: 'Heavy weapons back to the withdrawal line in eastern Ukraine'

14:14 Apr. 15, 2016

'Heavy weapons back to the withdrawal line in eastern Ukraine'

OSCE monitors attend the uncovering of the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers found in the rubble of Donetsk Airport, which is under the control of separatists in the eastern Ukraine (Getty Images)

OSCE claims weapons are absent from storage sites in Donbas region

First Deputy Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Alexander Hug said that heavy weapons were back to the contact line.

"From both sides of the withdrawal line we can see how the weapons from storage sites become missing", - Hug informed.

According to Hug, arms are seen along the contact line areas inhabited by civilians.

Alexander Hug said that a drone of the SMM had located seven people firing two mortars over the town of Avdiyivka. Moreover, in Luhansk the mission recorded seven tanks, seven Grad rocket launchers, ten trailed and seven self-propelled howitzers.

Read also OSCE patrol comes under fire as Russian-backed separatist forces attempt to intimidate mission

"The so-called Luhansk People's Republic claims they have committed that violation because those arms will be used in the parade on May 9. Such exclusions are not provided by the Minsk agreements. Such displacement of weapons is a direct threat to civilians", - the first deputy head of the SMM said.

He called to bring to justice those who are responsible for the acts.

Hug also stated an increase in the number of violence cases in the Donbas region.

"Violence is increasing and the tendency has been continuing since the middle of January", - he explained.

On April 13 the SMM recorded five self-propelled howitzers in the village of Yasynivka and six trailed howitzers in the northern side from Mariupol.

"We cannot trace the situation improvement. What takes place in Minsk doesn't correspond with the reality", - Hug reported.

Read also Two Years of War: Human cost of Russia's undeclared war in Ukraine's Donbas 

As he says, major violations are recorded in the area of Donetsk. On April 8 the SMM recorded 979 explosions of unknown origin, use of heavy machine guns and small arms.

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