Last week OSCE SMM saw localized escalation in the Svitlodarsk area.
While the beginning of the week had been relatively calm around Svitlodarsk, the situation escalated on the evening of 23 September. “In all, the SMM recorded over 900 ceasefire violations in the Svitlodarsk area last week; over 90 per cent of them at the weekend. We had not recorded such a high number of ceasefire violations in the Svitlodarsk area since early August,” said Chief Monitor of OSCE Special Monitorung Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
In total, SMM monitors recorded 2,469 ceasefire violations all along the contact line, which constituted a 25 percent increase compared to the week before. “Many of those ceasefire violations happened in or around residential areas. OSCE SMM confirmed that one man was injured in the Trudivski area of so-called “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district,” said Hug. He noted that this brought the total number of SMM-confirmed civilian casualties this year up to 388: 68 killed and 320 injured. According to SMM, their casualty figures for the month of August showed an increase in the number of victims among children: 19 percent of civilian casualties were children, compared with 10 percent in the previous month. All of them were boys aged between nine and 15 injured when mines or unexploded ordnance detonated.
In terms of weapons in violation of respective withdrawal lines, our monitors observed such weapons 69 times last week – 14 times in government controlled areas and 55 times in areas not controlled by the Government.
Moreover, SMM recorded 238 pieces of equipment in close proximity to the contact line, which are not in their designated places.
For example, one unmanned aerial vehicle in so-called “LPR”-controlled Myrne on 22 September identified 30 tanks, seven self-propelled howitzers, six towed howitzers, nine mortars and six anti-tank guns, as well as 56 infantry fighting vehicles, six trucks each mounted with an anti-aircraft gun, 14 armoured personnel carriers, three armoured recovery vehicles and three mine-clearance vehicles. All of this hardware was only five km from the withdrawal line and 30 km from the withdrawal line, well-maintained, with many of them loaded with ammunition, signalling combat readiness.
At Shymshynivka, another location controlled by the so-called “LPR”, satellite imagery revealed a large number of weapons systems, including 19 tanks, 17 armoured personnel carriers, one of which was mounted with an anti-aircraft gun, a surface-to-air missile system, three self-propelled howitzers, three towed howitzers, and other vehicles in advance-to-contact formation.