MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) – The first two drones that will help observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the implementation of the truce in southeastern Ukraine have arrived in the country, OSCE spokesperson Michael Bociurkiw told RIA Novosti Monday.
"Two drones arrived today. This morning. The customs officers are now checking the paperwork," Bociurkiw said, adding that "in two days" the unmanned aircraft will be able to start their work.
According to the spokesperson, a total of four drones will be used by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine. Bociurkiw did not specify when the next two drones will be delivered.
On September 3, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the OSCE, Ihor Prokopchuk, said that the first two drones for the SMM were due to arrive in Ukraine on October 5, and two more were expected to be delivered by mid-October.
The unmanned aircraft were ordered by the OSCE in mid-August and expected to be deployed in late September or early October, but have experienced several delays.
On September 13, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he had officially authorized the OSCE observer mission to deploy drones in Ukraine, to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed on September 5 during the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk.
The conflict in Ukraine started in April, when Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in the southeast of the country. According to the latest UN estimates, over 3,600 people have died as a result of the conflict.