Hug notes signs of escalation in Donbas

Hug notes signs of escalation in Donbas

Ukrinform
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM) has recorded a further increase in the number of violations of the Christmas truce in Donbas that was announced on December 23, OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug has said.

He stated this at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"Already there are indications that the escalation phase has begun, with almost 2,000 ceasefire violations recorded between 17.00 on Tuesday and 17.00 on Wednesday this week, and over a thousand in the following 24 hours," he said.

Hug recalled that a New Year and Christmas truce was announced in Donbas on December 23, 2017. According to him, then the number of ceasefire violations decreased significantly. He said that on December 19 the OSCE SMM recorded about 3,500 ceasefire violations, and on December 24 it recorded just 64 ceasefire violations.

At the same time, Hug said that during this time there was no day completely free of violence, and from December 28 the OSCE SMM has been recording on average 500 ceasefire violations every day.

He said that the number of ceasefire violations was increasing and such an increase had already been observed during other truce regimes.

"What we are seeing is a well-established pattern of violence that involves a sudden sharp decrease in the number of ceasefire violations, followed by a slow but steady rise in the hundreds, ultimately leading to escalation," Hug said.

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