A month has passed since the introduction of additional measures signed by the parties to strengthen the indefinite ceasefire regime in force since July 21st 2019. The most important achievement of this was the 30 quietest days in all six years of military operations. Not a single civilian, not a single residential building, and not a single object of civil infrastructure was damaged by attacks from the Ukrainian armed groups.
Of course, this is a positive signal, but let me remind you that Ukraine committed itself to a complete cease-fire at the level of an international agreement more than five years ago, and if it had fulfilled its obligations, there would not have been so many victims, destruction, and other tragic consequences in Donbass.
At the same time, almost every day throughout the month, our JCCC observers record violations committed by Ukrainian armed groups of the agreed additional measures, namely, the ban on additional engineering equipment for positions, the ban on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as the ban on the deployment of heavy weapons in localities and their environs.
Of particular interest are positional violations of the UAF in the area of the settlement of Shumy, where the enemy is advancing its fortifications (trenches) to the arch of the “Seversky Donets – Donbass” water conduit with a clear intention to fortify under it, as well as at the pilot disengagement site in the Petrovsky district, where the OSCE SMM records a new shelter equipped after the entry into force of additional measures at the former position of the armed formations of Ukraine.
All attempts to stop these violations of the UAF through the coordination mechanism with the assistance of the JCCC in accordance with paragraph “d” has not resulted in cessation and remediation. It was also not possible to resolve this issue at the last meeting of the Contact Group.
In this regard, I must warn that the Ukrainian side should take active actions in the coming days to eliminate the violations committed and return the positional location of troops and fortifications to the state of July 22nd 2020 no later than September 3rd 2020. A corresponding report should be drawn up in the JCCC (with the approval of the OSCE SMM and with its consent). If such an act is not submitted to me by 22:00 on September 3rd 2020, I will have to resort to at least and, guided by clause “e” of the Additional Measures, in order to prevent further offensive actions of Ukraine in terms of its positions and fortifications advancing in our direction, issue a corresponding order for the People’s Militia units to destroy the trenches and shelters of the UAF, retrofitted or newly created after the signing of Additional Measures to strengthen the ceasefire on July 22nd 2020
In the event of a forced operation, the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be informed about the time and coordinates of its conduct in advance in order to evacuate the specified fortifications and positions of personnel in order to avoid human casualties.
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