OSCE Chief Monitor in Ukraine condemns Mariupol shelling as reckless, indiscriminate and disgraceful attack on innocent civilians, including women and children
KYIV, 24 January, 2015 – The Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, described the shelling in Mariupol today – which according to the Mission’s initial findings caused at least 17 deaths and many more injuries – as a reckless, indiscriminate and disgraceful attack aimed at a heavily-populated residential area whose victims included women, children and the elderly.
Early this morning the Special Monitoring Mission dispatched a patrol to the scene to assess the situation and establish the facts.
“I condemn this violent act in the strongest terms and call for a full investigation of the incident. I also convey my most sincere and deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Ukraine,” Apakan said.
“This dangerous situation can’t continue. We need an immediate ceasefire. Ukraine and its people need and deserve peace. The parties must return to the negotiating table without further delay and implement fully the Minsk agreements.
“Regrettably we have been observing over the past few days an expansion of indiscriminate shelling throughout the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, including against heavily populated areas such as Donetsk city and Debaltseve.
“I urge all sides to immediately undertake robust action to stop the new escalation in fighting and its heavy toll on civilians.”
According to the United Nations, over 5,000 people have died, more than 10,000 have been injured and about one million displaced due to the violence in eastern Ukraine.
The SMM has put forth a proposal to ease tensions in and around Donetsk airport and provide relief for the affected civilian population that faces a deteriorating humanitarian situation.