Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 16 June 2019
This report is for the media and the general public.
- Compared with the previous reporting period, between the evenings of 14 and 15 June the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
- Between the evenings of 15 and 16 June, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region compared with the previous 24 hours.
- Five civilians from one family were injured and their house damaged from shelling in Marinka; the SMM also saw damage from shelling to a house in Donetsk city and small-arms fire damage to a residential building in Zolote-5/Mykhailivka.
- The Mission recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area.
- Small-arms fire in the direction of an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle near non-government-controlled Prymorske.
- The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to and the operation of critical civilian infrastructure.
- The SMM saw long queues at checkpoints along the contact line.
- Restrictions of the SMM’s access continued in all three disengagement areas. Its freedom of movement was also denied at a checkpoint near Novoazovsk and at a weapons storage site, both in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region.*
In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 14 and 15 June, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including fewer explosions (about 50), compared with the previous reporting period (about 200 explosions).The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded in areas in southern Donetsk region along the contact line north-east of Mariupol.
Between the evenings of 15 and 16 June, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including fewer explosions (about 25), compared with the previous 24 hours. The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded south-west and west-north-west of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and in areas east-north-east of Lomakyne (government-controlled, 15km north-east of Mariupol).
In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 14 and 15 June, the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including fewer explosions (about 20), compared with the previous reporting period (about 270 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded in areas near the disengagement area near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk).
Between the evenings of 15 and 16 June, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (about 50), compared with the previous 24 hours. Over half of ceasefire violations and explosions were recorded in areas south-south-east of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk).
Civilians injured and damage to a house caused by shelling in Marinka
On 15 June, at a one-storey house at 292 Shevchenka Street in a residential area on the south-eastern edge of Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) less than 1km from the contact line, the SMM saw a man (61 years old) with injuries to his right arm and chest. He told the SMM that he had heard several explosions while inside his house in the early morning hours of 14 June, and had attempted to move his family to a nearby shelter when he saw a bright light and lost consciousness. Outside the house, the SMM saw a 2.5m hole in the south-facing wall, three shattered west-facing windows, as well as debris on the ground. Inside, the SMM saw a living room with destroyed furniture, a partially destroyed interior wall, and debris on the ground. The SMM assessed that all damage was fresh and had been caused by artillery rounds, but was unable to assess the type of weapon or direction of fire. At a summer kitchen about 5m south of the house on the same property, the SMM saw a west-facing wall completely destroyed, as well a shattered east-facing window, dislodged ceiling materials and debris inside on the ground. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by a shockwave created from the shelling.
At a hospital in Kurakhove (government-controlled, 40km west of Donetsk), on 16 June, the SMM saw the wife (56 years old) of the abovementioned man with cuts and bruises to her right hand and leg. She said that in the early morning hours of 14 June, while inside her house, she had heard an explosion, saw a bright light and smoke, then lost consciousness. Shortly after, the woman told the SMM she had regained consciousness and had seen all four of her family members being pulled from the rubble of her house with injuries. On 16 June, medical staff at the hospital told the SMM that the woman had sustained bruises from debris and shrapnel injuries to both of her legs and hands, and that the man had sustained bruises from debris and shrapnel wounds to both his hands and legs. Medical staff also said that the woman’s granddaughter (nine years old), daughter (30 years old) and father-in-law (86 years old) had sustained injuries, including bruises and shrapnel wounds as a result of the incident.
Damage caused by shelling to a residential property in Donetsk city
On 14 June, at a one-storey house at 7 Ananchenka Street in the Trudivski area of the Petrovskyi district in Donetsk city (non-government-controlled, 15km south-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM saw about 20 holes, 2-20mm in diameter and assessed as fresh, on a wall and wooden window frames, and one cracked window, with shattered glass surrounding the frames, all facing east. About 5m north-east of the house, the SMM saw a shattered south-facing window of a summer kitchen. About 4m south of the summer kitchen and about 5m west of the house, the SMM saw a tree with broken branches assessed as an impact site. A resident of the house (woman, 40-50 years old) told the SMM that her neighbour had phoned her at her work to tell her that an explosion had occurred in the early morning hours of 14 June. The SMM assessed that all abovementioned damage was caused by a round from an automatic grenade launcher fired from a north-westerly direction. (The house is located about 1.5km east of the contact line and about 2.5km north-east of the abovementioned damaged house in Marinka.)
Damage due to gunfire to a residential building in Zolote-5/Mykhailivka
On 16 June, in Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (non-government controlled, 58 km west of Luhansk), at 2 Voikova Street, the SMM saw two holes, about 10cm in diameter and assessed as fresh, on a west-facing window of a fourth floor apartment in a four-storey building. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by heavy-machine-gun fire. A neighbour in the building (woman, 65 years old) said that she had heard gunfire on 13 June. The building is located less than 1km east of the contact line and the edge of the Zolote disengagement area.
Small-arms fire directed at SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near Prymorske
On 15 June, positioned about 1km west of Prymorske (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Mariupol), while conducting a mini-UAV flight, the SMM heard eight shots of small-arms fire about 2km south-west, assessed as aimed at the UAV, which was flying about 2km south-west of its position. The SMM safely landed the UAV and left the area.*
On the evening of 14-15 June, while on the eastern edge of Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard three explosions (one assessed as an outgoing round and two as undetermined) and 12 shots, at an assessed range of 1-5km south, south-east and south-west, all assessed as outside the disengagement area but within 5km of the area’s periphery. On the morning of 15 June, positioned in two locations inside and near the disengagement area, the SMM heard five explosions (three assessed as outgoing rounds and the remainder undetermined), assessed as outside the disengagement area but within 5km of the area’s periphery.
On 15 June, positioned at six locations near the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM recorded about 70 ceasefire violations assessed as outside the disengagement area but within 5km of the area’s periphery. During the day on 16 June, positioned in Pervomaisk (non-government-controlled, 58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard eight undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 3-5km north-north-west, assessed as inside the Zolote disengagement area. Positioned in four locations near the Zolote disengagement area on the evening and night of 15-16 June and during the day on 16 June, the SMM recorded about 60 ceasefire violations assessed as outside the disengagement area but within 5km of the area’s periphery.
On 16 June, positioned close to the disengagement area near Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk), the SMM observed a calm situation.
Withdrawal of weapons
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons in implementation of the Memorandum and the Package of Measures and its Addendum.
In violation of withdrawal lines:
The SMM saw a surface-to-air missile system (9K33 Osa) near Yasnobrodivka (25km north-west of Donetsk).
Weapons permanent storage sites
At a permanent storage site in a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region
The SMM noted that ten tanks (five T-72 and five T-64) remained missing.
Indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone
An SMM mini-UAV spotted an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-2) near Chermalyk (31km north-east of Mariupol).
The SMM saw an IFV (BTR-4) near Novobakhmutivka (28km north of Donetsk).
The SMM saw an anti-aircraft gun (probable ZU-23, 23mm) mounted on a military truck near Bohdanivka (41km south-west of Donetsk).
The SMM saw:
- a freshly dug trench east of road H-20 near a checkpoint of the armed formations in Olenivka (23km south-west of Donetsk).
Unexploded ordnance in Popasna and near Verkhnoshyrokivske
On 14 June, at a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint on the eastern edge of Popasna, on road T-0504 used regularly by the SMM, the Mission again saw two tailfins in the middle of the road, assessed as from rounds of a rocket propelled grenade launcher: one between the checkpoint’s concrete barricades and the other about 15m south-east of the barricades.
On 16 June, about 60m south-east from the abovementioned tailfins, the SMM saw for the first time a tailfin, assessed as from a 82mm mortar round, embedded in a crater in the south-western side of the road.
On 15 June, in the area between the entry-exit checkpoint near Pyshchevyk (government-controlled, 25km north-east of Mariupol) and the checkpoint of the armed formations in Verkhnoshyrokivske (formerly Oktiabr, non-government-controlled, 29km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM saw for the first time a tailfin, assessed as part of a 120mm mortar, stuck in the middle of a road regularly used by civilians to cross the contact line. The tailfin was covered in branches and located about 450m west of the nearest position of the armed formations. The SMM assessed that it had been fired from a north-westerly direction.
Long queues at entry-exit checkpoints
On the morning of 15 June, at the government-controlled entry-exit checkpoint (EECP) north of the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM saw about 400 people queuing to enter government-controlled areas and 350 people queuing to exit. In the afternoon, at the same location, about 20 people, many of them traders, told the SMM that they had been queuing for the past 48 hours. They expressed frustration with what they said were more stringent EECP procedures and slow processing times, adding that the hot weather and long wait times had spoiled food products they had been carrying. For most of the afternoon of 15 June, the SMM observed that only two entry and two exit processing booths out of twenty were functioning.
On the morning of 16 June, at the checkpoint of the armed formations near Kreminets (non-government-controlled, 16km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM saw about 300 cars queuing to travel to government-controlled areas and about 70 cars queuing to travel to non-government-controlled areas. In a group and separately, 18 people (men and women, between 30-60 years old) at the checkpoint told the SMM they had concerns related to what they said were long wait times and the introduction of a “regulation” by the armed formations on 1 June that restricted the number of cars permitted to enter the checkpoint to six cars in each direction every 30 minutes. Some people said that they had been forced to spend the night at the checkpoint of the armed formations waiting to travel to government-controlled areas, and others told the SMM that they had started queuing as early as 03:30 that morning. While present for about 50 minutes, the SMM saw that 12 vehicles were being processed at a time, six from each side (for previous observations see SMM Daily Report 10 June 2019).
On the same day, at the checkpoint of the armed formations near Olenivka, the SMM saw about 50 cars queuing to enter non-government-controlled areas, as well as about 200 cars queuing to enter government-controlled areas. While present, the SMM saw that 12 vehicles were being processed at a time, six on each side. A member of the armed formations at the checkpoint told the SMM that the new vehicle restriction “regulation” had been in place for two weeks. Five people (men, 50-80 years old) told the SMM that they had been queuing since 04:30 that morning to travel towards government-controlled areas.
SMM facilitation of repairs to civilian infrastructure
On 15 June, the Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to a water pipeline between Zolote-3/Stakhanovets (government-controlled, 61km west of Luhansk) and Popasna.
On 15 and 16 June, the SMM facilitated the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station and continued to monitor the security situation in the area of the pumping station near Vasylivka (non-government-controlled, 20km north of Donetsk).
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Chernivtsi and Kyiv.
*Restrictions of the SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate
The SMM’s monitoring and freedom of movement are restricted by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other impediments – which vary from day to day. The SMM’s mandate provides for safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. All signatories of the Package of Measures have agreed on the need for this safe and secure access, that restriction of the SMM’s freedom of movement constitutes a violation, and on the need for rapid response to these violations. They have also agreed that the Joint Centre on Control and Co-ordination should contribute to such response and co-ordinate mine clearance. Nonetheless, the armed formations in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions frequently deny the SMM access to areas adjacent to Ukraine’s border outside control of the Government (for example, SMM Daily Report 12 June 2019). The SMM’s operations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions remain restricted following the fatal incident of 23 April 2017 near Pryshyb; these restrictions continued to limit the Mission’s observations.
Denial of access:
- At a checkpoint about 3.5km north-east of Novoazovsk (non-government-controlled, 40km east of Mariupol), an armed member of the armed formations denied the SMM passage north towards Markyne (non-government-controlled, 94km south of Donetsk), citing that “the security situation has deteriorated”.
Regular restrictions related to disengagement areas and mines/UXO:
- The sides continued to deny the SMM full access to the three disengagement areas, as well as the ability to travel certain roads previously identified as important for effective monitoring by the Mission and for civilians’ movement, through failure to conduct comprehensive clearance of mines and UXO.
- At a permanent storage site in a non-government-controlled area of Donetsk region, two armed members of the armed formations allowed the SMM to proceed only after about 30 minutes of waiting.
- During the day on 15 June, on two occasions, an SMM mini-UAV experienced GPS signal interference, assessed as due to probable jamming, while flying near Prymorske (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Mariupol).
- On 15 June, while conducting the abovementioned mini-UAV flight west of Prymorske (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard eight shots of small-arms fire about 2km south-west, assessed as aimed at the UAV, which it landed safely.
- On the same day, an SMM mini-UAV experienced GPS signal interference, assessed as due to probable jamming, while flying near Mykolaivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Mariupol).
 For a complete breakdown of ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table. During this reporting period, the SMM camera at Oktiabr mine (non-government-controlled, 9km north-west of Donetsk) was not operational.
Disengagement is foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September 2016.
 Due to the presence of mines, including a road between Bohdanivka and Petrivske, the SMM’s access to its camera in Petrivske remains limited, and thus the SMM has not been able to access observations from the camera since 22 June 2018.
 The hardware mentioned in this section is not proscribed by the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal of weapons.
 The interference could have originated from anywhere within a radius of kilometres from the UAVs’ positions.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/423254
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