"Already there are indications that the escalation phase has begun, with almost 2,000 ceasefire violations recorded between 5 p.m. on Tuesday and 5 p.m. on Wednesday this week, and over a thousand in the following 24 hours," he said.
Hug recalled that a New Year and Christmas truce was announced in Donbas on Dec. 23, 2017. According to him, then the number of cease-fire violations decreased significantly. He said that on Dec. 19 the OSCE SMM recorded about 3,500 cease-fire violations, and on Dec. 24 it recorded just 64 ceasefire violations.
At the same time, Hug said that during this time there was no day completely free of violence, and from Dec. 28 the OSCE SMM has been recording on average 500 ceasefire violations every day.
He said that the number of cease-fire violations was increasing and such an increase had already been observed during other truce regimes.
"What we are seeing is a well-established pattern of violence that involves a sudden sharp decrease in the number of cease-fire violations, followed by a slow but steady rise in the hundreds, ultimately leading to escalation," Hug said.