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Ukraine: Spot Report 36/2020: Members of the armed formations continued to deny SMM patrols

Country: Ukraine Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe From 27 June to 3 July, members of the armed formations again denied the SMM attempts to cross into non-government-controlled areas along official crossing routes: seven times in Donetsk region and three times in Luhansk region, while further attempts to cross into government-controlled areas were also denied twice in Donetsk region and four times in Luhansk region. On 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 June and on 1 and 2 July, at a checkpoint south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), members of the armed formations continued to deny the SMM passage towards non-government-controlled areas on three occasions, and passage towards government-controlled areas on four other occasions five times referring to the closure of the checkpoint due to COVID-19, twice stating SMM did not have permission to cross and once referring to instructions received from those in control . On 26, 27 June and on 1 July, at a checkpoint near Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), the Mission was again unable to travel towards non-government-controlled areas due to the presence of a metal barrier and spikes laid across the road, and of a mine hazard sign. In addition, on 27 June, members of the armed formations denied the SMM passage towards government-controlled areas referring to a lack of permission from their superiors . On 26 June and on 2 July, at a checkpoint west of Verkhnoshyrokivske (formerly Oktiabr, non-government-controlled, 85km south of Donetsk), members of the armed formations (some visibly armed) denied the SMM passage towards non-government-controlled areas, once referring to quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19 and once without providing any reason. On 28 June, at a checkpoint near Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), members of the armed formations denied the SMM passage twice once towards government-controlled areas, and once towards non-government-controlled areas, referring to the closure of the checkpoint on both occasions. On 29 June, at a checkpoint near Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk), members of the armed formations denied the SMM passage towards non-government-controlled areas, referring to the closure of the checkpoint. The Mission began facing repeated denials when attempting to cross into non-government-controlled areas at checkpoints of the armed formations in Donetsk region on 21 March and Luhansk region on 23 March (see previous SMM Spot Reports). They restrict the SMM s freedom of movement across the contact line, thus impeding the implementation of its mandate throughout the country. *** With regard to COVID-19, the SMM has introduced a number of stringent mitigation measures into its operational procedures. These include strict adherence to social distancing rules both internally and with external interlocutors, daily temperature checks, use of PPE and minimizing the number of personnel in vehicles. Contacts Dragana Nikolic-Solomon Chief of Press and Public Information Unit OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine 26 Turhenievska Street 01054 Kyiv Ukraine Office: +380 44 392 08 55 Mobile: +380 95 291 99 18 Dragana.Nikolic-Solomon@osce.org smm-press@osce.org Iryna Korobko National Media Officer OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine 26 Turhenievska Street 01054 Kyiv Ukraine Office: +380 44 392 09 84 Mobile: +380 67 235 38 16 iryna.korobko@osce.org smm-press@osce.org


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