Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 26 November 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, focusing on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum.
In Kharkiv the SMM was told by representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) that two suspects, both Kharkiv residents, had been arrested as they were allegedly preparing an attack against a district police office in the city. The interlocutors also informed the SMM of a bomb threat, in the early morning of 26 November, in a supermarket located close to the southern railway station. No explosive device was found after the premises were searched by the police.
On 24 November in Luhansk the SMM met the “deputy prime minister” and “minister of healthcare” of the so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) with regards to the regional psycho-neurological hospital in Slovyanoserbsk, which the SMM had visited on 23 November (see Daily Report of 24 November). The “deputy prime minister” informed the SMM that he was considering evacuating the hospital to another facility within “LPR”-controlled territory, and asked the SMM for support in facilitating a local ceasefire.
On 26 November the acting director of the Luhansk branch of Oshadbank told the SMM that, as of 24 November, all the Oshadbank operations within “LPR”-controlled territory have ceased. Oshadbank accounts are still available and valid but can only be accessed on government-controlled territory (see also Note to Editors below for background information on Oshadbank)..
On 25 November the SMM visited Perevalsk (44 km west of Luhansk), under “LPR” control. The SMM met two members of a humanitarian organisation who informed the SMM of the worsening situation in the neighbouring town of Alchevsk (44 km west of Luhansk), due to a shortage of food and medicines. The interlocutors said that they believe the situation is caused by an irregular armed group who has control over that area, and is confiscating humanitarian aid directed to Alchevsk. The SMM also met with a representative from “LPR” in Perevalsk, who stated that the entire situation in Alchevsk was out of control and that the “LPR” is reluctant to visit the village.
In the area of Maiorsk (45 km north of Donetsk), whilst stationary at a checkpoint manned by Ukrainian forces near Shumy (50 km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM came under fire from a rocket-propelled grenade and multiple anti-aircraft rounds. There were no injuries or damage sustained in the attack (see Spot Report of 26 November).
In Krasnyi Lyman (110 km north of Donetsk), a government-controlled area, the SMM visited the Centre for Social Services for Family, Children and Youth, which provides assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the municipality. According to the centre’s records, as of 24 November, there are 7,482 IDPs in the municipality of Krasnyi Lyman including 3,731 pensioners, 301 people with disabilities and 791 children. The interlocutor told the SMM that the numbers of registered IDPs had increased sharply recently culminating in a record 700 registered, pursuant to Cabinet of Ministers’ Resolution No. 509 (“On the registration of internally displaced persons from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and the anti-terrorist operation area”), on 24 November alone.
On the way back to Donetsk city the SMM was stopped at around 15:30 hrs at the “DPR” checkpoint located at H15 Cargill (2 km south-west of Donetsk). The “DPR” commander of the checlpoint asked an SMM monitor to show his passport and asked to inspect more carefully the language assistant traveling with the SMM. The conversation lasted for about 10 minutes, after which the SMM was allowed to proceed.
At the office of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-operation (JCCC) in Krasnohorivka (17 km west of Donetsk city) the SMM met officers of the Ukrainian and Russian General Staffs, who said that workflow, needs and staff have remained the same. The officers also stated that on 25 November they heard shelling several times, which they had reported through their chains of command to their colleagues at the JCCC HQ in Debaltseve.
The SMM then attended a meeting with the deputy mayor of Krasnohorivka, members of the village council and local inhabitants, who discussed with the Ukrainian and Russian JCCC officers the current situation in the town. In order to fix a damaged gas pipeline from Mariinka a ceasefire was needed, the deputy mayor said. Repair of the pipeline was urgently needed to ensure heating, the absence of which had caused schools to close. The Ukrainian and Russian officers said they had raised the issue, through their chains of command, with the JCCC HQ in Debaltseve but so far without result.
On its way to the JCCC office in Shkatarsk (56 km east of Donetsk city) the SMM observed a convoy of 10 unmarked, camouflaged trucks, a mixture of URAL and KAMAZ makes, in the vicinity of Khartzysk, on H21 (28 km west of Donetsk city), moving westwards in the direction of Donetsk city.
In Zaporizhzhia (67 km south of Dnipropetrovsk) the SMM met the head and deputy head of the movement - the “Freedom Movement of the Strength of the Nation” (Vyzvolnyi Rukh Sila Natsiy) - which was created to replace the local branch of the “Right Sector”, after the latter was disbanded by the national “Right Sector” leadership on 9 November. The interlocutors said that the new organization, which maintains the same ideology as the “Right Sector”, would continue the “pro-environmental” actions against the Zaporozhstal industrial plant and other “polluting plants” in Zaporizhzhia.
On 26 November the SMM visited the administrative boundary line (ABL) at Stavki/Kalanchak (85 km south of Kherson) where the Ukrainian crossing point customs inspection and border control facilities had been recently moved one kilometre south-east of its previous location (see Daily Report of 16 November). According to customs representatives, the new location and improved infrastructure allows the Ukrainian customs to process up to 200 trucks per day. The SMM was informed that improvements at the new Ukrainian facilities included two inbound and two outbound lanes and passport and customs control points on both sides of the road.
In Lviv, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Odessa the situation remained calm.
On 26 November in Kyiv, in front of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SMM observed a peaceful rally organized by 30 young male and female activists. The demonstrators were commemorating the 25th birthday of an activist arrested by the de facto Crimean authorities in May 2014 along with other pro-Unity and Maidan activists, including Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov.
Note to Editors
Oshadbank, or State Savings Bank of Ukraine, is a Public Joint-Stock Company that was established by Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Nr. 866 of 21 May 1999. It has a large number of offices in all regions, and it is the bank used by the State for the payment of pensions and social aid benefits.
Антитеррористическая операция на востоке Украины
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