15:16 03.08.2018

OSCE SMM observes 4,000 ceasefire violations in Donbas over week

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OSCE SMM observes 4,000 ceasefire violations in Donbas over week

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) has observed over 4,000 ceasefire violations in Donbas over the week, OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug said in a Skype briefing from Donetsk region on Friday.

He said over 400 violations were seen on Sunday alone.

At the same time, Hug said there has been a substantial decline in violence since July 1, when the most recent truce of the 2017 type was announced.

The observers saw 57 heavy weapons stationed on the contact line in violation of the Minsk Agreements over the week, including 44 weapons in government-controlled area and 13 in non-government controlled area, Hug said.

The sides are reluctant to disengage their forces and hardware and to clear the area of mines because they are not sure the other side will reciprocate, Hug said.

Observers' access to sites and territories, especially near Novoazovsk, is still being hindered, sometimes at gunpoint, Hug said. OSCE drones come under fire, which may indicate that certain facts are being concealed, he said.

The sides must provide observers access and comply with the Minsk Agreements, Hug said.

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