The provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum as well as the activities of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination remained the focus of SMM monitoring. Even though the SMM did not hear shelling in Donetsk city, the situation remained tense throughout the region. The SMM observed several demonstrations in the rest of the country.
On 31 October the SMM observed a large gathering in Luhansk, about 2,000-3,000 mainly young men, with flags (both “Lugansk People’s Republic” and Russian Federation). The SMM talked to local people present at the gathering, who said that it was an anti-Maidan meeting. The SMM observed the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) police vehicles were marked "military police" and had license plates marked "Novorossiya". The SMM observed two BM21 (Grad) and one 122mm artillery piece in the centre of Luhansk city, moving in a northerly direction.
On 1 November the SMM met with an “LPR district police officer” in Luhansk city. The interlocutor said that when the Ukrainian State employees left “LPR”-controlled territory, they evacuated all information data bases, equipment and weapons. According to him “LPR military” units took over the functions of “law enforcement”. He said that the restructuring and re-building of an “LPR police” service is on-going. According to the interlocutor, salaries are not yet paid; instead “LPR police” staff are paid in-kind with food. Currently the “LPR police” undertake the registration of all reported crimes and in some cases formulate cases in accordance with the criminal law of Ukraine. However, due to there being no prosecutors or courts operating in “LPR” these files remain pending. The interlocutor said that “LPR” has not adopted any criminal law and there is no criminal procedural code. This includes the legal means to arrest, hold, detain and charge people.
The SMM visited the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) in Olenivka (25km SW of Donetsk city) and observed that the JCCC has not yet been provided with transportation and personal protection equipment. According to the JCCC representatives, the issue of transport was required not only for patrolling purposes, but also for evacuation.
The SMM went to Krasnoarmeysk, controlled by Ukrainian forces (76km NW of Donetsk) and met with a police official. He informed the SMM that the situation in the city and its outskirts was calm. The interlocutor referred to instances of lustrations based on the lustration law. Reportedly, eight police officers of Krasnoarmeysk were, prior to any notification, suddenly fired. All of the fired police officers were now defending their rights at the court in Dnipropetrovsk, the SMM was told.
On 1 November at 09:20hrs and 11:13hrs, the SMM heard incoming heavy artillery and Grad shelling to the northeast of Mariupol. The SMM could not ascertain the origin of the shelling. The JCCC representative in Mariupol and a Ukrainian military representative reported that the shelling at 09:20 had targeted Ukrainian positions in Pavlopil (32km NE of Mariupol). The JCCC representative said that Ukrainian forces responded to the 09:20hrs Grad fire with artillery towards the north-eastern direction.
On 2 November an SMM Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was fired upon by an anti-aircraft gun at a location 2.5km NE of Shyrokyne village (17km E of Mariupol, which is in territory controlled by “DPR”) (see SMM Spot Report 2 November). During the whole flight the unique identifier of the SMM UAV's transponder (call-sign UAV 308) was visible to airspace management radars.
On 2 November at 07:30hrs the SMM in Mariupol heard a loud explosion from a distance. A Ukrainian military representative told the SMM that there had been a car bomb incident at a Ukrainian checkpoint on the eastern city limit of Mariupol. He said that the explosion seriously injured the driver and three Ukrainian soldiers, one of whom died at the Mariupol first-aid hospital of his injuries soon after the blast. At the scene, the SMM observed a 30cm-deep crater with a diameter of about 1 meter. About five meters west of the crater, the SMM observed the whole clutch transmission of the vehicle. The SMM also saw two wheels, still attached to portions of an axel, each approximately 100 meters from the crater in north-west and south-west directions (respectively) from the crater, at apparently equal degree angles.
The SMM visited the JCCC HQ in Debaltseve where representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian Federation general staff carried out their daily routine in the absence of their generals. Members of “Donetsk People’s Republic” (”DPR”) and “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) were also present. The Ukrainian representative reported that there are 62 Ukrainians, while the Russian representative gave the figure of 76 Russian officers present in the entire JCCC structure. The representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian Federation general staff informed the SMM that their respective generals were absent because of a high priority meeting scheduled for 5 November in Donetsk to discuss the cessation of violence around Donetsk airport.
In Kharkiv the situation was calm.
On 2 November the SMM observed a peaceful rally of IDPs in Dnipropetrovsk city centre. About 70 IDPs, the majority of whom were women, gathered to protest against the so-called elections held in ”DPR”- and “LPR”-controlled territory. The organizer of the rally told the SMM that many people did not attend the protest because of security fears, given the fact that their property and family remained behind in the Donetsk or Luhansk regions. No police were visible at the site. The participants dispersed after around 90 minutes.
In Odessa the SMM saw on 2 November at Kulikovo Pole about 30 riot and 15 police officers securing the Trade Union building. At 17:15hrs the SMM observed about 100 people with an equal balance of middle aged men and women lighting candles, which formed the text “Odessa will not forgive.” Approximately 100 police officers were present. The mood of the protestors was sombre and the atmosphere calm.
On 2 November the SMM observed a rally by the local self-defence group against the Governor of the Kherson region in front of the regional administration building. About 50 people, the majority of whom were male, elderly people, had gathered, but only five of them were clearly recognizable self-defence members wearing camouflage. The SMM saw ten police officers who stood by around the building. There were also several private security guards present. The gathering ended after one hour. No incidents were reported.
In Chernivtsi the SMM observed a crowd varying between 20 and 100 people gathering in front of the Shevshenko statute on Central Square protesting against the so-called “elections” held in “DPR”- and “LPR”-controlled territory on 2 November. Police were present. Most of the people were elderly and middle aged men. No incidents were reported.
On 2 November the SMM observed a peaceful march of about 30 IDPs, mostly middle-aged women, in the city center of Ivano-Frankivsk demonstrating against the so-called “elections” being held in “DPR”- and “LPR”-controlled territory. The march lasted for one hour, with participants dispersing peacefully. The SMM did not see any police presence. No incidents were reported.
On 2 November the SMM observed a march organized by the Lviv regional administration and the city council to commemorate the foundation of the “Western Ukrainian People's Republic” Comment: The “western Ukrainian People’s Republic” was a short-lived republic that existed in late 1918 and early 1919 in eastern Galicia. It included the cities of Lviv Peremyshl), Kolomyia and Ivano-Frankivsk. About 80 participants, mostly young females, dressed in period uniforms marched from Halitska Square to Market Square. The event was observed by approximately 150 spectators. The event, which lasted for about an hour, was a peaceful one, with one traffic police vehicle present.