Interview with Alexander Hug: OSCE monitor says most of restrictions are in separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine

12:16 Oct. 19, 2016

OSCE monitor says most of restrictions are in separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine

Alexander Hug deputy chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, seen by a school building damaged in a shelling attack on the village of Zaitseve (Getty Images)

"Impunity for violations and interference in the OSCE mandate is an open invitation to commit more,"  Alexander Hug says

A senior member of the monitoring mission in Ukraine from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says 70 percent of the restrictions imposed on the free movement of monitors since May has been in areas outside of the control of Ukraine's government.

Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, made the remark in an October 18 interview with RFE/RL.

Hug said the restrictions imposed in parts of eastern Ukraine under the control of Russia-backed separatists usually occur in one of three ways.

"We are either stopped and blocked from proceeding further, we can only continue further under certain conditions, or we are delayed for hours at a certain checkpoint before we then can go further," Hug explained.

Hug also said drone planes used by monitors are shot at or have their transmissions jammed, or have their cameras sabotaged.

"What is important is that each of these incidents must be followed up on by those who have effective control. Impunity for these instances is an open invitation for those on the ground to commit more because they don't fear any consequences of interfering with our activities on the ground," Hug told RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak.

About 700 OSCE monitors have been active in Ukraine since March 2014. They have a mandate to observe the security situation across all of Ukraine, including the zone along the almost 400-kilometer stretch of border currently not controlled by the government.

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