The intensity of hostilities in eastern Ukraine has drastically increased, reports the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. “Last week, we recorded almost 20,000 ceasefire violations, up 25 percent compared with the week before. It was, in fact, the highest number recorded since March,” stated Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press conference via telephone at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
On December 2, the OSCE monitors recorded over 3,000 ceasefire violations, more than half of them in Yasynuvata-Avdiivka area. Between 17.00 of Monday, December 11, and 17:00 of Tuesday, December 12, the monitors recorded approximately 3,000 ceasefire violations, almost half of them attributable to shell explosions. At night on December 12-13, intense hostilities continued, especially in the west of Luhansk region. “Preliminary data supplied by our monitors on the ground in Kadiivka and Popasna show that there were almost 1,000 explosions there on Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. In one particular episode, between 01:00 and 01:58 on Wednesday morning, our monitors at the forward patrol base in Kadiivka recorded 240 heavy explosions. From around midnight until 06:00, monitors at the forward patrol base in Popasna, meanwhile, heard, and actually saw some of the muzzle flashes of almost 90 explosions – many from outgoing artillery rounds – and some of these were fired from just 200 meters away,” Alexander Hug noted.
In addition, according to the monitors, there has been forward movement in Travneve and in Verkhnotoretske.
Alexander Hug noted that last week an agreement was reached on demining along the sides of the roads going through entry-exit checkpoints, and the monitors have already seen some work on the ground. In addition, the parties reached an agreement allowing to repair the wooden ramps at Stanytsia Luhanska bridge.