Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 14 October 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
Civilians were killed and injured in an artillery attack on a village north-east of Mariupol. Ukrainian soldiers attempting to relieve a surrounded Ukrainian military checkpoint north-west of Luhansk city were killed and injured when they were ambushed by irregular armed forces.
Upon receipt of information suggesting that a Ukrainian military checkpoint (CP) between Khoroshe and Smile (approximately 40km north-west of Luhansk city) was under attack, the SMM contacted the Joint Control and Co-ordination Centre in Debaltseve (72km north-east of Donetsk city) at 10:30hrs to draw their attention to the alleged events. They replied that they were aware and were attempting to resolve the situation. The SMM an hour later observed that the actual CP in question was surrounded by irregular armed forces affiliated to the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”). The SMM also observed fresh mortar impacts at the CP. According to a Ukrainian military CP commander near Frunze (45km north-west of Luhansk city), a relief convoy – consisting of three Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) – had been ambushed by “LPR” irregular forces 2.7km west of Smile, resulting in, he said, 12 Ukrainian military casualties – dead and wounded – and two burnt-out APCs. The SMM observed two injured Ukrainian soldiers at the scene of the ambush and four burnt-out APCs. (See Spot Report of 14 October)
At 14:23hrs, the SMM – in Mariupol (113km south of Donetsk city) – heard what it assessed to be heavy GRAD shelling to the north-east of the city. The SMM subsequently visited Sartana (19km north-east of Mariupol), where it noted the remnants of a GRAD rocket. A man – who appeared to be a plain-clothes policeman – told the SMM that seven people had been killed and fifteen wounded in the village as a result of incoming shelling at approximately 14:20hrs. Later at a hospital in Mariupol, a doctor told the SMM that 14 people with shrapnel wounds had been admitted. A priest, who said he had been at the scene immediately after the attack, told the SMM that he had seen several corpses. (See Spot Report of 14 October)
The Liaison Officer at the “Anti-Terrorist Operation” in Mariupol told the SMM that Ukrainian military CPs to the east of Mariupol would be closed to traffic on 14 October due to what he described as heavy shelling.
The SMM on 12 October observed four armed able-bodied Ukrainian military personnel leaving a civilian ambulance at a Ukrainian military CP 15km east of Mariupol city.
Two doctors at a hospital in Ilovaysk (47km east-southeast of Donetsk city) told the SMM that local people were suffering psychologically, often having to spend up to three weeks in basements due to fighting. They said the hospital lacked the expertise and drugs to treat people. The SMM noted that the roof of the administrative building of the hospital had sustained damage from having been hit by what appeared to be a Tochka-Y rocket, the remnants of which were still lodged in the roof. The SMM also observed traces of shrapnel on the walls of a local school.
The situation remained calm in Kharkiv.
The acting chief of police in Pokrovske (133km north-east of Dnipropetrovsk) told the SMM that a higher security alert existed in the region, resulting in increased manning of CPs, with an additional 10 to 30 personnel depending on the strategic importance of the given CP. Whilst at a CP near Sosnivka (135km south-east of Dnipropetrovsk), the SMM did not observe any noticeable increase in manning levels.
The president of the Kherson Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the SMM on 10 October that there was significant interest in investing in the region – borne out by the recent visit of a Turkish business delegation – but instability and corruption were proving to be obstacles in this regard.
Staff at the Batkivshina Party office in Odessa – speaking to the SMM – corroborated media reports of an explosion at the office at about 00:30hrs on the morning of 14 October. They said there were no injuries. The SMM observed some damage to an exterior wall and a broken window pane next to it.
The situation remained calm in Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Lviv.
The SMM monitored a Svoboda party-organised march from Maidan Square to the parliament in Kyiv, in which an SMM-estimated 8,000 people – overseen by 1,000 police officers and National Guard soldiers – sought to influence parliamentarians who were debating a motion that would have given veteran status to Ukrainian guerrillas who fought against the Soviet Union during World War II. A group of approximately 40 people, mainly under 30 years of age and wearing camouflage, threw fire crackers, smoke devices and stones at the parliament, and clashed with police. The protest passed off peacefully for the most part, with the vast majority of participants dispersing peacefully. There were however some isolated security incidents. Fifteen police officers and 11 National Guard soldiers were injured, and 37 arrests were made, according to the Ministry of Interior. Organisers of the event subsequently distanced themselves from the individuals involved in the clashes, saying they were provocateurs.