100% Proof Russia-led Soldiers Fired Towards OSCE Monitors.
Less than a month ago on April 27th 2020, I wrote about the overwhelming evidence pointing to Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine have ambushed and fired towards OSCE monitors. Endangering the lives of unarmed male and female monitors is nothing new for Russia’s forces, and the April incident followed on from previous ones, which have even included the firing of shells towards OSCE vehicles. Such insidious acts aim to blame the Ukrainian army for the firing, with the added benefit of deterring the OSCE from visiting the front line.
Well unsurprisingly, with Russia-led forces having increased their provocation firing in 2020, it’s not news to learn their deliberate targeting of OSCE monitors has also increased. This time, the Russian bullets missed the monitors heads by just 10 metres. And this time we have 100% proof Russia-led soldiers fired the shots.
Firing incident location – Vesela Hora in Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast (province).
May 23rd 2020, the OSCE published a special Spot Report. It details small arms fire directed at one of their UAV and then bullets fired towards the monitors operating the UAV. The incident took place at the front line village of Vesela Hora, 16km from the Russia-led city of Luhansk. Due to having come under fire, the OSCE patrol had to abandon their UAV and immediately left the area.
OSCE Report Text. (SMM = OSCE – Special Monitoring Mission).
On 22 May, an SMM patrol comprising six members and two vehicles was positioned on road H-21 at the eastern edge of Vesela Hora (non-government-controlled, 16km north of Luhansk) to conduct an announced mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight.
Editor: As seen above, OSCE monitors were positioned on the H-21 road, east of Vesela Hora. This means they are almost 3km back from the Siverskyi Donets River which marks the front line. Ukrainian held territory is on the other side of the river at Shchastya.
OSCE report: At 13:08, while the SMM mini-UAV was flying at an assessed distance of 1.9km north-west from the patrol’s location, two SMM patrol members outside the vehicles heard 50 shots of small-arms fire at an estimated distance of 1.9km north-west, assessed as aimed at the UAV, prompting the patrol to terminate the flight.
Editor: From H-21 road, a north-west distance of 1.9km is well within Russia-led territory.
OSCE report: At 13:14, while the returning SMM mini-UAV was in the process of landing at the patrol’s location (at a height of 40m from the ground), the two SMM patrol members outside the vehicles heard 20 shots of small-arms fire, passing about 10m above their heads, originating from an assessed distance of 270m north-north-west.
Editor: Google Earth measurement shows a north-north-west distance of 270m is but a short distance from the H-21 road (yellow line). Depending on where the OSCE monitors were located on the road, the soldiers who fired the bullets could have been in the trees, alongside the smaller road (blue) leading to Vesela Hora, or any number of locations. As indicated in red, there are also numerous military positions in this area.
Editor: Wider view of the general 270m distance from which OSCE state firing came from.
OSCE report: The two patrol members took cover behind one of the vehicles, and then inside it. During the incident, the remaining four SMM patrol members were inside the vehicles, but heard both instances of shooting. The SMM patrol immediately left the area without retrieving the UAV, which was still flying at an assessed distance of about 300m west-south-west. The patrol returned safely to its base in non-government-controlled Luhansk city.
Editor: So there to you have it. Clear, indisputable evidence Russia-led forces in Ukraine fired towards OSCE monitors. And with their bullets getting ever closer, it won’t be too long before they kill one or more of them.