Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 8 September 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
In Kharkiv, the SMM visited the Ukrainian Army military recruitment centre located in a residential area at Sokolova Street 7 in Kharkiv city, which was attacked at 04:30hrs on 8 September. Five smashed windows were observed and the device remnants were indicative of home-made pipe bombs.
The SMM met with representatives of “Gelios”, an association of the Greek community in Kharkiv city. They stated that many of the seventy thousand Greeks in Donetsk region resided in Mariupol and that youngsters were inclined to leave in order to avoid mobilization.
In Luhansk, the SMM visited Severodonetsk (100km northwest of Luhansk) and Lysychansk (90km northwest of Luhansk). En route, the SMM heard shelling at 11:45hrs from an indeterminate distance and direction. The SMM also visited the Ukrainian Army checkpoint and the checkpoint manned by irregular armed groups in Smile (34km north-west of Luhansk), where interlocutors on both sides stated that the situation has been calm.
In Donetsk, the SMM visited the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) military checkpoint on Petroskyi Boulevard (5km from the Ukrainian Army post at Marynka town) and the Petroskyi district (Donetsk city). Local residents stated that the security situation was such that some displaced families were starting to return. The SMM also visited school 101 in the Petroskyi district and 33 in the Leninskyi district, both of which were damaged in August and are now preparing to resume activities for the new school year on 1 October.
Between 19:23hrs and 19:39hrs, the SSM heard, to the south of Donetsk city, sounds of outgoing shelling estimated to be 10-15 shots.
In Mariupol, between 04:15hrs and 04:20hrs the SMM heard eleven explosions, assumed to be shelling, presumably “Grad” rockets or artillery shelling, to the east of Mariupol; and two more to the north-east at 07:45hrs.
The SMM visited the “Vostochny” and “Stary Shlyakh” checkpoints (both in Mariupol city) as well as the villages of Lebedinske (5km east of Mariupol), Kominternove (12km northeast of Mariupol) , Telmanove (50km northeast) and Granite (60km northeast of Mariupol). The Ukrainian Army established a new checkpoint in Gnutovo (22km northeast of Mariupol) at which the SMM was informed that a bridge in Pavlopol (30 km northeast of Mariupol) had been destroyed earlier in the day. The Ukrainian Army reportedly left the village of Telmanove (50 km northeast of Mariupol) on 7 September, after which the “DPR” established its presence in the village council and police facilities. The SMM observed the “DPR” personnel unloading a truck in front of the police station.
In Dnipropetrovsk, the SMM concluded a three-day monitoring trip in the Zaporizhzhia region and met the chiefs of police in Zaporizhzhia city (67km south of Dnipropetrovsk), Melitopol (181km south of Dnipropetrovsk) and Berdiansk (230km to the southeast) and learned that new security checkpoints were planned to be established and the infrastructure of the current ones reinforced in both Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol. The Prosecutor’s Office in Berdiansk confirmed that the issuance of passports, in-country travel documents and other documents to IDPs is a challenge given that there are approximately seven thousand IDPs.
The SMM visited the international airport and the railway station of Dnipropetrovsk. The airport was functioning properly, but without flights to Donetsk and Luhansk, while trains bound for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions go only as far as Konstantinovka (31km north of Donetsk).
The situation in Kherson was calm.
In Odessa, the SMM monitored an anti-NATO demonstration by 30-40 mostly elderly Kulykove Pole activists in front of the Officers Club. 24 Right Sector and Euromaidan activists held a counter demonstration at the nearby building of the southern Military Command. The police prevented a confrontation between the groups when the Euromaidan and Right Sector activists marched towards the other demonstrators. Both protests ended peacefully.
The situation in Chernivtsi was calm.
In Ivano-Frankivsk the SMM met the deputy mayor of the Kolomyia (60 km southeast of Ivano-Frankivsk) City Council, who stated that the community has collected Ukrainian Hryvnia 300,000, which is the bail necessary for the release of commander of the 5th volunteer battalion “Pricarpathia”, who stands accused of disobeying orders during a battalion retreat. The commander is a native of Kolomyia and is currently in custody in Odessa.
In Lviv, on 7 September the SMM observed six police officers at the train station requesting ID cards from male passengers aged 18-40 arriving from Mariupol. The SMM contacted the local police who informed it was a routine operation.
The SMM met the Military Prosecutor overseeing crimes committed by military personnel from six regions in Western Ukraine. To date, 147 cases have been received, of which thirty relate to residents of the Lviv region.
The situation in Kyiv was calm.