Security situation improves this week in Donbas - OSCE SMM
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has noted a significant improvement in the security situation in Donbas last week, as the number of shelling cases has significantly decreased, OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug has said.
"At the beginning of last week, the sides, having recommitted to the ceasefire the week before, to a large extent stopped firing weapons. In places that have over the past four years become a byword for violence, the OSCE SMM mostly observed a relative calm situation," he said at a briefing in Friday.
"The recommitment to the ceasefire came into effect a minute after midnight on March 5. In the week that followed, the OSCE SMM observed an 82% reduction in the level of violence all along the contact line compared to the previous week," Hug added.
According to him, the recorded use of weapons that should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreement constituted only 4% of the total number of violations last week. At the same time, Hug noted that such weapons were in fact used on 13 occasions compared to over 300 times the week before.
He added that people in many areas along the contact line were able for the first time in months to go about their everyday lives with less fear and in less danger than before.
However, he said that the situation on the ground was by no means ideal.