Statement by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on fighting in and around Donetsk airport
DONETSK, 15 January 2015 - Today, for the second day in a row, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has attempted to reach Donetsk airport to establish the facts on the ground. In the afternoon, the SMM made two attempts and managed to reach an area close to the airport. The SMM witnessed substantial damage to civilian infrastructure and residences caused by artillery. Regrettably, the SMM could not venture further into the airport itself as shelling, counter-shelling and small arms fire in and around the airport was ongoing.
The SMM strongly condemns the continuation of the fighting in the residential areas close to the airport, which inevitably results in civilian deaths and injuries. The SMM strongly regrets the use of civilian areas as firing positions, which invites retaliatory strikes and further endangers the lives of civilians.
The SMM calls upon all parties to immediately stop the fighting and withdraw heavy weapons and armed units from the airport and from all adjacent residential areas as agreed in the Minsk documents. The SMM stands ready to facilitate dialogue to further reduce the level of tension.