Last week, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded over 16,000 ceasefire violations in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine – a 40 percent increase compared with the week before. This week, the hostilities were particularly intense on Monday and Tuesday. “Between 16:00 of Monday and 16:00 of Tuesday this week, the SMM recorded over 7,000 ceasefire violations, with violence engulfing in particular western Luhansk region and Yasynuvata. The use of indiscriminate multiple launch rocket systems in Novoluhanske and Svitlodarsk areas has also been noted this week,” reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
This year, the OSCE SMM has recorded almost 400,000 ceasefire violations and almost 4,000 instances of proscribed weapons in violation of the agreed withdrawal lines. The OSCE SMM has confirmed the death of 85 civilians, including one SMM monitor, and the injury of 384 people as a result of firefights and mine-related accidents.
“The weapons have not been removed. The mines are still in the ground. Military forces and formations are very close to one another, sometimes just a hundred meters apart, and sometimes – as we have observed recently – even moving closer,” emphasized Alexander Hug.
“We expect – as the practice has been in previous years – that a recent recommitment to the ceasefire will result, at midnight tonight, in a period of relative calm. […] Decision-makers must realize that the longer this conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to stop,” stressed Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM.