Spot report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), 5 December 2015: Armed individuals guarding heavy weapons in Yurivka fire into the air as SMM monitors tried to approach
At 9:24hrs on 5 December, an SMM patrol comprised of four SMM monitors and the SMM medical officer in two armoured vehicles arrived at a field in the vicinity of “Lugansk People’s Republic”(“LPR”)-controlled Yurivka (26km south-west of Luhansk), where the SMM had observed 12 towed howitzers (D-30, 122mm) during previous visits – in violation of the relevant withdrawal line (see SMM Daily Report 26 November 2015 and SMM Daily Report 1 December 2015). The SMM drove towards 12 howitzers (D-30, 122mm) and at 100-150m distance, it spotted three armed individuals standing near one of the howitzers. When the SMM further continued driving towards the howitzers and was at 80-100m distance, one of the armed individuals released a burst of fire into the air with an automatic rifle and another individual pointed his automatic rifle at the SMM. The armed individuals shouted at the SMM. As a consequence, the SMM immediately left the area. There were no injuries to SMM members or damage to SMM vehicles.
Subsequently, the SMM addressed the incident with senior “LPR” members, who acknowledged the seriousness of the incident, and said that they would examine it and inform the SMM accordingly.