Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 15 October 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions focusing on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol/Memorandum. The SMM visited a number of border crossing points between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Rallies and marches were organized in a number of cities throughout the country on 14 October to mark the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the “Ukrainian Insurgent Army” (“UPA”).
On 15 October the SMM visited the Ukrainian-Russian border crossing point (BCP) in Goptivka (40km north of Kharkiv), where Prime-Minister Yatsenyuk attended the presentation ceremony of the “Wall” project, which foresees the construction of fortification installations along the border with Russia.
On 15 October the SMM visited the BCP in Taniushevka (140km north-west of Luhansk) at the Ukrainian – Russian border. According to Ukrainian Border Guards (BG), the traffic flow per 24hrs has decreased, with now around 400 persons and around 300 cars in both directions. The chief of customs service at the BCP reported that turnover of commercial cargoes has significantly decreased since July, with currently an average of 30 cargoes per week.
On 15 October the SMM, approximately 4km north of Shchastya (25km north of Luhansk), heard outgoing mortar shelling from Muratovo towards the area of Smile. In Shchastya the SMM heard incoming MLRS (GRAD) shelling originating in the area of Smile towards the area of Shchastya. The SMM further heard sustained light machine gun fire coming from Shchastya, but it could not ascertain the direction. The SMM observed approximately 20 IDPs registering at the transit camp in Shchastya.
In Mariupol the security situation remained tense. The SMM visited checkpoints (CP) to the north, north-east and east of Mariupol, which commanders reported to be relatively calm following heavy shelling on 14 October, including the fatal shelling incident in Sartana (see Spot Report 14 October).
In Slovyansk (110km north of Donetsk) the SMM attended a regional co-ordination meeting on IDPs sheltering, chaired by the Director of Slovyansk Resort, which houses IDPs, and attended by local NGOs, local authorities and UN agencies’ representatives. Some of the main points covered in the meeting related to the absence of international NGOs in the region and the growing fatigue of host communities, which increases IDPs’ vulnerability and frustration. Funds collected from private contributions have been declining as host community fatigue sets in, even though IDP needs have been growing. Local volunteer organizations receive increasing numbers of requests for basic food aid, which they cannot accommodate.
On 14 October the SMM met with the head of the military wing of “Right Sector” of Dnipropetrovsk, who stated that a strong central leadership ensures co-ordination between the political and paramilitary wings of the organization. The interlocutor informed the SMM that some of their members are engaged in volunteer battalions as well as in the military, but that “Right Sector” also has its own armed structure, which he claimed to be completely independent from regular forces.
The Head of the Forensic Bureau in Dnipropetrovsk informed the SMM about the procedures for the identification of soldiers’ remains which are brought to Dnipropetrovsk from the conflict zone. According to the interlocutors, thus far 133 individuals have been identified visually, and 55 have been identified through DNA analysis.
In Kherson, Odessa and Chernivtsi the situation remained calm.
In Ivano-Frankivsk some 300 persons attended a commemoration event on the occasion of Stefan Bandera’s anniversary, on 15 October. The event, which took place at the local monument of Stefan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist, where some 300 participants gathered, mainly students, both boys and girls. The event was organised by the Municipality of Ivano-Frankivsk. No police were visible at the scene.
On 15 October in Lviv the SMM observed a second protest organised by relatives of soldiers of the 3rd Lviv Territorial Defence Battalion, demanding their rotation and return from the "Anti-Terrorist Operations" (ATO) zone. (The first protest took place on 1 October. See Daily Report 2 October.) The protesters, approximately 80 persons, mainly women, blocked one of the city’s central streets. Phone negotiations were conducted between the protesters and representatives of the Ministry of Defence. The protesters dispersed after having prepared a letter with their demands to be sent to the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence. Whilst the event was ongoing, a car tried to move through the blocked street, and had its wind screen smashed by some of the protesters. The police, present at the scene, recorded the incident.
On 14 October the SMM monitored the Ukrainian-Russian border section near Gremyach (350km north of Kyiv) BCP. The SMM observed a low level of trucks and civilian vehicle traffic in both directions. Both the Ukrainian BG deputy commander and the head of the Custom Service at the BCP stated that the level of commercial traffic had reduced by 75% since the beginning of the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Since its previous visit in August 2014 (see Daily Report 30 August), the SMM noticed that the BCP infrastructure had been significantly reinforced in the framework of the “Wall” project.
On 14 October the SMM observed rallies and marches to mark the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the “Ukrainian Insurgent Army” (“UPA”) organized in a number of cities throughout the country. (See Daily Report 14 October). In Kharkiv some 3,000 demonstrators gathered at Constitution Square and marched to Liberty Square. The demonstration was led by members of the volunteer “Azov” battalion. In Lviv a march gathered around 400 persons, mainly young males, and moved through the city and ended in front of Stepan Bandera monument. In Odessa some 40-60 protesters, both male and female, gathered next to the Shevchenko monument, whilst in Kherson the event gathered around 120 persons in Freedom square. In Kalush (35km west of Ivano-Frankivsk) some 100 young people, both men and women, participated in a torchlight procession to commemorate the event.
Антитеррористическая операция на востоке Украины
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