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OSCE not prepared to work in Gorlovka under fire — deputy chief monitor

August 19, 2015, 14:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Local residents they said they favored OSCE presence in Gorlovka
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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is not prepared to work in Gorlovka under incessant artillery bombardments, the mission’s Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug said on Wednesday.

Hug noted that during his conversation with local residents they said they favored OSCE presence in Gorlovka. "We’ll see whether this is possible, but for this Gorlovka must be safe, and this will not happen overnight," Donetsk News Agency quotes him as saying.

According to Hug, the issue of strengthening patrols of Gorlovka by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission was under discussion. He noted that this would depend on the safety factor as well.

Gorlovka is currently one of the ‘hotspots’ on the contact line in the Donbas region. According to the Mayor’s Office, 164 civilians were killed there between January and July, 501 others were wounded. The city saw the greatest number of children’s deaths from shell bursts during the artillery bombardments by the Ukrainian army - 16 in the first six months of 2015. The artillery bombardments are registered daily, as a rule, at night time.

Kiev hinders visits of OSCE monitors to frontline villages

Hug also noted that Kiev forces prevent the staff of the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE from visiting frontline villages in the Donbas region, Hug said on Wednesday.

"We encounter problems at the Ukrainian checkpoints. Yes, we are not allowed to visit the villages, such problem does exist," Donetsk News Agency quotes him as saying.

Hug did not specify though what villages he was referring to.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Ukrainian military hindered the work of the Russian side at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination and tried to intimidate employees of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. "The cases of hindering the work of representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and Russian representatives at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian Security Service have become more frequent," the ministry said. "On August 14, 2015, Security Service officers detained representative of the Russian side Major Beshliev for three hours trying to accuse him of collecting intelligence information."

The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the Ukrainian side denied OSCE monitors access to weapon storage areas in blunt terms.

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