One of these days I’ll be able to report some good news about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but then wars waged by Putin’s Russia are not usually filled with good news. But we live in hope.
The latest fortnightly OSCE Status report is out.
As I’ve often said, these give a snapshot summary on events along the front line and confirm whether reports of increased or decreased firing have been accurate.
Link to OSCE website & copy of report in English, Ukrainian and Russian.
April 20th to May 3rd:
Regrettably in this case, as expected, the OSCE observed a significant increase in firing along the 500km front line — a total of about 9,800 ceasefire violations, including around 2,750 explosions. Compared to 7,200 & 1,550 in the previous two weeks.
Six confirmed, including 1 fatality.
Total for 2020: 6 killed and 29 injured.
Events at the three Disengagement Areas.
Stanytsia Luhanska remains quiet. This is a front line, civilian bridge crossing. It’s used predominately by people in occupied eastern Ukraine to collect money and goods in Ukraine held territory. Currently, due to the Coronavirus, like all front line crossings, it’s closed.
Petrivske: OSCE noted 200 ceasefire violations, and people seen inside the exclusion zone. Zolote: Reporting on Zolote can be misleading, as although there haven’t been many violations within it, 2020 has seen a substantial increase in Russia-led firing all around it. There’s little doubt this provocation firing is directly related to the establishment of the small disengagement area.
OSCE Freedom of Movement Restrictions.
Once again, Russia-led forces win the top prize. The report details another 42 occasions when monitors movements were restricted, with every one of them in “areas not controlled by the Ukrainian gov,” meaning Russia-led territory. Restrictions get imposed at military checkpoints when monitors are refused access through them, or when they’re ordered to leave an area such as the Ukrainian/Russian border and railway stations.
These 42 restrictions follow on from 50 listed in the previous fortnightly report seen below. So in the space of a month, Russia-led forces have blocked OSCE patrols on 92 occasions, and the Ukrainian army hasn’t stopped them once. However, read Russia’s propaganda and in particular reports from Russia’s OSCE delegation (Yes incredibly Russia is part of the OSCE) and you’d think it’s the Ukrainian army who is relentlessly hindering the work of the OSCE and needing to hide their military activity.