Last week OSCE SMM recorded an increase in the level of violence in eastern Ukraine: 25 percent increase in the number of ceasefire violations compared to the previous week. The increase in the number of explosions attributable to mortars, tanks, and artillery was particularly notable. The SMM recorded 365 such explosions, compared to just over 100 the previous week. A man was killed in Staromykhailivka; two persons were injured in Bakhmut; another man was injured in Dokuchaievsk. This was reported by Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Relatively quiet the week before, the Popasna-Pervomaisk area was suddenly rocked by violence on Tuesday evening last week. “Our monitors in Popasna that evening and into the early hours of the following morning recorded 100 mortar impacts in the area. Overall last week our monitors recorded 63 explosions from artillery and 175 from mortars there, compared to just six explosions from artillery and nine from mortar rounds the previous week,” noted Alexander Hug. This area did in fact account for around 65% of all recorded explosions attributable to mortars, tanks, and artillery last week.
The following night – on June 28 – the hostilities spread to the Svitlodarsk area. “After two consecutive weeks – in which not a single explosion attributable to Minsk-proscribed weapons had been recorded – our monitors in the patrol base there witnessed a one-hour violent clash. In total, they heard at least 50 artillery and 10 mortar shots,” added the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
On Thursday – June 29 – violence erupted in the Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport area. “In just three hours, our monitors in Yasynuvata recorded approximately 100 explosions,” noted Alexander Hug. Areas east and north-east of Mariupol have been of particular concern in recent days. “On Monday night, for example, our camera in Shyrokyne recorded 20 undetermined explosions, nearly 700 tracer rounds in flight, and 44 rocket-assisted projectiles,” explained Mr. Hug.
The OSCE mission has enhanced its technical equipment with cameras and apparatuses. “We are currently assessing the installation of cameras ready to record high-quality information in the Donetsk filtration station area, which remains at the center of hostilities. We are also planning to install cameras at hot spots,” added the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor.