This update is provided for the media and the public
The 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). Shelling in the northern outskirts of Donetsk intensified over the last 48hrs.
The SMM observed that shelling in the northern outskirts of the city of Donetsk intensified over the last 48 hours. Heavy outgoing artillery and Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MLRS) toward the direction of Donetsk airport have been intermittently used, as directly observed by the SMM.
In Komsomolsk, “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled territory (120km South-East of Donetsk), the SMM met with the “mayor” who said that on 2 December at 12:00hrs the village was shelled, which caused damage to civilian buildings and a kindergarten. He said that three women and one man died. The SMM visited the local hospital and met the director who said three women (age 23, 27 and 34) and one man (68 years old), were killed as a result of the shelling.
The SMM observed a damaged building near Komsomolsk town hall which appeared to be a garage, 15 metres away from a building which housed a kindergarten and an elementary school. The kindergarten had sustained material damage; the windows were all shattered. The playground was badly damaged with multiple holes consistent with shrapnel. The origin and direction of the impact could not be ascertained by the SMM.
The SMM went to the area located at Kuibysheva and Oktyabrskaya streets in Komsomolsk and observed what appeared to be another garage, where an unspecified type of rocket had landed and had consequently destroyed the upper part of the object. In the SMM’s assessment, the type of rocket was a 220mm which had gone through the roof and then landed in the pit.
The SMM proceeded to a residential area located at the junction between Mayakovskogo and Gagarina streets in Komsomolsk. On the roof of a storage hut near a detached house, the SMM spotted the remnants of an object, which later appeared to be the compartment section of a 220mm rocket. In a radius of 200 metres around the house, the SMM saw scattered impacts of around 25 sub-ammunitions, which had damaged windows of surrounding houses and several cars.
The SMM was stopped at a Ukrainian checkpoint (CP) located on the road towards Luhansk, in the vicinity of Debaltseve (55km North-East of Donetsk). The CP was manned by police officers under the Ministry of Interior. The SMM was not let through as it was told by CP personnel that they had not been instructed to let the SMM proceed farther.
Ukrainian and Russian Federation representatives of the Joint Centre for Control Co-ordination (JCCC) in Debaltseve reported that the number of ceasefire violations had significantly increased over the last 24 hours, reaching 110 incidents, registered in both Ukrainian and Russian Federation incident logs. Both sides confirmed that a ceasefire for Donetsk airport did not hold and hostilities renewed at 08:00hrs on 3 December. At around 12:00hrs the SMM heard shelling at about 10km to the West of Debaltseve and consisting of approximately 10 incoming explosions. The SMM was approached by Ukrainian soldiers from a nearby CP who said they had been shelled during the night of 3-4 December with BM-21 “Grad” MRLS missiles. As a result, one officer was killed, and one tank and two armoured personnel carriers (APC) were destroyed. The SMM cross referenced this to both Ukrainian and Russian incident logs, which indicated that Ukrainian positions in this area had indeed been shelled, from Fashchivka (15km South-East of Debaltseve) and Yunokomunarivsk (28km South-West of Debaltseve), both controlled by “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”), first by BM-21 “Grad” MRLS missiles, and later by mortar fire.
In Svitlodarsk, government-controlled territory (78km North-East of Donetsk), Ukrainian and Russian Federation representatives at the JCCC said that over the last 24 hours there were 22 incidents reported, namely 8 mortar and 14 BM-21 Grad missile strikes. Two additional ceasefire violations occurred on 4 December and were subsequently reported to the JCCC HQ in Debaltseve.
The SMM visited Makarove (26km North-East of Luhansk) and Stanytsia Luhanska (21km North-East of Luhansk), both government-controlled, and spoke to the local population who said that on 4 December the situation had been calm. According to the local population, Makarove has been supplied with gas, except in areas where repairs were being carried out. They said that in Stanytsia Luhanska, the gas supply was frequently interrupted due to cuts at central level. The SMM could not independently verify this information.
The SMM met, in government-controlled Starobilsk (90km North of Luhansk), with the head of the district administration who said that the town had registered over 10,000 new arrivals of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the conflict zone over the past few months. The interlocutor said that more than 400 IDPs arrive on a daily basis.
The head of the Kotovsk (200km North of Odessa) district administration department for social protection told the SMM that in Balta (203km North of Odessa), 58 children and youth aged 8-19, from orphanages in Luhansk and Donetsk were currently being hosted at the boarding school. According to the interlocutor, the Balta boarding school was unable to obtain the children’s IDs or documentation regarding medical examinations from the orphanages.
In Ivano-Frankivsk the SMM followed up on information about a bomb threat against the regional and city administration building. The SMM observed about 50 police officers who secured the perimeter around the building. The staff of the regional and city administration had been evacuated, as well as the visitors. The first deputy chief of the regional police informed the SMM that unknown persons had phoned in bomb threats from various phone numbers. No explosives were found in the premises.
The situation in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Lviv and Kyiv was calm.