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OSCE: Last week was one of worst since beginning of Donbas conflict

OSCE: Last week was one of worst since beginning of Donbas conflictThe scope of ceasefire violations in Donbas grew dramatically last week, Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, said.

Last week was one of the worst: the number of ceasefire violations tripled, and the rate of mortar, tank and artillery attacks grew six-fold, he told a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday.

In addition, OSCE SMM monitors observed a 40% increase in incidents involving rocket launchers, he said.

The mission confirmed 30 civilians were injured and eight killed last week.

At the same time, OSCE monitors saw de-escalation of tensions in the region at the beginning of this week. The scope of violence has been on decline in recent days, Hug said.

He added that heavy weapons banned by the Minsk Agreements had not been withdrawn from the Donbas contact line. Both sides continue to use them and share the responsibility for civilian casualties, the OSCE SMM officer said.

In his words, the mission currently comprises 722 monitors, including 603 deployed in eastern Ukraine.
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