OSCE reports escalation of gunfire in eastern Ukraine but says trend may be reversed

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has acknowledged escalation of gunfire exchanges between the militia and the army in southeastern Ukraine but thinks the truce has not been disrupted, Russian Envoy to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has acknowledged escalation of gunfire exchanges between the militia and the army in southeastern Ukraine but thinks the truce has not been disrupted, Russian Envoy to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said.

"What is going on [in southeastern Ukraine] is the extremely unpleasant and dangerous significant escalation of gunfire. The worst thing is that Ukrainian heavy armaments on whose pullback we have agreed are shelling residential buildings," he told Interfax.

"I'd rather not rush into calling this a complete disruption of truce. Indeed, the trend may still be reversed and [the previous situation] may be restored," the envoy stated.

After the holiday season the conflicting sides are trying to gain certain strategic advantages, Kelin said.

"So far the OSCE has not recorded violations along the entire line of contact. True, there have been very intensive shootouts but they are local so far," he said.

Kelin said at the same time that Russia was concerned about concentration of Ukrainian hardware along the line of contact.

"We are aware of preparations for new mobilization and concentration of hardware along the line of contact; all that is rather unexpected and dangerous," he underlined.

 

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