Last week, SMM OSCE recorded a ten-percent decrease in the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine. “Ninety-five percent of the recorded violence occurred in four locations, meaning most areas in Donbas were relatively calm and peaceful,” reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. However, there was a serious localized upsurge in violence in the Donetsk region on April 10 -11 this week, added Alexander Hug.
“The armed formations in Luhansk have announced that they are going to violate the Minsk agreements by lining up large amounts of hardware in city-center Luhansk on May 9. Already they are preparing and have pre-positioned the weapons on the south-eastern outskirts of Luhansk city,” Alexander Hug said. OSCE SMM unmanned aerial vehicle recorded seven tanks, seven self-propelled howitzers, seven multiple launch rocket systems, seven surface-to-air missile systems, and 10 towed howitzers placed less than 13 kilometers from the contact line.
SMM OSCE observed no progress on de-mining last week. “In fact, we saw the opposite. We saw recently-laid mines near residential areas and entry-exit checkpoints,” elaborated Alexander Hug.
Last week, SMM recorded for the first time an anti-tank mine in a field on the southern edge of government-controlled Lomakyne. In addition, an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle spotted for the first time eight anti-tank mines laid across a road near government-controlled Starohnativka, about 300 mines near non-government-controlled Zaitseve and about 320 anti-tank mines in areas south-west of government-controlled Avdiivka. OSCE SMM drone also spotted at least 50 anti-tank mines in a field south-east of government-controlled Popasna.