Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 5 November 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, and in particular the activities of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), remained the focus of the SMM’s monitoring activities. There was intense shelling in Donetsk city, whilst Mariupol and its surroundings remained calm.
The deputy head of Social Protection for the Izium district told the SMM in Izium (126km SE of Kharkiv) that 600-700 people from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were arriving in Izium every day in order to receive their pensions.
The principal and four department heads of a school in Luhansk told the SMM on 4 November that the school had 200 pupils enrolled, compared to 650 before the conflict. The school, they said, had already received textbooks from the Russian Federation and would follow the Russian curriculum as of 9 November. The language of instruction is Russian, whereas it was both Russian and Ukrainian before the conflict, they said.
Whilst travelling on the road from Severodonetsk (90km NW of Luhansk) to Novoaidar (58km NW of Luhansk), the SMM heard artillery and Grad shelling 15km to the south.
The situation remained tense in and around Mariupol (98km S of Donetsk) but no fighting was recorded.
The SMM heard what appeared to be intensive, intermittent, incoming shelling throughout the day in the northern outskirts of Donetsk, close to the airport.
The SMM met Ukrainian and Russian heads of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) in Donetsk. They discussed governance arrangements in the JCCC and next steps in the implementation of the Minsk Memorandum. They were later joined by members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”). The SMM emphasised the need to develop a schedule of priorities for local de-escalation. The SMM re-iterated the need for more detailed baseline information, including present and proposed locations of heavy weapons, and the current locations of minefields.
The SMM visited JCCC offices in “DPR”-controlled Olenivka (25km SW of Donetsk) and in government-controlled Krasnohorivka (46km W of Donetsk). The SMM observed a “DPR” tank and a self-propelled howitzer on the outskirts of Olenivka. The head of the village council in government-controlled Stepnoe (5km from Olenivka) told the SMM that he was unaware that the nearby JCCC offices existed.
On 4 November the SMM met the chief of police of Krivyi Rih (137km SW of Dnipropetrovsk), who said that a shooting incident in the town on 26 October, Election Day, was not conflict-related. He said the dispute, which was between local criminal groups, resulted in two people being injured and the seizure of two hand guns and a submachine gun. On 4 November in Mezhova (127km SE of Dnipropetrovsk, near the boundary with the Donetsk region), the local chief of police told the SMM that the town had not had any conflict-related problems. He did, however, warn that criminals now had access to military-type weapons, citing an incident on 14 August in which a submachine gun was seized by police following an attempted car-jacking in which one person was killed. At the police station, the SMM observed sand bags on the window sills and two police officers guarding the entrance with automatic weapons.
The situation remained calm in Kherson and Odesa.
In Chernivtsi the SMM met a member of the NGO People`s Aid, who said her organisation had received EUR 23,000 in foreign funding for a project designed to integrate IDPs from the East into the local community. Twenty IDP families (around 60 people from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions), she said, would receive legal, psychological and in-kind support, as well as rent allowance.
The situation remained calm in Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.
On 4 November the commander of the Donbas volunteer battalion – recently elected as an MP – told the SMM in Kyiv that he and other battalion commanders elected to Parliament planned to form a parliamentary bloc, with himself as its leader.
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