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OSCE mission confirms recent shelling of Donetsk from Grad rocket launchers

November 09, 2015, 21:11 UTC+3 VIENNA
According to the observers, fragments of a shell found in the territory of a private household allowed them to make a conclusion that the attack was launched from the Grad MLRS
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

VIENNA, November 9. /TASS/. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine confirmed on Monday the fact of shelling of the city of Donetsk in the southeast of the country from the Grad multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS). The attack on the city was launched from the northwest, the SMM observers’ report for the past weekend says.

According to the observers, fragments of a shell found in the territory of a private household in the Kuibyshev district of the city allowed them to make a conclusion that the attack was launched from the Grad MLRS.

According to the SMM report, "Following up on information about a potential multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) attack in "DPR"-controlled Donetsk city, the SMM visited on 7 November the city’s Kuibyshevsky district. The owner of the affected house described to the SMM the details of the attack and confirmed its timing. The SMM observed a 30cm hole on the roof and wall of the house’s patio, caused by a projectile that penetrated from a north-westerly direction. It found in the patio two pieces of a large tube, which were consistent with the remnants of an MLRS projectile, most likely a BM-21 (Grad, 122mm) type. Other remnants of the projectile, including an unexploded warhead, were found in the garden. The SMM assessed that the dust and the projectile residues were fresh - and the SMM could smell the odour left by a recent explosion."

On September 29, the Trilateral Contact Group initialled a document envisaging the withdrawal of weapons under 100mm calibre to a distance of 15 kilometres for the line of engagement. In line with the agreement, the Ukrainian military are due to pull the weapons back from the current contact line while the militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics from the line determined on September 19, 2014, when first agreements on ceasefire were achieved and the Contact Group signed the memorandum on cessation of fire.

On October 3, the first stage of withdrawal began in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and the entire weapons withdrawal process is expected to take 41 days. Representatives of the Joint Centre for Coordination and Control (JCCC) are entrusted with monitoring the withdrawal.

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