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OSCE SMM: 3,335 ceasefire violations recorded last week

Kyiv, October 20, 2017.

Last week, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded 3,335 ceasefire violations, which is 45% more than the week before. “Last week’s increase is a reflection of the general trend we have been witnessing since early September. After the parties renewed their commitment to comply with the ceasefire regime on August 25, there was a decrease in the number of recorded violations. But since then, the figures have steadily and gradually increased,” said Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

During the first week after the renewal of commitments, from August 26 to September 1, the OSCE monitors recorded 1,365 ceasefire violations. The number of violations increased by about 140% compared with the week before. The SMM also recorded 55 units of armament deployed in violation of the Minsk agreements: 26 units in government-controlled areas and 29 in occupied areas.

Unmanned aerial vehicles of the mission recorded five artillery units and three Rapira guns in “DPR”-controlled Novoselivka. “All these weapons are supposed to be withdrawn at least 25 kilometers away from the contact line, but they are not,” said Alexander Hug. He also said that in government-controlled Oleksandropol, the OSCE UAVs recorded 20 artillery units deployed in violation of the Minsk agreements.

Last week, the parties began to fortify their strongholds and artillery positions less than 100 meters from each other. The OSCE observed this in Toretsk and Stanytsia Luhanska. “In some areas, we can see some signs indicating that the conflict has moved on to the next stage. After reading the OSCE’s report of October 14, you can learn what happened in the western part of Luhansk region in the afternoon of October 13. In just 35 minutes, our observers heard about 240 explosions attributable to artillery and mortars at the advanced patrol base in Kadiyivka (former Stakhanov),” said Mr. Hug.

Mr. Hug emphasized that the main reason for the increase in the number of shellings was the deployment of heavy armament in violation of the Minsk agreements.

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