OSCE Denies Their Vehicles Were Seized By Ukrainian Nationalists
07:41 GMT 01.03.2022 (Updated: 23:44 GMT 02.03.2022)
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine early in the morning on Thursday, 24 February, responding to calls from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics for help in countering the aggression of Ukrainian forces.
In a statement, the OSCE stated that previous reports about their vehicles being stolen were false.
Prior to the statement, it was reported that Ukrainian nationalists seized around 20 OSCE SMM vehicles in Kramatorsk and that the fate of the mission staff remains unknown.
Earlier, the OSCE SMM stated in its daily report that monitoring teams in Donetsk and Lugansk were waiting to be evacuated through Russia. Prior to this, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid said that she had decided to remove all members of the OSCE mission from Ukraine as soon as possible.
On Thursday, Russia began a special operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, responding to calls from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics for help in countering the aggression of Ukrainian forces.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces strike only at the military infrastructure and Ukrainian forces, nothing threatens the civilian population. With the support of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the DPR and LPR groups are developing an offensive. But there is no talk of the occupation of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised.
Prior to that, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognising the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
In the past weeks, the situation along the line of contact has significantly deteriorated as Ukrainian forces intensified the shelling of Donbass.
THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED FOLLOWING A STATEMENT BY THE OSCE