Journalist Yurii Butusov wrote in his Censor.NET blog.
The journalist spent last week in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area watching the OSCE toying around the disengagement of troops in the areas near Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska.
"This area (vicinity of Zolote - Ed.) is perfect for disengagement of troops as there are no towns or villages at the very front line and the distance between the heights is large - 1.5-2 kilometers. Besides, both sides have restricted the use of heavy weapons in near the railroad long ago because one of the main transport links between Ukraine and the occupied territory is situated near Zolote. 5-8 trains are travelling in both directions each day. Ukraine uses this railroad to deliver round timber mainly for the mines in the occupied Donbas. They supply us with coal (...). Attacks in this area are quite rare due to the terrain and tactical situation. The tanks are not suitable for climbing local hills. However, the isolation of strongholds and observation points keeps constant pressure on troops. The Russian occupation forces are actively carrying out engineer operations - digging and constructing something every day. Our troops build much less," Butusov wrote.
"Nevertheless, the death is always there. The soldiers here shoot first and then ask questions. Everyone here understands that one must keep one's eyes open otherwise a sniper or reconnaissance group will sneak up behind and spare no one. The OSCE will save nobody. The survival of a soldier depends on him alone. The servicemen themselves are responsible for their lives and security of their positions. The OSCE does not visit their positions, record minefields, patrol area. It's weird talking about troops' disengagement without all this," the journalist stressed.
Officially, Zolote is considered to be in the cease-fire zone. In September, according to official data, only three shoot-outs were recorded in the area. But the peace is rather conditional here, and hostilities could break out again at any time, Butusov remarks.
"Random gun bursts and single shots are not always registered. However, artillery keeps silent," he noted.
"But the OSCE can hardly consider this area to be peaceful. OSCE patrols do not monitor positions. The fact clashes rarely occur here is only due to the difficulty of operations in this area. There is no peace here but an increased combat readiness and long battle distances. Both sides conduct surveillance and reconnaissance. The war could gain momentum in the region anytime," the journalist concluded.
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