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OSCE: Thirty-five civilians live under shelling in Shirokino

May 22, 2015, 23:18 UTC+3 KIEV
Battles for the village of Shirokino have been under way for the past three months without letting up. Today, at least 50%-60% of the city housing stock have been destroyed
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KIEV, May 22 /TASS/. Thirty-five civilians, including a 14-year-old child, are living under constant shelling in Shirokino where 60% of houses and infrastructure have been destroyed, the Mariupol-based representative of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine told an official website of the city of Mariupol on Friday.

Battles for the village of Shirokino have been under way for the past three months without letting up. Today, at least 50%-60% of the city housing stock have been destroyed. Infrastructure, telephone lines and communications, plants and trees have also been damaged. It is very hard to find even 5 square meters of territory without bullets or shell fragments. Two or three houses go on fire in Shirokino practically every night, the OSCE representative in Mariupol said.

Under these circumstances the OSCE suggests demilitarizing the area near Shirokino where the positions of the warring parties are located too close to each other or even face-to face in some places. The parties in conflict should be given a chance to withdraw their forces.

The OSCE representative emphasized that the OSCE proposal had been agreed with the Joint Control and Coordination Center. The most important thing is to persuade the conflicting parties to agree to the OSCE proposal. We proposed a concrete plan for withdrawing military force from Shirokino, the OSCE representative stressed.

The situation in Shirokino was the main item on the agenda of the security working group of the Contact Group for Ukraine settlement that met on May 19. Ukraine’s representative in the subgroup Yevgeny Marchuk said on Friday that the members of the working group had agreed to cease fire near Shirokino.

"No one has been killed or wounded in Shirokino over the past 12 hours. If we manage to maintain the ceasefire, which we reported, in future, we may have a glimpse of hope," Marchuk wrote on Facebook on Friday.

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