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, particularly so following recent security incidents*. The SMM noted a relatively calm situation at and around the Donetsk airport.
The situation at and around “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk airport (12km north-west of Donetsk) was relatively calm. The SMM – stationary at the “DPR”-controlled Donetsk central railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk) between 08:15 and 13:00hrs – heard three explosions and a number of bursts of small-arms and light-weapons (SALW) fire 3-4km to the north and north-west.
On Artemivska Street (7km north-west of Donetsk city-centre), the SMM observed a truck loaded with ammunition boxes, moving north.
At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) headquarters in government-controlled Soledar (77km north-east of Donetsk), ceasefire violation logs presented to the SMM by the Ukrainian Armed Forces showed 103 violations for 27 July, 21 by the Ukrainian Armed forces and 82 by the “DPR” or “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”). Russian Federation Armed Forces’ logs contained 123 violations, of which 42 were attributed to Ukrainian Armed Forces and 81 to the “DPR” or “LPR”.
Close to “LPR”-controlled Uspenka (23km south-west of Luhansk), the SMM observed 12 T-64 main battle tanks (MBT) and armoured personnel carriers in a static position in a training ground. An additional 18 T-64 MBTs were observed in a static position south of the town, plus three tracked infantry fighting vehicles (BMP), and four military-type trucks.
The SMM revisited two “DPR” heavy weapon holding areas. At one, it noted that all previously-recorded weapons were in situ. At the other, it was denied access.* All sites visited were in compliance with the weapons’ respective withdrawal lines.
Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel showed the SMM a number of heavy weapons at a location outside of the designated exclusion zone. They did not allow an inspection to ascertain serial numbers*.
The SMM monitored an extraordinary session of the Regional Council in Chernivtsi, at which it was decided to allocate an additional UAH 320,000 for the material and psychological support of demobilized and active service personnel and their families.
At a meeting held in Vyzhynitsia (5km west of Chernivtsi), representatives of various departments of Vyzhnytsia District Administration outlined benefits and discounts available to demobilized soldiers, and the required procedures.
The SMM met two displaced women at an internally displaced persons (IDP) collective centre in Vorzel (30km north-west of Kyiv). Seventeen people from the Luhansk region live there, including five children, two pensioners, and one person with disabilities, according to the two interlocutors. They said that six of the adults had gained employment, three locally and three in Kyiv. They added that the children had access to local schools but there were no medical facilities in the area.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.
* Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:
The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by third parties and security considerations, including the presence – and lack of information on the whereabouts – of mines, 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. Most areas along the Ukraine-Russian Federation international border, particularly those controlled by the “LPR”, have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM. In addition, in this reporting period – due to a number of security incidents – the SMM had a self-imposed restriction in operation on patrolling in most areas along the contact line.
–Armed “DPR” members at a checkpoint south of “DPR”-controlled Debaltseve (56km north-east of Donetsk) refused to allow the SMM to enter the city, saying permission was required from the “DPR” “president” or his deputies. A subsequent attempt to pass the checkpoint – this time also involving an SMM patrol from Luhansk – also failed, but after contacting the “DPR” “ministry of defence”, the SMM patrol from Luhansk was eventually allowed to enter the city.
–Armed “DPR” members at a heavy weapons holding area denied access to the SMM, saying permission was required from their “commander”.
- Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel at a checkpoint in government-controlled Novookhtyrka (51km north-west of Luhansk) stopped an SMM patrol for 15 minutes, letting them go only after some confusion over what they thought was an unacceptable OSCE registration plate had been resolved.
For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.