OSCE Mission Confirms Mortar Attack Damaged Civilian Properties In Luhansk Region

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st January, 2022) OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has confirmed reports by the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) alleging damage to civilian property in the Luhansk region as a result of shooting incident.

Earlier, the LPR representative in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the ceasefire stated that some buildings in the village Donetskyi had been damaged as a result of mortar attack by the Ukrainian security forces.

"On 18 January, the Mission followed up on reports of damage to civilian properties in the south-eastern part of Donetskyi (non-government-controlled, 49km (30,5 miles) west of Luhansk)," the statement on OSCE website said on Thursday.

SMM observed some buildings that were damaged "by a probable mortar round" and the damage was assessed as "recent".

"The SMM observed a severely damaged wooden storage shed, with a hole in the roof, damaged walls and windows, and metal fragments assessed as shrapnel inside the structure as well as multiple dents assessed as shrapnel marks," the statement read.

It was also noted, that the SMM found a crater (about 1m in diameter) in the yard of an inhabited two-storey apartment building. In the other two-storey apartment building "the Mission observed three windows with broken panes on the first floor and seven windows with broken panes on the second floor, covered with plastic film, as well as multiple dents assessed as shrapnel marks".

The conflict in Donbas between Ukraine's government and the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk republics has been going on since 2014. The Minsk Agreements, designed to find a political resolution to the conflict, were negotiated by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine the Normandy group in February 2015. However, the agreement has not been observed so far and sporadic clashes continue. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Kiev is not fulfilling the Minsk agreements and is delaying negotiations to resolve the conflict.