Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 12 January 2016
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM observed a calm situation in most parts of Donbas, including at and around Donetsk airport, but recorded numerous ceasefire violations close to Horlivka. The Mission found a number of previously-observed weapons missing from a Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding area. It experienced numerous freedom-of-movement restrictions* in areas not controlled by the Government, in particular in areas in and around Kominternove.
Positioned 6km north-west of Donetsk city centre between 9:50 and 15:00hrs, the SMM recorded no ceasefire violations at or around the destroyed “DPR”-controlled Donetsk airport (12km north-west of Donetsk).
Whilst in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk) on the evening and night of 11 January, the SMM heard a number of exchanges at a “DPR”-controlled location 3-4km west of its position: between 17:15 and 17:24hrs, five mortar impacts (82mm), plus outgoing rounds of small arms and light weapons (including self-propelled grenade launchers); between 19:48 and 21:33hrs, 97 mortar impacts (82mm and 120mm) and 85 mortar rounds; and, between 22:19 and 00:30hrs, 12 mortar impacts (82mm), as well as small-arms fire and one outgoing mortar round.
Whilst in the general vicinity of “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard on two separate occasions sporadic small-arms fire from the direction of “DPR”-controlled Oktiabr (29km north-east of Mariupol) and from a location to the south-east.
The situation remained relatively calm in Luhansk region. Positioned in “LPR”-controlled Bile (22km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM, however, heard two undetermined explosions approximately 5km to the south. Close to government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM also heard several bursts of small-arms fire, assessed as part of a training exercise at a nearby Ukrainian Armed Forces shooting range. 
The SMM continued to observe the presence of mines and unexploded ordnance, noting, in particular, 16 clearly marked and demarcated anti-tank mines on the road close to a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), which had not been present on previous visits.
Beyond the withdrawal lines and outside storage sites, the SMM observed the following Addendum-regulated weapon: one tank (T-72) near “DPR”-controlled Ternove (57km east of Donetsk).
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons foreseen in the Minsk Package of measures. The Mission has yet to receive the full information requested in the 16 October notification.
The SMM continues to revisit locations known to it as heavy weapons holding areas, even though they do not comply with the specific criteria set out for permanent storage sites in the 16 October 2015 notification.
In a government-controlled area beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM revisited such a holding area and found that all previously-recorded weapons – namely, 10 tanks (T-64) and 18 towed artillery systems (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) – were missing. The SMM noted the presence for the first time of 18 different towed artillery systems (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm).
The SMM monitored the presence of other hardware, observing, inter alia, an artillery command vehicle close to government-controlled Troitske (69km north-west of Luhansk).
The SMM continued to monitor civilian movement across the contact line. At two Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoints close to government-controlled Marinka (23km west-south-west of Donetsk), the SMM observed a total of 196 cars and four buses waiting to go west, and 17 cars and three buses waiting to go east. At the “LPR” checkpoint south of government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk,), the SMM observed approximately 25 people queuing, waiting three to five minutes to cross the bridge to the government-controlled side of the river. People crossing – many of them elderly – struggled to maintain their footing on the snow-covered rickety foot-bridge which connects the parts of the destroyed bridge, with one old lady (approximately 70 years old) falling. Armed “LPR” members at the nearby checkpoint told the SMM that it was too dangerous for them to clear the bridge of snow. At a “DPR” checkpoint near “DPR”-controlled Oktiabr (29km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM observed “DPR” members inputting identification document details of those passing (including those of SMM members*) into computers.
The SMM continued to monitor humanitarian and socio-economic conditions. Two male residents of government-controlled Troitske (69km north-west of Luhansk) told the SMM that coal received from an international non-governmental organization would only allow people in the town to heat their homes for another two weeks. They claimed the coal was sub-standard. The SMM noted rocks in some of the coal. They added there was no other coal available and the risk of mines in surrounding areas precluded the option of cutting or collecting firewood. In government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-west of Luhansk), the deputy head of the civil-military administration told the SMM that the same international non-governmental organization had provided enough coal and firewood to last the whole winter to the residents of Trokhizbenka, as well as to the local kindergarten.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kherson, Lviv, Odessa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi 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 alongside the border in parts of Luhansk region not controlled by the Government.
Denial of access:
- Armed “LPR” members at a checkpoint close to “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km west of Luhansk) refused to allow the SMM to proceed in the direction of government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk).
- Armed “LPR” members refused to allow the SMM access to an “LPR” compound near “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km west of Luhansk). After an almost hour-and-a-half wait, only one monitor was allowed to enter the compound.
- Armed “DPR” members at a checkpoint near “DPR”-controlled Prymorske (39km north-east of Mariupol) refused to allow the SMM to pass through the checkpoint.
- Armed “DPR” members delayed the SMM for 19 minutes at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Kominternove, and thereafter only allowed the SMM to proceed into the village on condition of accepting an escort.
- Armed “DPR” members stopped the SMM at a checkpoint near Oktiabr, and only allowed them to proceed after 54 minutes.
 All times are in Eastern European Time unless otherwise specified.
 For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.