Photo from UNIAN

A long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has crashed near the contact line in Donetsk region.

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"At 20:45 on April 18, the SMM launched a long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight over government- and non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region. At 01:26 on April 19, while near Vuhledar (government-controlled, 48km south-west of Donetsk), the UAV encountered dual GPS signal interference, assessed as due to jamming," the OSCE SMM said in a spot report on April 19, 2019.

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"This interference continued until 02:35, when, while attempting to navigate the UAV to its ground control station near Stepanivka (government-controlled, 54km north of Donetsk), the SMM lost control of the UAV."

SMM assesses that it crashed at 02:36, in an area west of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and north-east of Novhorodske (government-controlled, 35km north of Donetsk).

"It is premature to draw conclusions about the causes of the incident. The area of the presumed crash site is near the contact line and considered heavily mined, making SMM access difficult. During the day on April 19, weather conditions prevented a medium-range UAV flight. The SMM is making urgent efforts to locate its long-range UAV, and will report relevant findings," reads the report.

"The interference could have originated from anywhere within a radius of kilometres from the UAV's position," the monitors added.