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Latest news from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received until 18:00 hrs, 11 June (Kyiv time)
13 June 2014 02:50

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The situation in Ukraine was calm, except parts of Donbas where tensions remained with no substantial changes compared to the previous days. The SMM has not reestablished communication with the four monitors from the Donetsk team and four monitors from the Luhansk team with whom it lost contact on 26 May and 29 May respectively.

In Kharkiv the situation remained calm. In the Borova district (145 kilometres southeast of Kharkiv) the SMM met with the head of the local police who informed the SMM that there were in total 30 local ‘Self-Defence’ members who support the work of the police. ‘Self-Defence” is mainly deployed to checkpoints within and outside of the district as well as engaging in joint patrols with police, the interlocutor said. According to him, the ‘Self-Defence’ people have no insignia and some of them have only personal hunting rifles.

The SMM met with a local ‘Self-Defence’ member in Lyman (located in Zmiyiv district, 53 kilometres northwest of Kharkiv). The interlocutor stated that many ‘Self-Defence’ members had different backgrounds: some were retired from the Soviet or Ukrainian Army, others were working in local agriculture or business. Many had a license to carry weapons, mostly hunting rifles. So far there has been no clear command structure. When required, the ‘Self-Defence’ was called to meeting points or checkpoints. Some members participated in training camps in Kyiv. The number of ‘Self-Defence’ members in the district was about 200.

In southern parts of the Luhansk region, the situation remained tense. Due to the security risks, the SMM could not monitor the situation outside the city.

In Donetsk the SMM met the new Sloviansk 'mayor' Vladimir Pavlenko. He estimated that 60,000 people now remain in the town; and that about 15,000 of these would wish to leave if a humanitarian exit route were established. While armed clashes had continued in Sloviansk with Ukrainian government forces, he said there had been no use of artillery and mortars on 10-11 June. He underscored the need to bring an end to the fighting - and the role of the international community in accomplishing this, particularly the OSCE. The ‘mayor’ noted, in response to the SMM’s questions, that there was 'always a possibility for negotiation', and that there was no room for resolution through violent means.

The situation in Dnipropetrovsk remained calm. The SMM met with the chief of police in Kryvyi Rih (146 kilometres southwest of Dnipropetrovsk) who said that ‘Self-Defence’ activities were less prominent compared to a month ago. The policeman suggested that this could be explained by the fact that most ‘Self-Defence’ activists have more trust in the work of the police. Furthermore he added that some ‘Self-Defence’ members had enlisted in the Territorial Defence battalion, which operates under the Ministry of Defence. The chief of police informed the SMM that on 3 June, four individuals were arrested in Kryvyi Rih, suspected of co-operation with separatists from the Luhansk region. One of the arrested individuals was a serving policeman (who was armed with a weapon and 50 bullets). An investigation has been launched.

The situation in Kherson, Odesa, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv remained calm.

In Chernivtsi the SMM met with the head of the organization "Sotnia Bukovyny" (“The Bukovina Hundred”), who said that 15 members of this organization expressed the wish to join a battalion of the Ukrainian forces to be deployed in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The battalion in question was formed by the branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Chernivtsi region.

In Ivano-Frankivsk the SMM met with the local ‘Self-Defence’ leader who said that there were approximately 12,000 volunteers in the region. Approximately 600 volunteers were women. The SMM was informed that ‘Self Defence’ held consultations with the newly-established ‘Narodne Opolchennya Prykarpattya’ (NOP, ‘People’s Defence Units of Transcarpathia’), which is an unofficial group, and not part of Ukrainian forces. However, the SMM learned that ‘Self-Defence’ did not join the NOP.

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