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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

OSCE plans to fly drones over eastern Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:36AM GMT

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is planning to deploy drones to monitor the conflict zone in Ukraine's volatile eastern regions, reports say.

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said in a report on Saturday that the security watchdog plans to provide surveillance drones for its monitoring mission in Ukraine's east.

Citing German media, the report said the drones would need technical ability to reach the altitude of 4,000 meters (13,100 feet) in order to determine moving objects at a distance of several kilometers.

According to the Russian news agency, Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE chairman Didier Burkhalter has agreed on the proposal with officials from Russia and Ukraine.

The move comes as the United States has accused Russia of directly shelling eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian government troops are fighting pro-Russian forces. Russia has denied the accusations, calling them a baseless "smear campaign." Moscow has said that it is the Russian territory that has been shelled by Ukrainian forces.

Russia has reported that dozens of shells fired by Ukrainian forces in Ukraine's volatile eastern regions have fallen on its Rostov region.

On July 13, artillery shells from Ukraine hit the Rostov area, killing a 46-year-old man and seriously injuring two others. The fatal incident prompted Moscow to warn Kiev of "irreversible consequences, for which Ukraine will bear responsibility."

The Kiev government has denied involvement in the deadly incident and has instead blamed it on the pro-Russian forces.

Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since mid-April.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has also forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia, with the majority arriving to the Russian Rostov region.

CAH/HJL



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