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Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine - based on information received up until 19:00, 4 May
06 May 2014 03:10

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After the incidents in Odessa on 3 May the situation in both the east and in some parts of southern Ukraine remained tense. Central and western parts of the country remained calm.

The situation in Kharkiv has remained generally calm. On 4 May about 500 separatists protested in Liberty Square near the Lenin monument. Supporters of Ukraine’s unity cancelled a planned meeting for same day. Streets in the city center and subway stations around Liberty Square remain closed. Police forces continue to be on high alert, with a notably increased presence in the area around Liberty Square.

In Luhansk tensions have increased due to the address of the self-proclaimed mayor who introduced a “state of emergency” on 2 May within the city. In addition to announcing a curfew, he called for volunteers to join the “South-Eastern Army” and outlawed all political movements, civil society activists and law enforcement employees failing to follow his instructions.

The overall situation in Donetsk has further deteriorated. The SBU building in Donetsk was occupied by separatists on the evening of 3 May. On 4 May Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observed that the entrance of the building was barricaded with bricks and wooden ammunition boxes. There were three unarmed individuals in camouflage uniforms behind the barricades. The Regional Prosecutor’s building is also still occupied. The building is guarded by five to seven men in camouflage uniform, armed with clubs, some masked. There are barricades at the entrance. So-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” flags and Russian flags were observed. At the Regional Police building numerous sandbags have been placed around the main entrance. A group of police officers, some armed and wearing both uniform and civilian clothes, were seen around the entrance. The iron gate surrounding the Donetsk broadcasting tower has been strengthened with sandbags. SMM observed ten men in camouflage uniforms armed with AK-47s and two with RPG-7s. There were also four police officers, two armed with AK-47s. At the Regional Administration Building SMM observed a gathering of around 500 to 600 supporters of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”.

In Dnepropetrovsk the situation was calm. SMM monitored the launching of another consultative “referendum” (territorial survey) initiated by the regional authorities in Dnepropetrovsk, with the aim of incorporating Donetsk and Luhansk municipalities into the Dnepropetrovsk region.

In Kherson the situation remained calm. SMM checked the administrative line on the main road leading towards Armiansk (123 km southeast from Kherson) in Crimea, where protests of the Crimean Tatars took place on 3 May. Nothing unusual was reported.

Following the events of 2 May the situation at the Trade Union building, and the overall situation in Odessa, has deteriorated and is assessed as tense. On 4 May SMM observed around 2,000 mourners, including relatives of victims who perished in the fire on 2 May in front of the Trade Union building. The riot police had left, leaving a small police presence. Part of the crowd, about 200 people, then moved on to the police headquarters in the city centre. SMM observed the crowd outside the police headquarters which was pressing for the release of detainees and breaking windows.

In Chernivtsi the situation remained calm. SMM observed a gathering of about 50-100 people at the Central Square. Approximately ten “Samooborona” men in uniform were present as well as three police officers. The gathering was organized by the “Chernivtsi Maidan Association”.

The situation in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv remained generally calm.

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