OSCE SMM: February 7 marked the record high use of Minsk-proscribed weapons since March 2017


According to OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, over 3,000 ceasefire violations were recorded in Luhansk region on Wednesday, February 7, of which 677 were attributable to weapons that should have been withdrawn according to Minsk agreements. “Wednesday was, in fact, the worst day we have seen since March 2017 in terms of the use of such weapons,” reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Throughout the week, OSCE monitors recorded at least 1,000 instances of the use of Minsk-proscribed weapons, including at least 360 instances of MLRS usage.

OSCE monitors observed 15 weapons in violation of agreed withdrawal lines; nine in government-controlled areas and six in areas not controlled by the government. “Of note, the SMM saw ten MLRS near non-government-controlled Khrustalnyi on February 5 and eight MLRS in government-controlled Topolyne on February 8,” said Alexander Hug.

He added that over the last two weeks there were new incidents when OSCE monitors faced attempts to prevent them from carrying out their mission, including threats and intimidation. “On February 9, armed men from the so-called ‘DPR’ fired shots in the vicinity of monitoring officers, what one of these men described as warning shots,” said Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM.

The OSCE SMM also confirmed that Ukrainian Armed Forces had advanced near Novooleksandrivka in Luhansk region. “Along with other OSCE SMM monitoring officers, I was yesterday in fact in the village, where we saw Ukrainian Armed Forces’ soldiers,” said Alexander Hug.