Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 22 September 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM noted a number of instances of artillery fire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The SMM on 21 September met the leader of an irregular armed group – a self-styled Cossack commander – in Pervomais’k (70km north-west of Luhansk city). He insisted on being told in advance of any future SMM visit to territory controlled by him, saying the SMM’s security could not be guaranteed otherwise. The “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) has previously told the SMM that the “commander” in question is not under the command or control of the “LPR”. (See Daily Report 139/2014)
The SMM – stationary in Stanitsa Luhanska (24km north-east of Luhansk city) – heard two incoming artillery rounds, seemingly emanating from territory controlled by the “LPR”. Ukrainian soldiers manning a nearby checkpoint told the SMM that the rounds had been fired from Metalist (9km north of Luhansk city).
On the road between Shchastya (24km north of Luhansk city) and Novoaidar (58km north of Luhansk city), the SMM observed a Ukrainian military convoy comprising of three tanks, six GRAD MLRSs, one BTR 80 and eight trucks carrying equipment and troops. The convoy was moving south, in the direction of Shchastya.
The SMM observed on 21 September a pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Severodonetsk (98km northwest of Luhansk city). Approximately 200 people – two thirds female with a large number of young people – listened to speeches, chanted pro-Ukrainian slogans and displayed the Ukrainian national flag. The event was peaceful, with nine police officers in attendance.
The SMM, on the outskirts of Talakivka (20km north-west of Mariupol), heard four incoming 120mm artillery rounds at 11:30hrs, emanating from a north-easterly direction. On leaving the area, the SMM observed two columns of smoke rising from Talakivka.
A Ukrainian checkpoint commander – speaking to the SMM 8km north-east of Sartana (19km north-east of Mariupol) – claimed the checkpoint had been hit by three artillery rounds and a salvo of GRAD rockets on 21 September. The SMM observed three craters and a destroyed military vehicle at the scene.
The SMM – stationed approximately 5km east of Debaltseve (72km north-east of Donetsk city) – heard a number of incoming 120mm artillery rounds, coming from a south-easterly direction. On reaching a nearby Ukrainian military checkpoint, the SMM were told by the checkpoint commander that the checkpoint had just been hit by artillery fire, resulting in three soldiers being injured. The commander also claimed that an eastern suburb of Debaltseve had been subjected to a GRAD attack the previous day, resulting in the death of one woman and the wounding of a child. Municipal officials in Debaltseve corroborated the information supplied by the commander. The SMM later visited the scene of the alleged attack, observing eight damaged apartment blocks, with smashed window panes.
On the Avdeevka-Yatsinovata road (approximately 18km north of Donetsk city), the SMM observed on 21 September the simultaneous release of 28 Ukrainian servicemen and 28 members of irregular armed forces affiliated to the “Donetsk People’s Republic”.
Scuffles broke out in Kharkiv city centre when approximately 45 people broke away from a pro-unity demonstration to attack people attending a nearby pro-Russian demonstration. Police did not intervene to stop the violence but did help escort the mostly older female pro-Russians – who numbered approximately 50 – to safety. There were also a number of masked youths amongst the pro-Russian demonstrators, whom police arrested. The pro-unity demonstrators were mostly young and with an equal gender balance.
A District Election Commission official in Odessa city told the SMM that IDPs living in the region would be able to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He said those from Crimea would merely have to produce a national ID card, whilst those from Donbas would in addition have to prove they currently reside in the region. The voting rights of IDPs from Crimea are addressed under Ukrainian legislation, whilst those of IDPs from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not yet defined by law.
The situation remained calm in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv.
Антитеррористическая операция на востоке Украины
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