SMM patrol forced to drive on mine-contaminated road by armed militant in Donbas
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine says its patrol has been forced to drive on mine-contaminated road by a member of the armed formations in Donbas carrying an assault rifle (AK-74) and displaying signs of intoxication.
"Around 11:20 on June 22, an SMM patrol consisting of six members and two armored vehicles was driving eastwards through the village of Petrivske (non-government-controlled, 41km south of Donetsk) on a road last used by the SMM on February 20, 2018. About 10m east of the crossroads inside the village, the first vehicle drove over a freshly dug but well camouflaged ditch extending across the road and filled with rubble when it noticed a suspicious object at the northern end of the ditch, half-covered by rubble in a shallow pit about 1m away from the road," reads the OSCE SMM's daily spot report.
"The first SMM vehicle immediately stopped about 5m east of the object and the second vehicle stopped about 10m west of it at the crossroads. The patrol assessed the object as a TM-62 anti-tank mine with a command wire extending from the undergrowth on the northern side of the road to the mine and continuing further south across the road into the freshly dug ditch which consisted of a series of shallow circular depressions filled with rubble. The object was located 300m east-south-east of the SMM camera in Petrivske and 500m east of the eastern edge of the disengagement area," the report said.
"While the patrol was considering the possibility for the first vehicle to drive east away from the mine and for the second vehicle to turn around and drive north to safely leave the area, a member of the armed formations carrying an assault rifle (AK-74) and displaying signs of intoxication approached the first SMM vehicle from the east and told the patrol to leave the area immediately and that it would not be permitted to proceed any further east," it added.
"Despite the SMM pointing out the presence of the mine, he refused to let the first vehicle drive eastwards, thus leaving the first vehicle no choice but to drive back westwards once again across the freshly dug ditch filled with rubble near the identified mine. The first SMM vehicle then drove on the southern side of the road towards the crossroads as far as possible from the visible mine," reads the report.
"At the crossroads, while leaving the area, the patrol saw additional ditches filled with rubble across the road, respectively 5m west and 5m south of the crossroads, and a command wire extending from the rubble-filled ditch on the western side of the crossroads. The patrol returned safely to its base in Donetsk city and informed the armed formations about the incident," it added.