Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30, 17 October …
The SMM recorded more explosions in Donetsk region compared with the day before, the vast majority of which occurred in areas north-east of Mariupol. In Luhansk region fewer explosions were recorded compared with the day before. The Mission continued to monitor the disengagement process in Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske; the SMM was restricted in its freedom of movement in all three areas.* The SMM observed the presence of weapons in violation of withdrawal lines. It monitored four border areas not under government control.
The Mission monitored long queues of pedestrians at entry-exit checkpoints at Stanytsia Luhanska. It monitored the situation of internally displaced persons in Odessa. The SMM observed more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region, including over 450 explosions compared with 236 the day before. More than 350 explosions were recorded in areas to the north-east of Mariupol.
During the night of 16-17 October, the SMM camera in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) in over ten hours of observation, facing north-east and north-north-east, recorded a total of 184 direct tracer rounds, fired from – in sequence – south-east to north-west, west to east, east to west, and south to north, east to west, south-east to north-west, west to east and east to west; six rocket-assisted projectiles fired – in sequence – from south-east to north-west and south to north, as well as two outgoing explosions assessed as muzzle flashes north of its position, all at undetermined distances. Positioned in Pionerske (government-controlled, 14km east of Mariupol), in about an hour of observation early in the morning the SMM heard 40 explosions assessed as outgoing mortar rounds of unknown calibre 1-2km north. Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Zaichenko (26km north-east of Mariupol), in about three hours of observation, the SMM heard 46 undetermined explosions at an undetermined distance mostly north-north-west, north-west and west-north-west.
Positioned in Lebedynske (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Mariupol), in over six hours of observation, the SMM heard 49 undetermined explosions at locations ranging between 2 and 5km, mostly east, east-north-east and north-north-east. In 20 minutes in the afternoon, in the same area the SMM heard 21 undetermined explosions and a ten-minute-long exchange of small-arms fire 5km south-east. Positioned 1.5km south of the village, the SMM heard 36 explosions, 18 of which it assessed as rounds outgoing from an unknown weapon 1-2km north-north-west, the remainder undetermined 5km north-north-east.
Positioned in government-controlled Vodiane (19km north-east of Mariupol), in about three hours of observation, the SMM heard within an hour 32 undetermined explosions, half of which at an unknown distance south-south-east, and the remainder 3km east-south-east, south-east and north-east. Shortly after that, in about one hour the SMM heard 68 undetermined explosions and a thirty-minute-long exchange of small-arms fire at an unknown distance north-west, north-east and east. Positioned in government-controlled Pyshchevyk (25km north-east of Mariupol) in about two hours of observation, the SMM heard 29 undetermined explosions, mostly south-east, and six assessed as artillery rounds 5km south-east.
Positioned in government-controlled Orlivske (23km north-east of Mariupol) in about an hour of observation, the SMM heard seven explosions assessed as impacts 7 to 8km south-east and five explosions assessed as outgoing artillery rounds at an unknown distance south-south-west, in the wider area of “DPR”-controlled Pikuzy (formerly Kominternove, 23km east of Mariupol). Positioned in government-controlled Sopyne (16km east of Mariupol) in about an hour of observation the SMM heard 16 undetermined explosions at a range between 4 and 5km north-north-east, north and north-north-west. In the evening and night hours of 16 October, in over six hours of observation, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 54 explosions assessed as caused by recoilless gun rounds (SPG, 73mm) and some 300 bursts of heavy-machine-gun and anti-aircraft-gun fire 3-4km south-south-east, as well as 30 explosions assessed as impacts of 122mm artillery rounds 7-8km north-east.
Positioned at the Donetsk central railway station (“DPR”-controlled, 6km north-west of Donetsk city centre) in some six hours of observation the SMM heard 25 undetermined explosions and a ten-minute long exchange of small-arms fire in the morning at locations ranging from 3 to 7km north and north-north-east, and one undetermined explosion 3-4km west. Positioned in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) ), in over six hours of observation, the SMM heard six undetermined explosions and one impact assessed as an 82mm mortar round 4km south-west and 13 undetermined explosions at locations ranging between 2 and 4km east. The SMM camera in Avdiivka in about 21 hours of observation recorded 19 explosions assessed as impacts 3-4km south-east of its location.
Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard three undetermined explosions, at locations ranging between 4 and 7km west. While at the government side of the Bohdanivka disengagement area (41km south-west of Donetsk) in over six hours of observation, at 09:55 the SMM heard one undetermined explosion approximately 1.5km north, assessed as occurring outside the disengagement area. In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations compared with the previous day, including eight explosions compared with 72 explosions on 16 October.
While in “LPR”-controlled Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov, 50km west of Luhansk), in over five hours of observation, within four minutes around midnight on 16 October, the SMM heard six explosions assessed as caused by artillery rounds 3-5km in an unknown direction. During the day, in about an hour of observation, positioned at the westernmost side of “LPR”-controlled Zolote-5 (61km north-west of Luhansk; outside the disengagement area), near the railway tracks, the SMM heard an explosion assessed as impact of a rocket-propelled grenade and one undetermined explosion, 0.5km west. Both explosions were assessed as occurring outside of the disengagement area.
Later in the afternoon, in about four hours of observation, positioned at the “LPR” checkpoint south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard approximately six bursts of small-arms fire, 0.4km north-north-west of its position, assessed as occurring inside the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area. The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas of Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (60km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September. The Armed Forces and armed formations, obliged under the Decision to remove or fence off explosive objects and ensure safety and secure access for the SMM to the disengagement areas, have yet to complete this in any of the three areas.
The Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), tasked by the Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on mine action of 3 March 2016 to carry out the overall co-ordination of demining work and repeatedly tasked to contribute to rapid response to impediments to monitoring by the SMM, was not observed doing so in any of the three areas. As a result SMM’s access remained restricted in all three areas,* but the Mission was able to partially monitor them. From the government-controlled side of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge Ukrainian Armed Forces officers at the JCCC told the SMM the Ukrainian Armed Forces had not received an order to proceed with the disengagement process.
At the “LPR”-controlled side, an armed “LPR” member told the SMM he had no information regarding the start of the disengagement process. The SMM could not reach the railway bridge (inside the disengagement area) from “LPR”-controlled areas south-west of the pedestrian bridge (inside the disengagement area) as “LPR” members told the SMM no demining had taken place and mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) were still present.* Russian Federation Armed Forces officers at the JCCC could not assist with providing security guarantees to the SMM at the “LPR”-controlled side of the Zolote-Pervomaisk disengagement area to assist in ensuring secure access for the SMM.
Due to the lack of guarantees that the area had been demined, the SMM could not proceed through the potential Zolote-Pervomaisk crossing route from either side.* The SMM was not enabled to enter the disengagement area on the western side of “DPR”-controlledPetrivske as “DPR” members did not ensure safety and security for the SMM and the Russian Federation Armed Forces officers from the JCCC could not assist with providing security guarantees for the SMM.* Three previously observed mine warning signs (white lettering in both Russian and English languages on a red background) were seen on the western side of Petrivske. An armed “DPR” member said he was not aware of any demining activity having taken place.
The SMM could not enter the area due to the lack of security guarantees and the threat of mines the sides had not removed.* A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer from the JCCC could not assist in ensuring security for the SMM to travel from government-controlled Bohdanivka east to Petrivske via the road to Viktorivka (42km south-west of Donetsk) along the north side of the disengagement area, because, according to him, mines had yet to be removed.* While at the government side of the disengagement area, at 09:55, the SMM heard one undetermined explosion approximately 1.5km north, assessed as occurring outside the disengagement area. The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons, in implementation of the Package of Measures and its Addendum, as well as the Memorandum.
In violation of the respective withdrawal lines the SMM observed ten towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B,_152mm) at the train station in government-controlled Kostiantynivka (60km north of Donetsk), four self-propelled howitzers (2S3 _Akatsiya, 152mm) and six towed howitzers (D-30, 122mm) near Bohoiavlenka (46km south-west of Donetsk) and six anti-tank guns (2A29/MT-12 Rapira, 100 mm) near Novozhelanne (34km north-west of Donetsk). Beyond the withdrawal lines but outside assigned areas the SMM observed in government-controlled areas: ten tanks (T-72) and six mortars (2B11, 120mm) near Bohoiavlenka; two mortars (2B11, 82mm) near government-controlled Kostiantynivka; and a convoy consisting of six tanks (T-64) on trailers heading north-east in Pokrovsk (formerly Krasnoarmiisk, 55km north-west of Donetsk). The SMM revisited permanent storage sites, whose locations corresponded with the withdrawal lines.
In government-controlled areas the SMM observed that 20 tanks (T-64) and ten mortars (82mm) were missing: seven 2B9 (one since 26 April, six since 29 July), two BM37 (one since 24 May, one since 29 July) and one 2B14 (since 29 July 2016). The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles and an anti-aircraft weapon in the security zone.****The SMM observed a convoy consisting of seven infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-2) and three military trucks, one of which was towing an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) 2km south-east of government-controlled Hirske (63km west of Luhansk), travelling south-west. The SMM continued to observe the presence of **unexploded ordnance (UXO) **near populated areas.
The SMM saw for the first time four UXO (assessed as 82mm mortar rounds) stuck in the asphalt road 20 metres south of the Prince Ihor monument (15km north-east of Luhansk) near Stanytsia Luhanska, outside the disengagement area. The SMM saw two grenades (AGS) attached to a support pillar on the western side of the wooden ramp at the collapsed part of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. The SMM continued to observe long queues at entry-exit checkpoints along the contact line.
At07:20 at the “LPR” checkpoint immediately south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, the SMM saw some 1,200 pedestrians queuing to travel toward government-controlled areas and no queue in the opposite direction. At 13:10, at the same checkpoint, the SMM saw approximately 1,000 people waiting in a queue to travel toward government-controlled areas and approximately 300 waiting to cross in the opposite direction. The SMM observed a calm situation in four border areas currently not under government control.
On 16 October, at the Marynivka border crossing point (78km east of Donetsk) the SMM saw three fuel tanker trailer trucks (one with Ukrainian licence plates, two with “DPR” plates) and six civilian cars (two with Russian Federation licence plates, two with Ukrainian licence plates and two with “DPR” plates) queuing to exit Ukraine. Within 25 minutes, the SMM saw the three fuel trucks and four of the cars enter an area of the crossing point. At the Uspenka border crossing point (73km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM saw 29 covered cargo trucks, including two large fuel tanker trailer trucks (all with Ukrainian licence plates, except two which had “DPR” plates), one bus with a sign reading “Sevastopol-Donetsk”, and 35 civilian cars (all with Ukrainian licence plates, except 15 which had Russian Federation ones, two had “DPR” plates and one had Belarussian licence plates) queuing to exit Ukraine.
The SMM also saw 22 parked civilian cars, appearing to be taxis, and one luxury sport utility vehicle with Georgian licence plates. Within one hour, the SMM saw the two fuel trucks, two covered cargo trucks, six civilian cars and the bus marked “Sevastopol-Donetsk” exit Ukraine. In the same time period, the SMM saw 11 civilian cars, two covered cargo trucks, nine pedestrians and one bus with a sign “Moscow-Donetsk” enter Ukraine.
The SMM also saw one black minivan, with tinted windows and black licence plates with white lettering with two middle-aged men in civilian clothes and two men in camouflage type attire enter Ukraine. At the Ulianivske pedestrian crossing point (61km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM saw nine civilian cars (all with Ukrainian licence plates) parked near the crossing point and no people crossing in either direction. At the Dovzhanskyi border crossing point (84km south-east of Luhansk), the SMM saw 25 civilian cars with Ukrainian licence plates, two with Russian Federation ones and one with Georgian licence plates in the parking area.
The SMM saw 15 civilian cars and two minivans (all vehicles had Ukrainian licence plates, except for three which had Russian Federation ones), two covered cargo trucks (with Ukrainian licence plates) and two buses (both with Ukrainian licence plates and no signs visible referring to their itinerary or destination) queuing to exit Ukraine. Within 40 minutes, the SMM saw three cars, one covered cargo truck and one bus (sign reading “Rostov-Antratsyt-Stakhanov”), all with Ukrainian licence plates, enter Ukraine. The SMM monitored the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The SMM monitored the departure of 57 IDPs from the Kuialnyk sanatorium in Odessa city as they began their relocation to the Sviatohirsk sanatorium (see SMM Daily Report 13 October 2016) in Donetsk region. The director of the facility told the SMM that he would disconnect water and electricity in the building as soon as the IDPs left. The SMM later spoke to an IDP remaining at Kuialnyk, who said that 27 IDPs were still at the facility, including one insulin dependent woman and one child with disabilities, and that the power had been cut at 14:30 on 17 October.
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Chernivtsi, and Kyiv. Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate The SMM’s monitoring and freedom of movement are restricted by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines, unexploded ordnance, and other impediments – which vary from day to day.
The SMM’s mandate provides for safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. All signatories of the Package of Measures have agreed on the need for this safe and secure access, that restriction of the SMM’s freedom of movement constitutes a violation, and on the need for rapid response to these violations. Denial of access:
The SMM could not proceed further from the “LPR”-controlled side of the closed crossing route between Zolote and Pervomaisk due to the possible presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).
The SMM informed the JCCC.
The SMM did not proceed across the bridge from government-controlled Shchastia due to the presence of mines. The SMM informed the JCCC.
The SMM could not proceed across the bridge from “LPR”-controlled areas south of the bridge to government-controlled Shchastia due to the presence of mines. The SMM informed the JCCC.
At an “LPR” checkpoint immediately south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, the SMM could not proceed further to the railway bridge (inside the disengagement area), due to mine contamination.
The SMM saw a mine hazard sign at the beginning of the road. The SMM informed the JCCC.
As Russian Federation Armed Forces officers from the JCCC could not assist with providing security guarantees for the SMM in “DPR”-controlled Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk) to assist in ensuring security for the SMM, the SMM was not enabled to proceed west of the village towards the disengagement area. The SMM informed the JCCC.
A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer from the JCCC could not assist in ensuring security for the SMM to travel from government-controlled Bohdanivka (41km south-west of Donetsk) on the road to Viktorivka (42km south-west of Donetsk), because, according to him, mines had yet to be removed.
The SMM informed the JCCC.
Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel denied the SMM passage east through a checkpoint at the junction of road E-58 and the road leading to Lebedynske (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Mariupol), without providing a reason. The SMM informed the JCCC.
Please see the annexed table for a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations as well as map of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions marked with locations featured in this report. For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit:http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/275366
- ^ the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September (osce.us6.list-manage2.com)
- ^ SMM Daily Report 13 October 2016 (osce.us6.list-manage1.com)
- ^ the annexed table (osce.us6.list-manage1.com)
- ^ http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/275366 (osce.us6.list-manage.com)
- ^ +380 67 650 31 57 (reliefweb.int)
- ^ firstname.lastname@example.org (alexandra.taylor%40osce.org)
- ^ +380 44 382 0832 (reliefweb.int)
- ^ +380 67 466 2563 (reliefweb.int)
- ^ Tetiana.Tesliuchenko@osce.org (tetiana.tesliuchenko%40osce.org)