Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 30 October 2014
This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM continued to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum. In the Odesa region the SMM followed up on an incident at a local district administration building.
In Kharkiv the situation remained calm.
On 30 October the SMM visited Stanitsa Luhanska (17km N of Luhansk), controlled by Ukrainian forces, where local residents and the head of the local administration informed the SMM that the town is subject to constant exchanges of fire between Ukrainian forces and irregular armed groups affiliated to the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”). The head of the local administration said that on 29 October the bus station in the town had been shelled at 11.00hrs and that a woman had been injured. According to the head of the local administration, “LPR” forces, positioned on a hill on the southern riverbank, are shelling the town on a daily basis. According to a local resident, one Ukrainian tank and one armoured personnel carrier (APC) are located in the city, next to the area which had been shelled the previous day.
The SMM visited Popasna (80km E of Luhansk) on 29 October, and while in the town it heard the sound of shelling. After leaving the city, the SMM was able to ascertain that the continued shelling was coming from the direction of Zolote and Popasna, both under control of Ukrainian forces. The shelling appeared to be outgoing, however the SMM was unable to ascertain whether there was also incoming shelling from “LPR”-controlled areas.
In Mariupol the SMM was informed by the commander of the Ukrainian checkpoint (CP) in Sartana (20km E of Mariupol) about intense traffic over the previous evening, allegedly from local residents fleeing from the heavy shelling on 29 October in Talakivka.
The SMM continued to monitor the work of the JCCC in its headquarters in Debaltseve and elsewhere. In the town of Olenivka (25km S of Donetsk) the SMM observed armed guards of the so-called “DPR Ministry of Defense” in front of the main gate of the local office of the JCCC. According to the guards the security situation was expected to deteriorate during the day of the “elections” on 2 November. In Shakhtyersk (77km E of Donetsk) JCCC representatives said that the JCCC in Shakhtyersk did not have an incident logbook nor had it yet recorded any ceasefire violations.
In Kherson the situation remained calm.
The SMM met with the chief of staff of the district administration in Ovidiopol (40km SW of Odesa) in order to follow up on an incident reported by local media. According to reports, about 100 masked and uniformed men entered the district administration building on 28 October to send a strong message to the Rada, to dismiss the newly appointed head of the district administration. The interlocutor confirmed that the incident had occurred, but it had been exaggerated in the media. He estimated that 40 - 50 men in uniforms, some initially wearing balaclavas, came to protest against the newly appointed head of the district. The protesters belonged to Auto-maidan Odessa and self-defence groups of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ovidiopol, Illichevsk and Biliaivka. The protesters did not have any weapons; there were no personal injuries or damage to property.
In Chernivtsi the situation remained calm.
The SMM met with the Ivano-Frankivsk project co-ordinator of the NGO “Patriot”, which focuses on providing assistance and support to soldiers in the “ATO” zone. Most recently, the NGO is trying to raise funds to provide limb prostheses for soldiers that have undergone amputations. The interlocutor emphasized that the main sources of funding are individual donations from abroad.
In Lviv and Kyiv the situation was calm.
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