The SMM continued to observe a high number of ceasefire violations in Donetsk region. In Luhansk region the SMM recorded a higher number of ceasefire violations than the previous day. The SMM followed up on reports of shelling. It facilitated the safe passage of civilians between Ukrainian Armed Forces and “LPR” checkpoints in Luhansk region. The Mission encountered freedom of movement restrictions in areas not controlled by the Government, including in border areas.*
The number of ceasefire violations observed in Donetsk region remained at a high level. Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city between 19:40hrs on 31 March and 06:30hrs on 1 April, the SMM heard 307 undetermined explosions and 31 bursts of small-arms fire 3-10km north, north-west and east of its position. Whilst at the Donetsk central railway station (“DPR”-controlled, 6km north-west of Donetsk), between 09:26 and 14:25hrs the SMM heard 122 undetermined explosions, 20 outgoing rounds of multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), two airbursts, five bursts of heavy-machine-gun and three single shots of small-arms fire at locations ranging from 3-8km north, north-north-west, north-west and west of its position.
While in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk) between 19:30 and 21:30hrs on 31 March, the SMM heard 45 impacts of mortar rounds (120mm) and 101 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire in areas 3-5km south-west of its position. During the evening hours of 31 March, while in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 63 explosions assessed as caused by artillery (152mm) and mortar rounds (82 and 120mm) and at least 37 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire and 12 outgoing rounds of automatic grenade launcher, 6-12km north and west-north-west of its position.
Whilst in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) between 10:45 and 15:35hrs, the SMM heard 100 undetermined explosions, 36 single shots of small-arms and 42 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 1-5km north-west, west and south-west of its position. While in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) the SMM heard 10 impacts of mortar rounds (82 and 120mm), two impacts of artillery rounds (122mm), 16 impacts of automatic-grenade-launcher rounds, 13 impacts of recoilless-gun (SPG-9) rounds, and eight impacts of infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; BMP-1), along with bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire in areas 2-5.5km north-east, east, south-east and south of its position.
In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded an increased number of ceasefire violations compared to the previous day. While in “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km west of Luhansk), during the evening of 31 March, within 25 minutes, the SMM heard 43 explosions (assessed as caused by artillery) 8km west of its position. Whilst in “LPR”-controlled Stakhanov (50km west of Luhansk) between 17:25 and 18:45hrs, the SMM heard at least 200 explosions (caused by automatic-grenade-launcher rounds, including 20 assessed as caused by 120mm mortar) and automatic-grenade-launcher rounds) along with bursts of anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) all 10km south-west of its position.
The SMM followed up on reports of shelling from media sources and Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC). Directed and escorted by Russian Federation Armed Forces JCCC representatives in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), and “DPR” members it visited alleged sites of shelling. Accompanied also by media, they showed to the SMM a number of craters in two locations two in Horlivka and one location in Zaitseve (50km north-east of Donetsk).
In the eastern part of “DPR”-controlled Holmivskyi (49km north-east of Donetsk), on the outskirts of “DPR” controlled Horlivka, the SMM analysed six fresh craters, assessed as caused by 152mm artillery rounds fired from east and north-east. On one of the buildings the SMM observed the impact of a round fired from a westerly direction. The SMM observed a water purification tank damaged by shrapnel and one crater (assessed as 120mm mortar round) filled with the liquid pouring from the holes in the tank. Close to another five-storey building, the SMM observed a crater assessed as caused by a 120mm mortar round fired from the west. According to residents the shelling had occurred at 06:00hrs on 31 March. On Varlamova Street in Horlivka the SMM observed that a wall of a one-storey building was destroyed by what the SMM assessed as the impact of a 120mm mortar round fired from north-north-east. The SMM observed another building where the shrapnel had damaged the windows and the ceiling of an apartment and was informed by the injured residents (one man, and two women aged between 21 and 40years) that the shelling had occurred at 07:02hrs on 31 March. The man had suffered an injury to the right eye, the woman to the knee (both were treated but not hospitalized) and the 21 year old daughter had sustained light injuries.
In “DPR”-controlled areas of Zaitseve, near a building used by the “village council”, the SMM was shown six fresh craters assessed as caused by 82mm mortar rounds. Another three craters, also assessed as caused by 82mm mortar rounds, were observed in the yard and at the entrance of a severely damaged private house. All nine craters were assessed as caused by rounds fired from the west.
In “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km east-north-east of Mariupol) residents showed the SMM seven craters spread within a 100m radius area and told they were caused by shelling that occurred on the night between 31 March and 1 April. The SMM assessed that the craters were caused by mortar rounds (six of them by 120mm and one by 82mm) fired from a south-westerly direction. The SMM observed that another two 120mm mortar rounds had impacted near a house and damaged the roof and windows. The resident, one elderly woman had not sustained injuries. The SMM observed that power and gas pipelines were also damaged.
In relation to the implementation of the Addendum to the Package of Measures, the SMM revisited a Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent storage site whose location corresponds with the withdrawal lines and noted that three towed howitzers (D-44, 152mm) were missing, as has been the case since 29 January.
Aerial surveillance imagery available to the SMM revealed the presence of seven tanks, in violation of the withdrawal lines and outside storage sites, in Donetsk city.
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons foreseen in the Minsk Package of Measures. The SMM has yet to receive the full information requested in the 16 October 2015 notification. The SMM revisited locations known to the SMM as heavy weapons holding areas, even though they do not comply with the specific criteria set out for permanent storage sites in the 16 October 2015 notification.
In government-controlled areas beyond respective withdrawal lines, the SMM revisited such locations and observed: 18 towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm), 12 MLRS (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) and 11 self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm). Six self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) were noted as missing.
In “DPR”-controlled areas beyond respective withdrawal lines, the SMM revisited such locations and observed: seven self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), two towed anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm), eight towed howitzers (six 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm; two D-30, 122mm). One self-propelled howitzer (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) was observed missing.
In violation of the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed one surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10, 120mm) near “DPR”-controlled Komuna (57km north-east of Donetsk).
The SMM observed the presence of other hardware within the security zone: three armoured combat vehicles (BRDM-2) near government-controlled Pavlopil (26km north-east of Mariupol); seven armoured personnel carriers (APC; MTLB) stationary north of government-controlled Vilkhove (22km north-east of Luhansk); six APCs (BTR-60) near government-controlled Petrivka (27km north of Luhansk); 16 IFVs (BMP-2) near government-controlled Hirske (62km north-west of Luhansk); one anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) towed by a civilian vehicle near „LPR“-controlled Chornukhyne (70km south-west of Luhansk). Aerial surveillance imagery available to the SMM revealed the presence of 39 armoured vehicles in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city and 15 armoured vehicles near government-controlled Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk).
The SMM continued to observe the presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). At a “DPR”-controlled checkpoint in Staromarivka (46km north-north-east of Mariupol), the SMM saw three pieces of unexploded ordnance (from 120mm mortar projectiles), stuck in the middle of the road.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation affecting civilians at checkpoints in Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk) (see SMM Daily Report 1 April). Some of the civilians who had been stranded on the road between the checkpoints and were returned the previous day to government-controlled areas were transported to Stanytsia Luhanska official crossing checkpoint. The SMM liaised with both sides, facilitated dialogue and monitored the safe passage through the contact line, using a local route, from government-controlled areas towards “LPR” controlled area of Zolote of another 208 people who had been stranded the previous night between the checkpoints.
The SMM endeavoured to visit border areas not controlled by the Government. Upon two attempts to reach two border areas, armed “LPR” members at the Chervonopartyzansk border crossing point (67km southeast of Luhansk) and Izvaryne border crossing point (53km south-east of Luhansk) prevented the SMM from accessing and monitoring in both areas and told the SMM to leave.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi and Kyiv.
*Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate
The SMM’s monitoring is restrained by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines and unexploded ordnance, and by restrictions of its freedom of movement 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.
Denial of access:
- Armed men refused the SMM to enter a military-type compound in “DPR”-controlled Svobodne (49km north-east of Mariupol) and stated the SMM should request permission from the “DPR” “command” located in Komsomolske (42km south-east of Donetsk). The JCCC was informed.
- Two armed men in military-type clothing denied the SMM entry to a residential building near “DPR” controlled Kulykove (30km north-east of Mariupol) to verify the presence of heavy weapons within the security zone. The SMM observed a military-type truck stationary in the garden. The JCCC was informed.
- At the border crossing point in “LPR”-controlled Izvaryne (53km south-east of Luhansk), armed men insisted on seeing the SMM patrol plan. The SMM refused to show and was told to leave the area. The JCCC was informed.
- At the border crossing point in “LPR”-controlled Chervonopartyzansk (64km south-east of Luhansk) an “LPR” member from “komendatura” in Sverdlovsk (61km south-east of Luhansk) told the SMM to leave, citing an order from “border guard headquarters”. Even though it informed the JCCC calling for its intervention, the SMM was escorted out of the area up to the entrance of “LPR”-controlled Sverdlovsk.
- At a “DPR” checkpoint on highway H-15 near Oleksandrivka (19km south-west of Donetsk), armed men requested to see monitor’s national passports citing an order from “minister of security” to check all passports of people entering the “DPR”-controlled area, including OSCE and UN. The SMM refused, contacted the JCCC and was allowed passage after 30 minutes.
- At a “DPR” checkpoint in Olenivka (“DPR”-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), armed men requested to see monitor’s national passports and the OSCE vehicles registration documents. A “DPR” member recorded the data from the requested documents and the SMM was allowed to pass after 30 minutes.
- At a temporary checkpoint in “LPR”-controlled Sverdlovsk (61km south-east of Luhansk) an “LPR” member of the local “komendatura” requested to see the patrol plan. The SMM refused but was allowed to proceed after three minutes delay.
For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/231261
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