Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 26 November 2015
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*. The SMM recorded a total of 58 explosions in specific areas in Donetsk and Luhansk region. It also conducted monitoring activity for preparation of demining work. The SMM continued to observe long queues of civilian vehicles waiting at government checkpoints at the contact line and at border crossing points between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
The number of ceasefire violations observed around Donetsk airport remained at a similar level compared with the previous day. From its position at “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk railway station (6km north-west of Donetsk), the SMM heard a total of 13 undetermined explosions and multiple bursts of small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire mainly at locations 5-6km north-east of its position.
In government-controlled Lazarivka (44km north of Mariupol), the SMM heard nine undetermined explosions occurring 1km west of its position.
Whilst in government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 1km west of its position and assessed them to have occurred at a known training ground in the village. The SMM also recorded eight undetermined explosions and assessed that they occurred north-east of its position, in government-controlled Muratove (50km north-west of Luhansk).
The SMM monitored the security situation in the areas of “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), government-controlled Zaitseve (50km north of Donetsk), “DPR”-controlled Vuhlehirsk (48km north-east of Donetsk), “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), government-controlled Maiorsk (45km north-east of Donetsk) and government-controlled Karbonit (60km north-west of Luhansk), where demining work is supposed to be conducted jointly with facilitation of the SMM. It did not observe ceasefire violations in these areas.
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Neither “DPR” nor “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) members have yet provided inventories or locations of designated permanent storage sites for these weapons as requested by the SMM on 16 October. The Ukrainian military authorities have also as of yet to provide such information. Nonetheless, the SMM revisited locations beyond the respective withdrawal lines known to the SMM as heavy weapons holding areas, even though these did not comply with the specific criteria set out in the 16 October notification.
At Ukrainian Armed Forces holding areas, the SMM observed in total 27 self-propelled howitzers (nine 2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm, and 18 2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), 24 anti-tank guns (MT12 Rapira, 100mm), four multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS)(9K57 Uragan, 220mm) and 12 towed howitzers (2A36 Giatsint-B, 152mm).
The SMM revisited a “DPR” heavy weapons holding area and observed six MLRS (BM-21 Grad, 122mm).
The SMM also revisited a “DPR” permanent heavy weapons storage site that complied with the criteria outlined in the 16 October notification, and verified weapons stored there.
In government-controlled Marinka (23km south-west of Donetsk), the head of the Marinka civil-military administration informed the SMM that two civilians had been injured by stray bullets in the village during an exchange of fire the previous day and had been transferred to Kurakhove city hospital (government-controlled 40km west of Donetsk). He added that one injured civilian (man, aged 55) had been released after receiving first aid treatment. At the Kurakhove city hospital, a surgeon told the SMM that one of the civilians (man, aged 26) had suffered severe injuries resulting from a gunshot wound. His wife also confirmed this information to the SMM.
In order to facilitate repair works on key civilian infrastructure, the SMM followed up on information received from Luhansk Electricity Company that armed “LPR” members at a checkpoint on the “LPR”-controlled side of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk) had prevented its repair team from accessing the repair site near the bridge. An armed “LPR” member at the checkpoint told the SMM that he had advised the repair team not to go to the repair site due to security reasons, as the area was contaminated with unexploded ordnance and mines. Meanwhile, the SMM observed that the bridge was regularly open to transit, and civilians were crossing to and from the “LPR”-controlled side through the checkpoint.
Along the Ukraine-Russian Federation border, in Donetsk region, the SMM visited two crossing points. In “DPR”-controlled Uspenka (73km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM observed 67 civilian cars and 21 civilian trucks queuing to cross to the Russian Federation. In “DPR”-controlled Marynivka (77km east-south-east of Donetsk), the SMM also observed 65 civilian cars and 36 civilian trucks waiting to cross to the Russian Federation. At both crossing points, the SMM noted that the majority of vehicles had licence number plates of Ukraine, while a few cars had those of “DPR” and the Russian Federation.
In “DPR”-controlled Makiivka (12km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM observed some 50 white trucks bearing signs reading “Humanitarian aid from the Russian Federation” with four support vehicles. Half of them entered the areas where warehouses are located and the rest continued to travel in a westerly direction. In “LPR”-controlled Luhansk city, the SMM also observed two convoys moving south-east: one consisting of at least three white cargo trucks and another consisting of 16 white cargo trucks and three support vehicles.
The SMM observed impediments to the movement of civilians across the contact line. At a checkpoint in government-controlled Berezove (31km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM observed a queue of 652 civilian cars waiting to cross into government-controlled areas and five civilian cars waiting to cross in the opposite direction. The SMM noted a similar situation at a checkpoint in government-controlled Novotroitske (36km south-west of Donetsk), where 137 civilian cars waited to cross into government-controlled areas and some 182 civilian cars were heading to the opposite side. At a checkpoint in government-controlled Marinka (23km west-south of Donetsk), the SMM saw more than 300 civilian cars waiting to enter government-controlled area.
In “LPR”-controlled Makedonivka (37km south of Luhansk), three residents (one man and two middle-aged women) told the SMM that the majority of people from the village were working in the Frunze mine in “LPR”-controlled Proletarskyi (48km south of Luhansk), as the mine is the only place in the area which provides jobs. They added that the salaries were paid into bank accounts and to draw money from a bank they needed to go to government-controlled areas or the Russian Federation, because banking system generally do not operate in the “LPR”-controlled areas.
The SMM continued to follow the situation around the damaged power supply pylons and disrupted power supply across the administrative boundary line between Kherson and Crimea (see SMM Daily Report 21 November). In Chaplynka (77km south-east of Kherson), the SMM saw that a new pylon had been erected to replace the damaged one and the power grid cables were reconnected, while the two other damaged pylons had not been repaired. The SMM observed six activists representing Crimean Tatars, Right Sector and Azov volunteer battalion under the Ministry of Internal Affairs – who were staying in a nearby tent and a van of UkrEnergo company parked nearby.
The SMM followed up on the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Vinnytsia city (215km north-east of Chernivtsi). The director of the department of social policy of the city council informed the SMM that there were 5,855 registered IDPs in the city, including 1,984 students enrolled in the temporarily relocated Donetsk National University in the city and in the Vinnytsia Medical University.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, and Kyiv.
*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. “LPR” members continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring many 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, on 26 November the SMM was not subject to any specific restriction of its freedom of movement.
* Please see the section at the end of this report entitled “Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate”.
 For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.