Donetsk, Jun 7 - DAN. OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan provided a special patrol for enhanced monitoring of the evacuation of the Donetsk Water Treatment Plant (DFS) personnel, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) Ruslan Yakubov said on Thursday.

“Yesterday evening, OSCE SMM Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug secured Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan’s permission to provide a special patrol for enhanced monitoring of DFS personnel evacuation and mothballing of the facility,” Yakubov said.

Earlier, DFS workers refused to replace their colleagues without the presence of an OSCE SMM patrol. The DPR Mission to the JCCC helped provide the necessary safety guarantees and attracted DPR Emergencies Ministry specialists to carry out mine countermeasures in the DFS area.

“As of now, the parties are presenting various options of alternative DFS shift procedures with personal assistance of OSCE SMM Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug.

The DFS can suspend its operation for five days at the maximum; the longer period of idling might result in a humanitarian catastrophe in the region. During this time, the conflicting parties should find a rotation procedure compromise without the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine’s direct involvement.

The DFS area is a hot spot in Donbass. It is located outside Yasinovataya and feeds water to both sides of the contact line. The number of DFS customers exceeds 400,000.

OSCE representatives stepped up the monitoring of the DFS situation after a number of incidents in which car convoys of the Voda Donbassa company (which services the DFS) came under fire in mid-April. Five DFS personnel were injured by Ukrainian forces’ aimed fire and the facility was shut down for several days. The DFS situation has worsened at present. OSCE patrols came under fire in the DFS area; on Wednesday, a Ukrainian army strike caused a power outage at the DFS. DPR authorities said that Ukraine was doing it to make the DFS operation as difficult as possible for the Republic.*jk