OSCE SMM publishes special report on June 3 fighting near Maryinka

The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/SMM) has published a separate report concerning the fighting that erupted near the town of Maryinka in the Donetsk region on June 3 morning.

The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/SMM) has published a separate report concerning the fighting that erupted near the town of Maryinka in the Donetsk region on June 3 morning.

Between 10:00 p.m. on June 2 and 5:30 a.m. on June 3, SMM observers working in the area controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) "observed the movement of a large amount of heavy weapons", including T-64 and T-72 tanks, 122mm artillery weapons, "a column of infantry fighting vehicles and military trucks" carrying anti-aircraft guns.

"In addition, the SMM - at the same location - heard approximately 100 artillery rounds fired from a location 1-5 km north-north-west of its position between 04:30 and 04:40hrs; an outgoing salvo of Bm-21 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) Grad rockets fired from a location 1-5 km west of its position at 04:55hrs; and, 100 outgoing artillery rounds fired from a location5km north-north-west of its position," the mission said in the report.

"Between 07:00 and 08:00hrs, the SMM-mobile in an area 6-9km east of Maryinka - observed seven t-64 MBTs (main battle tanks) facing west. In addition, it heard, on two separate occasions, more than five salvoes of outgoing MLRS (BM-21) rockets and heavy-mortar rounds; and 12 outgoing MLRS Grad rockets and mortars," it said.

"At approximately 06:00hrs, an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) observed intense shelling targeting an intersection of the H15 highway 3.5 km south-west of Maryinka," the mission said.

"The SMM made several attempts between 10:45 and 12:11hrs to contact high-ranking "DNR" personnel - including the "DNR" "prime minister", "parliamentary speaker" "minister of defense" and "chief of the general staff" in order to facilitate a cessation to the fighting around Maryinka. Either they were unavailable or did not wish to speak to the SMM," according to the mission's report.

"At 15:00hrs the SMM received a letter from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, saying Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons would be placed on the contact line in order to deal with the "real threat" posed by the fighting in Maryinka, which they said had started at 06:00hrs that morning. Ukrainian officials later publicly acknowledged that the weapons had been used, saying their use was necessary in thwarting a "DPR" attack," the SMM said in the report.

"The Representative of the Russian Federation Armed Forces to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination told the SMM at 15:00hrs that a ceasefire around Maryinka would take effect at 17:00hrs. He told the SMM at 21:00hrs that the situation around Maryinka was currently calm. At around 19:00hrs a representative of the Anti-Terrorist Operation commander in Kramatorsk and the "DPR" "ministry of defense" confirmed to the SMM that Maryinka was under government control," it said.

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