Kyiv
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SMM OSCE: Combat intensity in Eastern Ukraine reduced by 40 % last week

SMM OSCE: Combat intensity in Eastern Ukraine reduced by 40 % last week
Kyiv, June 30, 2017.

Last week combat intensity was 40 % lower than the week before. Moreover, the number of incident involving heavy weapons reduced significantly. “Last week SMM recorded 110 such explosions, compared to 617 the previous week. That is more than 80 percent decrease,” reported Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Decline in combat intensity is caused by so-called ‘farming ceasefire’.

Monitors recently observed a brief escalation of the situation in certain area of the frontline. For instance, monitors counted up to 500 explosions during three hours in Yasynuvata. OSCE SMM monitors in frontline patrol base observed so intense firefights that in some moments could not count the number of explosions. According to SMM monitors, last week two civilians died in combat and four were wounded, including a 12-year-old boy from Kadiivka. The casualties were a 19-year-old girl from Pikuzy and an 81-year-old woman from Yasynuvata. Both sustained lethal fragmentation wounds.

OSCE SMM monitors’ freedom of movement was limited 18 times last week, 17 of them on the territory temporarily beyond governmental control. Near Novoazovsk, on the uncontrolled territory, SMM monitors were repeatedly impeded to monitor the environment during the entire month of June. Some incidents involved intimidation and threatening with weapons. “In Yasynuvata on Tuesday last week, an armed so-called “DPR” member shot at our monitors and attacked their vehicle. Later last week, on Friday, in Zolote, SMM monitors came under fire, with bullets whizzing overhead, and mortars and grenades fired from a position just 100 metres away. The sides also regularly shoot at SMM unmanned aerial vehicles, most recently near Zatyshne on Monday this week,” elaborated Hug.

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