A patrol of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has faced a close small-arms fire in Donetsk region.
”On March 17, five SMM members were positioned – outside two of its vehicles – 15km north of Donetsk on the eastern side of highway H20, where it intersects with a secondary road leading east to Donetsk Water Filtration Station, (located between government-controlled Avdiyivka and ”DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata) to monitor adherence to the ceasefire for demining at and around the filtration station as well as the restoration of water supply to both sides of the contact line,” the OSCE said in a spot report.
The Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) had facilitated security guarantees. Three JCCC officers (two Ukrainian and one Russian), four representatives of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and four members of a ”DPR” demining team were also present at the site.
”At 11:45, while four SMM members were 2-3m north and another was 5m south-east of the vehicles, they heard the hissing sound of a bullet flying above their heads, and at the same time heard a shot of small-arms fire 100-200m south of their position. All present immediately took cover on the northern side of the SMM vehicles. The SMM assessed the bullet as having been fired from a southerly to a north-north-easterly direction. The SMM also heard another shot of small-arms fire 100-200m south while boarding its vehicles.”
Subsequently all present including the SMM left the area. No injuries to the SMM members or damage to SMM vehicles was sustained. Ukrainian and Russian officers of the JCCC informed the SMM that none of their staff were injured.
This was the third incident in this area in the last four weeks involving small-arms fire at or near SMM members or assets, the OSCE SMM said.