Sunday, 29 June 2014

4 OSCE observers set free in E. Ukraine – Donetsk self-defense forces

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. 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. 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.

from The Russophile