Kyiv, February 26, 2015. International monitors observed a catastrophic situation in Debaltseve, as every building in the city center has been destroyed or severely damaged. Those civilians who stayed call for an urgent recovery of gas, water and power supply. Michael Bociurkiw, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine spokesman, told this during the press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Our mission facilitated access for the humanitarian convoy of 5 trucks from the International Committee of the Red Cross,” OSCE spokesman said.
Michael Bociurkiw has emphasized yet again that all belligerents must comply with Minsk agreements, including the maintenance of a long-term ceasefire and start to withdraw heavy weapons. He noted the decreased number of military action conducted over the last couple of days. However, the monitors noted some incidents when multiple rocket launchers and the artillery were used, particularly in Vodyane and Karlo-Marksovo in the Donetsk region, as well as in Shchastya in the Luhansk region. International observers heard sporadic use of small arms near Berdyansk as well.
While commenting on the claims of Russia-backed insurgents that they have started to withdraw their heavy weapons, Mr. Bociurkiw said that the monitors observed military manoeuvres so far. He said that the OSCE representatives should have complete inventory lists, withdrawal routes and information about where this equipment is going to be located afterwards. The observers will not be able to verify the fact of withdrawal without this information from all of the warring sides.
Mr. Bociurkiw also told about the humanitarian crisis in frontline cities. “Many cities and especially villages close to the contact line were totally emptied,” he said. According to the United Nations report, more than 1 million people left their houses because of war. OSCE workers facilitate reintegration of internally displaced persons who fled to Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk.