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OSCE says effect of "harvest ceasefire" wanes

An average truce holds for around two weeks before shooting resumes.

OSCE says effect of "harvest ceasefire" wanes
Photo: EPA/UPG

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has registered the first increase in truce breaches after the so-called "harvest ceasefire" declared on 1 July, its Deputy Principal Chief Monitor Alexander Hug gas said.

"The unavoidable has happened, albeit later than we expected. Last week the OSCE SMM registered an increase in the number of ceasefire violations by 63%. Overall, the mission has registered over 6,500 such violations," he said.

The mission also found 84 pieces of hardware located in breach of the Minsk agreements: 74 in the separatist territory and 10 in the government-controlled territory.

"Now the level of violence is returning to what it was before the sides committed to a ceasefire. A slow return to violence has taken more time than usual. Over the past three years, there have been 12 ceasefire commitments; an average truce holds for around two weeks before the return to the level of violence which was before they committed to a ceasefire," he said.

In his opinion, the sides did not take due measures to ensure a true ceasefire. In particular, they have not pulled away troops and hardware from the line of contact. Neither have they cleared mines, he added.

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