Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 22 October 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum. The situation in Luhansk and Donetsk remained tense. Police in Odessa told the SMM about discovered explosives and one RPG in one of the wagons of a passenger train coming from Luhansk.
On 21 October the SMM met in Luhansk with the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) “chairman of the supreme council”, Aleksey Karyakin, who, despite there being no such stipulation in the Minsk Protocol, insisted that Ukrainian forces should withdraw from the power plant in Shchastya claiming that their withdrawal was outlined in the Minsk Memorandum. He stated that Ukraine needed to recognize that Luhansk and Donetsk had changed and did not wish to stay within Ukraine even if there was an offer of a federation arrangement.
“LPR” “minister of justice”, Aleksandr Shubin, told the SMM on 21 October that the “LPR” was trying to restore the judiciary system and therefore launched a dialogue with judges in order to find a proper solution for those who either wanted to stay with the “LPR” or leave. He explained that a significant number, without giving exact figures, of judges had left the “LPR”.
The SMM spoke to inhabitants of the Kyivskyi district in Donetsk (3.5km south-east of Donetsk airport). According to them there had been frequent shelling between 15 to 20 October, which had been particularly heavy between 18 to 19 October. The interlocutors told the SMM that many houses had been seriously damaged or completely destroyed, and that the area was without electricity, water and gas, as the utility infrastructure had been damaged. The SMM observed at least ten partly destroyed houses (damaged windows and roofs), and four completely destroyed houses. According to the interlocutors there had not been any casualties. Residents of the area told the SMM that the mortars had come from Pisky (9km east of Donetsk airport). The SMM inspected a crater which could have been caused by a Grad rocket. The SMM assessed that the projectile had impacted from west north-west. The SMM also saw remnants of exploded ordnance, probably fired from a Grad rocket artillery system. Starting at 11:13 the SMM heard 10-20 explosions from intensive shelling incoming from the west and landing about 1 km from the site where the SMM was monitoring.
The Ukrainian representative at the JCCC in Mariupol said that there had been two instances of shelling at Pavlopil (22km north-east of Mariupol) and Mikolaivka (37km north-east of Mariupol). The same source previously acknowledged that all Mariupol JCCC- supplied information comes from the “Anti-Terrorist-Operation” regional headquarters in Mariupol.
The SMM handed over a copy of the letter dated 21 October, informing about the SMM’s plans for the engagement of UAVs, to the Ukrainian and Russian Federation JCCC members in Debaltseve. The SMM went to the Debaltseve checkpoint and heard at 11:15hrs three incoming 122mm mortar or artillery rounds from north-west, landing approximately 1.5km from the position of the SMM. The shelling continued for about four minutes.
In Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk the situation remained calm.
In Kherson the SMM met the head of the regional police public order department who said that there were currently around 40 “Right Sector” members, 297 Cossacks and 311 “self-defence” members officially registered[i].The police are currently investigating “Right Sector” for illegal woodcutting. The interlocutor stressed the excellent co-operation concerning joint patrols with the “Kazaky” (pro-Ukrainian ethnic Cossack self-defence group), who have 12 branches throughout the region.
In Odessa the police chief at the main railway station informed the SMM that officers found a bag containing 2 grenades, explosives and one RPG in one of the wagons of a passenger train coming from Luhansk on 22 October. The interlocutor expressed strong concerns about the case, as it was the first time explosives were found on a passenger train.
In Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk the situation remained calm.
The SMM was informed that the Lviv city police received a bomb hoax on 22 October at 10:36 at the Polytechnic National University. The police had launched a search and evacuation of students and staff (approximately 2,500 persons) from the building.
In Kyiv the SMM met the mayor of Donetsk, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, who said that the whole Donetsk region was on “the brink of a humanitarian disaster”. He said that more than 1,000 local industrial, social and economic objects had been damaged or destroyed in Donetsk. He explained that various charity foundations were helping Donetsk pensioners, disabled individuals and children with food supply, as the flow of food delivery to the Donetsk region is limited and numerous local shops and supermarkets are closing.
[i] Referring to the Law on participation of citizens in public order and state border guarding.