Militants in Donbas again block OSCE SMM’s movement

Militants in Donbas again block OSCE SMM’s movement

Ukrinform
On April 14 and 15, members of the armed formations in Donbas again denied SMM attempts to cross along official crossing routes.

“On 14 and 15 April, members of the armed formations again denied SMM attempts to cross along official crossing routes: twice in Luhansk region and once in Donetsk region, while a further attempt to cross into non-government-controlled areas in Donetsk region was unsuccessful due to an obstruction,” reads the OSCE SMM spot report 13/2020.

In particular, in the afternoon of 14 April, at a checkpoint near Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk), an SMM patrol travelling from government-controlled areas was unable to proceed into non-government-controlled areas due to spikes laid across the entire road, and the presence of a mine sign in the middle of the road.

“On 14 and 15 April, at the checkpoint of the armed formations south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), members of the armed formations denied SMM patrols passage into government-controlled areas on one occasion and passage into non-government-controlled areas on another occasion, referring to quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19,” the report reads.

On the afternoon of 15 April, at a checkpoint about 600m west of Verkhnoshyrokivske (non-government-controlled, 85km south of Donetsk), members of the armed formations denied an SMM patrol, travelling from government-controlled areas, passage into non-government-controlled areas, referring to quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19.

“The Mission began facing repeated denials when attempting to cross into non-government-controlled areas at checkpoints of the armed formations in Donetsk region on 21 March, and Luhansk region on 23 March. They restrict the SMM’s freedom of movement across the contact line, thus impeding the implementation of its Mandate throughout the country,” the report highlights.

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