The number of ceasefire violations in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine increased by 63 per cent last week. “Over 6,500 ceasefire violations were recorded by the OSCE SMM. There was a four-fold increase in the number of SMM-recorded instances in which weapons that should have been withdrawn were used. Among them were 86 instances in which multiple launch rocket systems were used,” reported Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He added that the level of violence is already approaching the levels seen before the recommitment to the ceasefire.
Last week, the SMM monitors recorded 84 weapons in violation of agreed withdrawal lines, 74 of them in areas controlled by the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”. Since 1 July, the OSCE SMM has registered 360 weapons in violation of agreed withdrawal lines; 273 of them in areas controlled by the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”.
Last week, three civilians from Horlivka were injured when a hand grenade exploded – two boys, 7 and 11 years old, and their grandmother, said Alexander Hug. On July 25, two teenagers from Horlivka were killed by a landmine explosion. The SMM monitors did not manage to check the information from media reports suggesting that three more civilians, two ambulance medical workers and ambulance driver, were killed in the south of Donetsk region this week, in the area controlled by the so-called “DPR”. “We cannot do this because the armed formations generally refuse to allow us access to this area,” Mr. Hug noted.
Since the beginning of this year the OSCE SMM has confirmed already 168 civilian casualties, 31 of them killed and 137 injured. In particular, 17 were killed and 42 injured by explosion of mines or unexploded ordnance.
Alexander Hug reminded that there have been already 12 recommitments to the ceasefire over the past three years.