On March 31, during a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council a last-moment, a consensus was reached among the participating countries on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE mission in Ukraine. This decision was not easy, and on the eve of March 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine publicly signaled that some OSCE participating States were trying to block decisions on the extension of the mandate which, of course, was beneficial only to the Russian Federation.
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Ann Linde welcomed the extension of the OSCE SMM’s mandate in Ukraine and stated that it covers the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The corresponding statement was published on the OSCE website.
The United States also welcomed the extension of the OSCE mandate in Ukraine and noted that it calls for full SMM access to the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea.
Why the extension of the OSCE SMM mission to Ukraine is important
The InformNapalm international volunteer community also welcomes the decision to extend the OSCE SMM in Ukraine and notes that in recent years the mission has significantly evolved from a state that has been habitually referred to in Ukrainian society as “blind observers” since 2014 to an important source that consistently provides new important evidence of direct Russian military aggression.
Public reports of the OSCE SMM still do not word their findings as direct indications of Russian weapons or equipment, but the international expert community has learned to analyze these reports by the types of equipment and to identify clear evidence that Russia is supplying modern types of its weapons and equipment to the occupied territories of Ukraine that can be operated and maintained exclusively by professional military specialists of the Russian Armed Forces.
In recent years, with the help of mini-UAVs of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, InformNapalm could reconfirm the data of earlier OSINT investigations of its volunteers about the presence of a number of Russian weapon systems and equipment in the Donbas. Here are some examples:
In December 2020, Russian 2B26 multiple launch rocket systems were included in the OSCE SMM report in the Donbas for the first time.
In February 2019, an OSCE SMM drone spotted the newest Russian TORN signals intelligence system.
The SMM also began to periodically to identify the modern Russian electronic warfare system RB-341V Leer-3 in the Donbas.
Observers also periodically recorded the invasion of military convoys from the territory of the Russian Federation and the covert trafficking of cargo to the Donbas through uncontrolled sections of the border.
The Russian R-330Zh Zhitel electronic warfare system has been repeatedly spotted in the occupied part of the Ukrainian Donbas.
In November 2020, it was the OSCE SMM observers in the Donbas that for the first time recorded the newest Russian system Navodchik-2.
In March 2020, the latest Russian electronic warfare systems SB-341V Leer-3, R-934B Sinitsa and SB-636 Svet-KU got into aerial photographs from the UAV of the OSCE mission in the Donbas.
However, despite a major upside, there has been a visible downside in the SMM activity, because by the beginning of 2020, there were more Russian citizens among the OSCE observers in the Donbas and manipulations began to crop up in the mission’s reports.
The most explosive finding over the past year was the photographic evidence in February 2021 from the OSCE SMM showing the Russian radar 51U6 Kasta-2E1. It was spotted for the first time in the Donbas, when the Russians were hastily triying to disguise under the fabric in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Taking into account the materials indicated in this article, the InformNapalm notes a significant increase in the effectiveness of the OSCE mission in recent years and calls for more attention to the potential of the mission’s reports to investigate the facts of Russian military aggression against Ukraine.
In this article, we have considered only one of the aspects of the mission’s work, not dwelling on monitoring the attacks, which is also important.
Read more from InformNapalm
- Proofs of the Russian Aggression: InformNapalm releases extensive database of evidence
- Volunteers gathered evidence of 32 Russian military units taking part in the invasion of Crimea
- Advanced Russian EW system Navodchik-2 spotted in Donbas for the first time
- Russia has kept its Zoopark-1 recon systems in Donbas since 2014 (PHOTOS)
- Russian soldiers who lost Takhion drone in Donbas have been identified
- Russian multipurpose armored vehicle Tigr, part of MK-BLA-01 drone system spotted in the Donbas (video)
- Newest Russian equipment in Donbas in aerial photo (photo and coordinates)
- Russian drone Orlan-10 consists of parts produced in the USA and other countries – photo evidence