Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 29 May 2019
This report is for the media and the general public.
- Compared with the previous reporting period, the SMM recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and fewer in Luhansk region.
- The SMM followed up on reports of two injured civilians (including a child), as well as observed damage from shelling to residential houses in Horlivka and Yasynuvata.
- The SMM saw anti-tank mines for the first time near non-government-controlled Sentianivka and Olenivka.
- The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to and the operation of critical civilian infrastructure.
- In Lviv, the SMM followed up on reports of an arson attack at an Alfa-Bank branch.
- Restrictions of the SMM’s access continued in all three disengagement areas. It was also restricted at a checkpoint near non-government-controlled Novoazovsk.*
In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations, including, however, more explosions (about 140), compared with the previous reporting period (about 100 explosions). The highest numbers of ceasefire violations, including one third of the explosions, were recorded at south-easterly directions of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol) and at north-easterly and easterly directions of Novotroitske (government-controlled, 36km south-west of Donetsk).
In Luhansk region, the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including five explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 80 explosions).
Woman and child injured and damage to residential houses due to shelling in Horlivka
At 13 Pokitko Street in Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM saw fresh shrapnel damage and scorch marks to the north-facing outer wall of a single-storey house, as well as a shattered window and a missing window frame covered with a plastic sheet in the same wall. In the living room of the house, the Mission also observed fresh shrapnel damage around the interior of the same window frame and wooden planks in place of the missing window pane, as well as shrapnel damage to the wooden frame of a door which had been removed. Inside the bedroom, the SMM also saw cracks in the panes of a door and a hole in the lower panes. The SMM assessed the damage as caused by the explosion of a round (weapon type undetermined) fired from a northerly direction.
About 5m north-west of the abovementioned house, the SMM saw a north-facing shattered window of a single-storey house and assessed the damage as caused by a round (weapon type undetermined) fired from a northerly direction. The SMM also saw a south-facing shattered window of another single-storey house, about 13m north-east of the first house, but was unable to assess the type of weapon used or direction of fire.
At the house on 13 Pokitko Street, the SMM saw a woman (aged 30) and a girl (aged 5) with a cut above her left eyebrow. The woman said that the entire family had been at home in the late evening hours of 27 May when they had heard an explosion outside. She said that her mother-in-law had been in the living room at the time of the explosion and had suffered injuries to her head, shoulder and hand, and had been brought to the hospital in Horlivka that same evening, while her daughter, who had inadvertently cut herself with the glass shards from the bedroom door, had been brought to the hospital the following evening as a result of prolonged distress following the event.
At the hospital in Horlivka, medical staff told the SMM that the woman (aged 70) had been admitted to the hospital in the late evening hours of 27 May with a concussion and broken collarbone, as well as shrapnel wounds to her head, left shoulder and hand, and that the girl had been brought to the hospital on the evening of 28 May due to shock.
Fresh damage caused by shelling to a residential house in Yasynuvata
On the north-western edge of Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk), a part of the town located less than 500m from the forward positions of the armed formations, the SMM saw a hole assessed as fresh in the north-north-west-facing side of the roof (made of asbestos sheets) of a single-storey house at 7 Slovianska Street. The SMM could not assess the type of weapon used or direction of fire. The owner of the house (woman, aged 35) told the SMM that she had heard shelling in the evening hours of 28 May.
On the evening of 28 May, the SMM camera in Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk) recorded two illumination flares at an assessed range of 4-6km south-east (unable to assess whether inside or outside the disengagement area) and eight projectiles in flight at an assessed range of 2-4km east-north-east and east (assessed as within its 5km periphery).
During the day of 29 May, positioned inside the disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk) 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
An SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted a surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10) near Novozvanivka (70km west of Luhansk).
The SMM saw a towed howitzer (D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm) on road H-20 in Kostiantynivka (60km north of Donetsk).
Aerial imagery available to the SMM revealed a tank in a training area near Novoselivka (37km north-east of Donetsk). Aerial imagery also revealed 85 craters (not seen in imagery from 15 May 2019) in fields near the training area, assessed as caused by impacts of undetermined weapons (and the result of probable live-fire exercise).
Weapons that the SMM could not verify as withdrawn
At heavy weapons holding areas in government-controlled areas of Donetsk region
The SMM noted that eight towed howitzers (2A36 Giatsint-B, 152mm) were present and that four anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) were missing for the first time. It also noted that 86 towed howitzers (four 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm; 37 2A36; and 45 D-20, 152mm), 18 self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm) and 16 anti-tank guns (four MT-12 and 12 D-48, 85mm) remained missing.
Indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone
An SMM long-range UAV spotted an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (probable BMP-2) near Myronivskyi (62km north-east of Donetsk).
An SMM mid-range UAV spotted a probable armoured personnel carrier (APC) (BTR variant) near Travneve (51km north-east of Donetsk).
Aerial imagery available to the SMM revealed the presence of an armoured combat vehicle (ACV) and two probable ACVs near a checkpoint of the Ukrainian Armed Forces about 160m north of the northern edge of the disengagement area near Zolote, as well as two recent craters (not seen in previous imagery from 13 May 2019) assessed as caused by impacts of undetermined weapons about 300m west of its western edge (for previous observations, see SMM Daily Report 16 May 2019).
The SMM saw:
- an IFV (BTR-4) near Krasnohorivka (24km north of Donetsk) and
- an APC (BTR variant) near Voitove (33km north-west of Luhansk).
Aerial imagery available to the SMM revealed the presence of four ACVs in a training area near Novoselivka.
An SMM long-range UAV spotted 21 APCs (20 MT-LB, including one with an anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23, 23mm) mounted on top, and a BTR-80), seven IFVs (six BMP-2 and a BMP-1), an armoured recovery vehicle (VT-55) and an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2U) in Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov, 50km west of Luhansk).
An SMM mini-UAV spotted four IFVs (two BMP-1, a BMP-2 and a BMP variant) near Obozne (18km north of Luhansk).
Presence of mines and mine hazard signs
On 28 May, about 2km north of Sentianivka (formerly Frunze, non-government-controlled, 44km west of Luhansk), an SMM mid-range UAV spotted for the first time 40 anti-tank mines laid across road T1303.
On 29 May, about 1km south-west of a forward position of the armed formations on road H-20 near Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM saw for the first time two anti-tank mines (TM-62M) in the median between road lanes (for previous observations, see SMM Spot Report 25 February 2019), as well as a mine hazard sign with “Be careful, mines”. About 20m west-south-west in the median between road lanes, the SMM saw two additional mine hazard signs with “Danger, Mines”, all written in Russian.
On 29 May, the SMM saw that ten previously observed mine hazard signs (one about 15m north of road H-15 near Marinka (government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), five about 3km east of Pobeda (government-controlled, 27km west of Donetsk) and four about 4km north-east of Novomykhailivka (government-controlled, 28km south-west of Donetsk)) had been removed.
About 4.5km north-east of Novomykhailivka, the SMM saw for the first time a mine hazard sign with “Danger, Mines” written in Ukrainian and English attached to a tree about 8m north of road O0531.
In Slavne (government-controlled, 26km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM saw for the first time two signs with “Walking and Driving is Forbidden” written in Ukrainian located about 1m north-west of the road. While at the same location, it saw a civilian car moving on the road and passing the mine hazard signs.
SMM facilitation of repairs to civilian infrastructure
The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repairs to a gas pipeline in Vesela Hora (non-government-controlled, 16km north of Luhansk) and water pipelines between Zolote-3/Stakhanovets (government-controlled, 61km west of Luhansk) and Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk), as well as in Obozne.
The SMM also facilitated the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (15km north of Donetsk) and monitored the security situation in the area of the pumping station near Vasylivka (non-government-controlled, 20km north of Donetsk).
Follow up on reports of an arson attack at an Alfa-Bank branch in Lviv
In Lviv on 28 May, the SMM followed up on media reports of an arson attack in the early morning hours of the same day on a branch of Alfa-Bank bank at 13 Halytska Square. The SMM saw that the bank was closed and that one of its windows was covered with canvas. It also saw that two people were cleaning scorch marks on the wall above the same window. According to a police statement, the attack is being investigated as an act of deliberate or intentional destruction of property under Article 194 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. (For previous observations, see SMM Daily 30 November 2018.)
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Odessa, Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, 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 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, see SMM Daily Report 27 May 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 north of Novoazovsk (non-government-controlled, 40km east of Mariupol), two armed members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage south to Novoazovsk and east to the border with the Russian Federation, citing “an ongoing operation in the area”.
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.
- On the night of 28-29 May, an SMM long-range UAV experienced dual GPS signal interference, assessed as due to jamming, while flying along the contact line over government and non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk region. 
- On 29 May, an SMM mini-UAV experienced signal interference on two occasions, assessed as due to probable jamming, while flying over Boikivske (formerly Telmanove, non-government-controlled, 67km south-east of Donetsk ).
 For a complete breakdown of ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.
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 on a road between Bohdanivka and Petrivske, the SMM cannot access its camera in Petrivske, and thus the SMM has not been able to access observations from the camera since 22 June 2018.
 The SMM observed weapons that could not be verified as withdrawn, as their storage did not comply with the criteria set out in the 16 October 2015 notification from the SMM to the signatories of the Package of Measures on effective monitoring and verification of the withdrawal of heavy weapons. The Mission noted that three such sites were abandoned.
 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 UAV’s position.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/421334
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