Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine based on information received until 18:00 hrs, 15 July
This update is provided for media and general public.
Tensions remained in parts of Donbas. The SMM began facilitating an exchange between the Ukrainian army and armed supporters of the so-called ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ (LPR) to create two local evacuation corridors for wounded Ukrainian soldiers and ‘LPR’ combatants. The situation was calm elsewhere across the country. There was a false bomb alert in Kyiv in the office of a popular TV channel.
The situation in Kharkiv was calm.
In Luhansk the situation remained tense. The ‘Speaker’ of the ‘LPR’s’ ‘Supreme Council’ told the SMM that the evacuation of the wounded Ukrainian soldiers from Luhansk airport would be possible in exchange (based on a ‘one to one’ principle) for armed supporters of the ‘LPR’, who have been locked in the radio tower in Oleksandrivsk (on the eastern outskirts of Luhansk).
In Donetsk the situation remained tense. Most traffic lights in the city were out of order. The ‘government’ of the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ established a public security structure called the ‘NKVD’.
The situation in Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson and Odessa was calm. The SMM met with Anton Kisse, a deputy of the national parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and chairman of the parliament’s Interim Investigation Committee, regarding the events in Odessa on 2 May. Mr Kisse informed the SMM that the report of the committee will be prepared by the beginning of September and submitted to Parliament.
In Chernivtsi the SMM visited the biggest factory in the region, which employs more than 1,000 people, and thus constitutes an important factor of socio-economic stability in the area. The director told the SMM that current production has dropped by around 50 per cent, which has led to salary cuts of around 20 per cent in order to sustain the current level of employment. He mentioned the conflict in the east of the country as the cause of the fall in manufacturing output.
The situation in Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv was calm.
In Kyiv the SMM visited the area of the building of TV Channel 5. The building was the target of a bomb threat on the morning of 15 July. The threat was communicated by phone to the police. At the scene, the SMM found 50 employees evacuated from the building as well as police officers, a fire brigade and an ambulance. This was the second bomb threat in July 2014 directed at Channel 5 TV, which supported the Maidan revolution and is owned by President Petro Poroshenko.
The SMM monitored the clearance of the barricades above Maidan, at Instytutska Street. Tyres and bricks were not cleared, only the rubbish from around the barricades. The work started at 11 am and was conducted in a peaceful and organized manner. The clearance team comprised of seven workmen with a tractor and a lorry. There was no police presence and no incidents were observed.
The Kyiv city prosecutor provided the SMM with a list of administrative buildings that are still occupied (twelve buildings).