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4 remaining OSCE observers set free in E. Ukraine

Published time: June 28, 2014 17:49
Edited time: June 28, 2014 22:14

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Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have said that the other four OSCE representatives were set free in eastern Ukraine. The group had been kept in the region since the end of May on suspicion of gathering intelligence.

A Donetsk People’s Republic spokesman told journalists on Saturday that four members of a monitoring group of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been freed from detention and brought to the city of Donetsk.

“Four OSCE observers have been released and are being transferred to Donetsk,” the spokesman said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Aleksandr Boroday, told reporters that the observers were freed on the territory of Lugansk People's Republic. “There were a lot of commanders there and it was not that easy to free them. Nevertheless, we managed to do so,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed Russia's role in securing the release of the observers. “Russia has contributed to this commission and has helped ensure a release [of the OSCE captives] was possible. I am happy about that and I hope that the four observers, including one German citizen, are able to travel out of Ukraine tomorrow," he told journalists in Berlin.

Kiev has confirmed the release of the observers, with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s spokesman saying that the foreign nationals are being released “within the framework of carrying out the peace plan” of the president.

Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Mark Etherington, asked for some privacy for the released observers when speaking to reporters.

“We request our friends and colleagues in the press now allow them [freed observers] the peace, quiet, and time with their families that they both need and deserve. Many people, both inside and outside our mission, have worked tirelessly to secure their release and we take this opportunity to publicly thank them,” he said.

Another group of four OSCE observers was released overnight on Thursday. The group included citizens of Estonia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Denmark.

Local self-defense forces detained both groups, as well as another one in April, on suspicion that the foreigners were gathering intelligence for NATO or Kiev. As for the groups detained in May, various authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics gave conflicting accounts of the reasons behind the detentions, but said the observers were treated well.

The groups never notified the self-proclaimed authorities of their mission and had been moving in the battle zone despite the latter’s demands to halt such activity for their own safety. Following their detentions, the observers were allowed to communicate via Skype.

Comments (26)


Mcsymm McSymm 29.06.2014 11:07

Russian journalists from newspaper Zvezda were captured and tortured by ukrainian secret service. One of the guys was beaten up and become deaf on one ear. Italian journalist was murdered by ukrainian army shelling. And two russians - journalist and video-operator were murdered when they filmed refugee from east ukraine. They were in the group of civilians when ukrainian army set mortar shells on them.
I say one more time, OSCE people were lucky that they didn't become ukrainian army victims.


Matt Janovic 29.06.2014 10:30

Mr. Pravda confuses handcuffed victims of Kiev regime. Sergiyenko was with Svoboda. Poor Saskko Bilyi of Right Sector committed suicide while in handcuffs.
Sergi yenko and Sashko both talked too much, and annoyed some of the new liberal rulers and were handled accordingly.


Matt Janovic 29.06.2014 10:17

Silly to claim that OSCE or UN observers are used for any mission except forward observers.
Occasionally, the are honest. When they are, their reports are buried.
"Ms Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general and prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)...said further investigation was needed.
"I was a little bit stupefied by the first indications we got... they were about the use of nerve gas by the opposition," she said.

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