Last week OSCE SMM recorded fewer explosions than in the previous week, but the intensity was high – Alexander Hug


OSCE SMM stressed parties didn’t withdraw heavy weapons as agreed in Framework Agreement as part of the Minsk Agreements, this weapons at the check points poses risks for the civilians.

Kyiv, November 25, 2016. “Last week, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded 414 explosion caused by fire from mortars, tanks, artillery and multiple launch rocket systems,”  said Alexander Hug, First Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

There is a reduction of all kinds of ceasefire violations in all sectors but their intensity is high. “The parties have agreed, according to the Minsk agreements, to withdraw tanks, multiple launch rocket systems, mortars and artillery to the assigned areas, but it is obvious that they have not fulfilled this,” stated Mr. Hug.

Alexander Hug visited Minsk to participate in the Working Group on Security of the Trilateral Contact Group. On September 21, this contact group agreed to execute the Framework Agreement on the withdrawal of forces and facilities. “The parties have not completed the process this week, and it is already two months after signing the Framework Agreement,” he stressed.

According to the First Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM, civilians are often forced to use unofficial routes for crossing the contact line. People expose themselves to danger because the fields in the area are covered with explosive remnants. “There is a need to implement security measures but the rules for crossing the contact line should be simplified for civilians, whose number amounts to 30,000 daily. […] As long as armed men in camouflage uniform and military equipment are located at the entry-exit crossing point, risk factors will remain,” noted Mr. Hug.