The SMM observed a serious deterioration in the security situation in the Avdiivka Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport triangle. On 31 January, it recorded the highest number of ceasefire violations since the beginning of the crisis in 2014. Through the active involvement of the SMM and the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) on the ground, violence levels dropped considerably towards the end of the same week.
The SMM noted the negative impact the upsurge in violence has had on the civilian population and, in particular, on critical infrastructure and residential areas, which were increasingly caught up in the violence. The number of casualties among civilians inevitably rose, with the SMM confirming 25 cases, including seven fatalities, from 29 January to 5 February.
In his statements, the SMM Chief Monitor Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan condemned the indiscriminate use of violence costing lives of the local population and damage to civilian infrastructure. He called upon the sides to immediately cease fire and withdraw weapons in compliance with the agreements reached in Minsk as well as to respect humanitarian law a protect civilians and infrastructure.
On 5 February, after five days of negotiations by the SMM and sustained monitoring on both sides of the contact line in and around the Donetsk water filtration station, repair crews repaired power lines damaged in shelling. The electricity supply to Avdiivka and the Donetsk water filtration station was restored after a week-long blackout.
On 3 February, in “LPR”-controlled Kalynove, an armed man pointed a gun in the direction of an SMM team. Shortly after, the monitors heard a gunshot and left the area.