Security situation in Donbas deteriorates after relative calm of New Year-Christmas period, - OSCE

Following a period of relative calm in much of eastern Ukraine over the New Year and Christmas period, those who prefer to threaten and use force are once again undermining security for the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

OSCE Chairperson's Special Representative Martin Sajdik and the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) Ertugrul Apakan told the OSCE Permanent Council, Censor.NET reports citing the OSCE press office.

Sajdik underlined the Trilateral Contact Group's determination to keep the Minsk Process on track, despite a challenging environment as well as lack of political will and substantial commitments by the sides. He stated that playing for time is not a viable option for anyone in the present situation.

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Sajdik emphasized the key importance of security as a prerequisite in advancing on political, humanitarian and economic issues. The sides must provide security, in order to avoid severe consequences for the population in eastern Ukraine.

The Chief Monitor said that the security situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions is deteriorating. The sides continue to violate the cease-fire and other agreements. The SMM has recorded a notable increase in the use of weapons proscribed by these agreements, including multiple launch rocket systems and other artillery.

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The chief monitor reiterated that civilians on both sides of the contact line bear the brunt of this violence. Those responsible for the violence are likewise responsible for death and injury to civilians, for damage to, and even destruction of, civilian homes and infrastructure on which civilians throughout these regions depend, and for perpetuating avoidable humanitarian hardship. He concluded by warning that failure to implement agreements meant that the risk of further escalation remained.
Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n424094