OSCE Confirms: Grad System Used In Donbass
According to the officials working for the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), there is an evidence confirming the fact that the Grad launchers have been utilized in the Donbass area.
This was said by the leader of the SMM in Ukraine, Alexander Hug, during a press conference in Kiev. The meeting with the journalists took place on 7th May. During the conference, Mr. Hug confirmed the fact that level of safety in the Eastern Ukraine is getting worse.
According to Hug, even despite the fact that a ceasefire agreement is in force, the flashpoints still remain active. Hug claims that the situation in the area close to the Donetsk airport is still unclear, and that the ceasefire memorandums are being breached constantly, leading to deaths of the Ukrainians. Hug said that, throughout the last couple of weeks, the OSCE’s SMM noted several hundreds of incidents, particularly a Grad shelling of Donetsk on 2nd May. This particular shelling caused some victims among the civilians. Hug said that this is the first time when the Grad were used, after the second Minsk memorandum entered force, in mid-February.
Alexander Hug also noted that reports regarding the audible evidence of employment of the Grad launchers is one thing, secondly, physical evidence of use of the Grad systems was found on 30th April near the town of Hranitne, where 5 craters that had been formed after the launches of the rockets were found. According to the earlier reports issued by SMM on Monday, 4th May, starting from the moment when the Minsk agreement entered force, OSCE noted – officially – 698 cases of breaches of the memorandum, solely near the Donetsk airfield and in the vicinity of the town of Shyrokine. The Observers also informed that the separatists prevented them from carrying out their tasks within the areas under the separatist control.
Solely throughout the period between Wednesday and Thursday, 3 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. Starting from 6PM and finishing at midnight – the ceasefire agreement was broken by the separatists 11 times. According to the official press releases made by the Counter-Terrorism Operation media centre, 82 and 120 mm mortars have been used to shell the towns of: Pisky, Mayorsk, Hranitne, Krakivka and Orekhowe. When it comes to the Luhansk district, grenade launchers and machine guns were utilized to attack the towns of Shchastya and Troyitske.
According to Andriy Lysenko’s statement made on Thursday, during a press conference, even despite the fact that the Ukrainian forces are still under fire, the Ukrainians are still willing to act in line with the Minsk memorandum and there is no risk that it could be breached by Kiev.