OSCE FrontLine Trends & Observations for 2020

For many of us 2020 is best forgot, but how did last year pan out on Europe’s front line?

Overall 2020 saw a welcome 55% reduction in ceasefire violations compared to 2019: 134,767 compared to 299,633 in 2019. This largely due to the new ceasefire coming into operation on July 27th. However, heavy weapons explosions didn’t see an appreciable 2020 downturn: 3,216 compared to 3,373 in 2019. Weapons violations (heavy weapons seen close to frontline or within restricted areas) did see a decent decrease: 1,817 compared to 3,661 in 2019. OSCE state 87% of the weapons violations were again seen in non-government- controlled Ukraine (occupied territory). Link to OSCE report.

OSCE Freedom of Movement restrictions are listed as 848, with the denial of access to area shown as 74%. OSCE state 96% of all movement restrictions occurred in non-government- controlled Ukraine (occupied territory). In 2019 this percentage stood at 90%.

Despite the downturn in firing, regrettably civilian casualties didn’t see a huge decrease: 24 killed and 105 injured compared to 19 killed & 129 injured in 2019. This anomaly was due to a larger number of people (51%) in 2020 having been killed and injured by mines and handling unexploded ordnance.

OSCE map showing bulk of heavy weapons firing occurred in the Luhansk region, around the so-called Zolote disengagement area.
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