What You Need To Know:
✓ This is one the biggest explosions of violence observed by the OSCE in a long time and it was very unexpected
✓ Ceasefire violations have become more frequent and more intense
✓ One of the ongoing issues at the trilateral talks is that the separatist are sending junior representatives who do not represent the senior separatist commanders or the armed Cossack groups
✓ The OSCE's access is continues to be restricted by both sides but the situation is fluid
“This is one the biggest explosions of violence that we’ve seen in a long time and it was very, very unexpected,” Michael Bociurkiw, spokesperson for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine said of the recent violence in the East which left 28 people dead.
Bocuirkiw told Hromadske that an OSCE drone actually observed heavy weaponry which is banned under the Minsk Agreement heading towards the front line from the rebel controlled areas. Though the OSCE is still trying to ascertain exactly what happened, according to Bocuirkiw, they do know there was a lot of shelling, lots of heavy weaponry used and there was return fire.
Ceasefire violations have become more frequent and more intense, according to Bociurkiw, which has terrible knock on effect on humanitarian situation. He noted that this week the OSCE had observed the reintroduction of grad missiles which are unguided missiles that cause lots of damage to civilian neighborhoods.
On the resignation of Heidi Tagliavini, former representative of the OSCE in talks between Moscow, Kyiv, and separatists in Ukraine, Bociurkiw said that she stayed in the job a long time considering the situation and will need to be replaced very quickly. One of the ongoing issues at the trilateral talks, noted Bociurkiw, is that the separatist are sending junior representatives who do not represent the senior separatist commanders or the armed Cossack groups.
Bociurkiw told Hromadkse the OSCE’s access is sometimes restricted but the situation is fluid. According to Bociurkiw, there were 80 patrols in Donetsk and Luhansk but there are no-go areas because of shelling or delays at checkpoints. “We do remind both sides that under the Minsk Agreement, the OSCE should have secure and unfettered access. But I can tell you that even in the process of monitoring the withdraw of heavy weaponry, there are storage sites where they say you can’t go”.
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with Michael Bociurkiw on June 7, 2015.