The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) continues to note the presence of military-type vehicles and unidentified armed men – many of them with white arm-bands and covered faces – in the centre of Luhansk city. This was reported by the OSCE press service.
“The SMM observed overall calm situation in the city. While conducting a patrol, however, the SMM was denied access by unidentified armed men to the intersection of Lermontova and Radianska streets,” the message also says.
It is reported that the OSCE SMM Principal Deputy Chief Monitor arrived in Luhansk to join his colleagues in monitoring the situation.
As it was reported earlier Russia-made armoured vehicles crossed the militant-held section of Ukraine’s state border and entered Luhansk; it took place on Krasnodon district of Luhansk region, where Ukraine’s border guards have no access to the border line.
Users of social networks uploaded videos with Russian tanks on the city’s streets on Tuesday – the same day when well-armed masked fighters appeared in Luhansk.
Given the unstable situation in Luhansk, President Petro Poroshenko called the urgent session of the National Security and Defence Council. ‘The Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready for any scenario and ready to protect peaceful civilians – in the view of the growing number of Russian troops and the recent activity of pro-Kremlin mercenaries,’ he said.
Interior Ministry of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic claimed detention of Ukrainian saboteurs; they allegedly ‘infiltrated the territory of the LPR and planned terrorist acts’ there.
However, it appeared to be a serious internal face-off: local users of social networks reported presence of well-armed men without insignia in the downtown Luhansk; ‘the little green men’ they name them – after the Russian troops, which annexed Ukrainian Crimea in 2014. The ‘guests’ arrived and occupied the city centre so fast many locals did not even understand what was going on. Some even assumed these could be the disguised ‘Ukrainian troops’.