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#Commentary of Denis Pushilin on need of separation of forces and means along contact line

Certainly, there was no a full-fledged ceasefire during any of truces. But “school truce”, as “bread” one before, performs a different function – it reduces shelling incidents. Of course, for a number of reasons, we see a periodic escalation with an increase in the number of shelling incidents even during the truce – all such cases are recorded.

First of all, such events are connected to political problems in Ukraine and also to the fact that, when the parties are in line of sight, it is very difficult to achieve a full-fledged ceasefire. In order to achieve the end of bombardments, it is necessary to implement a framework decision – to separate forces and means at three pilot areas, and we know that the separation of forces near Stanitsa Luganskaya has not been carried out to this day. Thereafter, the parties will be separated by a sufficient distance at the following areas as well as on the entire contact line and the special monitoring mission will then be able to record violations, if there will be any, with complete confidence. The distance between the parties should be sufficient in order to prevent any possible acts of provocation.

The OSCE monitoring mission, which is responsible for monitoring and recording all violations, goes to the line of contact. They have cameras, but, unfortunately, this is not enough. Given that the Ukrainian side has taken “grey zone” and the parties are so close to each other that the distance between them at some areas is about 100 metres and it is not possible to record which side violates the truce in such a situation. And when we see the reports of the ESCE SMM on a shell burst being recorded somewhere, the reports say about its presumable direction. Analysing map, given the bends of the line of contact, you can blame anyone, both sides. In order for the OSCE to have a real opportunity to record violations and not to be tempted by the biased use of its official powers towards us, the parties must be separated. There will simply be no instrument to demonstrate biased attitude. We are constantly documenting the application of double standards. The need for measures to facilitate the work of the OSCE monitoring mission was mentioned in the “Normandy format” during telephone conversations.

We have repeatedly demonstrated our negotiability and we adhere to commitments we have made. Given the need for the ceasefire, we issued orders, they were voiced and dispatched to units, and groups were established to record violations, if there would be any on our part. We brought these orders, which had been previously published in the press, to the last meeting in Minsk. The orders concern both the ceasefire and due attention to the OSCE SMM (permits, authorization, etc.). We heard only excuses on the part of Ukraine.

Denis Pushilin, the Chairman of the DPR People’s Council, the permanent plenipotentiary representative of the DPR at negotiations of the Contact Group in Minsk

The official website of the DPR People’s Council

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