The Organization for Security and Cooperation on Europe has suspended its monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine following protests near its headquarters in separatist-controlled Donetsk, the chief monitor said on Sunday.
About 200 pro-Russian protesters confronted OSCE monitors on Saturday to demand the release of a rebel officer captured by the Ukrainian military last week. The mission had faced previous protests organized by Moscow-backed separatists, but this time demonstrators appeared to block the entrance to the hotel where the monitors are based.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
“Because of our safety concerns and because of our safety rules and considerations we suspended our operations,” Yaşar Halit Çevik told Reuters, though he added that the monitors had not yet felt threatened by the protesters.
The conflict dates back to 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, saying the move was justified to protect the ethnic Russian population after street protests ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, a Kremlin ally.
Ukraine says the fighting between separatist rebels and the Ukrainian military has killed 14,000 people. Moscow rejects Kyiv’s allegations that is has fomented the conflict and denies having forces in eastern Ukraine.
The rebels claim the Ukrainian military captured one of their officers, Andrei Kosyak, near the front line on Wednesday while he was part of a joint committee that was overseeing a ceasefire.
The Ukrainian defense ministry said that Kosyak, who it said was a Russian citizen, belonged to a group of Russian servicemen who had carried out an undercover reconnaissance mission.
Donetsk rebel leader calls for attachment to RussiaAnnouncement by self-styled head of the ‘People’s Republic of Donestk’ comes a day after a referendum was held in east Ukraine World News
France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia agree to ministerial-level meetingGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had phone calls on Monday with the presidents of Ukraine and Russia to discuss ... World News
Ukraine to produce Turkish armed drones: MinisterUkraine on Thursday said it will build a factory to produce Turkish armed drones that Kiev previously bought to use against pro-Russian separatists in ... World News
Ukraine parliament passes law to limit oligarchs’ influence on politicsUkrainian lawmakers on Thursday approved a law aimed at limiting the influence of oligarchs on politics.The move comes a day after the car of a top ... World News
Russian navy practices firing at Black Sea targets as Ukraine, US hold drillsRussia’s navy practiced firing at targets in the Black Sea off the coast of annexed Crimea using its Bastion coastal missile defense system, Russia’s ... World News
Ukraine, US to hold joint military drillsUkraine said the “RAPID TRIDENT – 2021” exercises would involve 6,000 troops from 15 countries - Ukraine, the United States and other NATO members – and would last till Oct. 1. World News
Shots fired at car carrying Ukraine president top aide, driver wounded: PoliceA volley of shots was fired at a car carrying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s principal aide on Wednesday morning, wounding the driver in ... World News
Russia election breaks international law: Ukraine FMUkraine on Thursday accused Russia of breaching international law by hosting parliamentary elections on the Crimean peninsula and allowing residents ... World News
Ukraine President: War with Russia possible, Moscow: He’s ‘divorced from reality’Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday an all-out war with Russia was a possibility, to which Moscow responded by saying he was ... World News