Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 11 August 2014
This report is for media and general public.
Civilians continue to leave Donbas, whilst shelling allegedly continues to take a significant toll on human life. Maidan Square in Kyiv and its environs are all but clear of tents and barricades.
Two rallies were held in Kharkiv city on 10 August, one with approximately 150 activists demanding an end to the government’s security operation in Donbas, and the other, with 300 participants, supporting the operation. At the latter demonstration, Svoboda activists circulated a petition calling for the dissolution of the Kharkiv City Council and for the dismissal of the city mayor. The mayor has faced calls for his resignation following his decision to grant the freedom of the city to a number of Russian citizens. (See Latest update from 7 August).
The head of the district administration in Zolochev (41km north of Kharkiv city) told the SMM that out of 539 men in the district eligible for mobilisation fewer than 100 had received mobilisation orders, and only 10 of them had responded.
A group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Pervomais'k (76km west of Luhansk city) spoke to the SMM at Svatovo IDP transit camp (150km northwest of Luhansk city). They said that only 10,000 of Pervomais'k’s 80,000 inhabitants remained in the town. The town, they said, was being shelled by both Ukrainian military forces and irregular armed forces. The result, they said, was that almost all apartment blocks in the town had sustained damage, and only 30% of detached houses were intact. They said that 200 people had been killed in the town, and more than 400 wounded, since the shelling allegedly started on 22 July, with the dead being buried in courtyards. The town’s mayor, contacted later by the SMM over the phone, corroborated the figures supplied by the IDPs.
Two IDP co-ordinators for the Luhansk region told the SMM in Svatovo that a second IDP transit camp had been opened in Severodonetsk (97 km northwest of Luhansk city), and that 400 people were currently there, waiting for Luhansk city to be re-taken by Ukrainian military forces. The interlocutors said that in the last two weeks around 1,000 women, children and old people had passed through the transit camp in Svatovo.
The SMM observed on-going rehabilitation efforts in Kramatorsk (97km north of Donetsk city), where window panes shattered by shelling in a number of city-centre apartment blocks were being replaced. The deputy chief of the Donetsk regional police told the SMM that public order was being maintained but he cautioned that there still remained a threat from individuals attached to the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”. The SMM observed vehicle checkpoints manned by police on the outskirts of the town. Police in the town, according to the deputy chief of the Donetsk regional police, are soon to be reinforced by National Guard troops.
The situation remained calm in Dnepropetrovsk and Kherson.
The mayor of Yuzhne (50 km east of Odessa city) told the SMM that IDPs needed to have a registered workplace in the town if they wished to have their children enrolled in a local kindergarten.
Members of an non-governmental organization in Odessa city told the SMM that 80% of IDPs staying in Kurortnoe and Serhiivka sanatoria (100 km southwest, and 80km west of Odessa city, respectively) intended to return to their homes in Kramatorsk or Sloviansk in the northern Donetsk region before the start of the school year.
The deputy head of the village council of Krasnoyilsk (42 km south of Chernivtsi city) told the SMM that 68 men from the village had received mobilisation orders but none of them had responded as they were all working abroad.
The head of the IDP Co-ordination Centre in Ivano-Frankivsk city told the SMM that there was a risk that local people in the region may feel resentment towards IDPs, as IDP children were given priority over local children when enrolling in kindergartens. She also said that there was no central budgetary support for the extra costs incurred, and as a result, the financial burden was borne at a local level, adding to the potential of even more resentment.
The situation remained calm in Lviv.
The SMM observed that Maidan Square and adjacent streets in Kyiv were almost totally cleared of tents and barricades, with traffic moving freely in the area. The exception was in Institutskaya Street – just off the square – where one tent remained as of 18:00hrs, 11 August, although it was being dismantled, and one building remained occupied by activists. Anti-riot police were on stand-by but there was no trouble at the scene.
A member of the Kyiv Regional Administration Co-ordination Centre for IDPs told the SMM that the centre had since July logged 9,000 requests from IDP families asking for assistance. He said that 4,460 IDPs (90% of whom were women and children) had been accommodated with the help of the centre.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/122578
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