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OSCE drones register shelling of east Ukraine's Shirokino by Kiev troops — daily update

March 24, 2015, 19:06 UTC+3
The SMM unarmed/unmanned aerial vehicle monitored both sides of the contact line east of Mariupol
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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

VIENNA, March 24. /TASS/. Drones of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe /OSCE/ registered an episode of shelling of the settlement of Shirokino by Ukrainian troops, according to an SMM daily update for March 23 issued on Tuesday.

"The SMM unarmed/unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] monitored both sides of the contact line east of Mariupol. At 17:38hrs, in Shirokino the SMM UAV observed outgoing mortar fire from a Ukrainian Armed Forces position," the report says.

Apart from that, OSCE monitors said they had observed the use of various types of weapons near Shirokino. "Whilst at an observation point in the eastern outskirts of Sopino (15km east of Mariupol, 2.5km west of Shirokino) the SMM heard heavy engagement of small arms, machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and mortars," the report says. "The SMM assessed that the fire originated from one kilometer to the east and was directed further east of the SMM’s position."

OSCE monitors find no Ukrainian weapons at two sites named by Kiev

The report says OSCE monitors have not found Ukrainian weapons allegedly pulled back to two sites named by Kiev.

The monitoring mission was to visit two sites, but it turned out that no heavy weapons were kept there any more, the mission said.

"The SMM intended to monitor two additional holding areas, but these sites no longer contained any heavy weapons," the report says. At the same time, the OSCE mission noted that other Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding areas complied "with the respective withdrawal lines and remain in situ." "All serial numbers are consistent with previous visits," the mission said.

"The SMM visited five DPR-controlled heavy weapons holding areas, one of them for the first time. At one of the revisited sites, the SMM observed that one howitzer previously recorded was brought back to the site while the SMM was present," the report says. "DPR members told the SMM that it had been maintained."

"All five areas complied with the respective withdrawal lines," the OSCE monitors reported.

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