Ukraine Live Day 283: OSCE Monitors Fired On

November 27, 2014
President Poroshenko at the opening day of the new Ukrainian parliament. Photo: Maxim Eristavi

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Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.

First Session Of Newly Elected Rada Begins

The first session of the new Ukrainian parliament elected in the October 26 elections has opened today.

OSCE Monitors Fired On Near Gorlovka

The OSCE has announced that a monitoring patrol from their Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was fired on yesterday near the separatist-held town of Gorlovka while under Ukrainian military escort.

No one was harmed in the attack, conducted with RPGs and anti-aircraft guns.

Here is the full OSCE report:

At approximately 12:00hrs on 26 November, an SMM patrol of three monitors – escorted by Ukrainian military personnel – was travelling between two Ukrainian military checkpoints (CP) – less than 2km apart – between the towns of Kirove (55km North-East of Donetsk) and Shumy (50km North-East of Donetsk).

When they reached the CP near Shumy at 12.10hrs, one of the SMM monitors exited the SMM armoured vehicle.

Almost immediately, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired – from a location to the South-East – impacting approximately 150 metres from the SMM vehicle. In the space of two seconds, multiple rounds of 23mm anti-aircraft ammunition were fired, impacting two to three metres from the SMM vehicle.

The SMM monitor – who had been standing next to the SMM vehicle – immediately entered it, at which point, it left the scene.

There were no injuries or damage sustained in the attack. The SMM monitors returned safely to their base.

Here is a map indicating the position of the two villages and the route taken by the OSCE monitors (highlighted in yellow) relative to the separatist-held town of Gorlovka (Horlikva in Ukrainian):


Here is a more detailed map of the route between Kirove and Shumy:


The US State Department has condemned the attack. Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the department, issued the following statement, notably stating that the attack appears to have been conducted from separatist-held territory:

The United States condemns the reported attack on an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) team traveling between Kirove and Shumy in eastern Ukraine on November 26. The SMM reported that a rocket-propelled grenade and multiple rounds of 23mm anti-aircraft ammunition were fired from a location to the southeast toward the OSCE team. These shots appear to have been fired from separatist-controlled territory. Any attacks on, or threats to, OSCE monitors or equipment are unacceptable. We call on all parties to refrain from any actions that endanger the safety of the OSCE mission in Ukraine. The United States thanks the members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission for their bravery and service. We again call on Russia and the Russia-backed separatists to provide OSCE monitors with full access to carry out their mandate to report on the security and human rights situation throughout Ukraine, facilitate dialogue, and monitor the implementation of the Minsk agreements, including along the international border. 

— Pierre Vaux