Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 15 August 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
In Donetsk the situation remained tense and the SMM heard repeated explosions on the city’s outskirts. Draftees protested against mobilization in Chernivtsi.
The SMM has been trying to verify reports on the crossing into Ukrainian territory of a number of military convoys from the Russian Federation, but has, thus far, not been able to establish the facts. The alleged incursions are in contested areas, where - owing to the security situation - the SMM is not present.
The situation in Kharkiv remained calm.
Relatives of Luhansk city Mayor, Sergey Kravchenko, told the SMM that as of 14 August he was still missing and his whereabouts unknown. Earlier on 13 August, an ATO commander informed the SMM that Mr. Kravchenko had been detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and was kept in custody in Kyiv. Asked to confirm, SBU representatives in Kyiv denied responsibility for the detention and stated they are not aware of the individual’s whereabouts. The SMM was informed about his disappearance on 8 August after his arrested by the “Ajdar” Battalion (see Daily Report of 8 August and 11 August).
The situation in the northern part of Donetsk region remained calm, though with a substantial presence of Ukrainian military personnel visible at various checkpoints on the main roads. In Donetsk, the SMM heard loud explosions on the city’s outskirts, to the east and south of the city centre. The SMM was told, but could not verify, that rockets hit the building of a military school and a local stadium. In Kramatorsk the SMM met with the Chief of the Military Recruitment Department and discussed the results of the implementation of the presidential decree on mobilization. The interlocutor stated that the decree had not yet been implemented in Donetsk and Luhansk regions because the Ministry of Defence had not provided the respective military recruitment departments with the official copies of the decree required to make it actionable.
In Dnepropetrovsk, relatives of a man who, according to them, had been taken hostage by armed groups in Donetsk region more than a month ago contacted the SMM. The relatives explained they were looking for help, and had contacted an informal negotiation group, but so far with no success.
The situation in Kherson was calm.
In Odessa the SMM attended media briefings related to an incident, which took place on 19 February, when Maidan activists were allegedly severely beaten by anti-Maidan activists, close to the Regional Administration building. The briefings focused on the fact that no arrests so far have been made, although investigations have been going on for more than six months. Finally, Maidan activists gathered at a round table to discuss the incident and decided to set up a working group to exert pressure on the police to accelerate the investigation.
Protests related to the announced partial mobilization have continued in Chernivtsi, where around 70 people, mostly draftees and a group of women, gathered at the entrance of the military barracks in the city. The SMM spoke to some of the draftees, who stated that they had been given ten days to give up their protest and agree to be deployed or face prosecution for desertion.
The situation in Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv remained calm.
The SMM observed the final stages of the clearance of Maidan Square in Kyiv. The “Christmas tree”, which became the symbol of Maidan, is being dismantled, and nearby a new 20m flag pole with the national flag has been erected. All barricades on the lower part of Institutska Street have been cleared and new asphalt is being laid, whilst on the upper part one tent remains, blocking half of the street. City authorities have announced that Institutska Street will be opened to traffic on 16 August.