The situation in Eastern Ukraine is at the brink of a hot military conflict, and it is unknown which drop cause the glass to spill over and hostilities to begin.
Monitoring the situation and tracing what is transpiring at every single moment is a vital part of the Organization For Security and Co-Operation in Europe’s (OSCE) job.
It’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine does that, by way of independent experts inspecting various location, including by drones.
A recurring problem is that the SMM’s drones are continually being jammed. Incidents are frequent and are being reported throughout.
Since 21 March 2021, the SMM’s long-range UAVs have been experiencing increased levels of GPS signal interference on take-off and landing, affecting both of their GPS receivers, in areas near their base in Stepanivka, located approximately 25km west-north-west of the contact line near the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
On April 6th, a long-range UAV even failed to take off, for the first time since October 2014.
Both Kiev and the DPR have the capability to jam such signals and could interfere with the SMM’s work. Accusations are frequently exchanged that the enemy is conducting such covert operations.
Indeed, 305th electronic warfare battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has its Bukovel-AD stations in the areas of Stepanovka and Bogdanovka.
According to the DPR, the reason for their deployment is so that the drones could not detect the weapons of the 53rd and 10th brigades of the Ukrainian army.
On the other side, Kiev accuses the DPR militia of using radio interference equipment, provided by Russia.
According to the claims, the DPR uses Russia-produced R-330M1P “Diabazol” and R-330Zh “Zhitel” systems, in the areas of Gorlovka and Yenakievo.
It is hard to specifically point the finger at either side, and it is likely that both parties use every chance to impede the enemy’s movements.
The SMM’s drones are also reportedly targeted in order to hide specific equipment deployments or undertakings.
It is undisputable fact that the OSCE plays a vital role in the area, but its observers are frequently being stopped at checkpoints, and its endeavors are being impeded.
Earlier, a child was killed by a Ukrainian drone in the DPR, and the SMM’s observers managed to get to the location and establish the facts nearly 4 days later to confirm the incident.
This also stands testament to the general inadequacy of the OSCE. As far as media and the collective West are concerned, the situation is clear: Kiev is the victim, the Eastern Ukrainian republics and Russia are the aggressors. As such, the fewer pieces of evidence to prove otherwise are present, the better.
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- Military Situation In Donetsk People’s Republic On April 14, 2021 (Map Update)