This report is for the media and the general public.
The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region and a similar number in Luhansk region compared with the previous reporting period. The SMM followed up on reports of civilian casualties from the Trudivski area of Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district, Amvrosiivka and Zalizne. The SMM continued monitoring all three disengagement areas and recorded ceasefire violations near the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area. Its access remained restricted in all three areas.* The Mission observed a probable mortar and a probable surface-to-air missile system in violation of withdrawal lines in an area under government control near Hranitne. It facilitated and monitored repairs and maintenance to power lines in Druzhba and the Donetsk Filtration Station. The Mission visited a border area not under government control. The SMM monitored gatherings in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa.
On the night of 17-18 October, the SMM camera in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) recorded an undetermined explosion 3-5km south-east. During the day on 18 October, positioned on the south-western edge of Avdiivka, the SMM heard four undetermined explosions and three bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 1-5km at directions ranging from east to south.
On the night of 17-18 October, the SMM camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk) recorded, in sequence, five tracer rounds in flight from south to north, two undetermined explosions, an illumination flare and a projectile in flight from south-west to north-east, all 1-3km south and south-south-west. During the day on 18 October, the same camera recorded 25 projectiles in flight from east to west, all 1-2km south.
During the day on 18 October, positioned near the Donetsk Filtration Station, the SMM heard and saw an explosion assessed as an impact of a round from an undetermined weapon 300-400m south.
On the evening of 17 October, while in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city centre, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion 8-10km north-north-west. During the day on 18 October, positioned at the Donetsk central railway station (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre) for about three and a half hours, the SMM heard 31 undetermined explosions, 13 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire and 34 shots of small-arms fire, all 3-5km west and west-north-west.
On the evening of 17 October, while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 34 explosions assessed as impacts of mortar (120mm) rounds 1.5-3km east and south-east; during the day on 18 October, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 5km south.
During the day on 18 October, positioned at the railway station in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) for about five hours, the SMM heard about 120 undetermined explosions, of which 75 were assessed as mortar (type unknown) rounds, and about 300 shots and bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire, all 1-8km at directions ranging from south-west to north.
Positioned in government-controlled Chermalyk (31km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard eight undetermined explosions and two bursts of small-arms fire at undetermined distances at directions ranging from east-north-east to south, as well as three undetermined explosions at an undetermined distance north.
Positioned on the south-eastern edge of government-controlled Myrne (63km south of Donetsk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions at an unknown distance east.
Positioned on the north-western edge of “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 5-7km south-east and 11 undetermined explosions 5-7km at directions ranging from south-west to north.
Positioned in government-controlled Druzhba (45km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard three undetermined explosions 3-5km south-east and south.
Positioned for about three hours in government-controlled Novoselivka Druha (23km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard 14 undetermined explosions 2-5km at directions ranging from north-east to south-west.
Positioned at the entry-exit checkpoint in government-controlled Maiorsk (45km north-east of Donetsk) for about three hours, the SMM heard two undetermined explosions 2-3km south and four undetermined explosions 3-5km north-east.
In Luhansk region the SMM recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations, however no explosion, compared with the previous reporting period (one explosion).
The SMM followed up on reports of civilian casualties. On 18 October, accompanied by Russian Federation Armed Forces officers of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC), at Hospital no. 14 in Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district (15km south-west of Donetsk city centre), medical staff told the SMM that a man (aged 70) had been admitted to the hospital on 17 October with shrapnel wounds, including to his neck and right elbow. The SMM saw bandages to the man’s right elbow. He said that he was approaching the junction of Karnavalna and Dzhalilia Streets in the Trudivski area of Petrovskyi district at 15:30 on 17 October, when he had heard an explosion behind him and felt pain in his back. He added that he had continued to walk towards his house at 72 Karnavalna Street to call an ambulance. The man’s wife told the SMM that the ambulance could not pass through the checkpoint next to the bus station in the Trudivski area.
Medical staff in the same hospital told the SMM that a woman (aged 34) had been admitted on 17 October with shrapnel wounds, including to her right temple and right foot. They added that she had been discharged later during the day. The SMM spoke with the woman over the phone. She said that she was in the yard of her house (72 Shestakova Street in the Trudivski area of Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district) close to a barn when she had heard a loud explosion at around 20:20 on 17 October. She also said that she had seen the impact of a projectile on the west-facing wall of the barn.
At a hospital in government-controlled Bakhmut (formerly Artemivsk, 67km north of Donetsk), medical staff told the SMM that a woman (aged 34), resident at 43 Frunze Street in “DPR”-controlled Amvrosiivka (56km south-east of Donetsk), had been admitted on 16 October with shrapnel wounds to her chest and right shoulder. Police told the SMM that the woman had sustained injuries while she was walking in a field approximately 100-600m from the entry-exit checkpoint in Maiorsk at about 12:40 on 16 October. The woman told the SMM that, after sustaining injuries following an explosion, she walked to the entry-exit checkpoint in Maiorsk, where border guards’ medical staff provided her with first aid.
At a hospital in government-controlled Toretsk (formerly Dzerzhynsk, 43km north of Donetsk), medical staff told the SMM that a woman (aged 48) from government-controlled Zalizne (formerly Artemove, 42km north-east of Donetsk) had been admitted on 16 October with injuries to her neck. They added that she had already been discharged. According to a police officer in Toretsk, the woman had sustained shrapnel injuries to her neck caused by a mortar round when shelling started at about 13:30 on 16 October in Zalizne near Ukrainian military installations.
The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), Zolote (60km west of Luhansk) and Petrivske (41km south of Donetsk), as foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21 September 2016. The SMM’s access remained restricted but the Mission was able to partially monitor them.*
On the evening of 17 October, while in Stanytsia Luhanska, the SMM heard three bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 3km south, assessed as outside the disengagement area.
On 17 October, an SMM mid-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted for the first time 18 anti-tank mines with pressure fuse (probable TM-62), in an area which extended 500m south of the “LPR” checkpoint south of the Zolote disengagement area. The same UAV spotted what appeared to be mowed grass in an area 3-5m-wide on both sides of road T1316 assessed as inside the disengagement area.
On 18 October, positioned in and around the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska,
Zolote and Petrivske the SMM observed calm situations.
The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons in implementation of the Package of Measures and its Addendum, as well as the Memorandum.
In violation of the respective withdrawal lines, in a government-controlled area, an SMM mid-range UAV spotted, on 17 October, a probable stationary mortar (type unknown) and a probable stationary surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10) near Hranitne (60km south of Donetsk).
The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles and tracks assessed as those of tanks in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, on 17 October, the SMM saw an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (BMP-1) heading south and two stationary IFVs (BMP-1) near Novozvanivka (70km west of Luhansk). On both 17 and 18 October, the SMM saw a stationary truck (Kraz Cougar) with a heavy-machine-gun (12.7mm) mounted on top and a stationary IFV (BMP-2) near the government checkpoint north of the Zolote disengagement area. On 18 October, the SMM saw fresh tracks assessed as those of a vehicle with a tank (T-72) chassis leading north near Bohdanivka (41km south-west of Donetsk) 300m west of the Petrivske disengagement area. An SMM mid-range UAV spotted, on 17 October, three IFVs (BMP-1) near Hranitne.
On 18 October, near government-controlled Myrne (40km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM saw two wooden boxes covered with tarpaulin and branches mounted on pillars of a bridge.
The SMM continued to facilitate and monitor repairs and maintenance works, co-ordinated by the JCCC, to the power lines east of Druzhba and to the Donetsk Filtration Station.
The SMM visited a border area not under government control. On 18 October, during about 20 minutes at a border crossing point near “DPR”-controlled Novoazovsk (102km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM saw three cars (one with Ukrainian, one with Russian Federation licence plates, and one with “DPR” plates) exit Ukraine. The SMM saw a truck with covered cargo (with Ukrainian licence plates) enter Ukraine.
In Kyiv, the SMM monitored gatherings in the city centre (see SMM Daily Report 18 October 2017). On 18 October, the SMM saw about 1,000 people (mostly elderly women) gathered near the National Bank of Ukraine on Instytuska Street. About 40 law enforcement officers were present. Protestors carried flags of the political party Za Zhyttia. The protest ended peacefully.
On the same day, at the junction of Sadova and Hrushevskoho Streets, about 80m from the national Parliament building – in the area where on 17 October the SMM saw four portable metal detectors – the SMM saw two police trucks parked in length narrowing the entrance of people into the area and police officers conducting checks of people. Inside the fenced area the SMM saw about 400-500 people on Hrushevskoho Street and in front of the entrance to the Parliament. About 80-100 law enforcement officers were present at the entrance of the fenced area and another 400 in front of the national Parliament building. The Mission saw about 15 large tents on the street, as well as ten additional large and about 30 small tents in the grass area in front of the entrance to the Parliament building. During its presence for about two hours, the SMM did not observe any incident.
On 17 October, in Odessa, the SMM monitored a gathering organized by a political party. The SMM saw about 70 people (aged 30-70, 30 per cent women) in front of the regional state administration building. They carried a flag of Ukraine, a black-and-red flag, and a flag of the organizing political party. Participants called for creation of an anti-corruption court, lifting of immunity of members of Parliament, and a change of the electoral system. The heads of seven political parties gave speeches and proposed a declaration of their demands. Later during the day, the heads of two political parties asked to meet the head of the regional state administration. Fifteen minutes later they entered the building.
On 17 October, in Kharkiv, the SMM monitored a peaceful protest of about 50 people (men and women of different age groups) organized by several political parties. Speakers called for anti-corruption measures, changes to the electoral system and lifting of immunity of members of Parliament.
The SMM continued monitoring in Kherson, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipro and Chernivtsi.
*Restrictions of SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate
The SMM’s monitoring and freedom of movement are restricted by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) 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. They have also agreed that the JCCC should contribute to such response and co-ordinate mine clearance. The SMM’s operations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions remained restricted following the fatal incident of 23 April near Pryshyb; these restrictions continued to limit the Mission’s observations.
Denial of access:
Related to disengagement areas and mines/UXO:
- The SMM was prevented from accessing parts of the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, with the exception of the main road, due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer of the JCCC told the SMM that no de-mining had taken place during the previous 24 hours. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC.
- The SMM was prevented from accessing secondary roads south of the Zolote disengagement area due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. Armed “LPR” members positioned on the southern side of the Zolote disengagement area told the SMM that no demining had taken place during the previous 24 hours. The SMM did not consider it safe to proceed and informed the JCCC.
- The SMM was prevented from accessing secondary roads in the Zolote disengagement area due to the possible presence of mines and UXO. Ukrainian Armed Forces officers of the JCCC at a checkpoint on the northern side of the Zolote disengagement area told the SMM that demining of the main road had been completed on 13 October. The SMM observed, however, mine hazard signs still present and did not consider it safe to proceed. The SMM informed the JCCC.
Please see the annexed report for a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations as well as a map of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions marked with locations featured in this report. During this reporting period the SMM camera at the Oktiabr mine (Donetsk) remained non-operational.
 This hardware is not proscribed by the provisions of the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal of weapons.