News from eastern Ukraine: OSCE reports restricted access in all three disengagement areas

13:11 Oct. 12, 2016

OSCE reports restricted access in all three disengagement areas

OSCE observers near the village of Petrivske on Oct.1 (Getty Images)

International mission managed to monitor some sectors using drones

The OSCE monitors' access is restricted in all three disengagement areas foreseen in the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group, the special monitoring mission said in its new report published on October 11.

"The SMM continued to monitor the disengagement process and to pursue full access to the disengagement areas of Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske […] but was able to monitor only some parts of the three disengagement areas, including through the use of mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)," the mission said.

While in Petrivske, on two occasions the SMM could not proceed west towards Bohdanivka due to the lack of security guarantees.

During its presence in Petrivske, the SMM heard one undetermined explosion, assessed as inside the disengagement area.

Read also Mariupol residents protest OSCE inactivity

A Ukrainian Armed Forces officer at the JCCC present in Bohdanivka stated that he could not assist in ensuring security for the SMM to proceed on the road north of the disengagement area due to the presence of anti-tank mines.

As reported earlier, the separation of forces started on October 1 when the sides were disengaged in the area of Zolote. On October 7 both sides of the conflict withdrew their hardware and forces from the village of Petrivske. The further pullback was planned for Stanytsia Luhanska on October 9, but the parallel withdrawal was postponed due to heavy militant fire.

Ukrainian Armed Forces officers at the JCCC present on the spot in Stanytsia Luhanska did not provide any new information about the disengagement process to the SMM. The SMM did not observe any signs of disengagement on the spot having visited it on October 10.

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