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"Three armed 'DPR' members stopped the SMM at a checkpoint west of 'DPR'-controlled Verkhnoshyrokivske (formerly Oktiabr, 29km north-east of Mariupol) and denied it passage to the east, citing orders from their superiors and stating that it was unsafe to proceed," the OSCE SMM said in its report on Thursday, December 28.

It is reported that in areas outside of government control beyond the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed two towed howitzers (D-30) and five self-propelled howitzers (2S1), and noted that two self-propelled howitzers (2S1) continued to be absent.

Read alsoRussia not to allow blocking of border with Donbas - MFA"An armed 'DPR' member prevented the SMM from accessing part of a compound in a heavy weapons holding area, citing orders from his superiors," the report says.