Latest news from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) based on information received until 18:00 hrs, 29 May (Kyiv time)
This update is provided for the media and the public
The situation in Luhansk and Donetsk remained volatile. Other parts of Ukraine remained calm.
The situation in Kharkiv remained calm.
The situation in Donetsk and Luhansk remained volatile. Due to security restrictions the SMM was unable to carry out its duties and monitor the situation in these areas.
The situation in Dnipropetrovsk remained calm. The SMM met with local “Maidan” representatives who explained that one of the main activities of the organization was related to lustration and the fight against corruption. In relation to the latter the movement signed a so-called memorandum of understanding with the official authorities (police and prosecutors) of the city in order to provide mutual assistance. Information and complaints had been received from ordinary citizens and so far 10 cases related to human rights violations, such as illegal detention, had been followed by the organizations.
The situation in Kherson was calm.
In Odesa the SMM observed a roundtable which put forward a plan on a public vetting process for the appointment of officials, to enhance transparency and public trust in political decision-making. This pilot project aims to serve as a model for future appointments in Odesa city and the region. The plan is to invite relevant NGOs to nominate their candidates, set public criteria and ask the candidates to present their action plans.
The SMM visited the regional administration building at Shevchenko street in response to a press report that the building had been reinforced against possible disorder targeted against city authorities. The SMM observed new sandbags at the two rear doors and seven young men in camouflage, possibly cadets. A police patrol car had also been deployed to the area. At Kulikove Polye and the Duke Richelieu monument, both potential rallying points for demonstrations in the town, the situation was calm.
The situation in Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv was calm.
In Chernivtsi the SMM met with the Commander of the Chernivtsi National Guard, who said that the regional National Guard unit of approximately 60 members, previously deployed to Luhansk, had been relocated back to the region last week. According to the interlocutor, the unit received special training in fighting terrorism and had been tasked to support the border guard, the police, and the army.
In Ivano-Frankivsk the SMM met with a representative of the regional police, who informed the SMM about two cases of arson in the past three days. On 27 May the private vehicle of the head of the regional lustration co-ordination council was damaged by a Molotov cocktail. A witness to the attack had seen perpetrators escaping by car and police had been investigating the case. The second incident happened on 29 May in which a private vehicle belonging also to a member of the lustration co-ordination council, and representative of the ‘Right Sector’, was damaged.
In Lviv the SMM met with the deputy director of the municipal board of social protection who predicted a wave of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) from eastern Ukraine. Accommodation was identified as a problematic issue as also confirmed by the operators managing the hotline for IDPs. Lviv city had reportedly exhausted its hosting capacity, while accommodation options outside the town are often in poor condition.
The SMM met the head of the department of registration at the Lviv Region Ministry of Justice, who said that since 1 April 2014, 10 individual entrepreneurs and three business entities have transferred their business registration from Crimea to Lviv region, reflecting the relocation of displaced people from Crimea to Lviv. According to the department head of registration, this registration was the result of a resolution issued by the Ministry of Justice in Kyiv at the end of April encouraging individuals relocating within Ukraine due to the crisis to transfer their business registration to the region in which they reside.
The situation in Kyiv remained calm. The SMM observed about 200 individuals who were demonstrating in front of the parliament for greater government support to citizens who had taken loans in foreign currency a few years ago and are now unable to pay them back. The recent decline in the value of the UAH has exacerbated this situation. Another group of about 30-40 people demonstrated in front of the Cabinet of Ministers calling for the lustration of the deputy minister of energy and coal ministry and an adviser from the same ministry. Protesters accused both of involvement in corruption.