OSCE SMM welcomes the significant reduction of ceasefire violations across the Donetsk and Luhansk regions


Kyiv, September 10, 2015. During the last week, the OSCE Special monitoring mission has observed significant reduction of ceasefire violations across the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. On some days, the monitors reported no violations at all, said Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

At the same time, according to Hug, the situation in many places remains tense. This Tuesday OSCE monitors recorded 230 explosions in Donetsk region and 16 in Luhansk region. The SMM continues to observe heavy weapons missing from holding areas on both side of the line of conflict and reports movements of weapons, especially in the Donetsk region.

Last night the Chief monitor Ambassador Apakan and Mr. Hug returned from Minsk where they participated in the talks in the framework of the trilateral contact group’s working group on security issues. Mr. Hug reported that the participants focused on modalities for the withdrawal of tanks, artillery systems up to 100 mm in caliber and martyrs up to and including 120 mm. “This objective remains both achievable and necessary. The agreement will constitute the significant step towards the broader non-use of weapons to which the Minsk protocol and memorandum refer” – he added. The SMM believes that for the ceasefire to be sustainable, these weapons need to be withdrawn.

The SMM continues to support local ceasefires in order to allow recovery work on damaged infrastructure. On September 5, the window of silence allowed to repair the electrical lines in Raivka,  Luhansk region.

Mr. Hug stated that the SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has been lost a week ago over the so-called “DPR”-controlled area has not been yet recovered. The SMM is still not allowed to access the place where the UAV came down.

According to the SMM, the number of children attending schools has dropped in comparison with the last year, particularly in the areas near the contact line. The Monitors stress on the ongoing militarization of the lives of children in the conflict-affected areas. They speak about the armed men patrolling playground in Horlivka, the need to cross the check-points in order to go to school, conflict related distress of many children. Also in some co-called “DPR” and “LPR”-controlled areas the textbooks are supplied from the Russian Federation.