OSCE ignores calls to check militants’ masked weapons – military official

21:15, 16 July 2015
War
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Special monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe fails to respond to the calls of the Ukrainian side to examine locations in militant-occupied Donbas territories where heavy weapons are believed to be hidden, according to the media and communications department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

REUTERS

According to the information obtained by UNIAN from the Defense Ministry officials, Major-General Andriy Taran, head of the Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC), said, “There is no appropriate response to the calls by the Ukrainian part JCCC on the representatives of the OSCE SMM to verify the facts of disguised placement on the territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists of the multiple rocket launchers and artillery systems, which are supposed to have been withdrawn, in accordance with the Minsk agreements."

The Ukrainian side reports to the OSCE mission relevant information on a regular basis. "However, the analysis of the reports of the OSCE SMM does not allow to conclude that inspections have been [actually] performed. This, and the lack of international response to the cynical violation by militants of the Minsk agreement encourages militants to further disregard their obligations and generally recognized norms of international law," say Ukrainian members of the JCCC.

The Ukrainian side points out once again that deliberate destruction of Ukraine’s civil industrial infrastructure [by militants] is one of the indicators [of such violations]. The ongoing shelling of the Avdiyivka Coke Plant by militants have already resulted in civilian casualties and destruction of many industrial facilities in this strategically important industry for Ukraine’s metallurgical enterprises.

Pro-Russian militants continue with the practice of conducting artillery fire from positions in the residential sector. They do not even shun firing from schools and kindergartens.

"On July 13, a militant mortar battery from the occupied areas of Donetsk region (OADR) opened fire on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the school in the village Zaitseve (northern outskirts of the town of Horlivka). The aim of these attacks was a provocation to force the ATO forces to return fire that would allow the separatists and the Russian media accusing the Ukrainian side in the shelling of residential areas,” reads the statement.

These facts are further proof that the militants are using the tactics of the terrorists, and therefore, the so-called DPR and LPR are terrorist organizations. "There is no doubt that the self-appointed militant leaders and those who inspire, fund and arm them will be held responsible for war crimes sooner or later by international judicial institutions, " the report says.

Ukrainian members of the JCCC believe that the alarming situation that is emerging right now along the contact line in the ATO zone indicates that it is now time for the international community to say "No" decisively to the intentions of militants and their Russian patrons to continue abuse international law. "It is in this context that we look forward to a more active role of such an influential international organization  as the OSCE," the statement concludes.

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