"Together with offices in Donetsk and Luhansk cities, and hubs in Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Sievierodonetsk, the total number of locations where the SMM has presence in the east is 14. The Mission is looking to open additional bases on both sides of the contact line to enhance its monitoring and reporting," Hug said.
These are located in areas controlled by both the Kiev government and the eastern Ukrainian pro-independence militias, with three in government-controlled areas of the Donetsk region and two in militia-controlled areas. Three SMM forward patrol bases are located in government-controlled areas of the Luhansk region, and one base in located in the area controlled by the Luhansk Peoples' Republic, Hug noted.
Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities that came to power as a result of a coup.
In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between Ukraine’s conflicting sides in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics in the southeast.