Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine based on information received until 29 June 2014, 18:00 (Kyiv time)
This update is provided for the media and the public.
Tensions remained in parts of Donbas. The situation was calm elsewhere across the country. The SMM observed peaceful marches marking Ukraine’s Constitution Day throughout the country. On 28 June the remaining four SMM monitors from the Luhansk team were released after a month’s detention.
In Kharkiv the situation remained calm. The head of police in Chuhuiev informed the SMM about two explosions which took place on 29 June at 2:30 am on the railway line near Zelony Kolodets (19 km west of Chuhuiev and 35 km east of Kharkiv). The tracks in both directions were damaged, but no trains were damaged nor people harmed. Forty trains were delayed, but repair work was carried out, allowing the full resumption of services by 9 am An investigation has been launched. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is in charge of the investigation.
On 28 June the SMM monitored two peaceful meetings held in Kharkiv city. One meeting was organized by supporters of Ukraine’s unity, and the other by opponents of Ukraine’s unity. The situation remained calm. Also on 28 June approximately 50 people from the NGO “Civil Self-Defence” gathered in front of the Regional Administration to hand over a petition to President Poroshenko, rejecting his recent proposal on decentralisation and opposing any change to the constitution. This meeting was followed by a meeting of supporters of Ukraine’s unity at Constitution Square. The SMM saw about 500 supporters of Ukraine’s unity, mostly young people, expressing support for President Poroshenko’s signing of the EU association agreement. People dispersed after four hours. No incidents were reported.
On 30 June the SMM observed around 20 opponents of the government, mainly elderly people, who gathered near the Lenin monument at Liberty Square. The protestors called for an end to the government operation in Donbas. The situation was calm.
The situation in parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions was tense and did not change compared to the previous reporting period.
On 28 June the four SMM monitors from the Luhansk team were released after 30 days of detention. The release came shortly after the release of the Donetsk monitors on 26 June. The SMM facilitated the swift departure of the released monitors from Ukraine.
In the framework of efforts to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire, the SMM met with the senior military officer of the government operation against armed groups for the Luhansk region and was shown a number of checkpoints. Three of them were on the main road between Kupyansk and Luhansk. Three were situated south and southwest of the village of Krimina, along the river that constitutes a ‘no-man's land’ between the government forces and the armed opponents. The SMM assessed the fourth checkpoint in this area as a security risk, given constant shooting in the area, and did not proceed further. Soldiers at the checkpoints explained to the SMM that during the past week of ceasefire, no one had shot at their positions.
On 28 June the SMM met with representatives of the so-called ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ (LPR). One of the ‘LPR’ representatives proposed to the SMM to undertake security measures in areas the SMM is supposed to monitor.
The SMM discussed a possible harvest truce. The proposal was well received and understood by the ‘LPR’ representatives. However, the interlocutors considered this as insufficient reason to extend the ceasefire which in their view was not observed by Ukrainian forces.
The SMM observed an anti-war demonstration in Luhansk city. The aim of the demonstration was to get the Kyiv authorities to “stop combat operations against their own people.”
The situation in Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, Odessa, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv was calm.
On 28 June the SMM observed a peaceful gathering of about 50 to 70 supporters of Ukraine’s unity near the Regional State Administration in Dnepropetrovsk. Speeches were delivered and songs played to mark the Constitutional Day of Ukraine. The event was organized by the regional authorities. The situation was calm.
The SMM met with the deputy chief of the police department combating human trafficking in the Dnepropetrovsk region. He said that after the attacks on the railway lines in the east and the south of the country, all railroad bridges and water reservoirs (in total, 16 sites) were protected by the police. He also informed the SMM that on 27 June, three individuals had been arrested in the centre of Dnepropetrovsk because they had been distributing leaflets supporting irregular armed groups.
On 28 June the SMM monitored a ceremony at the Shevchenko Statue in Odessa to mark Constitution Day. The event was attended by around 100 people. About 80 police officers were present around the statue, and along the adjoining roads, together with a busload of riot police on stand-by. The ceremony passed off peacefully.
On 29 June the SMM observed a demonstration at Kulikove Polye, in which about 20 opponents of Ukraine’s unity participated. The SMM noted 100 regular police officers and 100 riot police.
The situation in Kyiv was calm. On 29 June 800 people supporting the “Donbas” battalion, gathered in front of the presidential building. A letter was handed over to the presidential administration. The event was conducted in a peaceful manner with the ‘Kyiv 1’ battalion securing the area around the building. After the letter had been handed in, the protestors moved to the Maidan.