Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 5 February 2015
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. In the aftermath of shelling, the SMM observed the impacts of shelling in Donetsk city and region. Military movements were also noted by the SMM around Donetsk. Plans to evacuate civilians from Debaltseve were developed at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC).
The SMM followed-up on the reported 4 February shelling in Kirovskyi District of Donetsk city and assessed three different locations in the area. The SMM saw damage to the wall of Kindergarten number 381 located at Pintera Street 10 and at an apartment building nearby. The damage was consistent with shrapnel impacts caused by a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) strike. A pavement was also damaged by a shell impact. The SMM visited the site of the shelling at Donetsk Hospital number 27 and noted the front of the building was badly damaged. The SMM examined four impact craters at the three sites (including two at the hospital), and assessed that they had all been caused by BM-26 Uragan MLRS, based on the size and nature of the craters, and that they had been fired from a south-south-western direction. The SMM were told by a doctor and nurse at Hospital number 24 (where some of the injured were brought) that five people had died instantly and 26 were injured when two shells hit close to Hospital number 27. One of the wounded died later.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces Major General, Head of the Ukrainian side to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) joined the Russian Major General, Representative of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation at the JCCC office in Soledar (77km north of Donetsk, government-controlled). Members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) and “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) were also present. The Ukrainian Major General stated that evacuations of civilians from Debaltseve, supported by the JCCC, are planned to take place on 6 and 7 February. An agreement to cease fire was reached between the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the “DPR” and “LPR” to allow safe passage of evacuation vehicles. Two convoys will be dispatched to Debaltseve to evacuate civilians: a Ukrainian government convoy from Artemivsk (66km north of Donetsk, government-controlled) and a “DPR”-led convoy from Vuhlehirsk (47km north-east of Donetsk; now under “DPR” control).
The SMM were asked by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, via the JCCC field office in Mariupol, to facilitate a local ceasefire with “DPR” forces near Shyrokyne (97km south of Donetsk, “DPR”-controlled) to enable recovery of the remains of two soldiers killed during clashes in the area. The SMM relayed the request to “DPR” members stationed near the location of the bodies and were informed that the request would be referred upwards for approval.
On the eastern outskirts of Donetsk city (“DPR”-controlled), the SMM saw one unmarked military tank (T-72) heading west towards Donetsk city. In “DPR”-controlled territory the SMM saw a military camp with 14 tanks (T-72) and 7 BMP 1 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) all unmarked, as well as seven medium-sized unmarked tents. The SMM also observed what appeared to be shooting ranges. To the west of Petrievske (70km east-south-east of Donetsk, “DPR”-controlled) the SMM saw two unmarked military tanks (T-72) at a checkpoint.
The deputy head of the village council in Sartana (90km south of Donetsk, government-controlled) showed the SMM the location of recent shelling impacts. According to him, the area was hit by up to 30 shells in a 15-20 minute period from 02:10hrs on 5 February. The area (2km square), is located south-west of Ukrainian Armed Forces positions on the outskirts of the village. The SMM was told that there were no casualties. The SMM saw damage to 18 houses and observed that power lines were cut. An analysis of four craters by the SMM determined that they were caused by mortars (120mm and 82mm), likely fired from a north or north-easterly direction.
In Orlivka village (19km north-west of Donetsk, government-controlled) the SMM followed-up on reports by residents and Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel of a Grad shelling in the village at approximately 22:00hrs on 4 February. The SMM was told that six rockets struck the area. No analysis was performed on the craters observed. The SMM saw shattered windows and damaged roofs. No casualties were reported. During the visit, the SMM heard continuous incoming and outgoing artillery fire coming from an unspecified direction at an unknown distance.
On 5 February, between 11:03hrs and 11:50hrs in and around the village of Raihorodka (38km north-west of Luhansk, government-controlled), the SMM heard both outgoing heavy artillery fire and detonations approximately five kilometres from the SMM location in an area to the south-west. Later, in the village of Bakhmutivka (47km north-west of Luhansk, government-controlled) the SMM heard heavy artillery fire, outgoing from south-west of its location at an unknown distance. At 12:00hrs, while in the village of Tsarivka (45km north-west of Luhansk, government-controlled) the SMM heard multiple impact detonations to the south-west and south-east and firing from the south-west, all at an indeterminate distance.
In Hrechyshkyne (72km north-west of Luhansk, government-controlled) the SMM heard continuous outgoing artillery shelling coming from the west about 12km away. In Putylyne (77km north-west of Luhansk, government-controlled) the SMM heard outgoing artillery and small arms fire coming from 6km south of their location.
On 5 February, the head of emergency services in Severodonetsk (90 km north-west of Luhansk, government-controlled) informed the SMM that a ‘hot line’ was set up on 4 February for residents to call and request evacuation from the government-controlled districts of Lysychansk (90km west of Luhansk), Svatove (150km north-west of Luhansk,), Rubizhne (100km west of Luhansk,), Starobilsk (90km north of Luhansk,) and Novoaidar (57km north of Luhansk). A list is then compiled with priority given to persons with disabilities, children, the elderly and the injured. According to the head of emergency services, 13 children were evacuated to Severodonetsk from Stanytsia Luhanska (19km north of Luhansk, government-controlled) on 5 January. They will travel onward to an orphanage in Odessa.
On 5 February, the SMM arrived on the scene of an explosion at the entrance to the Central Maternity Clinic in Ivano-Frankivsk. The prosecutor at the scene told the SMM that a grenade exploded and that one man was killed and one woman (a nurse) was injured. According to the prosecutor, the motive was most likely personal and the act perpetrated by the male victim, who, according to media, had until recently been a volunteer in the conflict zone in the Donbas.
The situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Lviv and Kyiv remained calm.