In particular, the SMM observed 30 cars, including 15 with 'DPR' plates  / Photo from Vedomosti Donbassa

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has reported active traffic in border areas controlled by the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR") in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, outside the Ukrainian government's control.

"While at a border crossing point near Marynivka (78km east of Donetsk), the SMM observed 30 cars (including 15 with 'DPR' plates), a covered truck with 'DPR' plates (cargo not observed), three mini-vans (including two with 'DPR' plates), a bus with 'DPR' plates carrying about 50 passengers (mixed genders and ages), and four pedestrians (two women and two men in their thirties and forties) entering Ukraine," the OSCE SMM said in its daily report for September 17.

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The mission also observed 14 cars (including six with "DPR" plates), three covered trucks (including two with "DPR" plates) (cargo not observed), a mini-van with "DPR" plates, a bus with "DPR" plates carrying about 50 passengers (mixed genders and ages), and three pedestrians (one woman in her forties and two men in their thirties and forties) queuing to enter Ukraine.

Background information

  • In early June 2014, the Marynivka crossing point was under Ukrainian border guards' control. But on June 5, 2014, the Vostok illegal armed formation attempted to seize that section of the Ukrainian-Russian border. This was the first large-scale battle near Marynivka, which lasted for 16 hours.
  • The Ukrainian border guards and the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to hold the positions, but later, on July 26, "DPR"-controlled illegal armed formations seized the crossing point.
  • In June 2018, a trailer was deployed there for inspections of agricultural plant shipments (seeds, grain, mineral fertilizers, etc.), and in August 2018, the area was fenced with barbed wire.