Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 27 February 2015
This report is for the media and the general public.
The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements”. The SMM monitored movement of heavy weapons in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The SMM monitored the movement of military hardware in the Donetsk region. The SMM monitored four separate “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) convoys. In each instance, the SMM was escorted by “DPR” to meet a pre-assembled convoy. The first meeting spot was 5km east of Donetsk city; this convoy consisted of five Grad Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), one BTR-80 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and military-style trucks and vans. The second meeting spot was in Karlo-Marksove (“DPR”-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk); this convoy consisted of four Grad MLRS and one Ural truck. The third meeting point was on the “DPR”-controlled eastern outskirts of Donetsk city; this convoy consisted of four Grad MLRS and two small support vehicles. The fourth meeting point was in Novozarivka (“DPR”-controlled, 48km south-east of Donetsk); this convoy consisted of four Grad MLRS and one military-style truck. The SMM followed each of these “DPR” convoys along their respective routes, leading away from the contact line, to locations described by the respective “DPR” convoy commanders as being the final destinations for this equipment. The SMM intends to monitor these locations on a daily basis.
The SMM also saw other military vehicles in “DPR”-controlled areas. This included one unmarked T-64 tank, proceeding east along the main road from Donetsk city towards Makiivka (“DPR”-controlled, 12km east of Donetsk). The SMM saw one unmarked T-72 tank loaded on a parked trailer, 11km south-east of Donetsk city. In Ilovaisk (“DPR”-controlled, 30km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM saw eight unmarked military-style trucks and three busses, all carrying people in military uniforms, driving south.
Separately, also near Ilovaisk, the SMM saw 60 white trucks bearing “Humanitarian Aid from the Russian Federation” signs. The convoy, which among other vehicles included 20 fuel trucks, was escorted by “DPR” “police” cars and an ambulance.
The SMM monitored a visit to the Donetsk airport by the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). A “DPR” commander said that the bodies of 10 Ukrainian soldiers had been recovered. The “DPR” showed two corpses in uniforms with Ukrainian insignia and body bags containing, according to the “DPR”, the remains of three Ukrainian soldiers. The “DPR” said that these bodies would be transferred to a Donetsk morgue; from there further arrangements would be made for their return to Ukrainian authorities.
While at the Donetsk airport, the SMM heard the sound of four outgoing mortar rounds, judged by SMM to have been of small calibre, and then the sound of at least three incoming mortar impacts followed by several explosions, to the south-west of the SMM position. Separately, on the night of 26-27 February, from the Voroshilovskyi district of central Donetsk, the SMM heard the sound of 29 incoming and outgoing mortar and artillery rounds, from an indeterminate distance and direction.
At the JCCC headquarters in Soledar (government-controlled, 77km north of Donetsk), the Ukrainian Chief-of-Staff (CoS) indicated a possible speed-up of the Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy-weapons withdrawal process, should the ceasefire hold. The JCCC log recorded 36 ceasefire violations for the 24-hour period before 08:00hrs on 27 February. No MLRS engagements were reported by the JCCC. The bulk of the violations occurred in villages close to the Donetsk airport. The Ukrainian Armed Forces CoS reported that three Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and seven wounded in the previous 24 hours.The SMM travelled to Artemivsk (government-controlled, 66km north of Donetsk) to monitor the movement of Ukrainian Armed Forces military hardware. The SMM followed a convoy what was described by Ukrainian Armed Forces as the collection point for this equipment. The SMM counted and inspected: 19 support vehicles; 15 APCs; four trucks; and 15 MT-12 cannons (100mm). At another Ukrainian Armed Forces collection point, north of Oleksijevo-Druzhkivka (government-controlled, 63km north-west of Donetsk), the SMM counted 11 APCs and 14 MT-12 cannons (100mm). The SMM was told by the Ukrainian Armed Forces that they had been moved the previous evening from an area around Dzerzhynsk (government-controlled, 43km north of Donetsk). While in Netalivka (government-controlled, 21km north-west of Donetsk), the SMM heard the sound of five rounds of shelling coming from a distance of approximately 10km to the south-east.
Fifteen kilometres west of Hranitne (government-controlled, 57km south of Donetsk), the SMM heard what it assessed to have been the sound of outgoing mortar fire, judged to have been from a location five kilometres south-east. Three kilometres south of Hranitine, a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint commander prevented the SMM from entering the village.
The SMM monitored the movement of military equipment in the Luhansk region. The SMM was asked by the “LPR” to monitor two convoys. The first was met in Brianka (45km west of Luhansk, “LPR”-controlled), where the SMM saw one APC, four 122mm self-propelled howitzers, five Grad MLRS, and one military-style truck. The second convoy consisted of four towed 152mm howitzers and one truck, met by the SMM 7km south of the centre of Luhansk. The SMM followed these convoys away from the contact line. However, the “LPR” prohibited the SMM from following either of these convoys to their end-points.
In Krasnodon (“LPR”-controlled, 49km east of Luhansk), the SMM saw five unmarked T-64 tanks. The SMM also saw four military-style trucks and four infantry fighting vehicles moving east along the Luhansk-Krasnodon road and 18 military-style trucks in the outskirts of Krasnodon.
At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near Shchastye (government-controlled, 23km north of Luhansk), the SMM saw four T-64 tanks, two BTR APCs and two Grad MRLS. Approximately 10km north of Shchastye, the SMM heard the sound of what it assessed to have been approximately a dozen outgoing mortar and artillery sounds, and small arms fire, emanating from a location south-east of the SMM position.
In Kyiv SMM monitored a demonstration in front of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) involving approximately 100 people (mainly aged over 40 and around 70 per cent male). The protesters expressed a general discontent towards how the NBU is managing Ukraine’s monetary policy. In Odessa the SMM monitored a demonstration in front of the NBU regional branch involving approximately 60 people (aged 30–70, and an equal mix of men and women). They were protesting against the devaluation of the Ukrainian Hryvnia.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.