The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), the Russian supported separatist enclave in eastern Ukraine bordering Russia, has resorted to using the recent accidental death of an OSCE monitor for propaganda purposes, accusing Ukraine’s military of shelling the region where a land mine blew up a vehicle carrying an OSCE monitoring team and impeding the investigation into the explosion.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry responded to the accusation and dismissed it as groundless and fake. And interactive map developed by the Ukraine Crisis Media Center that tracks fighting in the occupied eastern territories shows that Ukrainian armed forces have not shelled any area around Pryshyb, the village in Luhansk oblast where the OSCE vehicle hit a mine. On Aril 23 all shelling in Luhansk province took place in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska and Valuyivsk, areas held by the separatists.
This fake claim was initiated by LPR representative Vladislay Deynego, who claimed that “one can hear shelling close to the place where the tragedy occurred, about ten explosions”. “This is how the Ukrainian side is hindering the investigation” he said.
During an April 24 briefing about the mine incident OSCE Ukraine Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug did not mention any Ukrainian obstruction into the investigation, nor did he say that the area was being shelled.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also dismissed the shelling accusations as a lie, Ukrainian military have not violated the ceasefire in this area at all, the Ministry said.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Oleksander Motuzianyk said the area where the OSCE vehicle hit a mine is under separatist control since the summer of 2014. He pointed out that according to the Minsk ceasefire agreement, front areas are to be demined, something that Russian supported separatists have ignored.
There is no mention in social media of any shelling in the region where the OSCE vehicle came upon a landmine. There is however a posting about tractor carrying civilians hitting a mine in another area of Luhansk oblast held by the separatists.
Ukrainian MP and military expert Dmitry Tymchuk who coordinates a fact-checking initiative called Information Resistance reported that soon after the OSCE vehicle hit the mine, a RT camera crew arrived on the scene, followed closely by a jeep of civilians who began issuing orders to RT “journalists”.