24 January 2017, 18:00
Ukrainian army shells Debaltsevo area during OSCE’s Alexander Hug visit
Kiev forces shelled LPR People’s Militia positions in vicinity of Debaltsevo at around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday as OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug and other officials were visiting the area.
Hug requested a trip for OSCE representatives together with the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination officers to LPR People’s Militia positions in Debaltsevo area because the situation there had dramatically deteriorated.
“At 1:30 p.m. on 24 January, during a meeting between OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug with LPR militia representatives, JCCC officers and journalists, LPR People’s Militia positions in Kalinovka area came under Ukrainian forces mortar fire from Luganskoye township direction,” the Republic’s defense authorities said.
SMM OSCE and JCCC recorded two 120mm mortar rounds explosions.
“You can observe that Ukrainian side continues to shell our positions despite OSCE presence,” LPR People's Militia Command chief Colonel Oleg Anaschenko told Hug.
Hug thanked LPR militia for the opportunity to visit their forward positions, recommending more patrols in risk zones for better recording of shelling incidents.
Earlier reports said Kiev forces targeted Dolgoye village on two occasions on 22 January, JCCC officers and journalists were caught in the shelling.
LPR People’s Militia spokesman Andrey Marochko earlier said OSCE Special Monitoring Mission representatives stopped work in Svetlodarsk salient area and that they had no complete information about events transpiring there.
The members of the Contact Group at the meeting in Minsk on December 21st agreed to enforce a comprehensive and durable ceasefire in effect from December 24th. The deal has become the 10th truce agreement since the autumn of 2014. Earlier, Kiev forces regularly violated the truce opening fire with large caliber artillery, mortars and tank guns which were to have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.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 February 12, 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.
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