Russia-backed militants threatened OSCE observers in Donetsk region
Gunmen blocked the way of OSCE SMM’s vehicles, demanding that they leave the area
Members of the so-called DPR blocked the OSCE SMM’s vehicle as the observers were following the trail of an IFV, which came across Lukovo village (some 70 km away from Donetsk). The militants demanded that the monitors leave the area.
‘At 13:49 (July 29, - 112 International), when leaving the area, a second camouflaged-style jeep (vehicle #2), approached from a side road at high speed, almost hit the lead SMM vehicle and came to an abrupt stop in front of the patrol, blocking its way. At the same time, the two armed “DPR” members in vehicle #1 blocked the SMM from behind. Three armed “DPR” members jumped out of vehicle #2 and pointed their guns at the first SMM vehicle in a very aggressive manner and screamed at the driver to open the vehicle door. One “DPR” member made a “cut throat” sign to the SMM and took photographs of both SMM vehicles and the drivers,’ reads the message at the OSCE’s website.
The observers reported that they were ordered to follow the “DPR” members to a checkpoint in Prymorske (76km south of Donetsk, 5km south of Lukove). One of the “DPR” members in vehicle #2 kept his gun pointed at the SMM for the duration. ‘At the checkpoint in Prymorske, nine armed “DPR” members surrounded the first SMM vehicle, swearing and making threatening gestures. One armed “DPR” member stated twice that SMM members should be shot. Another armed “DPR” member twice struck the front left wing of the first patrol vehicle with his rifle butt leaving two dents’, the message said.
At 14:00, the SMM was released from the area and returned safely to its base in Mariupol.
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