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VIENNA, January 5. /TASS/. Observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Monday reported that the situation in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine has stabilized over the past 24 hours.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) “continued to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum and the work of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC),” the report said.
“After a rise in tension levels at the start of the New Year, the situation had calmed considerably in the preceding 24 hours. For the period from 08:00 a.m. on January 3 to 08:00 a.m. on January 4 local time the overall situation was described by both interlocutors as better than the previous 24 hours,” it said.
“They reported a total of 24 incidents: twelve caused by Ukrainian forces; 12 caused by “DPR” armed groups. These incidents occurred at Donetsk airport (where one civilian was reported killed and three military personnel injured); Donetsk Volvo Center located at the southern entrance to Pisky ("DPR"-controlled), and Pisky (seven kilometers north-west of Donetsk, government-controlled),” the report said.
“The Ukrainian Major General at the headquarters of the JCCC said that there had been no reported ceasefire violations in the last 70 hours in “LPR”-controlled territory,” it said.
Over 4,000 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s south-east as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, according to United Nations data.
A ceasefire was agreed upon at talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the OSCE on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.
A memorandum was adopted on September 19 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9. It was seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities.