REUTERS

As the OSCE SMM said in its spot report on May 3, highlighting four incidents involving the SMM within last 36 hours, on May 1 the SMM was not allowed access to its observation post located 4km north-west of Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) where members of the Ukrainian Azov battalion on the ground took position.

The OSCE SMM also reported that at 1155 Kyiv time on May 2, being en route to the village of Shyrokyne, approximately 1km west of the entrance of the village, the SMM heard a burst of small-arms fire originating from north-west of its position. The SMM armored vehicle sustained a direct hit to its rear right corner from a single 5.45mm bullet fired in the burst. The SMM patrol did not sustain casualties as a result of the attack.

On the same day, at 1445 Kyiv time, while monitoring at a Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation post in Pisky (government-controlled, 13km north-west of Donetsk), four 82mm mortar shells impacted 100m from the SMM’s location. The SMM patrol did not sustain casualties. The SMM took shelter and retreated from the area as soon as it was possible.

Later that day, at 1605 Kyiv time, the same SMM patrol visited the JCCC patrol base in Avdiyivka (government-controlled, 15km north-west of Donetsk). Whilst there, the SMM observed what it assessed to be shelling by 152mm artillery. The SMM took cover in a nearby underground shelter and was only able to depart from the location following the implementation of a five-minute local ceasefire. The SMM patrol did not sustain casualties.

On May 2, OSCE SMM Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, expressed his deep concern about an increase in incidents over the past 36 hours, involving live fire near and at SMM patrols. Apakan called on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to do their utmost to ensure the safety and security of the SMM monitors.