Alexander Hug: Number of incidents involving use of mortars, tanks, artillery and MRLS increases


The security situation in the east of Ukraine remains tense and volatile. “Last week was keeping up with the two previous weeks. Troubling was the increase in the use of Minsk proscribed weapons, namely mortars, tanks and artillery, including multiple launch rocket systems. Last week, compared to the previous week, the SMM recorded a 250 % increase in the number of explosions attributable to the artillery and a 12-fold increase in those relating to mortars. The SMM recorded 27 explosions caused by multiple launch rocket systems,” said Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

According to Alexander Hug, this Tuesday evening SMM monitors heard one outgoing salvo containing at least 20 rounds of MRLS, plus additional 615 explosions. “Last week’s violence was mostly confined to limited number of areas along the contact line, in the Avdiivka, Yasynuvata, Donetsk airport area, accounting for 46% of the recorded ceasefire violations,” said Principal Deputy Chief Monitor.

SMM OSCE observations show that around 40% of all recorded ceasefire violations attributed to heavy weapons occurred in western Luhansk region. Friday last week saw over 2800 cases of ceasefire violations. “It was on Friday too that some of our monitors were attacked by so-called “DPR” members in Yasynuvata, who stole one of our unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Hug.