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OSCE SMM reports 2,500 ceasefire violations in Donbass this year

Ukrainian military used UAVs close to an SMM patrol in Lebedinskoye on January 30 and 31, said Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE Vladimir Zheglov

VIENNA, February 5. /TASS/. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has reported over 2,500 ceasefire violations in the east of Ukraine this year, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE Vladimir Zheglov told an online session of the European security agency’s Permanent Council.

"The SMM has reported over 2,500 ceasefire violations since the start of this year," Zheglov said. Besides, in defiance of measures to strengthen the ceasefire, Ukrainian military used UAVs close to an SMM patrol in Lebedinskoye, Donetsk region, on January 30 and 31, he said. "In this regard, an effective use of the coordination mechanism for responding to ceasefire violations is important. As it is prescribed by Point 5 of the above measures, it must operate through the facilitation of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination in its currently operating composition," Zheglov said. "Meanwhile, Kiev insistently dodges using such mechanism with the involvement of representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk in the JCCC in its currently operating composition," the diplomat noted.

The contact group on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine agreed additional measures to control the ceasefire along the contact line in Donbass that came in force from July 27, 2020. The agreement came a year after the so-called indefinite ceasefire was declared by the parties on July 21, 2019 following more than 20 futile attempts to stop hostilities. Under the agreement, the parties to the conflict are banned to stage offensive and reconnaissance operations, use any types of drones, open fire, including from sniper weapons, and deploy heavy weapons in populated localities and addition engineering equipment at their positions. One of the key provisions is the use of disciplinary measures for ceasefire violations.