Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 5 October 2015
This report is for the media and general public.
The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. Its monitoring was restricted by the parties and security considerations. The situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions remained calm, but the SMM heard a few explosions and sporadic small-arms fire. The SMM monitored the withdrawal of tanks required under the Addendum to the Package of measures in Luhansk region.
The SMM observed a relatively calm situation in the Donetsk region. At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), between 9:25 and 9:30hrs, the SMM heard multiple bursts of automatic grenade launcher (AGL), machine-gun and small-arms fire 5-7km north-west of its position.
In “DPR”-controlled Oleksandrivka (20km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 3-4km north-west of its position.
Following up on a report of ceasefire violations in “DPR”-controlled Dokuchaievsk (30km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM spoke with a total of 15 residents (different age groups and in different locations in the city) and the “head” of the “city administration”. The interlocutors respectively stated that they had not heard shelling for at least a couple of weeks with the exception of what they referred to as “DPR” live-fire exercises. The “head” of the “city administration” added that people had been returning to their homes in the city and that the current population amounted to 21,000 compared to 13,000 in January 2015, whereas the city had 25,000 inhabitants before the conflict.
In government-controlled Hnutove (20km north-east of Mariupol), several female residents at two different locations told the SMM that they had heard intermittent small-arms fire originating from an easterly and north-easterly direction – the latest during the previous evening. One female interlocutor stated that she had also heard loud detonations from an easterly direction the same morning. Border Guard officers at a checkpoint in the village told the SMM that they had also heard intermittent small-arms fire from an easterly direction, which they attributed to training activities in “DPR”-controlled area.
In government-controlled areas in Luhansk region, the SMM continued monitoring the process of withdrawal of tanks as foreseen in the Addendum to the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. The SMM observed the withdrawal of 27 main battle tanks (MBTs) (T-64) from three government-controlled areas in the Security Zone to three storage sites.
The “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) notified the SMM in writing of the completion of withdrawal of 30 MBTs in accordance with the Addendum (The SMM monitored the process of its withdrawal, see: SMM Daily Report 4 October).
In government-controlled Lopaskyne (24km north-west of Luhansk) – near the line of contact, the SMM heard one outgoing single shot of small arms and light-weapons assessed to be of 30mm calibre at a distance approximately 1km north-west of its position.
Near “LPR”-controlled Obozne (18km north of Luhansk) the SMM heard one undetermined explosion – the sound coming from the direction of government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk).
The SMM re-visited three Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding areas, the locations of which corresponded with the respective withdrawal lines. At the first area, the SMM found all previously recorded weapons present. At the second area, the SMM observed that all previously recorded weapons were present and registered serial numbers of an additional four weapons. The third area was found empty of weapons where the SMM had recorded 12 towed anti-tank guns (2A29 MT-12 Rapira 100mm) during its previous visit on 17 September.
The SMM also revisited three “DPR” heavy weapons holding areas whose locations corresponded with respective withdrawal lines. At two areas, all weapons previously recorded were present. At the third area, the SMM observed that two towed howitzers (152mm 2A65 Msta-B) were missing.
In violation of the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed one stationary MBT (T-64) and one stationary infantry fighting vehicle (BMP-2) equipped with one anti-tank guided missile (120mm 9K111 Fagot) respectively in different locations in the area of government-controlled Novotoshkivske (53km north-west of Luhansk) – near the line of contact. The SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) spotted a concentration of heavy weapons in “DPR”-controlled areas. It observed 22 MBTs in the area of Sontseve (59km north-east of Mariupol), three MBTs in the area of Michurine (56km north-east of Mariupol), two self-propelled howitzers (122mm 2S1 Gvozdika) in the area north of Starolaspa (60km north-east of Mariupol) and two MBTs and other military equipment in the area of Komsomolske (73km north-east of Mariupol).
The SMM also observed the presence and movement of weapons and military equipment beyond the respective withdrawal lines. In “LPR”-controlled areas, the SMM observed 12 stationary self-propelled howitzers (122mm 2S1 Gvozdika) in the area of Vrubivskyi (22km south-west of Luhansk), seven towed howitzers (152mm 2A65 Msta-B) at a training ground near Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), three MBTs (T-72) in the area of Myrne (28km south-west of Luhansk), and 23 MBTs (T-64) at a training ground in Kruhlyk (31km south-west of Luhansk).
The SMM observed a blocking of the road to the entrance of the Odessa industrial port by 20 activists (all male aged 18-45) with two off-road vehicles, where two commercial trucks were prevented from entering the terminal and two others were blocked from leaving it. One of the protesters known to the SMM as leader of one Self-defence group told the SMM that they were protesting against the raising of customs tariffs. The SMM also observed five police vehicles parked nearby.
In Odessa, a clinical psychologist at the Central Military Hospital told the SMM that she had conducted a medical examination of soldier patients returned from the Anti-terrorism operation since the beginning of the conflict and diagnosed 200 soldiers (30 percent of the total of patients she had examined) as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The interlocutor added that 55.8% of the returned soldiers demonstrated symptoms of various psychological disorders that have the potential for PTSD at a later stage.
Near the village of Lytovezh (104km north of Lviv, Volyn region), the SMM monitored a peaceful demonstration of 50 workers of Novovolynska-1 mine (mostly middle-aged men) partially blocking the traffic on the Lviv-Kovel road by standing on a pedestrian crossing (last recorded on 2 October, see: SMM Daily Report 2 October). The SMM observed that the participants protesting against delays in salary payments allowed buses, ambulances and vehicles with children to pass without any obstacles, but the rest of traffic had to wait for 20-30 minutes. The SMM noticed five police officers present.
On 4 October, in front of the Podil temporary detention centre in Kyiv, the SMM monitored a concert organized by Svoboda party, where 100 men and women (different age groups) were expressing their support for the detained individuals arrested for alleged participation in the clashes in front of the Parliament on 31 August 2015 (see: SMM Spot Report 31 August). The SMM observed that 15 police officers were present and two police trucks parked nearby.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.
*Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate
The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including mine threats, damaged infrastructure, and the unpredictability of the situation in Donbas. Armed individuals continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring most areas close to the border with the Russian Federation in parts of Luhansk region not controlled by the Government.
Besides the above-mentioned general restrictions that continue, the SMM was on 5 October not subject to any specific restriction of its freedom of movement.
For a complete breakdown of incidents, please see the annexed table.