The Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, stated that the number of ceasefire violations in the Donbas has decreased but still remains high.
“The number of violations has significantly decreased in recent days but it still remains unacceptably high. From midnight on February 9 to midnight February 10, the OSCE mission recorded 460 violations of the ceasefire, with 55 violations in Luhansk region alone,” Hug said at a press conference in Donetsk. He also admitted that the risk of a new escalation of the situation in Donbas remains high.
“The presence of heavy weapons in areas where weapons shouldn’t be stationed remains a cause of violations. For instance, on the 5th of February, we saw two T-64 tanks in Vasylivka. On the 3rd of February, we saw 7 howitzers in Makiivka. On the 6th of February, we saw 11 howitzers in Bohoyavlenka and these are only some of our observations. The risk of an outbreak of violence will remain high as long as heavy weapons are present in areas where they shouldn’t be stationed,” Hug said.
According to him, another reason the situation in the Donbas could deteriorate again is that the warring parties’ positions are too close to each other. “If these positions remain close to each other and there is no distance between them, then the risk is inevitable,” the OSCE representative summarized.