The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. Its monitoring was restricted by the parties and security considerations*. Ceasefire violations were recorded in numerous locations. The SMM verified a number of civilian casualties on both sides of the contact line.
*Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:
The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including mine threats, and damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high-risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government. Members of the “LPR” continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring most areas close to the border with the Russian Federation.
- In Donetsk city, “DPR” “police” – explaining that they had received orders to do so – insisted that the SMM return to its residence.
- On 16 August in government-controlled Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk), a Ukrainian Armed Forces commander refused to allow the SMM to proceed, initially citing security concerns and later giving the fact that Ukrainian Armed Forces positions were ahead as a reason. The following day, at the same location, the commander again denied passage to the SMM, saying he could not guarantee the SMM’s security.