimea would merely have to produce a national ID card, whilst those from Donbas would in addition have to prove they currently reside in the region. The voting rights of IDPs from Crimea are addressed under Ukrainian legislation, whilst those of IDPs from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not yet defined by law.

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

23 September 2014
The SMM noted a number of instances of artillery fire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The SMM on 21 September met the leader of an irregular armed group – a self-styled Cossack commander – in Pervomais’k (70km north-west of Luhansk city). He insisted on being told in advance of any future SMM visit to territory controlled by him, saying the SMM’s security could not be guaranteed otherwise. The “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) has previously told the SMM that the “commander” in question is not under the command or control of the “LPR”. (See Daily Report 139/2014)
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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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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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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).
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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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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.
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