The First Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Alexander Hug stated in an interview with Voice of America that military actions in the Donbas can be stopped within one hour but that it would take much more time to fully complete the conflict.
According to him, after military actions are stopped, other issues of the conflict, including demining of territories or restoration of the economy in Donbas, will have to be solved. Hug noted that the ceasefire has been violated by both parties to the conflict and that there should be “mirrored” steps by both sides to stop it.
The head of the Special Monitoring Mission stressed that the war in Southeastern Ukraine will not last forever, but it will leave traces that will be hard to hide. He cited the example of children who are now 10 years old. “They only know violence, instability, losses. Maybe they lost their relatives,” Hug said. He explained that in five years these children would be 15 years old and the military conflict would have left “an indelible mark” on their lives. “We will be faced with the problem of a whole generation,” he said.
In September, the Special Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Martin Sajdik stated the Donbas is one of the most mined areas in the world because of the ongoing hostilities. He noted that it is important to carry out humanitarian demining and to develop a systematic approach to it.
According to the UN, over 3,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict, including the passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which was shot down over the Donbas.