This report is for media and the general public.
The SMM noted a calm situation around Donetsk airport except one incident where the SMM observed shell damaged houses in a north-western suburb of Donetsk city, close to the airport. The SMM registered several explosions, heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire in a number of other locations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The SMM continued to monitor the humanitarian situation in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions and followed-up on reports about water, electricity and fuel shortage in areas not controlled by the Government. Its freedom of movement was restricted three times in areas not controlled by the Government, resulting, in one instance, in an inability to reach the Ukraine-Russian Federation border*. Events remembering the victims of the 1930s Holodomor famine were held across the country.
On 28 and 29 November the SMM did not record any ceasefire violations at and around “Donetsk People’s Republic (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk airport (9km north-west of Donetsk city) with one exception a in residential area in Kyivskyi district (“DPR”-controlled, 8.5km north-west of Donetsk city centre, 2.6km south-west of Donetsk airport terminal)*. At the site the SMM observed a private house, located at Tchekhoslovatskaya Street 105, with its roof burned down and walls severely damaged by fire, and a second neighbouring house completely burnt down. According to the SMM’s assessment, a projectile exploded in the house that consequently caught fire spreading it to a neighbouring house which completely burnt down. The SMM did not observe a crater or any projectile that hit the house. A neighbour said that on 28 November at 18:35hrs a projectile (mortar 120mm and/or BMP fire) had hit the roof and damaged the gas supply pipeline near the house, observed by the SMM. At a second site in a garden at Shakhtoprohodchikov Street 103, the SMM observed a damaged gas supply line some 2-3m from the house and small impact damages on its western walls. Based on two puncture holes approximately 10cm in diameter observed on the gas supply pipe, the SMM assessed that the projectile had originated from a west-north-westerly direction.
The SMM recorded a limited number of ceasefire violations in other locations – explosions and small-arms and light-weapons fire – in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions. For example, on 29 November the SMM registered several single explosions and a couple of instances of heavy machine and anti-aircraft gun fire in government-controlled areas of Avdiivka (15km north-west of Donetsk), and Maiorsk (45km north-east of Donetsk), and in the area of “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk).
In addition, the SMM observed a number of other ceasefire violations, which it assessed to have been part of training exercises. On 28 November, at a training ground in government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard several rounds of small arms fire and five minor explosions.
In relation to the implementation of the Addendum to the Package of measures, the SMM visited an Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent weapons storage site, the location of which corresponded with the withdrawal lines. The SMM observed that four previously recorded mortars were missing and found nine additional main battle tanks (MBT).
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Neither “DPR” nor “LPR” members have yet provided inventories or locations of designated permanent storage sites for these weapons as requested by the SMM on 16 October. The Ukrainian military authorities have provided an inventory list of military equipment featuring weapons systems, as well as their serial numbers. The SMM revisited locations beyond the respective withdrawal lines known to the SMM as heavy weapons holding areas, even though these did not comply with the specific criteria set out in the 16 October notification.
At Ukrainian Armed Forces holding areas the SMM observed two howitzers (D30, 122mm), six anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) and nine multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) (9K51 Grad, 122mm) present. Seventeen towed anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) and three anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm) were missing. Four artillery pieces (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), five towed howitzers (2A36 Giatsint, 152mm) and eight tank destroyers (MT-LB, 9P149) fitted with 134mm radio guided anti-tank systems (9K114-Shturm) were missing, as they have been since 12 July 2015. The SMM also observed a number of Addendum-proscribed weapons located at Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding areas. At one “DPR” holding area the SMM was denied access*.
In addition to heavy weapons at holding areas, the SMM observed the following heavy weapons in areas in violation of the withdrawal lines: a convoy, moving in an easterly direction, including two self-propelled howitzers (2S3, 152mm) and two multi-purpose light-armoured towing vehicles (MTLB) on a flatbed military truck in government-controlled Smolianynove (60km north-west of Luhansk). In the area of government-controlled Sievierodonetsk (74km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM observed a military convoy, moving towards an eastern direction, consisting of four APCs and a military trailer transporting two MTLB and two howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika).
The SMM monitored the presence of other hardware. It observed: a military convoy moving in the direction of government-controlled Konstantinovka (60km north of Donetsk) consisting of 11 armoured vehicles (BRDM-2) and several trucks with military personnel and different military equipment in the area of government-controlled Novohrodivka (39km north-west of Donetsk). Two military-type trucks with undetermined registration plates, one mounted with an anti-aircraft gun (ZU23) and one Kamaz truck with a canvas covered weapon (possibly anti-aircraft gun) moving towards Donetsk airport, passing the “DPR”-controlled Donetsk railway station. In “LPR”-controlled Kruhlyk (31km south-west of Luhansk) the SMM observed 20 MBTs at the training site. Another two MBTs and two other military vehicles as well as 70 armed “LPR” members were in the training field. The SMM did not observe any live fire exercises.
The SMM monitored the movement of civilians across the contact line. On 29 November, in government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM observed more than 50 people waiting to enter “LPR”-controlled areas, and approximately 30 into government-controlled areas, at the Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint. At a checkpoint in government-controlled Heorhiivka (24km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM observed about 115 civilian cars in a queue waiting to cross into government-controlled areas and 182 into “DPR”-controlled areas. On the H15 highway at the Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint in the area of Marinka (23km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM saw on 28 November more than 20 anti-tank mines on both sides of the road. The following day the SMM observed Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel removing the mines.
The SMM continued to monitor the humanitarian situation in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In government-controlled Maiorsk (45km north-east of Donetsk) the SMM spoke to a repair crew in charge of the water pipe line, who said that required repairs will take at least another four days. In “LPR”-controlled Obozne (18km north of Luhansk) several residents told the SMM that the village was without electricity for the fourth consecutive day and that it had become difficult to heat houses. While visiting several petrol stations in and around Luhansk city, the SMM learned that the stations were either closed or had no fuel. When asked for the reasons of the shortage, none of the SMM interlocutors could give an explanation. Only one petrol station in “LPR”-controlled Novohannivka (23km south-east of Luhansk) had limited diesel supply.
The SMM monitored a number of locations – not controlled by the Government – along the Ukraine-Russian Federation border. In particular, in “DPR”-controlled Uspenka (73km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM observed 94 civilian cars and three trucks, the majority with Ukrainian registration plates. The driver of the first car in the queue told the SMM that he had been waiting for over 20 hours. In “DPR”-controlled Marynivka (78km east of Donetsk) the SMM observed 54 civilian cars and 68 civilian trucks, mostly transporting coal, the majority with Ukrainian registration plates, waiting in a queue to cross into the Russian Federation. Several passengers told the SMM that civilian cars had to wait for at least six hours, and trucks for 24 hours in order to cross the border. Of particular note, the SMM was granted conditional access to “LPR”-controlled Parkhomenko (30km north-east of Luhansk) with armed “LPR” members insisting on seeing the SMM patrol plan before allowing it to proceed.
The SMM followed up on the situation of power supply across the administrative boundary line between the Kherson region and Crimea. On 28 November in Chaplynka (80km south-east of Kherson), the SMM spoke to the deputy director of the Ukrainian National Electricity Company who said that no agreement on the repair works completion was reached with the “Crimea blockade” activists (see SMM Daily Report 25 November). The SMM also saw a crew of the electricity company in an off-road vehicle that was patrolling the premises of the Long-Distance Electric Network, according to the deputy director of the electricity company with the purpose to prevent possible thefts of metal from the pylons. The SMM noted that two blockade activists were dressed in uniforms with insignia of the Aidar volunteer battalion (under the Ministry of Defence). They told the SMM that there were another 25 former Aidar battalion members participating in the blockade. The SMM did not observe any police presence at the site.
On 28 November the SMM observed events remembering the victims of the 1930s Holodomor famine in Chernivtsi (300 people), Kharkiv (200, 100 and 30 people attended in three locations, respectively), Ivano-Frankivsk (250 people), Odessa (20 and 135 people attended in two locations, respectively) and Lviv (30 and 60 people attended in two locations, respectively). All observed events were overseen by law enforcement and passed off peacefully. In Kyiv at the Holodomor Genocide Memorial, during a commemoration ceremony, not open to the public, President Poroshenko honoured the victims of the famine.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Dnepropetrovsk.
*Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate
The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including mine threats, damaged infrastructure, and the unpredictability of the situation in Donbas. “LPR” members continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring many areas close to the border with the Russian Federation in parts of the Luhansk region not controlled by the Government.
Denial of access:
- On 28 November, while leaving “LPR”-controlled Sverdlovsk (61km south-east of Luhansk), two armed “LPR” members stopped the SMM, requesting its patrol plan. After checking the route of the patrol, the “LPR” armed members insisted on escorting the SMM claiming to “ensure its safety” on its way to the border crossing point between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in “LPR”-controlled Chervonopartyzansk (89km south-east of Luhansk). However, after approximately 5km the armed “LPR” members, escorting SMM, stopped and said that they had got orders from their superior not to allow the SMM to proceed further. According to them, they were ordered to escort the SMM out of the Sverdlovsk area, as Ukrainian Armed Forces diversionary groups were operating in the area. The SMM was then escorted out of “LPR”-controlled Sverdlovsk towards “LPR”-controlled Komsomolskyi (55km south-east of Luhansk).
- On 28 November, in “DPR”-controlled Staromykhailivka (19km west of Donetsk), “DPR” members at a checkpoint told the SMM that it could not proceed due to recent mortar shelling, although another “DPR” member at another checkpoint a few kilometers away told the SMM previously that the situation had been quiet.
- On 28 November, at a “DPR” heavy weapons holding area, “DPR” members requested the SMM to sign a logbook which the SMM declined and was subsequently denied access.
- On 29 November, in government-controlled Nevelske (18km north-west of Donetsk), Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel was stopped for more than 30 minutes without providing any information for the delay. The SMM was eventually allowed to continue its patrol.
- On 29 November, in “LPR”-controlled Parkhomenko (30km north-east of Luhansk) the SMM was granted conditional access.
- On 29 November, in Kyivskyi district in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city, the SMM was escorted by a Russian Federation Armed Forces Colonel at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) and six “DPR” members, while following up on reports about shelling.
* Please see the section at the end of this report entitled “Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate”.
 For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.