OSCE SMM reports slight increase in number of explosions caused by Minsk proscribed weapons, namely tanks, mortars, artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems: 404 compared to 322 the previous week. Nevertheless, since the fatal incident of April 23 SMM had to restrict their patrolling in the ATO zone, reported Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug via Skype from Luhansk at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “We are worried about the use of multiple launch rocket systems. We recorded their use on two occasions: in Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport area on May 1 and May 4 and in Popasna-Troitske-Pervomaisk area on May 1. This day was particularly violent in Svitlodarsk. We recorded 48 artillery and 179 mortar impacts in the south-eastern outskirts of that town,” said Hug.
In Horlivka monitors recorded 60% fewer ceasefire violations and no explosions attributable to Minsk proscribed weapons. On the contrary, number of ceasefire violations increased in the vicinity of Svitlodarsk. “75 % of all explosions attributable to Minsk proscribed weapons along the contact line were recorded in the Svitlodarsk area. In total, we recorded 245 explosions of mortars rounds, 57 from artillery and 11 from tanks,” explained Principal Deputy Chief Monitor.
Last week the SMM confirmed 20 civilian casualties, including one fatality. “That brings the number of SMM confirmed casualties this year up to 191 – 156 wounded and 35 killed,” elaborated Hug.