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OSCE SMM: Violence in Eastern Ukraine rises by 55 per cent last week

OSCE SMM: Violence in Eastern Ukraine rises by 55 per cent last week
Kyiv, August 11, 2017.

The number of ceasefire violations recorded by the OSCE SMM rose by 55% in comparison with the previous week, reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. “Of particular concern was the increased use of Minsk-proscribed weapons. The OSCE SMM registered at least 547 occasions in which MLRS, other artillery, and mortars were used. This compares to 137 instances the previous week”, he noted.

Alexander Hug said that the OSCE monitors often see military equipment positioned in residential areas. The OSCE SMM confirmed that three civilians were killed and three more injured last week.

On August 9, the monitors discovered that the OSCE SMM thermal camera positioned at Donetsk water filtration station in Yasynuvata had been destroyed. “We discovered in all 16 bullet impacts to the camera and associated equipment,” elaborated Alexander Hug. On the same day in Vasylivka [area not controlled by the Government – UCMC] there was an attempt to shoot down the OSCE UAV by small arms fire as soon as the monitors launched it. “Yesterday in Pikuzy [area not controlled by the Government – UCMC] we had the same thing as what happened in Vasylivka. Despite informing ‘DPR’ members present of our intentions and informing the JCCC beforehand – another UAV was shot at.  JCCC was present but did not intervene. This was no misunderstanding. Instead of offering an apology, so-called ‘DPR’ members subsequently held our patrol, insisting on confiscating the UAV video footage,” Mr. Hug added.

Alexander Hug reminded of physical and bureaucratic obstacles for civilians traveling across the contract line, in particular in Stanytsia Luhanska. He stressed that this is the only crossing point in the Luhansk region. Alexander Hug also emphasized that it is necessary to organize demining action.

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