Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 24 October 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued focusing on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum. The situation remained volatile in Donetsk and Luhansk. The SMM was prevented from entering the city of Telmanove.
On 21 October in Smile (35km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM monitored a meeting between a representative of the Ukrainian ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ and representatives of the “Ministry of Internal Affairs” of the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) who agreed on the creation of a humanitarian corridor to a surrounded Ukrainian checkpoint in the village. On 23 October in Frunze (45km north-west of Luhansk), and following the aforementioned agreement, the SMM monitored the arrival of a Ukrainian truck carrying humanitarian aid escorted by a Ukrainian NGO “the Union of Afghan Veterans of Ukraine” (UA VU) and accompanied by Russian television journalists. The SMM observed that the truck contained food supplies and winter clothes. In Smile, the convoy entered “LPR”-controlled territory where local “LPR” armed personnel stopped the truck at the last “LPR” checkpoint before the Ukrainian-surrounded position. After various “LPR” groups started internal discussions, the local “LPR” personnel manning the checkpoint denied the Ukrainian humanitarian convoy access to the surrounded checkpoint. The humanitarian convoy left Smile without reaching the surrounded Ukrainian checkpoint.
On 23 October, the SMM spoke to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Pervomaisk (85km west of Luhansk) at a hostel in Popasna, housing 45 IDPs. The town council provides the accommodation. The IDPs were aware of the new national registration of IDPs based on the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 509. Some had already applied, and others intended to do so. The deputy head of the town council for social issues said that the amount of financial aid offered was insufficient to meet IDPs’ needs. He said that the town council provides food and accommodation for those IDPs in need, although many had found accommodation themselves.
In and around the city of Donetsk, the overall security situation was tense. In Telmanove (70km southeast of Donetsk city), a checkpoint commander who said he was from the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) prevented the SMM from entering the city centre. The SMM then visited the hospital and met the hospital’s deputy chief who said the situation in town was volatile. According to him, shelling was occurring on a daily basis from unspecified directions. A 63-year-old man from the “DPR”-controlled village of Nova Laspa (20km east from Telmanove) had been wounded by shrapnel. The SMM visited the patient in his hospital room, who said that he had been wounded on 23 October.
The SMM proceeded to the “DPR”-controlled village of Kumacheve (25km south-east of Telmanove) and spoke to local inhabitants who said they had not received their salaries and pensions in the last three months and, to date, the issue still remains unresolved. Other basic utilities like food, electricity and water were supplied regularly, they said.
In Grabskoe, a “DPR”-controlled village (50km south of Donetsk), the SMM visited a local school and kindergarten, which are both currently operational. According to locals, 41 pupils study at the school and ten children attend the kindergarten. Damage caused during intense shelling in August were still being repaired, according to locals. The heating system was operational, the SMM observed. According to locals, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation had recently distributed aid in food clothes.
In Mariupol a member of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) reported that several Ukrainian military positions along the River Kalmius had been targeted with mortar shells during the past three days. Heavy machine-guns mounted on Armed Personnel Carriers (APC) had been firing in a north-westerly direction from Kaplani (36km north-east of Mariupol city) across the river at Ukrainian military positions.
In Debaltseve (100km south-east of Kramatorsk) Ukrainian and Russian members of the JCCC discussed the need to strengthen the ceasefire in the area of Donetsk airport and therefore scheduled a meeting on 28 October in Donetsk. From 10:15 to 11:15hrs the SMM heard sporadic outgoing rounds in the northern outskirts of Debaltseve, probably from 122 mm artillery. At about 12:00hrs the SMM heard multiple incoming rounds consistent with Grad rockets impacting in the north-east of Debaltseve.
In Dnipropetrovsk the SMM followed up on media reports about the disappearance of a member of the regional lustration committee on 23 October. A representative of the local police confirmed that an official investigation had begun. The SMM spoke to a Maidan activist who had been co-operating with the member of the lustration committee and said that the evening before her disappearance, another activist had been approached by several men who identified themselves as official investigators but did not specify from which agency. They showed the activist a signed summons to come for interrogation. The activist locked himself in his house and refused to leave. The investigators eventually left and have not contacted the activist again.
On 23 October the SMM monitored a demonstration in front of the Odesa Ministry of Interior headquarters organized by “Right Sector” members, demanding the start of the lustration process of the deputy head of police and head of public order department. There were 40 protesters, varying in age from 20- to 30-years-old. About 30 uniformed police officers were protecting the entrance of the building with back-up police in one bus. Protesters had 10 “Right Sector” flags and four Ukrainian flags. They handed over an open letter addressed to the president and to the highest-ranking police officer, which included demands to “free the police from corrupt officers and traitors”. The protest was peaceful and no incidents were reported.
The SMM monitored a warning protest in front of the Lviv regional administration organized by the NGO “Platform of Free People”. The protesters gathered to recall the elapsing of the ultimatum period for lustration and the dismissal of the director of the gas company “Lvivgazvydobuvannya”. Forty-four protesters, between 18- and 30-years-old, blocked the road in front of the building. They demanded the dismissal of the director by 26 October at the latest; otherwise they would subject him to “garbage lustration”. The organization announced a lustration march on 29 October in Lviv, targeting authorities who “are lying to the Ukrainian people”. The protest ended peacefully with no incidents reported. The SMM saw six police officers present.
The situation in Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kyiv remained calm.
Антитеррористическая операция на востоке Украины
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