Spend anytime listening to the Kremlin and you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ukrainian army is knee deep in entrenched tanks and artillery along the 426km frontline. Not a day goes by without Putin or his minions demanding Ukraine must adhere to the Minsk Agreement, and blaming Ukraine for the failure to secure a lasting peace settlement. This disinformation deluge is particularly relevant today, with Russia and its useful western idiots blaming Ukraine for provocations in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile back in the facts based world. Hardly a day goes by without the OSCE reporting more Minsk Violations by Russia’s forces, or as they call them – Armed Formations. The latest OSCE Status Report covering July to September reports 403 observed Weapons Violations, with 77% occurring in non-government-controlled areas (occupied Ukraine). Weapons violations means heavy artillery seen within 25km to 35km of the frontline. This high-end percentage of violations committed by Russia’s forces is a well established occurrence. And the stats for October to Dec will undoubtable be the same.
Weapons Violations in 2021.
Jan to March: 507 violations with 95% committed by Russia’s forces.
April to June: 673 violations with 82% committed by Russia’s forces.
July to September: 403 violations with 77% committed by Russia’s forces.
Use this OSCE link to views their Trends and Observation reports.
One of the main measures within in the Minsk 11 Protocol Agreement relates to heavy weapons. In an effort to remove them from the frontline region, the agreement stipulates: Pull-out of all heavy weapons by both sides to equal distance with the aim of creation of a security zone on minimum 50 kilometres (31 miles), apart for artillery of 100mm calibre or more, and a security zone of 70 kilometres (43 miles) for multiple rocket launchers (MRLS). This means either side shouldn’t have heavy mortars or artillery within 25km of the frontline. For MLRS, it’s within 35k33m. With tanks having a shorter weapons range, these shouldn’t be within 15km of the frontline.
So, with all that in mind, here’s a few confirmed Weapons Violations committed by Russia’s forces.
Aug 30th, 2021: Seven tanks seen near Novoselivka. Close to the occupied town of Horlivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, this is a military base where hardware is permanently stationed. This is listed as a Weapons Violation, because the tanks are within 15km of the frontline. Location Coordinates: 48°15’48.31″N 38° 7’42.62″E.
Staying in the Donetsk region, we take a trip over to the Ukrainian border town of Torez. In another military base, you could say this is Minsk Weapons Violation heaven.
July 7th 2021: OSCE observed 5 self-propelled artillery pieces near the village of Ternove. On the southern outskirts of border town of Torez, this is another military base where hardware is permanently stationed. With the artillery within 25km of the frontline, they’re marked as a violation. Location Coordinates: 47°59’37.02″N 38°36’6.21″E.
Sept 14th 2021: Close to the above compound, the OSCE spotted 3 self-propelled howitzers. This roofing over of hardware in all of Russia’s forces occupation bases started in earnest last year. As you can see, this makes it difficult to see what’s under them. Again as this artillery is within 25km of the frontline, it’s another violation.
Nov 5th 2021: Bringing us almost up to date, OSCE spotted an impressive line up of 12 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. Even more impressive, they managed to take this image with crews standing in front of the MLRS (seen on the left). The location of these MLRS is likely to be next to the next to the above compound, or nearby on the live firing range. Note the OSCE list two: 2B 26, BM-21 Grad-K 122mm MLRS. These are said to exclusively used by the Russian army. All these MLRS are another Minsk Violation.