OSCE says withdrawn militant weapons missing from storage, spots Ukrainian weapons moving
The OSCE special monitoring mission has documented the disappearance of previously withdrawn heavy weapons from militant storage sites, according to the OSCE report for April 19, published on Monday.
“The SMM returned to six ‘DPR’ heavy weapons holding areas. At three of the six sites the SMM was able to confirm that all weapons previously recorded by the SMM were in situ.,” the report reads.
“At one site the number of heavy weapons corresponded to the number and type recorded by the SMM on their previous visit, though the SMM was prevented from checking the serial numbers on weaponry by ‘DPR’ members. At two other sites none of the weapons previously recorded at the locations by the SMM were present. ‘DPR’ members at one of these sites (where all four previously recorded Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS Grad) were missing) said that the weapons were taken away in preparation for a Victory Day parade on 9 May. At another site, both artillery pieces previously recorded were missing, and there were no ‘DPR’ members present.”
The mission also recorded the movement of equipment that supposed to have been withdrawn by Ukrainian forces.
“In government-controlled areas the SMM saw the following; a military convoy of two BTR-80s carrying armed personnel, two light military trucks (one carrying armed personnel; one Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (A/IFV) (BMP-2) on a trailer travelling west, away from the contact line; one A/IFV (BMP-2), three APC (BTR-70); one MBT T-64 on a trailer and five [other] T-64 tanks,” the report reads.
In the report the SMM “reminded all sides that firing of any weapon, as well as deployment of any heavy weapon, in proscribed areas constitutes a violation of the Minsk agreements, and … that the SMM will continue to report them as such.”