OSCE SMM pledges 24/7 presence at Stanytsia Luhanska Forward Patrol Base
Members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) will carry out 24/7 deployments at the Forward Patrol Base in Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk region, starting on August 19, OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug said.
The OSCE SMM will ensure permanent deployment at the Forward Patrol Base in Stanytsia Luhanska on Saturday, Hug said at a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday. The mission installed a surveillance camera in the populated locality in October 2016 and plans to install another one, but observers, who are the eyes and the ears of the international community in Donbas and Ukraine as a whole, are much better than cameras, Hug said. The monitors will ensure comprehensive surveillance and reports, especially at nighttime, when most shelling incidents happen, he said.
The checkpoint in Stanytsia Luhanska is the only one in Luhansk region, and hundreds of people on a daily basis cross the bridge, which is in deplorable condition, Hug said.
Hug added that the opposing sides had failed to disengage their forces and hardware in Stanytsia Luhanska. The permanent round-the-clock deployment of SMM monitors will be a contribution of the OSCE to the normalization in Stanytsia Luhanska, he said.
Hug added that the bridge could be repaired if the sides finally disengage.