On April 6, the working group on security issues held a meeting via videoconferencing, it began at 14:00 and lasted 4 hours. The agenda involved approving the wording of the Contact Group’s draft statement in the context of ensuring the efficiency of the existing indefinite ceasefire by means of additional measures for its enhancement and monitoring; approving the wording of a draft Supplement to the Framework Decision and coordinating three more areas for further disengagement.
According to the information from the DPR Representative Office to the JCCC and negotiation process, 1 civilian died, 68 houses and 13 infrastructure facilities were damaged due to AFU attacks in the period between the meetings from March 24 to April 6, 2020.
Ukraine engaged the Republic 194 times, including with tanks, artillery and mortars:
- Tanks were used once, 4 rounds fired;
- 122mm artillery was used 11 times, 97 shells fired;
- 120mm mortars were used 31 times, 229 shells fired;
- 82mm mortars were used 64 times, 487 shells fired on DPR territory.
Hotspots of tension were suburbs of Gorlovka and the south of the Republic, as well as Staromikhaylovka, Donetsk (the village of Trudovskaya Mine, the village of Oktyabrskaya Mine, the Volvo Center), Dokuchayevsk.
According to the OSCE SMM reports, monitors spotted prohibited weapons and equipment that the AFU had deployed in violation of disengagement lines in the security zone and outside the storage sites during the mentioned period.
Official representative of the Republic Alexey Nikonorov emphasized that the number of attacks by the AFU on residential areas of the Republic, including with artillery, mortars and tanks, had increased significantly in the last two weeks, both at night and during the daytime.
“In the last two weeks alone, the AFU fired almost 100 artillery shells on DPR territory. On April 1, one of those attacks resulted in damage to buses and trolleybuses in the immediate vicinity of a densely populated neighborhood in Gorlovka. On March 28, a female civilian was killed in Staromikhaylovka during another shelling by the AFU. On March 25, a Ukrainian sniper wounded a DPR representative to the JCCC while he was monitoring security and safety of repair works despite the written security guarantees previously provided and the ban on sniper fire, which is set out in the list of additional measures,” Nikonorov stated.
In this regard, the representative of the Republic insisted on the harmonization of the wording of the Contact Group’s draft Statement on commitment to the current indefinite ceasefire in the context of ensuring its effectiveness by means of additional measures for its enhancement and monitoring.
As part of the discussions on new areas for further withdrawal of forces and weapons, Alexey Nikonorov urged to focus on approving specific coordinates of those locations that do not cause disagreement between the parties, and recalled that these are the 4 areas that DPR and LPR representatives proposed at the previous meeting. At the next meeting, it will be possible to consider in detail two alternative locations the Ukrainian party proposed just before the meeting, after those proposals are studied and analyzed.
Based on the stance the Ukrainian party assumed, it is obvious that at today’s meeting they did not intend to agree on specific coordinates of the areas, and did not provide either reasoned explanations or objections.
“Instead of in-depth consideration of essential issues, representatives of Kiev demonstrated an extremely destructive stance by prolonging and sidetracking the discussions under the actual agenda in every possible way to blame the Russian Federation and cast it in the role of a party to the conflict. Potential areas and coordinates for disengagement have not been approved again, since Ukraine does not hold interest in promoting peaceful settlement of the armed conflict,” the Republic’s representative noted.
Nikonorov also said that at today’s meeting they had not reached consensus on draft wordings of the Supplement to the Framework Decision and the Contact Group’s Statement on commitment to the current ceasefire.