MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) monitoring the situation in Ukraine has recorded a series of shootings in different areas of the Donbas, Ukraine's southeastern regions, on Saturday and Sunday, reports published by OSCE Monday said.
“At 10:00hrs (7:00 GMT) the SMM went on patrol, together with a police escort provided by the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (DPR), to verify this account. At the DPR-manned checkpoint on the Putylivskiy Bridge, which is close to the site of the airport, the SMM could hear mortars being fired from the airport area. The DPR denied the SMM further access due to security reasons,” the OSCE report stated.
A local resident called the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine (SMM) reporting a shooting coming from the direction of Donetsk International Airport and Spartak village at 8:10 local time (5:10 GMT), according to the report.
SMM staff witnessed seeing smoke rising some 800 meters away near the village of Spartak, but reported no casualties from the shelling.
The OSCE also reported fighting in the city Shchastya, 20 km (about 12 miles) north of Luhansk on Sunday. The Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) militants were firing at Ukrainian troops who returned the fire. Medical staff on the scene told SMM that one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in the chest while an LPR militant was killed.
A second OSCE report identified artillery shelling to the east of Mariupol on Saturday, but failed to ascertain where the shooting was coming from. A third report from the organization provided information on further violence in Luhansk, Mariupol, and Donetsk on Saturday.
The chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council, Thomas Greminger said that the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been "as a whole" observed while Kai Vittrup, the OSCE representative working in the conflict zone said recent ceasefire violations should not affect the truce.
At the meeting of the trilateral contact group to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, held in Minsk on September 5, the Kiev authorities and independence supporters agreed upon a ceasefire, which began at 15:00 GMT the same day. In the days following the truce, both sides were accused of violating the ceasefire.
Ukraine has been engulfed in violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began its military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. According to United Nations’ (UN) estimates, some 3,000 have been killed in eastern Ukraine so far.