“Between 09:45 and 10:00 on 23 November, an SMM patrol consisting of two vehicles and five people arrived from government-controlled areas at about 350m north of the southern edge of the disengagement area near Zolote (government-controlled, 60km west of Luhansk) to travel to non-government-controlled areas. Two members of the armed formations (wearing armbands with ‘JCCC’ written on them) denied the Mission passage, citing ‘orders from their superiors’. At 10:05, the patrol left the area and proceeded towards Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk),” reads the OSCE SMM spot report 27/2021.
Moreover, at 10:18 on 23 November, a second SMM patrol consisting of three vehicles and eight people arrived at the northern edge of the disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), after which the patrol members proceeded towards the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk).
“At 10:59, at the checkpoint south of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge a member of the armed formations denied one patrol member, who intended to cross to non-government-controlled areas, passage, citing a ‘need for permission’ from those in control in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region. At 11:00, the patrol left the area and returned to Stanytsia Luhanska,” the report reads.
Between 11:42 and 11:57, a third SMM patrol consisting of two vehicles and five people arrived from government-controlled areas at a checkpoint on road T-0504 about 1.5km south-west of Molodizhne (non-government-controlled, 63km north-west of Luhansk) to travel to non-government-controlled areas.
“At the checkpoint, a member of the armed formations denied the Mission passage, citing ‘orders from his superiors’. At 12:04, the patrol left the checkpoint and proceeded towards Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk),” the OSCE SMM informs.
The Mission notes that such denials at checkpoints of the armed formations “restrict the SMM’s freedom of movement across the contact line and prevent the SMM’s logistical operations, which are essential for the effective functioning of the Mission.”
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