Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Ambassador Martin Sajdik has said the number of civilian casualties in Donbas has decreased by half in 2018.

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"Assessing the outgoing year, I would like to stress an important aspect. From the beginning of this year until December 17, the number of civilian casualties decreased by half compared with the same period of last year, and the number of [the] injured fell by 52%, thereby reaching its lowest level since the beginning of the conflict. Against the background of this notable tendency, I would like to reiterate that any human victim is one too much," Sajdik said in a press statement after the TCG meeting on December 19, 2018.

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"At the same time, there have also been disturbing trends. According to non-governmental organizations, approximately 7,000 square kilometres in eastern Ukraine are mined and contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance, which makes it one of the most densely mined areas in the world," he said.

"Today, the key issues for the TCG and its Security Working Group were general security and the cessation of fire," Sajdik added.

It is reported the next TCG meeting will take place on January 16, 2019.