SMM OSCE: Almost 200 pieces of Minsk proscribed weapons recorded


The number of ceasefire violations dropped by 20 % compared to the previous week.  There was a 90 % decrease in the number of explosions caused by mortars, tanks and artillery, from almost 4,000 to 485, reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Dramatic fall was also seen in the number of explosions caused by Minsk proscribed weapons. On March 31 we recorded 110 explosions caused by mortars and 32 by artillery. The following day we recorded just a single explosion caused by a mortar round along the entire contact line,” said Hug.

There is still a problem of SMM movement across the ATO zone. “Last week the mission’s freedom of movement was restricted 29 times, nine times in government controlled areas and 20 times in areas not controlled by the government.  Two restrictions involved violence in areas controlled by the so-called ‘DPR’, in which shots were fired very close to our monitors,” said Hug.

Similar situation extends to the mission’s unmanned aerial vehicles. On April 5 in the southern outskirts of Luhansk city the monitors had to abort a UAV flight after it came under small arms fire. Despite this, OSCE SMM managed to record almost 200 pieces of Minsk proscribed weapons, all in violation of the respective withdrawal lines.  “In total, the UAV spotted three multiple launch rocket systems, five towed and seven self-propelled howitzers and seven tanks. This violates the weaponry withdrawal clause. In addition, it spotted seven infantry fighting vehicles, 13 armored personnel carriers and six military-type trucks, and at least 35 men in military style clothes,” said the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor.

122-mm mortar near Avdiivka
Three tanks near Kalynove
122-mm self-propelled howitzer near Bakhmut
Four towed cannons near Stepove