Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 hrs, 10 August 2014
This update is provided for media and general public.
Detention of those considered supporters of the “LPR” in the Luhansk region continues. People continue to flee Luhansk city. The clearance of the Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv is almost complete.
The acting mayor of Bilyi Kolodets (90 km northeast of Kharki v city) told the SMM on 9 August that around 70 people from the town had received mobilization orders. He added that their mothers and wives were opposed to their mobilization.
A number of interlocutors in Pershetravneve (50 km southwest of Kharkiv city) told the SMM on 10 August that all internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, hosted by a local Baptist church in the town, had returned home. According to the interlocutors, these people have, however, been replaced by other IDPs from Donetsk and Luhansk cities.
A police officer in Starobilsk (86 km north of Luhansk city) told the SMM on 6 August that criminal investigations were underway into the organizing and financing of the 11 May “independence referendum” in Starobilsk. He said those who participated in the associated electoral commissions may also be prosecuted, but that this was unlikely for voters in the process.
Members of the Ukrainian 24th volunteer battalion told the SMM in Shchastya (23 km north of Luhansk city) on 8 August that they had earlier that day detained an lieutenant colonel of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) from Luhansk city and the mayor of Artymovsk (115 km west of Luhansk city) at the filtration checkpoints in Shchastya. They also confirmed that they had detained the mayor of Luhansk city the previous day, also at the Shchastya checkpoint, where, they said, other people fleeing the city had pointed him out. The SMM at the Shchastya checkpoint observed, on 9 August, volunteer soldiers detaining a man suspected of being a member of the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (”LPR”).
The military officer in charge of the checkpoint at Shchastya told the SMM on 8 August that 612 people had passed through the checkpoint on 7 August. The corresponding figure for 8 August was 687.
A Ukrainian border guard stationed at Melovoye border crossing point (136 km northeast of Luhansk city) told the SMM on 9 August that the BCP had come under attack the previous night by assailants using Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs). The border crossing point at Krasna Talivka (70 km northeast of Luhansk city) was reportedly attacked on 6 August.
The situation remained tense in the Donetsk region. On 10 August the SMM observed people hiding in the basement of the railway station. On the previous day, the new “prime minister“ of the “Donetsk People's Republicˮ (“DPRˮ) released a statement on the “DPRˮ website, saying the “DPRˮ was willing to enage in a ceasefire arrangement with Ukrainian military forces in order to avoid a “humanitarian catastropheˮ.
The situation remained calm in Dnepropetrovsk.
Managers at Kherson Master Power Grid (KMPG) in Nova Kahovka (76 km east of Kherson city) told the SMM on 8 August that the company – which, they said, supplied 95% of the Crimean peninsula’s electricity needs – had signed contracts with customers in Crimea in May. They said KMPG staff worked in Crimea, servicing lines and equipment. They said planned desalination plants – meant to compensate for water supplies lost from the North Crimea Canal – would require expensive line upgrades because more electricity would be required. They dismissed alternative electricity sources, saying those from Russia would require an expensive and lengthy project delivery cycle; and topographical and geological considerations precluded nuclear energy development.
The situation remained calm in Odessa.
On 9 August members of a local “self-defence” group in Hlyboca (30 km south of Chernivtsi city) told the SMM that, in addition to collecting items and transporting them to troops fighting in the east, they were providing assistance to three IDP families from the east now living in the town. Speaking later to the SMM, one of the families commended local authorities on their efforts to integrate the family, specifically mentioning the fact that the local school provided Russian-language instruction.
A number of local people in Krasnoilysk village (42 km south of Chernivtsi city) told the SMM on 10 August that local authority representatives had given guarantees that local men mobilized would not be sent to the east to fight in the on-going security operation. They said the guarantees had helped to end the protests against mobilization which had been taking place throughout the region. The interlocutors, however, were worried that these undertakings would not be honoured.
In Kelmentsi (90 km northwest of Chernivtsi city), members of an NGO collecting non-lethal supplies for soldiers fighting in the east told the SMM on 10 August that approximately 30 soldiers form Kelmentsi district were deployed in the east.
On 9 August the “self-defence” co-ordinator of Ivano-Frankivsk city told the SMM that “self-defence” volunteers – initially 100 but later approximately 450 – would soon be formed into a battalion, which would be sent to fight in the east. He added that finding volunteers was not a problem – the challenge was equipment. He also warned that efforts to de-stabilise western Ukraine were underway, evidenced, he said, by the recent attack on the mayor’s residence in Lviv city. He also said the influx of IDPs into the region provided good cover for people wishing to de-stabilise the region.
The chief of police in Boryslav (90 km south of Lviv city) told the SMM on 8 August that there had been no problems in implementing partial mobilization in the town. Members of a local “self-defence” group, however, told the SMM on the same day that some people in the town had mixed feelings about mobilisation, concerned specifically that draftees were being sent to fight in Donbas without the necessary equipment. The “self-defence” group members added that their organisation’s focus was on ensuring such aid reached the troops.
The clearance of Maidan square and adjacent streets in Kyiv – which began on 7 August – continued on 9 and 10 August. Municipal workers – operating trucks, cranes and bulldozers – and volunteers, numbering at one point almost 600, were overseen by a discreet police presence, and met no violent opposition from the few remaining people encamped on the square. By 18:00 hrs, 10 August, only one tent and a few barricades on an adjacent street and a makeshift stage on the square, serving as a memorial to those who died in February, remained.