News agency 'Vchasno'

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as 21 May 2017

In Donetsk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations between the evenings of 19 and 20 May, including about 550 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 310 explosions), and fewer between the evenings of 20 and 21 May, including about 370 explosions, compared with the previous 24-hour period. Most of the explosions were recorded in the Donetsk airport-Avdiivka-Yasynuvata area and in areas east and west of Svitlodarsk.

In Luhansk region the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations between the evenings of 19 and 20 May, including 46 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (five explosions) and more between the evenings of 20 and 21 May, including 86 explosions.

On 21 May, the SMM visited the City Hospital No. 2 in Luhansk city to follow up on reports of a civilian casualty allegedly registered in “LPR”-controlled Obozne (18km north of Luhansk). Medical staff said that the SMM would need a written permission from “LPR” members to follow up on the case.

The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas of Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (60km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September 2016. The SMM’s access remained restricted but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.

 The SMM noted a calm situation while monitoring the disengagement areas near government-controlled Zolote and “DPR”-controlled Petrivske. At the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM observed, however, a new trench about 400m west of an “LPR” checkpoint located on the edge of the area.

Denial of access:

On both 20 and 21 May, a Ukrainian officer of the JCCC told the SMM that no demining activities had taken place during the previous 24 hours in the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area and that, with the exception of the main road, the Mission’s safety could not be guaranteed in the surrounding areas due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC on both occasions.

On 20 and 21 May, armed “LPR” members told the SMM that they could not guarantee the safety of the Mission in the Zolote disengagement area due to the possible presence of mines and UXO, as no demining activity had taken place. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC both times.

On 20 and 21 May, the SMM could not travel across the bridge in government-controlled Shchastia (20km north of Luhansk) as Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel said no demining had taken place and that the road south of the bridge remained mined. The Mission informed the JCCC both times.

On 20 May, the SMM could not access a Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding area as the door was locked and the site was not guarded.

On 21 May, the SMM visited the City Hospital No. 2 in Luhansk city to follow up on reports of a civilian casualty registered in Obozne. Medical staff told the SMM that it would need a written permission from “LPR” members to follow up on the case.