24/7 OSCE patrol starts working in Stanytsia Luhanska

Source : 112 Ukraine

Seven members of the mission will stay at the base 24/7
11:28, 20 August 2017

On Saturday, August 19, the OSCE SMM placed its monitors at the first patrol base of the mission in Stanytsia Luhanska, on 24/7 basis, according to the Mission’s Facebook page.

“The permanent presence at the base will allow the Mission to enhance its monitoring abilities at this critical location – Stanytsia Luhanska bridge – which is precarious and unfortunately remains the only entry-exit checkpoint in the entire Luhansk region,” the SMM notes.

Related: 24 hours in Donbas: 30 attacks, one Ukrainian soldier wounded

“We have been using a wide range of technology to monitor this area, including soon a thermal camera for night-time observation, but only monitors can interact with civilians and serve as the eyes and ears of the international community. Now, they will be closer to people in this area and can report more comprehensively on their needs and concerns,” said Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug.

The SMM has ten forward patrol bases in Volnovakha, Pokrovsk, Svitlodarsk, Novoaidar, Stanytsia Luhanska, Shchastia, Popasna, Kadiivka, Horlivka and Debaltseve. They are planning to open more, especially in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government close to the uncontrolled border with the Russian Federation. 

Related: 2,700 civilians killed in Donbas since beginning of conflict

However, security guarantees from people in effective control (local militia – 112 International) in those areas are required, before these bases can be opened.

Based on the Minsk agreements, neither Ukraine’s Armed Forces, nor the militants can be present in Stanytsia Luhanska, thus creating a safe zone.

Stanytsia Luhanska is also one of the six checkpoints between the territories. However, the militants violate the cease-fire and attack this checkpoint on the regular basis.

Related: Militants use incendiary weapons in Donbas: several civilian houses burned down

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