The OSCE are really the only group I would trust for accurate information.
"Common observations at the Border Crossing-Points
In general, the situation at both Border Crossing-Points is calm. Increasingly more people fleeing Ukraine report to Observers about the dire situation in the Luhansk region.
In many cases there is a misunderstanding about the role of the OM, which is often thought to be part of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Many of the refugees urge the OSCE to do something to bring an end to the fighting. This is accompanied by indiscriminate accusations against the OSCE of being passive or indifferent.
At both Border Crossing-Points, Observer Teams (OTs) observed seven occasions on which Russian military helicopters flew over the Border Crossing-Point compounds, during the day and night. When visible, Observers assessed that these helicopters did not violate the Russian-Ukrainian border while approaching or leaving the Border Crossing-Points. In addition, the OT heard in five cases, during night hours, the sound of propeller aircraft in the vicinity of the Border Crossing-Points. In one instance during daylight, the OT saw a small grey aircraft above Gukovo Border Crossing-Point heading north.
Observation at the Gukovo Border Crossing-Point
After the reopening of the Gukovo Border Crossing-Point the OTs observed a steady increase of cross-border traffic flows until 13 August, predominantly into the Russian Federation. During the reporting period, the total number of border crossings at Gukovo Border Crossing-Point exceeded those of Donetsk Border Crossing-Point for the first time. A daily average of 3,100 entries and exits was recorded, of which 60% accounted for entries into the Russian Federation.
Other observations of interest:
Throughout the week the OT heard detonations and gun fire in Ukraine, very close to the Border Crossing-Point. These incidents were quickly assessed as not combat-related. As previously reported, most of the gun and mortar fire heard by the OT originates from a nearby improvised ‘shooting range’ under the control of supporters of the self-proclaimed republics. A young man dressed in military-style attire explained that the ‘range’ was used to calibrate rifles and mortars.
Observation at the Donetsk Border Crossing-Point
During the past week, activity at the Donetsk Border Crossing-Point has decreased and is at very low levels. Compared to an average of 5,500 recorded entries/exits per day during the previous week, the number dropped to 2,700, from which roughly 60% percent were crossing to the Russian Federation
Throughout the week the OTs observed multiple groups of generally young people (men and women) wearing military-style dress crossing the border in both directions. The OTs noticed one particular vehicle, a green UAZ with civilian Russian Federation number plates that commutes daily from the Russian Federation to Ukraine and back. In most cases the car has more passengers when leaving for Ukraine than when returning to the Russian Federation. On 17 August two well-occupied buses and a minivan passed the Border Crossing-Point from the Russian Federation to Ukraine. An OT saw at least three injured persons wearing camouflage outfits including one using crutches. The buses and the minivan were escorted by a civilian car registered in the Donetsk region (Ukraine). The OTs also observed several ambulance evacuations of wounded supporters of the self-proclaimed republics as well as civilians.
Other observations of interest:
During the night from 16 to 17 August and during day, the OTs observed distant light flashes and heard heavy mortar fire and multiple rocket launchers in the west. Between 01:10 and 01:20 very distant, particularly massive artillery fire from howitzers and missile launchers could be heard in the north-north-west direction. At 04:00 artillery fire resumed and continued until 13:45.
Russian humanitarian aid convoy
On 14 August the Russian humanitarian aid convoy arrived in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky. This brought considerable media attention to the Donetsk Border Crossing-Point, through which the convoy should cross the border. The same day the OT observed that tents were set up next to the Border Crossing-Point fence to accommodate Ukrainian border guards and customs officers. The next day 58 Ukrainian officers arrived and held a co-ordination meeting with their Russian counterparts on the convoy’s inspection modalities. They were later joined by a delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). On 17 August, 16 of the 280 Russian humanitarian aid lorries arrived and parked in a cordoned-off area next to the Border Crossing-Point area where they currently remain.
As soon as the ICRC receives security guarantees the convoy will undergo cargo inspection and cross the border towards Luhansk. There is no scheduled time-frame as of 19 August, 16:00 hrs.
There is widespread misunderstanding that the OSCE would participate in the convoy’s inspection. In addition, inaccurate media reports increased the confusion on the convoy’s movement and inspection. Therefore, in the absence of clear information, the OM repeatedly updated media representatives present at the Border Crossing-Point with factual information to avoid the spread of further inaccuracies”