The number of ceasefire violations in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine last week was slightly higher than the week before. “The situation around Svitlodarsk was particularly worrying. We in fact recorded twice as many ceasefire violations in that area last week compared to the week before,” Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, reported via Skype from Donetsk during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. On Thursday evening, January 18, OSCE monitors at their forward patrol base in Svitlodarsk heard over 400 incoming and outgoing explosions, he added.
Alexander Hug noted that both sides of the conflict continue planting mines, sometimes even inside disengagement areas. SMM unmanned aerial vehicle spotted anti-tank mines in so-called “DPR”-controlled Petrivske, and near government-controlled Viktorivka.
OSCE monitors observe indications that the sides are building up weapons. OSCE’s UAVs spotted fresh trenches near both government-controlled and “DPR”-controlled parts of Zaitseve. In a government-controlled part of the Petrivske disengagement area, and near so-called “LPR”-controlled Obozne the SMM spotted armaments deployed and ready for action, added Alexander Hug.
Principal Deputy Chief Monitor noted that the OSCE SMM continues establishing facts about the attack on a civilian bus that took place on January 21 near Olenivka and resulted in one civilian killed and another wounded.