VIENNA (Sputnik) — A patrol leader of the Organization for Security Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) sustained injuries Monday in the village of Shirokino in Ukraine’s southeast, the OSCE said on its website.
"The SMM heard in the air the sound of sniper rounds outgoing from the south, at which point the patrol leader instructed the patrol via radio to depart immediately. At the same time, the SMM saw three men behind a building 50m north of SMM’s position. A rifle shot was heard outgoing from there. Seconds later, an explosion occurred 5m from the SMM patrol leader, who was knocked down as a result. He was struck by concrete debris caused by the impact and his helmet was pierced," the statement reads.
The Ukrainian crisis escalated in April 2014, when Kiev launched a military operation to suppress independence supporters of eastern Ukraine who refused to recognize a coup-imposed government.
The Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was first deployed in March 2014 by a unanimous decision from all 57 OSCE member states. The mandate was recently extended until March 2016.