Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 29 October 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”, including the Addendum. Its monitoring was restricted by the parties and security considerations*. Compared to the previous day, there was an increase in the number of explosions around the area of Donetsk airport. Luhansk region remained relatively calm with the recorded explosions assessed as live-fire exercises. The SMM visited several weapons storage locations in accordance with the Minsk documents.
At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation post at Donetsk railway station (“Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled, 6km north-west of Donetsk city), the SMM heard a total of 39 explosions and several bursts of small arms, the vast majority of which occurred at a distance of 7-10km south of its position.
Whilst in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (30km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard approximately 30 shots of automatic grenade launchers (AGL), several sporadic shots of small arms and bursts of heavy machine gun 3-4km south-west of its position.
The SMM heard three undetermined explosions north-east of its position in government-controlled Anadol (39km north of Mariupol), as well as two separate undetermined explosions to the north-east and to the north in government-controlled Andriivka (41km north of Mariupol).
In the area of the south-western entrance to Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM saw at least two anti-tank mines and two anti-tank rockets taped together and connected to wires on the road leading to the village. On the roadside of the north-western outskirts of the village, the SMM observed two anti-tank mines, one anti-personnel mine (on the ground and uncovered), unexploded ordnance (UXO), and the body of a dead dog, which had possibly been killed by an anti-personnel mine (possibly bounding mine).
At a checkpoint in government-controlled Hnutove (20km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM observed 120 vehicles waiting to enter government-controlled areas and 30 vehicles queuing in the opposite direction.
The overall situation in Luhansk region remained relatively calm. Whilst in “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled Sokilnyky (38km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard 20-25 heavy explosions at a location north-east of its position consistent with a known training area in government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-east of Luhansk). The JCCC had notified the SMM with information that live fire training would be conducted in Trokhizbenka on that day.
The SMM visited “LPR”-controlled Chervonopartyzansk (65km south-east of Luhansk) located near the international border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The “head” of the city “administration” told the SMM that, although some inhabitants had left to the Russian Federation after the conflict occurred, most of them had already returned. According to him, currently some 100 people from the town resided in the Russian Federation.
In “LPR”-controlled Raivka (16km north-west of Luhansk), four residents told the SMM that there had been shortages of piped water supply for four months. According to them, people are using private wells but private water pumps do not operate during irregular power cuts. The residents said they are afraid to get water from the nearby Siverskyi Donets river due to the security situation and the possible presence of mines and UXOs.
In carrying out its responsibilities under the Addendum to the Package of measures, in Donetsk region, the SMM revisited five Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent weapons storage sites, whose locations corresponded with respective withdrawal lines. It found all previously recorded weapons present at four sites. At the fifth site, the SMM observed one previously recorded main battle tank (MBT) absent and recorded the serial number of one additional MBT. In Luhansk region the SMM also visited one Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent weapons storage site and confirmed the presence of the declared weapons, as stipulated in the Addendum.
The SMM revisited three “DPR” permanent weapons storage sites, whose locations corresponded with the respective withdrawal lines. At one site, the SMM found all previously recorded weapons present. At the second site, the SMM found two previously recorded MBTs absent and recorded the serial number of two additional MBTs. At the third site, the SMM found one previously recorded MBT absent and recorded the serial number of one additional MBT
The SMM visited one and revisited another Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding area, whose locations corresponded with respective withdrawal lines. At the second area, the SMM found that all previously recorded weapons were present.
In violation of respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed two anti-tank guns (100mm MT-12 Rapira) in the area of government-controlled Pervomaiske (17km north-west of Donetsk), and one anti-tank guided missile system (possibly 120mm 9K111 Fagot or 135mm 9M113 Konkurs) with the barrel pointing east in the area of government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk) . Likewise, in “DPR”-controlled areas, a SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) also spotted five MBTs in the area of Donetsk city and one MBT in the area of Bezimenne (29km east of Mariupol).
Beyond the respective withdrawal lines, at a training ground in the area of “LPR”-controlled Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM observed nine self-propelled howitzers (122mm 2S1 Gvozdika), eight military trucks and one communications vehicle. The UAVs spotted 14 MBTs in the government-controlled area of Hranitne (27km north of Mariupol) and 19 BMPs in the area of “DPR”-controlled Rozy Liuksemburh (46km east of Mariupol).
In the security zone, the UAVs also observed a concentration of military hardware which, however, are not included in the Minsk documents to be withdrawn. The UAVs spotted 16 armed personnel carriers (APCs), more than 110 military trucks including 20 refuelling trucks in the area of “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city, seven APCs in the area of government-controlled Berezove (32km south-east of Donetsk), as well as nine APCs (seven BMPs and two BTRs) in the area of “DPR”-controlled Bezimenne (30km east of Mariupol).
In Kyiv, the SMM continued to monitor the camp of a protest that has been going on for several days, organized by the Radical Party in front of the Cabinet of Ministers against the increase in utility prices. The SMM observed approximately 250 protesters (mostly over 40) around the tents equipped with stoves. In Marynskyi Park – across the street from the Cabinet of Ministers building, the SMM also observed another demonstration of 300 people (men and women of different age groups, many students and pensioners), the majority of whom were wearing yellow vests with the logo of the Party of Ordinary People. A representative of the party told the SMM that the demonstration aimed at raising awareness about high utility tariffs. The SMM also noted seven buses of the National Guard parked nearby.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, Odessa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Chernivtsi.
*Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to 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.
Beside the abovementioned general restrictions that continue, the SMM was on 29 October not subject to any specific restriction of its freedom of movement.