Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 11 November 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, focusing on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum. The SMM went to the international border crossing points, Izvaryne and Gukovo, between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
The SMM met with a representative of the so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) “border guards” at the international border crossing point (BCP) between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in Izvaryne (63 kilometres south-east of Luhansk). The interlocutor said that the “border guards” were currently operating under Ukrainian law and were awaiting new regulations from the “LPR state security” which should be implemented in the next six months. According to the interlocutor “LPR border guards” were not receiving salaries, but were provided with food instead. He said that many people leave for the Russian Federation either to work or to obtain gasoline and other goods. While at the border crossing point (BCP) the SMM observed 93 private vehicles lined up to enter the Russian Federation The interlocutor said that a week ago a humanitarian convoy had entered the “LPR”-controlled territory from the Russian Federation with a cargo of food and construction materials.
The SMM met with a member of the “LPR border guards” at the international border crossing point in Gukovo (98 kilometres south-east of Luhansk). The interlocutor said that the BCP was shelled by the Ukrainian military on 4 August, the date when it was taken over by “LPR”. The SMM observed damage to several buildings, including the prison and the border crossing point itself. While at the BCP the SMM observed 30 private vehicles lined up to enter the Russian Federation.
The SMM visited Mikhailovka (30 kilometres north-west of Luhansk), controlled by Ukrainian forces and at 11:30hrs heard two outgoing artillery rounds from the south-west in the direction of Shchastya and Petrivka.
On 11 November the SMM met with a representative of the “LPR police” of Krasnodon (48kilometres south-east of Luhansk) district. The SMM observed a “Novorossiya” flag at the entrance of the police station. According to the interlocutor the so-called “LPR police” currently work under Ukrainian law, but await the adoption of a “LPR police law” by the “LPR parliament”. He said that the “law” was signed by the “LPR president” on 10 November. According to the interlocutor “LPR police officers” do not receive cash-payment for their work, but are paid with food instead.
On 11 November the SMM facilitated access to Rozsypne (73 kilometres east of Donetsk) and Hrabove (79 kilometres east of Donetsk), the MH17 crash site, for the MH17 recovery team. The visit purpose of the MH17 recovery team was to carry out site surveys for subsequent wreckage removal and search for human remains.
The SMM met with the Ukrainian head of the Mariupol Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) who reported a large explosion in the Azov Sea, around 20 nautical miles east-southeast of Mariupol, possibly in the waters of the Russian Federation, which was also heard by the SMM at approximately 12:00hrs.
The SMM went to a Ukrainian checkpoint (CP) in the vicinity of Kramatorsk and spoke to Ukrainian personnel who said that on 9 November, at 11:43hrs, there was incoming shelling from the direction of Kamyanka (3 to 4 kilometres to the south of Olkhvatka mine). The shelling resulted in three Ukrainian casualties: two servicemen killed and one grievously wounded. The SMM were shown the head part of the shell as well as another shell stuck in the ground. Soldiers said that different types of ammunition were used, ranging from standard shells to ones carrying offensive, inflammable substances and shrapnel.
The SMM went on to visit a Ukrainian CP on the road to Horlivka where at 13:00hrs it heard two volleys of 122mm rounds (eight and twelve rounds respectively). In the SMM’s assessment, the rounds were fired from BM-21 Grad systems. According to the Ukrainian CP commander, the rounds were fired from the direction of Horlivka which is approximately 12km away. It is unknown where the rounds landed.
Following an explosion in a pub in the city centre of Kharkiv (see Daily Report of 10 November), the SMM met with SBU representatives who said that no suspects were yet in custody and investigations into this incident are on-going.
In Kyiv the SMM observed a protest of approximately 200 employees of the “Zhytomyr Confectionery”, mostly women in front of the prosecutor’s office. Empty barrels, waste containers and car tires were brought to the main entrance of the prosecutor’s office, which was guarded by approximately 30 “Kyiv-1” battalion members and several police officers. Participants of the protest criticized the immoderate lifestyle of senior public officials and demanded lustration of the prosecutor’s office high officials. The protest lasted one hour and no incidents were reported.
The situation in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Odesa, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv was calm.