January 14, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine announced that it has opened two new Forward Patrol Bases in Donetsk region today. The bases were opened in Krasnoarmiisk and Svitlodarsk, in the vicinity of the contact line to monitor the situation in the area on a 24/7 basis, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the OSCE press release.
“The new SMM Forward Patrol Bases will enhance our monitoring by enabling us to follow up on reports about incidents faster,” said the OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug. “Moreover, this will once again encourage the signatories of the Minsk agreements to adhere to their commitments.”
“Forward Patrol Bases differ from SMM offices or hubs as they are positioned in the vicinity of the contact line and allow the Mission to accommodate a number of monitors on a 24/7 basis in these areas. The monitoring staff are rotated on a weekly basis.
The SMM aims to open Forward Patrol Bases on both sides of the contact line in order to ensure parity in monitoring.
With today’s openings, the SMM now has Forward Patrol Bases in the following locations: four in government-controlled areas: Volnovakha, Krasnoarmiisk, Svitlodarsk (Donetsk region) and in Novoaidar (Luhansk region); as well as three in areas outside of government control: in Stakhanov (Luhansk region), and in Horlivka and Debaltseve (Donetsk region),” – said in the statement.