OSCE: Weapons not withdrawn in Donbass, drone plane operation is being obstructed

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) says the process of heavy weapons withdrawal by the conflict parties in Donbass has not been completed. It also reports electronic interference with the work of drones, adding that children have been sighted at checkpoints.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) says the process of heavy weapons withdrawal by the conflict parties in Donbass has not been completed. It also reports electronic interference with the work of drones, adding that children have been sighted at checkpoints.

OSCE SMM spokesman Michael Bociurkiw told a briefing on June 11 that the situation in the Lugansk region remains tense and that there are periodic clashes and shooting in Schastya, Trekhizbenka, Zolotoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya.

Bociurkiw said none of the parties have completed the heavy weapons withdrawal process and SMM drones and monitors have registered the presence of tanks and firing positions on both sides of the engagement line, despite the statements that are being made.

Bociurkiw said drone planes have registered the concentration of weapons at a railway station located near Komsomolsky, which is controlled by the DNR. Specifically, there were seven heavy tanks, 35 military trucks and 25 armored vehicles there. He said this high number of equipment located near a railway may mean that it is being transferred somewhere.

Bociurkiw said the SMM had recently not patrolled Shyrokyne for security reasons until June 9, when eight explosions were heard from a considerable distance and a dud 120-mm mortar shell was seen. The SMM did not see any civilians there and representatives of the DPR said all civilians had been evacuated from the village, he said. He said the SMM currently cannot verify that information, but will intensively monitor the situation.

Bociurkiw also said minors had been sighted at a checkpoint during a recent visit. He said that this was the second time SMM officials had seen children, and that some of them had weapons.

The SMM spokesman said the situation in Maryinka and around it has largely stabilized following the events that occurred last week.

He said the fighting continues in Donetsk airport. Specifically, an outbreak of violence took place there on June 9, when 331 explosions were registered.

Bociurkiw reiterated that attempts continue to be made to interfere with the work of drone planes on both sides of the engagement line, despite the fact that the navigation system is being constantly re-adjusted.

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