19 Dec 2017 16:27

OSCE SMM Chief Monitor Apakan concerned about deteriorating Donbas situation

KYIV. Dec 19 (Interfax) - The security situation in Donbas has drastically deteriorated, with the number of ceasefire violations increasing by 35% this week, Ertugrul Apakan, chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), said.

"We note with concern a sharp deterioration in the security situation with ceasefire violations reaching levels not recorded since February this year," the OSCE cited Apakan as saying in a statement published on its website on Tuesday.

According to the organization's preliminary information, the OSCE SMM recorded almost 16,000 ceasefire violations between December 11 and 17, an increase of 35% over last week's figures.

"A return to normality, wherein civilians can once again resume their everyday lives without fear of shelling and landmines is the first step to a long-term sustainable peace," Apakan said.