"On 18 October, at 15:40, the SMM saw that the previously observed padlock and chain (see SMM Spot Report 20/2021 of 17 October 2021) had been removed from the vehicle gates of its Forward Patrol Base (FPB) in Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), and that the gates were open," the report reads.
It notes that in front of the FPB, the Mission observed a previously installed tent, but saw no people or vehicles nearby. The SMM left its FPB to conduct a patrol, and returned at 16:03.
The SMM also recalled that the OSCE Permanent Council Decision No. 1117 specifies that the SMM shall have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine.
"Unrestricted and unconditional access to all areas is essential to ensure effective monitoring and reporting of the security situation, as well as other mandated tasks," the report said.
In addition, the mandate also tasks the Mission to report on any restrictions of its freedom of movement or other impediments to fulfilment of its mandate.
On October 17, Russian-backed forces blocked the exit from the OSCE SMM's forward patrol base in temporarily occupied Horlivka. Observers were not allowed to leave the hotel.