This report is for the media and the general public.
- Compared with the previous reporting period, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and more in Luhansk region.
- The SMM followed up on reports of three civilians injured near Vasylivka as the result of an explosion and three civilians who reportedly died of heart attacks while at a checkpoint in Horlivka.
- The SMM recorded ceasefire violations in the Zolote disengagement area and near the Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote disengagement areas.
- The Mission continued to observe hardships faced by civilians at checkpoints along the contact line related to inclement weather and long wait times.
- The SMM facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to essential civilian infrastructure on both sides of the contact line in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
- The SMM followed up on reports of a fire at a church in Rzhyshchiv, Kyiv region.
- The SMM observed a peaceful public gathering in Kherson.
- Restrictions of the Mission’s access continued, including in all three disengagement areas. An SMM unmanned aerial vehicle was targeted by small-arms fire while flying near Popasna.*
In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including about 55 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (about 70 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded in areas south-east of Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk), west-north-west of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and in westerly and south-westerly directions of the railway station in Yasynuvata (non-government-controlled, 16km north-east of Donetsk).
In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including 38 explosions, compared with the previous reporting period (six explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded in areas south-west of Zolote (government-controlled 60km west of Luhansk), south-west of Molodizhne (non-government-controlled, 63km north-west of Luhansk) and westerly directions of Yuzhna-Lomuvatka (non-government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk).
While positioned at the eastern edge of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk), conducting a mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight to observe a snow removal operation over the road T-0504, the SMM heard six bursts of small-arms fire approximately 1.5-2km east of its position, which it assessed as aimed at the UAV. The mini-UAV lost altitude and the SMM lost control over the UAV and was unable to recover it.
On 10 January, the SMM camera in Zolote recorded two projectiles in flight at an assessed range of 2-4km south-east (assessed as inside the disengagement area).
The same day, positioned on the northern edge of the Zolote disengagement area the SMM heard 18 undetermined explosions at an assessed range of 8-10km south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). Positioned on the southern edge of the Zolote disengagement area, the SMM heard one undetermined explosion at an assessed range of 7-9km west-south-west (assessed as outside the disengagement area). Positioned outside the disengagement area in Zolote-4/Rodina (government-controlled, 59km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard three shots of small-arms fire at an assessed range of 700-800m east-north-east (assessed as outside the disengagement area).
During the night of 10 January, while on the eastern edge of Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM heard six bursts of heavy-machine-gun and 20 shots of small-arms fire at an assessed range of 3-5km west-south-west (all assessed as outside the disengagement area).
Three Voda Donbassawater company workers injured in an explosion
On 10 January, the SMM followed up on reports that three male employees of Voda Donbassawater company had been injured earlier the same day while clearing snow from a road running from Kruta Balka (non-government-controlled, 16km north of Donetsk) and leading to the First Pumping Station in Vasylivka (non-government-controlled, 24km north-east of Donetsk). At a hospital in Yasynuvata, the SMM spoke to all three men who said that an explosion had happened while they had been clearing snow just outside their work vehicle around noon. One of the men (56 years old) who said he was a mechanic for Voda Donbassahad bandages on the left side of his chest and back. Medical staff at the hospital told the SMM that the man suffered 12 injuries to his chest and back assessed as caused by shrapnel and that he was in shock. A second man (in his fifties), who appeared to be in shock but did not have visible injuries, said he was a driver for Voda Donbassaand that he could not remember anything except the explosion. The SMM spoke with a third man (in his thirties) who said he was a mechanic for Voda Donbassaand saw that he had bruises on the left side of his face and arms and that he was shaking. He told the SMM he could not remember anything about the incident except the explosion.
On 11 January, the SMM visited a compound of Voda Donbassawater company in Mineralne (non-government-controlled, 10km north-east of Donetsk) where it was led by an employee to a truck that they claimed was the same Voda Donbassatruck damaged on 10 December. The SMM saw a Zil-131 truck with a green cab and a yellow body. The yellow body had been burned out and there was a large hole on the right side of the body and a large hole on the left side of the body of the truck. The SMM assessed that the damage was likely caused by a 73mm projectile from an infantry fighting vehicle (BMP-1) or a recoilless gun (SPG-9).
Three civilians died while waiting to cross the contact line in Horlivka
The SMM followed up on reports that three civilians (men in their eighties, seventies and sixties) had all died of heart attacks while at a checkpoint of the armed formations in Horlivka waiting to cross the contact line. At a morgue in Horlivka, staff told the SMM that three men of the same ages had been brought to the morgue from a checkpoint of the armed formations in Horlivka the same day and that they had died as a result of natural causes.
Situation of civilians at entry-exit checkpoints along the contact line
At a checkpoint of the armed formations south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), around 9:30, the SMM saw about 3000 people queuing to travel towards government-controlled areas and about 500 queuing in the opposite direction. The Mission saw another 500 people queuing at a nearby bus stop. About three hours later, at the entry-exit checkpoint north of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, the SMM saw about 120 people queuing to exit government-controlled areas and about 250 people queuing to enter government-controlled areas.
Between the two forward checkpoints of the armed formations on road H20 south of Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM observed a small tractor clearing snow from the road. The SMM saw about 150 people standing on a snow-covered road, waiting to travel from non-government-controlled areas through the forward-most Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint 3.5km north-east of Berezove (government-controlled, 31km south-west of Donetsk). While present the SMM observed 11 buses parked on the northern side of the checkpoint near Berezove. Three bus drivers (men in their forties) said they had regularly transported people between the forward-most checkpoints of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the armed formations, but noted that snowy road conditions made the roads difficult to pass.
Additionally, while at the same Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint in Berezove, three women (two in their fifties and one in her eighties) told the SMM that they had been waiting for a bus for hours in the cold for transport between this checkpoint and the entry-exit checkpoint in Novotroitske (government-controlled, 36km south-west of Donetsk), a distance of about 7km. Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel present said that the number of buses operating between those government-controlled checkpoints was insufficient, and that the situation was aggravated by bad road conditions due to the weather and heavy snowfall.
Withdrawal of weapons
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons in implementation of the Memorandum and the Package of Measures and its Addendum.
Weapons storage sites:
A permanent storage site beyond respective withdrawal lines in a non-government-controlled area of Luhansk region
- A tank (T-64) remains missing Indications of military presence in the security zone
- An armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) near Novotroitske
- An SMM mid-range UAV spotted:
- an armoured personnel carrier (probable BTR-80) near Vodiane (94km south of Donetsk)
- an armoured personnel carrier (probable BTR-80) near Vodiane (94km south of Donetsk)
Impact craters as the result of recent shelling near Sakhanka
An SMM mid-range UAV spotted six recent impact craters, assessed as caused by mortar rounds (two from 120mm and four from 80mm) fired from a westerly direction, near positions of the armed formations about 1.5km west of Sakhanka (non-government-controlled, 97km south of Donetsk).
SMM facilitation of repair works to civilian infrastructure
The Mission facilitated and monitored adherence to the ceasefire to enable repair works to electricity lines in Katerynivka (government-controlled, 64km west of Luhansk), to conduct an assessment for water repairs in Obozne (non-government-controlled, 18km north of Luhansk), repairs of water wells in Slovianoserbsk (non-government-controlled, 38km north-west of Luhansk) as well as water pipelines in Horlivka. The SMM continued to facilitate the operation of the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk).
The SMM monitored adherence to the ceasefire in order to enable a transfer of funds reportedly related to water payments across the bridge in Shchastia (government-controlled, 20km north of Luhansk).
Public gathering in Kherson
The SMM monitored a peaceful public demonstration against rising electricity costs organized by a civil society organization. In Svoboda central square, the SMM saw about 150 people (mixed gender, mostly middle-aged), some holding signs critical of electricity costs, and four people speaking with a representative of the Kherson Regional State Administration. The SMM did not observe police presence at the demonstration.
Follow up on reports of fire at a church in Rzhyshchiv
On 9 January, the SMM continued to follow up on a reported fire at the 19thcentury Trinity church in Rzhyshchiv (65km south-east of Kyiv) (see SMM Daily 3 January 2019). At the church, the SMM saw that a door on the south side of the church was missing and that it had been boarded up and black smoke marks on the door frame and adjacent wall. Inside the church on the same wall the SMM observed smoke damage as well and could still smell smoke in the church. Police in Kyiv told the SMM that the fire is being investigated under Article 194 of the Criminal Code (Intentional destruction or damage to property).
The Mission continued monitoring in Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Chernivtsi.