Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 19 September 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the non-use of weapons provision of the Minsk Protocol, noting sporadic shelling around Donetsk and Mariupol cities, and in an area west of Luhansk city. Elsewhere in Donbas, however, calm prevailed, most notably in Luhansk city, where, in addition to a cessation of violence, normal services are beginning to be restored.
Scuffles, observed by the SMM, broke out in Kharkiv city centre between pro-unity and pro-Russian activists, when a number of masked men broke away from a 50-person pro-unity rally and attacked participants of a nearby demonstration in which around 50 members of the Ukrainian Communist Party were singing the Russian national anthem. The attack – which happened despite a cordon of 50 police officers separating the sides – resulted, according to the police, in three people, including one police officer, sustaining injuries. Police intervened, preventing an escalation and restoring order, and both sides dispersed.
Approximately 150 people – equally gender balanced with 30 children and 20 World War II veterans – peacefully marked the anniversary of the liberation of Zachepilovka (140km southwest of Kharkiv city) by Soviet troops during the Second World War. Soviet and Ukrainian flags were on display, and both Soviet soldiers who fought for the city’s liberation and Ukrainian soldiers currently fighting in Donbas were honoured by participants. Approximately 30 police officers were in attendance.
The SMM – stationary in Zolote and Gorskoye (both approximately 70km northwest of Luhansk city) – witnessed a number of artillery shells impacting, all of which were assessed to have emanated from the nearby town of Pervomais’k. The town is under the control of a self-styled Cossack commander, who, according to the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”), is not under the command or control of the “LPR”. (See Daily Report 139/2014)
In Luhansk city, the SMM noted that electricity has been restored, and that mobile phone coverage and internet access greatly improved.
The SMM heard sporadic shelling in the vicinity of Donetsk airport and to the southeast of the city. The SMM also heard several rounds of anti-aircraft fire from the direction of Mariupol airport on 18 September, and automatic fire the following day, also from the airport.
At 19:00hrs, the head of the village council of Pavlopol (25km northwest of Mariupol) claimed to the SMM by phone that there had been artillery shelling, involving URAGAN MLRS, between 16:00 and 18:00hrs. The shelling, he said, emanated from the area around Krasnoarmeyske (29km, northeast of Mariupol) – controlled by the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) – and targeted the Ukrainian-controlled village of Kelchik (22km north of Mariupol) and the H20 road (22km north of Mariupol). At 20:45hrs, the SMM heard shelling to the northeast of Mariupol. The village council head again called almost immediately, saying shelling had recommenced with the same fire-line as he had earlier indicated. The SMM noted that the shelling lasted for one hour, with approximately 45 rounds being fired.
UNHCR representatives told the SMM that an estimated 1,500 IDPs in the Dnipropetrovsk region and 670 in the Zaporizhzhia region needed shelter assistance. UNHCR has identified buildings which will be refurbished by UNHCR at a cost of USD 350,000, and intends to hand out blankets and other necessities to IDPs living in collective and private accommodation. In addition, 765 vulnerable IDP children in Berdiansk and Primorsk (both about 280km southeast of Dnipropetrovsk city) – identified by Zaporizhzhia Social Protection Department – will be given winter clothes and shoes.
The situation remained calm in Kherson.
Ukrainian Ministry of Defence officials – speaking at a press conference in Odessa city attended by the SMM – said the third round of partial mobilisation had come to an end on 6 September. They said the target of 5,500 draftees in the Odessa region – over the three rounds – had been reached. On 18 September, the regional military commander in Ivano-Frankivsk also said the third round had come to an end. (See Daily Report 144/2014)
The situation remained calm in Chernivtsi.
The head of Ternopil Regional Council told the SMM in Ternopil (127km southeast of Lviv) on 18 September that 10 Ukrainian servicemen from the Ternopil region had thus far been killed in the fighting in the east, more than 50 had been wounded, and 56 are being held captive by irregular armed groups.
At a roundtable in Kyiv – which had participants from the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Security and Defence Council, think tanks and Ukrainian army volunteer battalions – the panel informed the SMM that four active servicemen and seven members of volunteer battalions would contest seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
At a conference in Kyiv, IDPs from Donbas complained that they were often accused by members of host communities of being “separatists” and “warmongers”, whilst IDPs from Crimea emphasised their sense of loss, having left their homes and communities.
Антитеррористическая операция на востоке Украины
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