Western and Central Ukraine, including Kyiv, as well the southern part of the country, remained calm. The situation in Kharkiv appears to be tense after an assassination attempt on the local mayor. The situation continued to be tense in Luhansk region and particularly tense in Donetsk region. The Special Monitoring Mission resumed operational activities in all its areas of operation with special security measures in place for Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk.
The general situation in Kharkiv is tense following the assassination attempt on the Kharkiv mayor Henadiy Kernes on 28 April and the clashes between approximately 1000 supporters and opponents of the central government on 27 April (please see the 27 April SMM daily report for details). The shooting took place two km north of the city centre; the mayor is hospitalized and remains in serious condition at the time of writing.
In Luhansk the general situation remains tense in light of the ultimatum issued to the Government by the occupiers of the state security service (SBU) building calling for the recognition of the self-proclaimed “people’s governor”. The occupiers also called upon the citizens to gather in front of the administration buildings of towns and villages to “hear answers to their claims by the junta”. Representatives of the Luhansk Police expressed their concern to Special Monitoring Mission about possible unrest upon expiration of the ultimatum on 29 April at 14:00. The team also received information that a local supporter of the Government, activist Temur Yuldashev, had been captured in the town of Shchastia (approx. 20 km north of Luhansk) by opponents of the Government and had been taken to the SBU building in Luhansk.
The overall situation within the Donetsk region has deteriorated and been particularly tense for the last several days. In front of the Regional Administration Building the team observed about 250 people, among them about 50 to 60 men wearing camouflage military outfits and black masks. Some of them were also equipped with bulletproof vests and sticks.
In Dnepropetrovsk the general situation remained calm and quiet. On 28 April, the team continued to monitor the case of a Belarusian citizen working as a journalist for the Russian media group, who was detained on 23 April and accused of illegal acquisition, sale and use of special technical devices for obtaining information and smuggling. The lawyer of the detained individual informed the Special Monitoring Mission that a court hearing was held on 28 April. The team will monitor the next court session scheduled for 29 April at the Babushkinsky District Court.
The general situation in Kherson, Mykolaiv, and the surrounding areas remained largely unchanged and was assessed as calm. The Special Monitoring Mission met with the head of the Regional Department of the Ministry of the Interior and with the head of the Regional Criminal Police. Both interlocutors reassured the team that the situation was under control by the police and community.
In Odessa the situation remains generally calm. The Special Monitoring Mission met with the co-ordinator of the Kulikovo Polye anti-government group to gather information regarding the incident involving shots fired at an anti-government Cossack's apartment. According to the interlocutor, on 27 April at 01:30 two shots were fired from a hunting rifle at windows of the above-mentioned apartment. Moreover, following the incident, at 10:00 on 27 April the victim received an anonymous call with threats. He then decided to evacuate his family.
The situation in Chernivitsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv and Lviv remains calm. The team in Lviv observed a general increased police presence and checkpoints in and around the city. Local authorities are calling on people not to join mass protests during the upcoming holiday period (official holidays on 1 and 9 May). In Kyiv, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Chief Monitor together with representatives of the parties to the Geneva Joint Statement and the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine visited the City Administration building in the centre of Kyiv. The meeting was initiated upon the invitation of the mayor. The building is currently mostly renovated with a significant contribution by the Maidan activists.