Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine based on information received until 13 July 2014, 18:00 (Kyiv time)
This update is provided for media and public.
The situation in the central-southern part of the Luhansk region and the central part of the Donetsk region remained volatile. There were reports of heavy fighting in and around Luhansk city. Other parts of the country remained calm.
The situation in the central-southern part of the Luhansk region and the central part of the Donetsk region remained volatile.
There was a reported movement of a significant amount of military hardware across the Russian-Ukrainian border. A senior military Ukrainian officer speaking to the SMM on 13 July, stated that a column of tanks and other military hardware had entered Ukraine from the Russian Federation at Zelenopolie border crossing point on that day. The officer claimed that the artillery pieces (MT12 ‘Rapira’) and trucks (KAMAS, URAL), captured in a video image, were not issued to the Ukrainian army. The column, according to the military officer, was later seen in Luhansk city and was on the move, in the direction of Donetsk city. The SMM is currently not in a position to verify this information, but will follow up.
On 12 July, the SMM went to Kramatorsk. A sense of normality prevailed in the city. The SMM learnt that pensions and salaries have been paid. With the exception of the very centre, where houses had been highly damaged by shelling, the SMM saw little sign of fighting or shelling.
Electricity and gas were provided. However, water supply had not been restored. Water was provided by water trucks, free of charge, by the city administration in big containers located at public places.
Some trolleybuses were working. However, the railway station was still closed and secured by a shared patrol of police officers and Ukrainian Army soldiers.
The roads were cleaned and former checkpoints were being cleaned by inhabitants. Local inhabitants also cleaned the building of school n°34 which was heavily hit.
The hospital was open and appeared to work without difficulties. Water was brought by a truck to the hospital.
On 12 July, the SMM observed a bridge in Starobilsk, which had sustained damage from what seemed like shrapnel fragments. The bridge was impassable.
The situation in Donetsk city remained tense. According to media, in the south-west suburbs (Marinka) there was fighting, involving heavy artillery. At 4.00 AM in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk, air raid sirens were wailing and bomb shelters were open. There was limited public transport.
The SMM observed that there were not many people and vehicles on the streets. There were armed individuals and groups in camouflage on the streets. No police was observed.
The SMM paid a visit to the city police department of Donetsk. The senior duty inspector explained that the police in the town continued to operate with limited staff.
The SMM observed a minivan with four irregular armed personnel approaching the city police building and parking the car about 70 metres from the entrance to the building.
In Kharkiv, the situation remained calm. On 13 July the SMM monitored rallies by supporters and opponents of Ukraine’s unity in Kharkiv’s city centre. The SMM saw approximately 200 supporters of Ukraine’s unity, predominantly young activists, whereas the 150 opponents of Ukraine’s unity were mostly elderly people. Approximately 100 police officers were present.
The situation in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Odessa, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv was calm.
In Dnipropetrovsk, the SMM met with the head and the deputy head of the ‘Svoboda’ party branch of Pavlohrad, which claimed to have 200 members. The interlocutors explained that ‘Svoboda’ had created its own battalion, named ‘Sich’, which operates under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and was likely to be deployed to the east in a few weeks. The interlocutor said some members were already undergoing training in Kyiv.
In Odessa, the SMM followed up reports of explosions at two Privat Bank branches on the night of 12 and 13 July. At the first location, the Privat Bank office showed clear signs of an explosion that had caused external damage to a wall, which was left without windows or doors. At the second location, the Privat Bank office was severely damaged. All glass in the windows and at the entrance way was broken. It seemed that the damage was not caused by an explosion, but most likely by a fire.
The situation in Kyiv remained calm.