Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 1 September 2014 | OSCE
The SMM attended the opening of a school in Luhansk, at which the self-declared “LPR president”, Igor Plotnitsky, held a speech. Plotnitsky said that the new curriculum would be based on the educational curriculum of the Russian Federation. Furthermore, he said that there were plans to replace the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) currency with the Russian Rouble. According to the self-declared “LPR president”, civil servants had not been paid, but there were plans to resume the payment of their salaries as of 1 October, possibly from Russian sources.
Different interlocutors, including local inhabitants and the regional co-ordinator of Ukraine’s “Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO)”, told the SMM on 1 September that Luhansk airport was no longer under control of the Ukrainian forces.
During the dark hours on 31 August and on 1 September throughout the day, the SMM heard little shelling in Donetsk, suggesting a possible decreased intensity of the fighting in and around the city. On 1 September the SMM monitored the situation around Donetsk airport, from a distance of around one kilometre. The SMM heard three to four mortar shells, repeated every five to ten minutes, outgoing from within the airport area.
The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Mariupol (113 km south of Donetsk). At a checkpoint to the direction of Vinogradne (to the east of Mariupol), the SMM was told by a Ukrainian officer that Bezimenne town (33 km east of Mariupol), was currently under the control of irregular armed groups. (…) The Donetsk region deputy commander of the Ukrainian border guards confirmed to the SMM that on 31 August two Ukrainian coastal border guard boats were attacked in the Sea of Azov from the area of Bezimenne village.
The SMM attended a meeting between the mayor of Lviv and 20 parents of soldiers, mainly serving at Luhansk Airport as well as representatives of the army and the local Military Commissariat. The relatives asked for the immediate rotation of soldiers who have been serving there since 8 March. The mayor pledged to discuss the matter of rotation with the government representatives.
In Kyiv the SMM observed a number of protests throughout the city. Some 30 activists, many of them members of the volunteer “Mirotvorets” battalion under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, were demonstrating in front of the Shevchenko District Police Department. The demonstrators included soldiers who recently escaped from an encirclement of irregular armed groups around the town of Ilovaisk in the Donetsk region. The protesters were complaining about the conduct of the ATO in the east. In front of the parliament building, the SMM observed a gathering of around 20 people, organized by the political party “Volya”. Demonstrators held party flags and signs calling for #lustration of Parliament. Finally the SMM monitored a gathering of about 50 people, mostly women, relatives of ATO soldiers, held in front of the Presidential Administration building. Their demands included the rotation of personnel and proper equipment. Approximately 15 law enforcement officers from the police and National Guard were present at the location.