Two armed militants from the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) threatened observers of the OSCE SMM observers in Luhansk region. The reason for aggressive behavior was that the OSCE monitors allegedly congratulated local residents on the Constitution Day of Ukraine. This episode was mentioned in the latest report by OSCE SMM in Ukraine.
‘In “LPR”-controlled Vesela Hora, two “LPR” members (males, 25-30 years old) armed with assault (7.62mm) rifles, wearing grey camouflaged clothing without insignia or badges and with black balaclavas covering their faces approached the SMM vehicles. They asked the SMM patrol members in both vehicles if they had been in the same settlement the day before and alleged that SMM members had congratulated residents on the day of the Ukrainian constitution. The armed men told the SMM members that they would shoot the SMM members if such a message was repeated,’ the report says.
Previously, OSCE SMM observers had to evacuate their field office in Popasna, Luhansk region, due to an armed attack by Russia-backed militants.