KYIV, 23 October 2014 – The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) today successfully completed the maiden flight of its unarmed/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) before members of the media near Mariupol in eastern Ukraine. The roll-out of the UAV operations in eastern Ukraine will continue Friday with, weather permitting, routine operational flights.
The UAVs, the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100, are being provided, flown and maintained by an Austrian company Schiebel under contract to the OSCE and operated under the authority and direction of the SMM, with the Mission’s monitors in close attendance. The data collected is the property of the OSCE and for the Organization’s use only.
The Mission’s use of its UAVs aims at supporting the fulfilment of its mandate through complementary aerial information-gathering focused on monitoring the general security situation in Ukraine.
The UAVs will also be used for other tasks that are in line with the SMM’s mandate; such as monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol of 5 September and the Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014.
“The UAVs will enhance existing monitoring capabilities in fulfilment of our mandate in Ukraine,” said Chief Monitor Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan. “They will compliment what our monitors observe on the ground, which will still be our primary source of information gathering.”
Initially, and until further notice, the SMM’s UAV will operate over the area south of Donetsk down to the Sea of Azov, eastwards as far as the Ukrainian-Russian state border and westwards towards the line of contact.
Source: OSCE Media release
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