OSCE: Monitors detect a “Strela” missile system on “DPR”-controlled territory


Kyiv, July 17, 2015. OSCE Special Monitoring Mission UAVs detected a concentration of military weapons in “DPR”-controlled Komsomolsk, south of the demarcation line. “One of the drones found a ‘Strela,’ a Russian anti-aircraft missile system, in the region three kilometers to the south of Komsomolsk,” said Alexander Hug, the Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM), at a press briefing at Ukraine Сrisis Media Сenter.

The OSCE Monitoring Mission observed over 2,000 violations of the ceasefire near Donetsk airport over the last seven days. Military engagement has been observed in many other areas of Donetsk region, particularly to the east and northeast of Mariupol and Horlivka. In Luhansk region, military activity was observed along the demarcation line in Stanytsya Luhanska, Shchastya and other areas to the northeast of Luhansk.

According to Hug, this week the SMM also observed three armed men in military uniform on a minibus with “DPR” registration numbers and the pro-Russian “Vostok” battalion symbols. The minibus drove into the territory of Ukraine through the border crossing point at Maryinka.

This week, the SMM focused on repairing the water system between “DPR”-controlled Horlivka and government-controlled Mayorsk. The OSCE SMM helped facilitate the local truces that made it possible to conduct de-mining work and repair the water supply. As a result of this effort, 2.5 million people in need, including those from Mariupol, received help. “The recent experience repairing Horlivka’s water system demonstrated that both parties can cooperate with each other. At the same time, a ceasefire has not been provided to repair the damaged gas pipeline in the Mariupol area near Maryinka and Krasnohorivka,” said Hug.

The SMM reported heavy weapons in areas controlled by Ukrainian troops, despite their restriction according to the Minsk agreements. On July 14, the mission chronicled double-barreled anti-aircraft guns, four multiple launch rocket systems, four T-64 tanks, and five military ammunition trucks.

“Today is the anniversary of the tragedy, the crash of MH17. What amazes me is the fact that little has changed since that time. Many people continue to suffer and die. I urge the parties to do everything in their power to stop the continuous bloodshed, and at the very least to pay tribute to those who have died in the conflict zone. Today at 4:20 p.m., the OSCE SMM Head Ertugrul Apakan will hold a minute of silence to pay respects to the fallen. We urge you to join us in this endeavor,” said Hug, noting the anniversary of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 catastrophe.