Censor.NET reports citing the Mission's response to Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Apakan and Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine Sajdik delivered by Chargé d'Affaires Kate M. Byrnes.
"Despite a deliberate pattern of behavior by Russian-led separatist forces aimed at weakening the SMM and preventing the international community from observing separatist activities, over the last three months the SMM has documented a 750 percent increase in proscribed heavy weapons on territory the separatists control," she said.
"Last week, the SMM observed 44 weapons in violation of withdrawal lines, 42 of which were in areas not controlled by the government of Ukraine. In Luhansk city, the SMM continues to observe the presence of about 30 weapons, including tanks, howitzers, and multiple launch rocket systems," Byrnes said.
"Moreover, Russian-led separatist forces have used proscribed weapons more than five times as often as Ukrainian forces, according to SMM data. The real numbers are certainly much higher, given the over 250 access restrictions imposed on the SMM by Russian-led separatist forces since January," the U.S. diplomat said.
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