OSCE: Situation in Donbas at its worst since start of 2018

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) considers the current state of affairs in the Donbas the most precarious since the start of 2018, first deputy head of the mission Alexander Hugt old DW in an interview.

“If you compare with previous months, this is the worst period, when we are observing significant usage of heavy weapons. This is one of the most severe moments we have seen this year. Over the course of a day we have between 200 and 2,000 cases of ceasefire violations, it was last like that on May 16,” he said.

Hug observed that over the last three weeks, the observers have been detecting heavy weapons on both sides of the front line, and the amount of heavy weaponry is constantly increasing.

“We’re talking about tanks, mortars, artillery, Grads, which should have been withdrawn from the front line according to the Minsk agreements. Use of this weapon has also been documented,” Hug clarified.

The deputy leader of the mission emphasized that over the last week, the number of ceasefire violations in the Donbas has been growing. However, both sides of the conflict say that they are opening fire only after being shot at by the enemy.

Hug does not consider it impossible that the situation “will be much worse than now if the necessary measures are not taken to have the heavy weapons pulled back and to enforce a ceasefire, as it was agreed on”.

  ceasefire violations, Donbas, OSCE