Since the beginning of 2017, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has already recorded 313,322 ceasefire violations, of which 26 thousand are attributable to Minsk-proscribed weapons. Moreover, SMM recorded 3,500 cases deployment of weapons in violation of the withdrawal lines. According to the SMM, during 2017, 398 civilian casualties have been recorded: 327 persons were wounded, 71 were killed. “One of them, the man who tried to repair the power lines damaged by the bombardment, died last week. Another fatality, a 47-year-old father of three, died on October 8,” said Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the mission during a Skype call with Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Alexander Hug said that the OSCE observers continue to record anti-tank mines along the entire contact line. “We were at Shchastia, trying to cross a stretch in the territory uncontrolled by Ukrainian government. We stumbled upon rows of anti-tank mines on the bridge. On Wednesday, October 11, the OSCE SMM drone registered 11 anti-tank mines in the area two kilometers south-west of the village on the main road to Mariupol. They block access to Mariupol, they also hinder access to the neighboring village of Vodiane. On the same day, we recorded even more mines planted by the so-called ‘DPR’ near the village of Pikuzy,” said Mr. Hug.
He noted that the militants of self-proclaimed “republics” continue to prevent the OSCE SMM from conducting round-the-clock monitoring via stationary cameras. So, on the evening of October 4, a member of the so-called “LPR” used a laser to disable the SMM camera located south of Stanytsia Luhanska. “The camera was unable to record anything for five hours. And the question arises: what the so-called ‘LNR’ tries to conceal? […] According to the so-called ‘LPR’, they are going to sort out this incident,” said Principal Deputy Chief Monitor.
Mr. Hug also told that he is currently on a five-day visit to the area of hostilities in Donbas. One of the reasons for his visit was the desire to meet with particular leaders of the armed groups of so-called “republics”, but they refused to meet. “This says a lot about their willingness to build a dialogue,” concluded Alexander Hug.