Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, based on information received by 18:00hrs, 27 July (Kyiv time)
This report is provided for media and general public.
Fighting in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions continued. The MH17 investigative team was unable to access the crash site owing to fighting in the area. The mayor of Kremenchuk city was assassinated. Protests against partial mobilisation in Chernivtsi region persisted. The Right Sector in Ivano-Frankivsk is organising a blockade of local Lukoil petrol stations.
The SMM in Kharkiv observed on 27 July two rallies of around 200 supporters and 250 opponents of Ukraine’s unity, who were gathered in a square in Kharkiv’s centre in close proximity to each other. The SMM overheard a conversation between several supporters of Ukraine’s transformation into a federal state – the conversation indicated that they were from the Russian city of Belgorod (80 km north of Kharkiv).
Two families who had recently escaped the fighting in Luhansk told SMM, corroborating media reports, that the railway station in Luhansk had ceased to operate owing to security restrictions. They said that inhabitants of Luhansk who wanted to leave the city now used small farm tracks and side roads, and local farmers or villagers assisted them with farm vehicles when necessary. The local police in Shchastia (24 km north of Luhansk) confirmed these reports.
Fighting in parts of Donetsk region continued. Military activity in the area of Shakhtarsk, 60 kms east of Donetsk, prevented access by SMM and multi-national investigation teams to the MH17 crash site.
On 26 July, early in the morning, city-mayor Oleh Babayev of Kremenchuk city (Poltava region, 161 north-west of Dnipropetrovsk) was shot dead near his house, according to an official statement of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior.
The situation in Kherson and Odessa was calm.
The SMM observed during the weekend protests against mobilisation taking place in several villages in the largely Romanian minority-inhabited South-Eastern parts of Chernivtsi region. The demonstrations numbered several dozens, and - in one case – 200 participants. The local population protested against partial mobilisation, and also claimed in certain cases that representatives of the Romanian speaking population were recruited proportionally more often than men of Ukrainian origin.
The SMM followed up on media reports that representatives of the Right Sector were blockading Lukoil gas stations in Ivano-Frankivsk demanding that the Russian company allocate 2.5-3 tons of fuel per month – about one hundred litres per day – for the army and conscription office. In one petrol station in Ivano-Frankivsk the SMM was informed that Right Sector members had been blocking the station for three or four days. At another, the cashier stated that the station had only been blocked for a couple of hours on 24 July. The staff at the petrol stations were allegedly told by the Right Sector that it would continue to block Lukoil until the company met their demands, or closed their businesses in Ukraine.
On 25 July, at around 23:30, the house of Mr. Andriy Sadovyi, City Mayor of Lviv, was reportedly hit with a portable anti-tank rocket launcher. The Mayor and his family were out of the city at this time. The attack resulted only in material damage – the SMM saw 4 broken windows and minor damage to the roof. Police announced the initiation of criminal proceedings into a ‘terrorist act’.
On 27 July, the Chief of Police in Lviv confirmed to the SMM that, on 26 July in the afternoon, the police were informed by phone about ten bombs in Lviv: at seven hotels, the main railway station, a hostel and a restaurant. All were hoaxes. With these last incidents, the number of hoax bomb alerts in the city since beginning of the year totalled 41.
The SMM monitored on 27 July an International Solidarity Flag March Against Terrorism in Kyiv. The meeting, attended by approximately 300 people, including relatives of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash, passed off peacefully and without any political statements.