Violence in Luhansk region doubles over the past week – OSCE SMM  

Violence in Luhansk region doubles over the past week – OSCE SMM   
August 19, 2016.

Violence levels in the Donetsk region remain largely unchanged, while the levels in Luhansk increase. Two civilians were killed and multiple are injured during shellings.

Kyiv, August 19, 2016. The OSCE Special Monitoring Missions (SMM) reported that over the past week, the number of ceasefire violations in the Donetsk region remained largely unchanged.  Monitors recorded around 1,800 explosions but noted that recorded explosions sharply spiked over the weekend days.  In the Luhansk region, OSCE monitors recorded double the number of explosions in comparison to the past weeks. “After a week of relative calmness, nighttime shelling resumed in areas around the Stanytsia Luhanska Bridge on Wednesday, continuing for three straight nights,” stated Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Alexander Hug drew special attention to the use of multiple rocket launcher system in the Donetsk region, which was evidenced by crater analysis conducted by the SMM in the government-controlled towns in the Donetsk region. “Aerial surveillance imagery available to the SMM actually revealed the presence of 47 multiple rocket launch systems in the so-called ‘LPR’ (‘Luhansk People’s Republic’)-controlled Miusynk last Friday,” added Hug.

Additionally, the SMM reported the use of heavy weapons in the Donetsk region near the government-controlled Marinka and the so-called ‘DPR’(‘Donetsk People’s Republic’)-controlled Petrovskyi district of Donetsk city. Hug stated that “those firing heavy weapons made no distinction between civilian and combatants” and SMM monitors confirmed that three civilians were killed and one 16-year-old girl was injured during shellings on three different days.  In Marinka, monitors additionally reported the injury of a woman and two boys, aged 8 and 13, as a result of shelling in the area.

Hug went on to explain the necessity for the SMM’s unfettered access to the frontline in order to monitor and report objectively without restriction, threats, or intimidation.

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