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‘DPR’ militants threaten OSCE observers at gunpoint in occupied territory of east Ukraine

On Friday July 29, members of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ stopped vehicles of the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE in Ukraine near militant-controlled Lukove village, Donetsk region and threatened them at gunpoint, said to leave the area, according to the OSCE SMM report
‘DPR’ militants threaten OSCE observers at gunpoint in occupied territory of east Ukraine

“The SMM saw fresh tracks, assessed as caused by an infantry fighting vehicle leading south from “DPR”-controlled Lukove (72km south of Donetsk). At 13:47, while following the tracks, it was stopped by two armed “DPR” members who blocked the road with a camouflaged-style jeep (vehicle #1) and pointed their guns at the SMM. They ordered the SMM to leave the area, which they did,” said in the report.

According to the OSCE report, when the Mission vehicle was 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.”

Then three armed militants from the vehicle #2 “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,” the report said.

“The SMM was 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 this point the patrol called the SMM Regional Security Officer, who in turn informed the Joint Centre for Control and Co-operation. 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 SMM reported.

Eventually, at 14:00, militants released the SMM from the area. Then the observers returned safely to Mariupol.