Spot Report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM): SMM visits Kominternove village
This report is for media and the general public.
At 10:25hrs on 24 December, an SMM patrol arrived in Kominternove (92km south of Donetsk, 23km north-east of Mariupol) from the village’s eastern entrance, escorted by armed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) members. For the last two days, the SMM had attempted to reach the village to follow up on reports about the presence of armed “DPR” members, but had not been able to do so due to security concerns and the restriction to its freedom of movement imposed by armed personnel (see SMM Daily Reports 23 December and 24 December 2015).
The escorting “DPR” members did not allow the SMM to go beyond the main street of the village, citing possible sniper fire. While on the main street, the SMM saw multiple fresh caterpillar tracks, consistent with infantry fighting vehicles and tanks.
Five residents (three women and two men), in the presence of the escorting armed personnel, told the SMM that armed “DPR” members had entered the village on 22 December and had been present until 24 December, when they had left the village in the early morning.
At 13:00hrs, the SMM left the village. During its time there, the SMM did not observe any armed persons or weaponry, with the exception of the escorting armed “DPR” members; nor did the SMM observe any ceasefire violations.
The SMM also conducted a mirror patrol in the west of Kominternove but could not get closer than a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint located 1.7km west of the village as explosive devices (including anti-tank mines) were still on the road between the checkpoint and the village.