OSCE spots at least 10 Grads, howitzers, tanks near occupied Luhansk
Monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine have reported they spotted proscribed weapons in Russian-occupied areas in Donbas on the weekend; they included multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, as well as tanks, according to an update, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
“In violation of the respective withdrawal lines in areas not controlled by the government, the SMM saw on April 7 three multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) near Khrustalnyi (formerly Krasnyi Luch, 56km south-west of Luhansk),” the OSCE SMM said in a report based on information received as of 19:30 local time on April 9, 2017.
“On both April 8 and 9, the SMM saw seven tanks (T-72), ten towed howitzers (five 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm; and five D-30 Lyagushka, 122mm), seven MLRS (BM-21), and seven self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) in the south-eastern outskirts of Luhansk city,” it said.
The SMM observed weapons that could not be verified as withdrawn, as their storage does not comply with the criteria set in the October 16, 2015 notification, it said. In non-government controlled areas, the SMM noted as present: 11 self-propelled howitzers (2S1), five MLRS (BM-21), six towed howitzers (D-30) and four anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm).
The SMM noted as missing: 16 MLRS (BM-21), including four for the first time, three self-propelled howitzers (2S1), including two for the first time, and 12 mortars (11 PM-38, 120mm; and one 2B11 Sani, 120mm).
Measures on countering Russian propaganda in Europe must strengthen – Foreign Minister
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin declares the need to boost efforts on countering Russian propaganda in the countries of the European Union and members of the Eastern Partnership, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
“As for Russian propaganda and unconventional warfare against the entire EU. In my opinion, it is necessary to do more in terms of how to counter Russian propaganda and fake news,” Klimkin said at a joint press conference with the heads of the Foreign Ministries of Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic in Kyiv on Tuesday.
According to him, Russia spends huge sums on creating “parallel realities.”
“One of the positions that we’ve discussed is our interaction with the EU. We have Stratcom, and we have very fruitful cooperation with them,” the minister said. “But the point is how to oppose Russian propaganda. And this is very important for the whole Eastern Partnership, and we will discuss this issue tomorrow,” Klimkin added.
Contaminated area near exploded munition warehouse complex reduced to 150 meters – State Emergency Service
Special teams of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine have removed explosive devices from the territory of Balaklia and nine villages in the vicinity, the State Emergency Service reports, according to Ukrinform.
“The territory of Balaklia and nine villages in the emergency zone was cleared from explosive devices by the explosive ordinance disposal teams of the State Emergency Situations Service. The contaminated area in and around Balaklia was reduced from 10 kilometers to 150 meters,” reads a report.
As reported, on March 23, at 2.45 a.m., a massive fire broke out at some sites of ammunition storage depot, located near the city of Balaklia, Kharkiv region, which triggered explosions.