The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) should promptly report about dangerous military preparations carried out by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region, a Russian diplomat has said.
"We expect SMM to follow more closely and to report timely about dangerous military preparations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Russia’s deputy OSCE envoy, Dmitry Balakin, told the organization’s Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday.
"Patrolling missions on both sides of the line of contact should be carried out in a balanced manner, including by long-range unmanned aerial vehicles," he added.
According to the Russian official, currently drones monitor the government-controlled territory only several kilometers away from the line of contact, without conducting proper peripheral surveillance.
The February 2014 coup in Ukraine and the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych sparked mass protests in the eastern regions of the country with predominantly Russian-speaking population. In response, the Kiev government has launched a military operation in Donbass in April. As a result of intense fire targeting residential districts, the region was hit by a large-scale humanitarian disaster.
More than 10,000 people have been killed and over 20,000 wounded in the area since the conflict began. Attempts to introduce a long-lasting ceasefire, regularly made by the Contact Group on settling the Eastern Ukrainian conflict, have produced no results so far.