East Ukraine: OSCE Report Increased Firing & Civilian Casualties

For the month of September, the OSCE has reported increased ceasefire violations & civilian casualties. Sept 29th: The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine, Ambassador Mikko Kinnunen, put out a statement. Main point states “The security situation is volatile with an average of over 250 ceasefire violations per day during September. Of special concern is the high number of civilian casualties by shelling and shooting, which in September 2021 reached the highest number since July 2020 ceasefire measures.”

When compared to the last 7 years, the volume of daily firing on the 500km frontline isn’t high. But, the OSCE is concerned about the risk of the ceasefire fully breaking down and the significant upsurge in use of mortars and artillery. It’s the now routine use of such heavy weapons which are causing most civilian casualties and damage to property. Now anyone whose followed events in eastern Ukraine knows ceasefires come and go like night follows day. Although we’ve seen regular firing during the current ceasefire, this one has latest longer than most. So, we’re probably due another ceasefire agreement, and then another and another…

Below is the latest OSCE Status Report.
Covering Sept 6th to 19th, it lists a significant increase in ceasefire violations: 3,742 compared to 2,494 in the previous two-week period. Confirmed civilian casualties for this period are put at 6, with four due to shelling, one from a shrapnel injury and the sixth triggered an explosive device.

The obstruction of OSCE monitors continues.
Report states some 22 Freedom of (patrol) Movement restrictions, with 21 occurring in non-government controlled areas (by Russia-led forces). A new feature of 2021 is the increased targeting of OSCE UAV. Report states 9 UAV were shot at & 122 experienced signal interference, probably from electronic warfare jamming systems.

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