Although the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine last week decreased by ten percent compared to the previous week, violence was observed on a regular basis along the contact line, reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “The Yasynuvata-Avdiivka-Donetsk airport area was the focus of much of the violence with 40 percent of all last week’s ceasefire violations recorded there. Areas to the east and north-east of Mariupol accounted for about 30 percent of all ceasefire violations,” he said.
OSCE monitors recorded 74 pieces of heavy weaponry located in violation of the withdrawal lines.
Alexander Hug reminded that last week OSCE SMM published the report on civilian casualties in 2016. “According to the report, 33 of the victims were children, almost half of whom died or were injured by mines and UXO,” said Principal Deputy Chief Monitor. The SMM has been recording higher numbers of civilian casualties in 2017 compared to the previous year. “So far this year we have confirmed 387 civilian casualties – 68 deaths and 319 injuries. This is an 18 percent increase to the respective figure of 2016,” elaborated Alexander Hug.