Today the OSCE announced the reintroduction of its long-range, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights. Kicking off on March 28th, they’ve reintroduced them “to augment and complement its monitoring activities and to overcome impediments to monitoring in eastern Ukraine”.
The impediments would be predominantly Russian led forces, stopping OSCE monitors from observing individual locations and importantly the 409 km of the Ukrainian border which Russia has total control over.
Due to the long distance needed to travel and subsequent time limitations, the OSCE spends very little time operating in the border region. This is compounded by Russian led forces in 2018, repeatedly ordering the OSCE to leave the border area, or delaying them at checkpoints.
It remains to be seen, if the UAV’s get shot down again.
Also worth noting, these long-range flights will help keep monitors safe, and limit potential confrontation with soldiers.