OSCE SMM observes Ukrainian army advance in western Luhansk region

The Ukrainian army has moved forward in the Novo-Oleksandrivka area in the west of Luhansk region, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Alexander Hug, said.

The OSCE SMM has evidence that the Ukrainian army has moved forward in that area, Hug said at a press briefing in Luhansk region on Friday.

In addition, observers saw 15 weapons deployed in violation of the disengagement line, including nine in the areas controlled by Kyiv and six in the areas held by the unrecognized republics, he said.

The active use of forbidden weapons resumed in Luhansk region on Wednesday, Hug said. Over 3,000 violations were observed on that day, he added.

In fact, February 14 saw the most incidents involving such weapons since March 2017, Hug said.

Several shots were fired near SMM monitors in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on February 9, he said.

There have been several instances of attacks on drones this week, Hug said.

Ukrainian media reported earlier that the Ukrainian army took over the village of Novo-Oleksandrivka in the Popasna district of Luhansk region on January 31. The Donbas contact line established by the second Minsk deal runs northwest and west of the village. Novo-Oleksandrivka had a population of 124 before the conflict. Fewer than 20 people live there now. There is neither gas nor electricity in the village.