20 December 2017, 13:43



JCCC officers recommend SMM to contact LPR and DPR directly

LUGANSK, December 20 (Lugansk Media Centre) – Russian officers at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) have recommended the OSCE SMM staff to contact LPR and DPR representatives directly in case of shelling recorded, said the December 20 spot report published at the OSCE website.

On the evening of December 18, while at its forward patrol base on the northern edge of government-controlled Popasnaya, the SMM recorded outgoing fire from the Ukrainian positions.

"At around 19:50, the SMM, via telephone, informed Ukrainian Armed Forces and Russian Federation Armed Forces officers of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) of the shelling; the latter told the Mission to contact the armed formations directly," the report said.

LPR representatives at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination began unaided recording of ceasefire violations by Kiev forces, after Russian officers at the JCCC had to leave Republics and Ukraine territory.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Moscow would withdraw its representatives from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination because of Ukraine’s interfering with their work. Ukraine, too, announced its intention to withdraw its JCCC representatives from the conflict zone.

Russian officers left Ukraine's territory in the evening December 19.

Kiev forces artillery shelled Stakhanov and Pervomaisk overnight to 19 December. An elderly woman died when a densely-populated Stakhanov district came under fire, and another three persons were wounded; the strikes damaged houses and broke gas pipes. A Pervomaisk resident was wounded in the shelling, and houses and infrastructure facilities were damaged.

LPR People's Militia spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko said that Kiev forces had used the withdrawal of JCCC officers to shell LPR territory with impunity.

The members of the Contact Group have announced ceasefire more than ten times since autumn 2014. Kiev forces regularly violated the truce opening fire with large calibre artillery, mortars and tank guns which were to have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

LuganskMediaCentre — 20 December — Lugansk