Spot Report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM): SMM establishment of advance team in Mariupol, 28 August 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM established an advance team in Mariupol to monitor the security situation in the area. This presence is being strengthened.
On 29 August the SMM visited Mariupol (113km south of Donetsk) to monitor the overall security situation. The SMM observed that the situation appeared to be calm, with public transportation and shops working normally. However, the SMM noted significant movement of Ukrainian military vehicles - mainly armoured personnel carriers - through the city. The SMM visited a checkpoint (CP) located in Volodarskoye (24km northwest of Mariupol), where the situation also appeared to be calm.
The deputy chief of the local police informed the SMM that the situation in the town was calm. He stated that the area around Novoazovsk (45km to the east of Mariupol) was currently under control of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”), but that “Anti-Terrorist Operation” (“ATO”) forces were containing the situation and preventing further “DPR” advance. The interlocutor also told the SMM about ongoing shelling from Novoazovsk area towards the village of Bezimene (15km to the west of Novoazovsk). For this reason, he said, the road along the coastline, from Mariupol to Bezimene, had been closed in both directions. He stated that Ukrainian military forces, supported by a number of volunteer battalions under “ATO” command, were operating inside Mariupol and in the surrounding areas.
The SMM has established a base in Mariupol, and is strengthening its presence there in order to expand its monitoring activities.