OSCE SMM: The number of weekly ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine decreases by 25 percent


Last week the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) recorded a 25-percent decrease in the number of the ceasefire violations compared with the previous week. The daily number of ceasefire violations varied from 200 to 1,000, reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

SMM recorded 80 percent fewer explosions attributable to heavy weapons that should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements. The Mission recorded a total of 33 such cases (in 28 cases it concerned artillery, in five cases – mortars) compared to 180 cases the week before. Moreover, the Mission recorded over a thousand explosions attributable to unidentified weaponry.

The area between Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport, as well as the area south of Svitlodarsk, accounted for 80 percent of the hostilities. The former area has seen a 70 percent increase in the number of ceasefire violations compared with the week before. In the latter area, the OSCE SMM recorded a drastic de-escalation. There were just two cases involving the Minsk-proscribed weapons compared with 160 incidents over the previous week.

“In Dokuchaievsk, we confirmed that six civilians had sustained injuries as a result of the hostilities,” Alexander Hug said. Two civilians were wounded by unexploded ordnance – in the area of the uncontrolled Donetsk and in government-controlled Verkhniotoretske. OSCE SMM monitors also confirmed the fact of the death of a 57-year old man killed in Olenivka on January 21.

Last week, 23 pieces of weapons were deployed in violation of the withdrawal line in the government-controlled area and three pieces in the non-controlled area. “An SMM unmanned aerial vehicle spotted two T-64 main battle tanks just 2.7 kilometers from the contact line near so-called ‘LPR’-controlled Obozne; both in violation of the agreed withdrawal lines,” elaborated the OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor. An SMM UAV also spotted “four self-propelled howitzers very close to the government-controlled village of Oleksandropil. They were deployed 22.3 kilometers from the contact line,” he added.

Alexander Hug added that at night between January 28 and January 29 a camera of the OSCE SMM recorded a series of ceasefire violations at the Donetsk water filtration station.