Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine - based on information received up until 29 April 2014, 19:00 (Kyiv time)
This update is provided for the media and the public.
Western and Central Ukraine, including Kyiv, as well the southern part of the country, remained calm. The situation in Kharkiv is quite tense after the assassination attempt on the mayor, which occurred on Monday, 28 April. The situation in Donetsk region has deteriorated and in Luhansk remains tense.
The situation in Kharkiv remains quite calm after the assassination attempt on Henadiy Kernes on 28 April. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the police performed round-the-clock duties to ensure public order is being maintained. Police presence in the streets was at moderate level and no major rallies were observed.
The Luhansk Regional Administration building was stormed on 29 April and occupied by about 2,000 to 3,000 people. The Special Monitoring Mission observed several police officers in anti-riot gear. Russian flags were hoisted on the roof of the building and at many windows the occupiers chanted “Russia, Russia”.
The overall situation in the Donetsk region deteriorated and was assessed as very tense. The Special Monitoring Mission went to the Donetsk Regional Hospital to gather information about the people who sustained injuries during an attack on a pro-unity rally in the city centre on 28 April. The hospital representative could not specify how many persons were being treated in conjunction with the incident, as the wounded had been transported to various hospitals in the city.
The Special Monitoring Mission visited the Donetsk Broadcasting Tower and observed ten unarmed guards with the ‘OPLOT’ organization’s armband wearing camouflaged uniforms. In addition, the team saw another five heavily armed special forces police officers, who identified themselves as representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic. Approximately 15 civilian activists were present outside the building. Flags of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic were displayed inside the premises.
The Special Monitoring Mission visited the Donetsk regional television centre where they observed five unarmed supporters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic and one unarmed police officer. The monitors were told that approximately 20 supporters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic and seven armed local police officers were present at the site.
The Donetsk City Council continued to be guarded by the self-proclaimed People’s Militia of Donbass, but seemed to be operational. A Ukrainian flag was observed on the top of the building together with the “Donetsk Republic” flag. Persons wearing armbands with “DNR” in red letters were observed.
The Donetsk Regional Administration Building remains occupied and heavily barricaded and the area around it was carefully controlled by the guards. The overall situation around the building seemed to be relatively calm.
In Dnepropetrovsk the situation remained calm.
The general situation remained tense in Kherson, Mykolaiv, and the surrounding areas. The Special Monitoring Mission went to the Nova Kakhovka dam (75km east of Kherson) and observed that the presence of Ukrainian special forces in the area of the facility had increased.
In Odessa the Special Monitoring Mission observed a rally of People’s Unit (Narodnaya Druzhyna) activists in front of the Odessa Oblast Administration building protesting against the visit of the National Security and Defence Council Secretary. The team observed approximately 150 protestors and 35 riot police. After the protesters had received information that the official would not arrive at the Regional Administration building, they ceased their action. Some members of the crowd expressed resentment against the European Union, NATO and the United States.
In Chernivtsi the general situation was quiet. The head of the campaign headquarters of a presidential candidate in Chernivtsi expressed concern to the Special Monitoring Mission about the security of the country in reaction to the recent events in the east.
In Ivano-Frankivsk the general situation also remained calm and people seemed to go about their daily business.
In Lviv police announced that they would maintain increased vigilance during the holiday period. The team observed increasing police presence in and around the city. The Special Monitoring Mission met the first vice-mayor who expressed concern about the possibility of foreign provocation over the May holidays.
The situation in Kyiv city centre was calm despite media reports of a brawl that occurred at the Maidan square on the evening of 29 April.