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OSCE Monitoring Drone Shot Down Over Eastern Ukraine

OSCE observers watch a test flight of a surveillance drone along the eastern front line in Ukraine's Donetsk region last year.

A surveillance drone operated by monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in eastern Ukraine has been shot down near the government-controlled village of Popasna in the Luhansk region.

The incident occurred on January 10, according to a report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine published the next day.

The drone was being used to monitor a snow-removal operation when it came under small-arms fire from a position estimated at about 2 kilometers to the east.

The drone crashed, and the monitors were unable to recover it.

The SMM has lost several surveillance drones in recent months. In November 2018, a drone was shot down near Ukraine's border with Russia, while on January 2, another drone was shot down in the Luhansk region.

According to the United Nations, more than 10,300 people have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine between the government and Russia-back separatist formations since April 2014.

The International Criminal Court ruled in November 2016 was "an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation."