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Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of :, September

Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of :, September

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, compared with the previous reporting period. The Mission recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area. It observed multiple launch rocket systems in violation of agreed withdrawal lines near Khrustalnyi, Miusynsk and Malynivka. The Mission’s access remained restricted in the disengagement areas, as well as again near Zaichenko and Novoazovsk, near the border with the Russian Federation.* The SMM continued to facilitate the process of restarting operations at the Donetsk Filtration Station, following a power outage. The SMM continued to monitor repairs and maintenance work to water infrastructure in Stanytsia Luhanska and Artema, and to facilitate demining and repairs at the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station between Marinka and Oleksandrivka and houses in Avdiivka. The SMM followed up on reports that protective masks had been distributed in southern Kherson region in response to hazardous chemical air pollution from a chemical plant on the Crimean peninsula.

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DAILY REPORT
Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of :, September This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, compared with the previous reporting period. The Mission recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote disengagement area. It observed multiple launch rocket systems in violation of agreed withdrawal lines near Khrustalnyi, Miusynsk and Malynivka. The Mission’s access remained restricted in the disengagement areas, as well as again near Zaichenko and Novoazovsk, near the border with the Russian Federation.* The SMM continued to facilitate the process of restarting operations at the Donetsk Filtration Station, following a power outage. The SMM continued to monitor repairs and maintenance work to water infrastructure in Stanytsia Luhanska and Artema, and to facilitate demining and repairs at the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station between Marinka and Oleksandrivka and houses in Avdiivka. The SMM followed up on reports that protective masks had been distributed in southern Kherson region in response to hazardous chemical air pollution from a chemical plant on the Crimean peninsula.

In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations,[1] including about explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about explosions).

On the evening of September, while in Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM heard undetermined explosions and about bursts and shots of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all km south-east, south, south-west and west.

On the evening and night of September, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) (km north of Donetsk) recorded five undetermined explosions, five projectiles in flight (all from north-west to south-east) and muzzle flashes, all km south and south-south-west.

During the day on September, positioned about 1km north-west of the railway station in Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard six undetermined explosions and about shots and bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, as well as four minutes of uncountable overlapping heavy-machine-gun fire, all km south-west and west-south-west.

On the evening and night of September, the SMM camera 1km south-west of Pyshchevyk (government-controlled, km north-east of Mariupol) recorded an undetermined explosion, projectiles in flight (most from northerly to southerly directions) and two muzzle flashes, all km in easterly directions.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including explosions, compared with the previous reporting period ( explosions).

The SMM continued to monitor and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (government-controlled, km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske[2]  (non-government-controlled, km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of September . The SMM’s access remained restricted, but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*

During the day on September, positioned about m south of the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard six undetermined explosions km north-north-west, assessed as outside the disengagement area.

On September, inside the Zolote disengagement area near Katerynivka (government-controlled, km west of Luhansk), an SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted recent impact craters (not visible in imagery from August ) as well as a new military position (not visible in imagery from August ).

During the day on September, positioned on the north-eastern edge of Katerynivka while flying an SMM mini-UAV east of the railway bridge inside the disengagement area, the SMM heard ten shots of small-arms fire 0.km south, assessed as in the area where the UAV was flying at an altitude of m.*

Later the same day, positioned on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM heard three bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire km west, assessed as outside the disengagement area.

In the Petrivske disengagement area, on September, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted two infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) – one (BMP variant) near a position of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and one (BMP-1) near positions of the armed formations.       

On September, positioned about 2km north of Petrivske, the SMM heard shots of small-arms fire 2km east, assessed as outside the disengagement area.

An SMM mid-range UAV again spotted anti-tank mines (TM-) laid across the road north of the Petrivske disengagement area between Bohdanivka (government-controlled, km south-west of Donetsk) and Viktorivka (non-government-controlled, km south-west of Donetsk).

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 in non-government controlled areas, on September, an SMM long-range UAV spotted multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM- Grad, mm) near Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, km south-west of Luhansk) and seven MLRS (BM-) near Miusynsk (km south-west of Luhansk).

In violation of withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas, the SMM saw eight MLRS (BM-) near Malynivka (km north of Donetsk).

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in non-government-controlled areas, on September, an SMM long-range UAV spotted a tank (type unknown), towed howitzers (four 2A Giatsint-B, mm; four D- Lyagushka, mm; and A Msta-B, mm) and ten self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, mm) near Khrustalnyi and tanks (undetermined variant), ten self-propelled howitzers (2S1), towed howitzers (D-) and four surface-to-air missile systems (9K Strela-) near Miusynsk. 

Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites in government-controlled areas, the SMM observed four MLRS (BM-) near Rivnopil (km west of Donetsk).

The SMM revisited heavy weapons holding areas in government-controlled areas of Donetsk region and saw nine self-propelled howitzers (2S1), four anti-tank guns (MT- Rapira, mm), and three anti-tank guided missile systems (9P Shturm-S, mm). It noted that self-propelled howitzers (2S1) were missing (including three for the first time) and also noted that towed howitzers (2A), MLRS (BM-), self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, mm), six towed howitzers (D-, mm) and four anti-tank guns (MT-) continued to be missing.

The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles[3] and evidence of military presence in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on September, an SMM mini-UAV spotted two IFVs (BMP-1 and BMP variant), two armoured reconnaissance vehicles (BRM-1k) and an armoured personnel carrier (APC) (MT-LB) near Orikhove (km north-west of Luhansk). Also on September, an SMM long-range UAV spotted an armoured combat vehicle (undetermined variant) near Zalizne (km north-east of Donetsk). On September, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted an IFV (BTR-4) near Novobakhmutivka (km north of Donetsk). On September, in Zolote-3/Stakhanovets (km north-west of Luhansk, outside the disengagement area), the SMM observed two camouflaged IFVs (BMP type), one parked near an abandoned school building, and a new m extension of a trench running parallel with road T on the western edge of Andriivka (km south of Donetsk).

In non-government-controlled areas, on September, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted four IFVs (BMP variant) near Bohdanivka (km west of Luhansk). On September, the SMM saw two APCs (MT-LB) driving east on road E- near Bezimenne (km east of Mariupol).

The SMM continued to facilitate the process of restarting operations at the DFS, including through monitoring adherence to the ceasefire, following a power outage at the station on 6 September. Positioned in areas near the station, the SMM recorded ceasefire violations nearby, despite explicit security guarantees (see above and the table below). 

The SMM monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair and maintenance works to water infrastructure in Stanytsia Luhanska and Artema (government-controlled, km north of Luhansk). The SMM also monitored adherence to the ceasefire to facilitate the repair of houses in Avdiivka (government-controlled, km north of Donetsk) as well as the Krasnohorivka gas distribution station located between Marinka (government-controlled, km south-west of Donetsk) and Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, km south-west of Donetsk), where it also facilitated demining.

The SMM followed up on reports that , protective masks had been distributed in southern Kherson region by a national chapter of an international organization in response to the hazardous chemical air pollution from a chemical plant on the Crimean peninsula. In Kalanchak (km south-east of Kherson), the head of the Kalanchak district administration told the SMM that they had received masks for civilians in the affected communities. The SMM did not see anyone wearing masks.

The SMM continued monitoring in Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Chernivtsi and Kyiv.

*Restrictions of 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 for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) 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 September ). The SMM’s operations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions remain restricted following the fatal incident of April near Pryshyb; these restrictions continued to limit the Mission’s observations.

Denials of access:

At a checkpoint about 1km north of Zaichenko (non-government-controlled, km north-east of Mariupol), an armed member of the armed formations again stopped the SMM and denied it passage to Zaichenko, westward to Pikuzy (formerly Kominternove, non-government-controlled, km north-east of Mariupol) and southward to Sakhanka (non-government-controlled, km north-east of Mariupol).
At a checkpoint near Novoazovsk (non-government-controlled, km east of Mariupol), two armed members of the armed formations again denied the SMM passage, citing “orders” not to allow the SMM to enter the town.

Regular restrictions related to disengagement areas and mines/UXO:

The SMM was prevented from accessing parts of the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, with the exception of the main road, due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer of the JCCC told the SMM that no demining had taken place during the previous hours. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC.[4]
The SMM was prevented from accessing secondary roads in the Zolote disengagement area due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer of the JCCC told the SMM by telephone that no demining had taken place during the previous hours. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC.5
The SMM was prevented from accessing secondary roads south of the Zolote disengagement area due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. A member of the armed formations positioned on the southern side of the Zolote disengagement area told the SMM that no demining had taken place during the previous hours. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed.
South of the bridge in Shchastia (government-controlled, km north of Luhansk), a member of the armed formations told the SMM that no demining had taken place in the area. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed.

Other impediments:

An SMM long-range UAV experienced jamming for two minutes near Dmytrivka (non-government-controlled, km east of Donetsk).[5]
Positioned on the north-eastern edge of Katerynivka while flying an SMM mini-UAV inside the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM heard ten shots of small-arms fire 0.km south, assessed as warning shots fired at the UAV inside the disengagement area. The SMM recalled the UAV safely and departed the area.

 

[1]     For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.

*    Please see the section at the end of this report entitled “Restrictions of SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate”.

[2]     Due to the presence of mines, including on 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 June .

[3]     This hardware is not proscribed by the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal of weapons.

[4]  The SMM informed Ukrainian Armed Forces officers of the JCCC. Russian Federation Armed Forces officers of the JCCC withdrew from the JCCC as of December .

[5]  The interference could have originated from anywhere in a radius of several kilometres of 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/Contacts:Dragana Nikolic-Solomon Turhenievska Street KyivUkraineOffice: + Mobile: + ryna Korobko Turhenievska Street KyivUkraineOffice: + Mobile: +

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