This update is provided for the media and the public
SMM continued to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum and the work of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC). In particular, it was informed that talks were held in Donetsk between Russian and Ukrainian military officers attached to the JCCC in order to arrange a ceasefire in and around Donetsk airport.
In government-controlled Maiorsk (41km North East of Donetsk), the commander of a Ukrainian military checkpoint (CP) told the SMM that the CP had come under attack on 1 December, with approximately 16 Grad rockets directed towards it, fired from “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Horlivka (36km North-East of Donetsk). The SMM observed six shell-damaged houses in Maiorsk, although it could not ascertain if the damage was caused by the shelling reported by the CP commander.
In government-controlled Shyrokyne (97km South of Donetsk; 20km East of Mariupol), the SMM heard several incoming and outgoing heavy machine gun and anti-aircraft rounds.
At the JCCC HQ in government-controlled Debaltseve (55km North-East of Donetsk), the Ukrainian and Russian Federation Chiefs of Staff (CoS) stated that, as a result of a meeting held in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk on 2 December (between Ukrainian Lt-Gen. Askarov and Russian Federation Lt-Gen. Lentsov), hostilities at Donetsk airport had ceased as of 17:45hrs on 2 December. The SMM noted, however, the continuation of intermittent shelling in and around the airport on the evening of 2 December and throughout 3 December. The chiefs also said that JCCC offices in Donetsk and “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled Luhansk cities would henceforth co-ordinate the work of JCCC command posts located in “DPR” and “LPR”-controlled territory, a task which had thus far been undertaken directly by the JCCC HQ in Debaltseve. The JCCC HQ would remain in Debaltseve, they said. Each new office would be staffed by three officers from the Russian Federation, and two Ukrainian officers.
In Luhansk the SMM monitored a meeting of the JCCC involving Lt-Generals Askarov and Lentsov and an “LPR” member, at which concrete proposals and modalities on enforcing a stable ceasefire along the line of contact between “LPR” and government forces were discussed. In “LPR”-controlled Alchevsk (43km West of Luhansk), the SMM met a prominent local “LPR” commander who cast doubts on the efficacy of a ceasefire, saying his objective was to control the entire Luhansk region.
On 2 December a municipal official in government-controlled Markivka (128km North of Luhansk) told the SMM that the town of approximately 15,000 inhabitants was currently home to roughly 3,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) mostly from other parts of the Luhansk region. The official said that two kindergartens, in addition to the existing four, had been opened to cater for increased demand due to the IDP influx.
In government-controlled Severodonetsk (97km North-West of Luhansk) on 2 December, the regional head of the Ukrainian Red Cross (URC) told the SMM that the regional URC HQ had relocated from Luhansk to Severodonetsk on 7 August. She said they had been unable to deliver assistance to “LPR”-controlled territory over the past few months, saying aid to such areas was exclusively coming from the Russian Federation. Also on 2 December, the SMM spoke to the head of the URC district office in Luhansk, who urged the SMM to facilitate the delivery of foodstuff, hygiene kits and blankets to Luhansk from the URC regional warehouse in Severodonetsk.
Following media reports of an incident at the nuclear power plant at Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region (160km SW of Dnipropetrovsk), the SMM spoke to the head of the Zaporizhzhia Office of the Emergency Situation Agency. He stated that the reported incident had happened a week ago, and was not connected to the nuclear reactors, but instead involved a short circuit in the electrical supply system of the facilities in the third block (the facility comprises five separate blocks). As a result of the incident, the third block had automatically shut down, he explained. The problem was fixed on 3 December and the plant was expected to resume operations on 5 December, he added.
The situation remained calm in Kharkiv and Kherson.
Following media reports, the SMM visited a shop in Odessa, which was allegedly the target of a bomb attack in the early hours of the morning on 3 December. The SMM noted a hole in the outside wall of the shop, shattered window panes and rubble inside the shop. The shop keeper, who confirmed that the attack had taken place, said vague threats against the shop had previously been posted online. The chief of the regional police told the SMM that the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack. The shop sells clothes in Ukrainian colours and is decorated with Ukrainian emblems and folklore patterns.
The SMM met the director of the Department of Education in Chernivtsi City Council. He informed the SMM of the “Defender competition programme” held in Chernivtsi on 28 November, in which inter-schools games based on skills learnt in “military preparation” modules for 10th and 11th grade students were held. Students – 10 from each school, seven boys and three girls – were taught how to drill, handle weapons, throw knives, and administer first-aid. The interlocutor told the SMM that the module consists of an hour and a half of classes a week.
The acting head of the district administration in Horodenka (70km South-East of Ivano-Frankivsk) told the SMM that 39 individuals from the district were currently serving in the conflict area in the east, 17 with the Ukrainian Army and the rest in volunteer battalions.
At a press conference in Lviv, representatives of the main electricity utility company in the Lviv region announced there would be rolling power cuts in the Lviv region and throughout the rest of the country. However, no schedule for supply disruption was announced.
In Kyiv the SMM participated in the launch of a photo exhibition on “Women in the Conflict in Ukraine”, part of the global campaign, “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence”, organised by the United Nations, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Policy and an Ukrainian NGO “Women’s Fund”. The exhibition portrayed Ukrainian women as combatants, activists, spouses and mothers of Ukrainian soldiers fighting in the east, NGOs, journalists, psychologists, physicians, nurses, aid workers, and elderly women whose houses had been destroyed in the conflict. Women’s empowerment and their role as both leaders and victims were particularly stressed in the exhibit.
The SMM monitored a round table in Kyiv – entitled “the Banking System in the Area of ATO and Crimea” – which was attended by the deputy head of the National Bank of Ukraine and heads of various commercial banks. Speakers explained that banks had not been operating in areas not controlled by the Government since 6 August, due to security concerns for their employees and clients.