: Russian-backed separatist forces obstruct OSCE mission in Donbas - intel

16:50 May. 23, 2016

Russian-backed separatist forces obstruct OSCE mission in Donbas - intel

Ceremony of transfer of 20 armored vehicles from the EU to special monitoring mission of the OSCE, Ukraine (Getty Images)

Militants damage OSCE remote monitoring equipment 

Russian-backed separatist forces continuously block the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in eastern Ukraine. In particular, they arrange so-called protests in the city of Donetsk aimed against the international observers. This is according to Ukraine's Defence Intelligence.

"The command of the Russian troops continues obstructing the operation of the OSCE SMM in the temporarily occupied area of Donetsk region", the statement reads

Read also Parties to Donbas conflict cannot agree on number of armed police mission

"On May 22 in the city of Donetsk according to the order of the commander of the first Army corps (Donetsk) Major General Valeriy Asapov, a "protest movement" was arranged in order to artificially demonstrate a negative attitude of local residents towards international observers as well as power supply of the OSCE SMM remote monitoring equipment was cut off in the area of the Donetsk airport", the intelligence informs.

Armed members of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic disconnected the equipment of the monitoring mission claiming they had the order to do so by Alexander Zakharchenko (the self-proclaimed leader on the occupied territory of Donetsk).

The OSCE says the equipment installment was previously agreed upon by all parties, however, militants disabled the SMM's cameras in the Donetsk airport area.

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