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OSCE SMM: Monitors record a significant increase in the deployment of weapons in violation of withdrawal lines

Kyiv, September 15, 2017.

Over the third week after the resumption of ceasefire commitments, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded eight explosions attributable to Minsk-proscribed weapons, reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “For comparison, during the first week of August the SMM recorded 547 such blasts,” he said. Moreover, small arms are used more and more frequently. Over the week, the SMM recorded 30% more ceasefire violations, compared with the previous week. “In the first week after the resumption of the commitments, we recorded dozens of ceasefire violations every day, but now this indicator is over a hundred in most cases,” said Alexander Hug.

The SMM noted a significant increase in the number of heavy weapons deployed in violation of the withdrawal lines. The monitors recorded 66 heavy weapons units: eight – in the government-controlled territory, 58 – in the territory controlled by the so-called “LPR” and “DPR”. In particular, an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle spotted three self-propelled howitzers near government-controlled Ptyche. Two more self-propelled howitzers were recorded by the OSCE monitors in the non-government-controlled Zaichenko. For comparison, the previous week the amount of non-withdrawn heavy weapons did not exceed 11 units.

Militants continue preventing the SMM from monitoring. During the week, the monitors were denied access 12 times.

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