Виголошена Заступником Постійного представника України при міжнародних організаціях у Відні Євгенією Філіпенко на 1159-му засіданні Постійної ради ОБСЄ 5 жовтня 2017 року
Last weekend, the residents of Pikuzy in Donetsk region, which is currently controlled by the Russian hybrid forces, gave the SMM a letter “that outlined the difficulties faced by the residents and included a request for the immediate withdrawal of armed men and of weapons from residential areas of the village”,
as stated in the SMM report of 2 October. This letter highlights the plight of local population, which is seriously affected by the Russian occupation of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
I would like to remind you that more than 1.6 million inhabitants have left their homes and became IDPs to avoid the horrors of Russia’s military presence and massive human rights violations in Donbas. The difficulties faced by the local population are furthermore aggravated by the lack of access to humanitarian assistance in non-government-controlled areas due to the “complex and rapidly changing rules and procedures as well as freedom of movement restrictions for humanitarian actors”, as was reported by the SMM Chief Monitor Report to the Permanent Council last week. The militants continue to block the opening of Zolote entry-exit checkpoint, which would become the second crossing point in the Luhansk region and would substantially ease the pressure on thousands of people daily staying in long queues in Stanytsia Luhanska. The Ukrainian authorities did everything in their power to have Zolote ready for opening: 12 traffic lanes, 8 pedestrian lanes and one dedicated lane for international humanitarian organizations cargoes were made available for usage. Still, the Russia-backed militants keep demonstrating a total disregard to human lives.
The SMM weekly report of 27 September documents only a fraction of Russia-supplied weapons, which the residents of Pikuzy, as well as millions of Ukrainian citizens living under the Russian hybrid occupation, would like to see withdrawn: “the SMM also observed 283 weapons that should have been withdrawn beyond respective withdrawal lines but are outside designated storage sites – all in areas outside of government control”. It should come as no surprise that the same weekly report informed on 25 per cent more ceasefire violations and higher number of explosions attributable to the use of weapons that should have been withdrawn according to the Minsk agreements compared with the previous week. On 3 October, for the first time since the beginning of “school ceasefire”, the Russian hybrid forces used MLRS “Grad” near Talakivka, as well as a light portable rocket system “Grad