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Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine - based on information received up until 6 May 2014, 19:00
09 May 2014 03:02

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The situation in both the east and in some parts of southern Ukraine remained tense.  Tensions in Luhansk remain. Central and western parts of the country remained calm.

The situation in Kharkiv has remained generally calm. SMM observed a military helicopter above the city.

In Luhansk tensions remain. SMM monitored the situation around the campus of the Luhansk National Taras Shevchenko University. SMM saw five men wearing military gear and carrying rifles leaving the university dormitory and moving towards the perimeter of the SBU building.

The overall situation in Donetsk remained tense. SMM went to see the situation at the airport, which had been closed for air traffic on 6 May: no military or unusual police presence could be observed.  The  Donetsk  Regional  Tele-radio  Centre  building  was  still occupied  by  the  self- proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Militia”. SMM saw about 30 men in camouflage outfits - some armed with AK-47s. There was also an APC (BTR-70 or 80) parked in front of the building. Sandbags and the tire barriers were still present.

At  the  barricades  in  front  of  the  Regional  Administration  building  SMM  saw  about  100 bystanders, including some 10 men guarding access to the building. Many bystanders and men in different camouflaged uniform carried ID cards with the flag of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” as background. At the parking lot in front of the Regional Administration building, a military green truck was parked, and six men in camouflaged uniform carrying AK47 took many police riot shields out of the truck and into the building. Two police foot patrols of two police officers each were patrolling in the area surrounding the Regional Administration building. SMM saw about 10 men in camouflage clothing carrying different weapons including knives, baseball bats, police bats and pistols.

At the Tax Administration and Customs building SMM noticed two police officers with AK47s, wearing black uniforms and fragmentation vests guarding the building from the inside. The flag of Donetsk Region continues to be flown on the roof.

At  the  Military  Prosecutor’s  office  SMM  saw  a  “Donbas  People’s  Militia”  flag  above  the entrance. No barricades or people were noted by SMM.

SMM saw that the Regional Prosecutor’s Office continued to be occupied; tire barricades had been put in front and around the building. Several men in masks were observed by SMM in front of the building. No weapons were seen.

Before entering Marinka (35 km south-west of Donetsk) SMM observed a road block/check point manned with four police officers; two of them carrying AK-47 assault rifles. On the way toward Krasnohorivka (28 km west of Donetsk) SMM saw a check point guarded by five police officers; two of them armed with AK-47s.

Towards the direction of Kostiantynivka (65 km north of Donetsk) SMM passed through the checkpoint north of Donetsk. The overall situation was calm. The checkpoint was controlled by Ukrainian traffic police and police with assault rifles. At the road block near “Cafe Veterok” SMM observed 4 armed traffic police, seven armed local police led by a Major and around 15 internal troops led by a colonel. One of the police officers wore a St. George ribbon. Upon arrival to Kostiantynivka, there was a block post controlled by “Donetsk Republic Militia” where SMM was stopped and ordered to get out of the car. SMM was asked for the passports and about the reason of the trip, and denied entrance to the city.

In Dnepropetrovsk the situation was assessed as calm. SMM noted on the way to Kryvyi Rih (146 km south-west of Dnepropetrovsk) two additional checkpoints: on the road towards Kirovograd junction and in Kryvyi Rih.

In Kherson the situation remained calm.

In Odessa the situation remained tense. SMM saw the checkpoint “Seventh kilometer” which had been burned. Two members of “self-defense” appeared and told SMM that the checkpoint will be manned  again,  without  further  details.  At  “Dva  Stovby”,  SMM  saw  that  the  two-position checkpoint was abandoned.  On the E58 in the direction of Kuchurhan/Transdniestria SMM saw that the checkpoint had also been abandoned. SMM visited the checkpoint on M05 leading from Odessa to Kyiv; it was dismantled, with no sign of supporters of the government present.

In  Chernivtsi  the  situation  remained  calm.  SMM  observed  on  the  road  from  Chernivtsi  to Hlyboka (approximately 30 km south) 13 Ukrainian army APC and two trucks driving towards the regional capital. SMM was informed by Military Commissar of Chernivtsi Region that the convoy was participating in a regular training exercise at the shooting range in Hlyboka and Storozhinets (24 km north-east of Chernivtsi).

The situation in Ivano-Frankivsk remains calm. On the way to Kalush (35 km north-west of Ivano-Frankivsk)  SMM  noted  that  several  police  checkpoints  which  had  been  previously established in preparation of the May celebrations have been now removed.

In Lviv nothing unusual was reported.

In Kyiv the situation remained calm. SMM saw the checkpoint located on Boryspilske Shose (12 km from Boryspil airport at the bus stop “Lisnitstvo”). Two of the street lanes were blocked by sandbags.

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