OSCE: Residents of frontline cities suffer from shell shock and lack of basic services

OSCE: Residents of frontline cities suffer from shell shock and lack of basic services
April 03, 2015.

Kyiv, April 3, 2015. The humanitarian situation in the frontline cities is deteriorating. Residents of Spartak, Donetsk region, and those towns around Shyrokyne suffer from the lack of gas and power supply; there is no running water as well. Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, shared his experiences after the recent trip to Donbas during the press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Many civilians are shell-shocked. There is a severe shortage of social help and drugs in hospitals and clinics, orphanages and houses for the elderly. You can find more detained information in our thematic report about the humanitarian crisis in the region,” Mr. Bociurkiw said.

The OSCE SMM spokesman told that the observers were presented with an opportunity to explore the inside of the Donetsk airport terminal. They have also visited a number of settlements nearby. “The major obstacle for people to return to their homes is a great number of unexploded ordnances. One elderly resident of Spartak showed one of such explosives right in his front yard,” Mr. Bociurkiw noted.

Michael Bociurkiw also told that pro-Russian militants restrict freedom of movement for the mission, particularly in the east of Donetsk and south of Luhansk region where the “Russian Cossacks” are most active. “Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of OSCE SMM, has met with the “DPR” leadership. He emphasized the absolute need for unrestricted access for monitors, baseline information about weapons withdrawn and provision of the humanitarian aid to civilians according to the Minsk agreements,” the OSCE SMM spokesman said.