Donetsk, Sep 3 - DAN. Donetsk People’s Republic militiamen did not allow an OSCE patrol to enter the Petrovskoye village area outside Donetsk due to increased Ukrainian sniper activity in the disengagement zone, DPR People’s Militia spokesman Rinat Aigistov said on Tuesday.

“On September 1, our defenders prevented a possible tragedy by not allowing OSCE mission representative to enter the Petrovskoye village area where two sniper pairs from 35th Marines Brigade have been active firing at any moving object, despite the timely notification about OSCE patrol operation,” Aigistov said.

The OSCE confirmed the information in the Monitoring Mission report that said that two DPR militiamen refused to let the monitors enter the zone citing sniper threat.

The Petrovkoye village is located south of Donetsk. The area around the settlement is a pilot zone for disengagement of forces and hardware, according the Contact Group framework accord reached in September 2016.  The conflicting parties withdrew their units in October 2016, but later on Kiev returned its troops to the withdrawal area.*jk