Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 20 January 2015
This report is for the media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum and the work of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC). The SMM observed shelling damage and continued shelling, especially in Donetsk city.
In three separate locations in “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk city centre – two approximately 3km north-west and one 2.8km west-north-west of the city centre – the SMM observed damage to civilian properties, caused, according to residents, by shells on 19 January. At one of these locations, a resident said a 64-year-old man had been killed and his wife injured. At another “DPR”-controlled location 4km south-west of the city-centre the SMM heard shelling and observed a crater. Residents said a man had been killed in the area on 19 January when a shell struck, and his wife and child had been injured. At another location 8km west of the city centre, the SMM observed damaged residential homes, the result of shelling the previous day, according to local people.The SMM also observed a crater approximately 30 metres from Hospital No. 17 on “DPR”-controlled Panfilova Avenue in Kuibyshevskii District – 2.6km west of the city centre – caused, according to the hospital manager, by shelling on 19 January. At Kalinsky Central Hospital No. 3 on “DPR”-controlled Ovnatanyana Street – 1.8km east of the city centre – the SMM observed what it assessed to be shelling damage to the front of the building. The deputy director of the hospital told the SMM that the hospital had been hit by shelling on 19 January. He said 16 intensive-care patients had been transferred to other medical facilities, whilst 120 others, including 10 infants, had been discharged because the hospital was limited in its capacity and functioning.
In government-controlled Debaltseve (55km north-east of Donetsk), the director of the education department of the local administration told the SMM that 860 school children were no longer attending class and were instead engaged in distance-learning, as a result of shelling in the city on 19 January. He said the remainder of the 1,290 registered children of school age in the area were believed to have left the area.While on patrol at a government-controlled location 25km north of Donetsk, the SMM heard approximately 10 outgoing and three incoming artillery rounds.
In government-controlled Staronativka (48km south of Donetsk), the SMM heard six outgoing artillery rounds from a location approximately 5km to the south. A female resident told the SMM that there had been shelling in the village the previous evening and overnight. The SMM observed several shell impacts close to homes, and noted homes which had been damaged, apparently by shells.
A Ukrainian soldier in a hospital in government-controlled Konstantinovka (56km north of Donetsk) told the SMM that he was being treated for injuries sustained at the Donetsk airport on 19 January. He said 80 Ukrainian soldiers in total had suffered the same injuries, manifested in uncontrollable muscle spasms, vomiting and difficult breathing. Some, he said, had become unconscious. Eleven of the soldiers had been transferred to a hospital in Dnepropetrovsk, he said.
At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) headquarters in government-controlled Debaltseve (55km north-east of Donetsk), the Chiefs of Staff of the Ukrainian and Russian Federation Armed Forces told the SMM that there had been further deterioration in security in the previous 24 hours. In the 24 hours preceding 08.00hrs, 20 January, they said there had been 140 ceasefire violations in the JCCC’s area of responsibility, 77 committed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and 63 by armed groups affiliated to the “DPR” or the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”). Fifty of the violations were recorded, they said, at or in the environs of the Donetsk airport.
At the JCCC office in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (55km north-north-east of Donetsk), the Ukrainian and Russian Federation military officers present reported that there had been 16 ceasefire violations in their area of responsibility in the 24 hours preceding 08:00hrs, 20 January. They said this represented a slight decrease as compared to the previous 24-hour period.
In government-controlled Toshkivka (70km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard multiple outgoing mortar and artillery rounds discharged from a location 3 to 5km east-north-east of its position.
Representatives of two hospitals in Dnepropetrovsk city told the SMM that approximately 150 wounded soldiers in total had been admitted to both hospitals in the previous two days, some of them having served at the Donetsk airport.
The head of the town council of Rozivka (260 south-east of Dnepropetrovsk) told the SMM that an explosion had taken place close to the town on 20 January. Earlier media reports suggested that a railway bridge had been targeted, and that ten rail carriages of a cargo train had been de-railed.
Approximately 50 masked people participated in an anti-Russia and anti-“Novorossiya” demonstration in Odessa on 19 January. With 20 police officers present, they waved Ukrainian and Azov volunteer battalion flags, and chanted pro-Ukrainian slogans. They dispersed peacefully after 45 minutes.
Representatives of the State Inspectorate of Ukraine for Land Transport Safety and the Ministry of Infrastructure told the SMM in Kyiv that, following a ministerial decision on 26 December to stop regular bus transport to Crimea, all bus transport to Crimea had been suspended on 20 January. They said bus transport in and out of non-government-controlled areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions had been suspended on 6 January.
The situation remained calm in Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.