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    OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

    Fighting Continues in Debaltseve, OSCE Monitors Unable to Get Access

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan said that fighting in Debaltseve is still underway and OSCE monitors could not get to the town.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine are still unable to get to Debaltseve because of intense fighting in the area, Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan said Wednesday.

    “The fighting is still going on,” he said. “We couldn’t take a final picture from Debaltseve, there are some contradicting reports… I’m sure that the fighting is still going on.”

    Debaltseve is a key transport hub, where thousands of Kiev soldiers have been encircled by Donbas militia for weeks.

    OSCE observers have complained that they had no access to the area around the city of Debaltseve, since the ceasefire between the warring sides became effective on February 15.

    Militias denied receiving a request from the organization and presumed the monitors were denied access to the area due to security concerns, as clashes continued in Debaltseve, despite the truce deal.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the operation to withdraw Kiev troops from the encirclement in Debaltseve had been completed.

    The current situation in Donbas will be discussed later in the day by the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine — the participants of the so-called Normandy Quartet that worked out the truce deal last week.

    OSCE monitors have been working in southeastern Ukraine since March 2014 after an escalation of tensions between Kiev forces and independence supporters. They are closely watching the situation in the conflict zone and publish daily reports.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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