Last week the OSCE SMM recorded over 6,000 ceasefire violations in the conflict zone in the east of Ukraine, reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “About 40 percent of them were recorded in Donetsk airport-Yasynuvata-Avdiivka area,” he noted.
The SMM monitors registered multiple cases of positioning Minsk-proscribed weapons in violation of the respective withdrawal lines. For instance, on November 7 they noticed eight self-propelled howitzers near government-controlled Oleksandropil; moreover, the monitors recorded a T-72 tank near Khriashchuvate and four multiple launch rocket systems near Novoamvrosiivske (areas not controlled by the government). On 10 November, an SMM drone operating near Petrivske spotted two stationary infantry fighting vehicles. “And yet on that same day – 10 November – near Petrivske, our monitors were forced to abort two UAV flights. On both occasions, the UAV was shot at,” Mr. Hug noted.
Principal Deputy Chief Monitor emphasized the urgent need to repair the damaged civilian infrastructure in the frontline area, such as electricity lines around Krasnyi Partisan/Betamnove and Krasnohorivka gas distribution center.
Alexander Hug also urged the sides to start demining action. “If we cannot move freely and safely, then we cannot monitor and verify compliance by the sides, in which case neither side has the confidence to comply, not knowing that the other side is complying”, he stressed. Last week, the SMM received the information that two civilians were killed by mines or unexploded ordnance, Mr. Hug noted.
According to OSCE SMM, already far over 400 civilians have been killed or injured as a result of hostilities this year.