In Luhansk region the situation remained volatile. The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observed a rally in the city centre consisting of approximately 200, mostly young, people. They were carrying a St. George’s flag and shouting slogans sympathetic to the “People’s Republic of Luhansk”. When they passed the occupied Regional Administrative building, they were greeted by ten armed and camouflaged men.
In Donetsk region the situation remained volatile. SMM observed approximately 50 unarmed people exiting the Regional Administration building in a line. SMM saw a group of ten people standing near a “Donbass People’s Militia” recruitment tent. They formed a line and were walked into the building by a man in uniform. SMM saw the arrival of Denis Pushilin, the self-proclaimed chairman of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”. He was escorted into the Regional Administration building by nine heavily armed individuals. SMM observed, in front of the same building, cars honking, observing Rinat Akhmetov’s call to show support for cessation of violence. SMM noted approximately 30 mostly older people gathered along a guard fence at the roadside. Later, the group was joined by several unarmed men in camouflage. The people chanted, among other things, the slogan: “Akhmetov is an enemy of the people”. Most of the vehicles were silent while driving by the group, but a number of cars demonstratively honked their horns when passing. At least one of the cars was flying a Ukrainian flag.
On its way to Horlivka, SMM was stopped several times. At the checkpoint at the entrance to Horlivka SMM was stopped again. The checkpoint was manned by approximately eight armed individuals wearing camouflage. It appeared that more firearms were present in comparison with previous visits, including that of a week ago. SMM was escorted to the City Police building, and had to wait for about one hour to meet with the so-called commander. He sternly told SMM that they are not welcome in Horlivka. He told SMM to leave Horlivka immediately and warned the OSCE against returning to the town again. SMM was escorted back to the original checkpoint.
In Sloviansk SMM met with the self-declared mayor Ponomaryov on his request. According to him, Ukrainian “Oshchadbank” - which is in charge of the transfer of social allowances from the state budget to the Ukrainian post offices - had stopped all transactions as of 21 May without an official explanation.
The situation in Dnepropetrovsk remained calm. SMM met with the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Dnepropetrovsk Region. The interlocutor was of the opinion that the Governor has significant influence, and, following the creation of the “Dnepr” and “Donbass” Battalions the region offers a buffer zone which generates a more stable security situation. According to him a large majority of the population of the region supports Ukrainian unity.
SMM met with the Head of Pavlohrad city police. According to the interlocutor police patrols will be strengthened during the pre-election period. He did not exclude the possibility of incidents on Election Day. According to him police forces are prepared to respond to any situation. At the entrance of Pavlohrad district, SMM observed 15 Ukrainian military vehicles stationed along the road, including two armored vehicles, with armed military personnel.
The situation in Kherson remained calm.
The situation in Odessa remained calm. SMM observed about 30 supporters of the government outside the Odessa Prosecutor’s office demanding the appointment of a new prosecutor, more communication and transparency over prosecutor appointments and an official investigation over the 2 May incidents. After the appearance of the Deputy Prosecutor, and his address to the crowd, people dispersed.
The situation in the cities of Chernivitsi, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kyiv remained calm.