Invaders continue to deny SMM patrols passage at checkpoints in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

On March 25, members of the armed formations again denied an attempt of the SMM to cross into non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, while a further attempt to cross into non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region, both along official crossing routes, was also denied.

According to an OSCE report, at about 9:50 at a checkpoint near Olenivka (non-government-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), three members of the armed formations denied an SMM patrol – comprising two vehicles and five members travelling from Mariupol (government-controlled, 102km south of Donetsk) – passage into non-government-controlled areas, citing “the closure of the checkpoint due to quarantine”.

At around the same time, at the checkpoint of the armed formations south of Stanytsia Luhanska bridge (15km north-east of Luhansk), a member of the armed formations denied an SMM foot patrol – comprising three members walking from government-controlled areas – passage into non-government-controlled areas, citing “orders from superiors”.

The Mission began facing repeated denials when attempting to cross into non-government-controlled areas at checkpoints of the armed formations in Donetsk region on 21 March and Luhansk region on 23 March. These restrictions to the SMM’s freedom of movement across the contact line are an impediment to the implementation of its mandate throughout the country.

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