ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 3 (Itar-Tass). The building of Russia’s checkpoint Gukovo in the southern Rostov region bordering Ukraine has been seriously damaged as two Ukrainian shells hit it on Sunday, spokesman for the regional border department Vasily Malayev told Itar-Tass.
“About 17:30 Moscow time, another shell, the second one on Sunday, exploded at the checkpoint. The building was damaged,” he said.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed on Sunday that a Russian checkpoint had twice come under shelling on Sunday.
At the moment of shelling journalists from Russian TV channel Zvezda were working at the checkpoint.
“It happened when we were filming shooting videos of the checkpoint. At first we heard explosions for a distance but at about 17:30 we heard a powerful blast and saw a flare and fragments scattering about the sky. It happened some 20 metres away from us. Honestly speaking, we were scared. We had to drop our car to clear off. Border guards inside the checkpoint said they also had heard the explosion and the sound of fragments beating against the roof,” Zvezda said, citing its correspondent Vasily Kuchushev.
Earlier on Sunday, observers from the OSCE came under shelling during their work at this checkpoint. A shell fired during combat operations on the adjacent Ukrainian territory exploded at the Gukovo checkpoint. The OSCE confirmed that the Gukovo checkpoint had come under shelling.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the regional border department Vasily Malayev said that OSCE observers continued their work at a checkpoint. “Those OSCE representatives who were at the border checkpoint stayed at their places and continued their work,” Malayev said. OSCE mission representatives were staying on the territory of the checkpoint at that time, apart from customs and border department employees. No one was hurt in the incident.
OSCE observers began to arrive in the Rostov region from late July. Two observers are on duty at each of the Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints round-the-clock. The observer team will be finally formed before August 16.