News agency 'Vchasno'

"Fightings in Donbas Can Break Out at Any Time," - the Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM Alexander Hug

Despite the ceasefire in Donbas, the situation is far from peaceful and the fighting can break out at any time.

This opinion was voiced by the Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM Alexander Hug in an interview with the Voice of America.

The diplomat noted that the war in the east of Ukraine has signs of an outwardly imposed conflict because the civilian population does not consider residents of the territories on the opposite side as the enemy and stressed that about 40,000 people cross the front line daily.

In the conversation, Alexander Hug acknowledged that the OSCE probably sees "only the tip of the iceberg," because, on both sides of the contact line, observers are often viewed as a problem.

"We are often stopped when carrying out missions. It can be passive hindrances: minefields, or other barriers, but also cases of active interference in our patrolling. We are stopped at checkpoints and they do not let us, we are threatened. In the most serious cases, we are intimidated with the use of weapons,"- said Hug.

Emphasizing that obstacles are being carried out almost everywhere, the OSCE representative said that more cases of forceful pressure and intimidation occur in territories not controlled by the Ukrainian government.

Alexander Hug said that he considered the work of the OSCE observers in Donbas to be very necessary in order to create conditions for a dialogue based on facts.

"The fact that 40,000 people cross the contact line every day is very promising, not always in the cases of conflicts, the lane is crossed so often.The contact line is usually the boundary, and in this conflict, it is not. It does not exist in people's heads. It is a tragic reality ... Even by the very fact of the crossing of that line, they declare that they do not want this conflict, they always tell us that this is not their conflict," Hug said in an interview with Voice of America in London.