OSCE: Intensity of combat actions near Donetsk airport stands high

Kyiv, June 18, 2015. “Situation in Donbas remains tense and unpredictable. Intensity of combat actions in the area of the Donetsk airport stands high. Parties exchange fire from time to time, mostly from artillery and mortars. Although in the last 48 hours the situation was calm than earlier threat that the combat actions may re-start remains high,” said Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine, at the press briefing at Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.

According to Mr. Bociurkiw, the SMM saw unexploded ordnance launched from 120-mm mortars in the area of Shyrokyne. While patrolling the area on June 13-14, the monitors registered 180 explosions of 82 mm and 120 mm mortar shells, explosions from automatic grenade launchers and skirmishes that involved fire exchange from small arms.

“We also saw the results of fighting around the combat line northeast of Mariupol, not far from the “DPR”-controlled Krasny Oktyabr,” added the OSCE SMM spokesman. In the Luhansk sector, firing from small arms continued in the area of Shchastya and Stanytsia Luhanska as well as northwest of Luhansk along the combat line.

Michael Bociurkiw noted that despite statements made on withdrawal of heavy weapons the SMM noted movement, presence and use of heavy weapons along the combat line. SMM drones registered amassment of weapons near a railway station not far from Komsomolske and to the South along the combat line near Solntseve. Furthermore, OSCE drones spotted 18 APCs, several tanks, 45 trucks with military cargo as well as missile and anti-aircraft systems near Komsomolske.

Mr. Bociurkiw said that 23 newly recruited monitors undergo induction training. 483 monitors currently work in Ukraine; OSCE Special Monitoring Mission numbers 771 members in total including both international and national staff.