In Horlivka, Donetsk region of Ukraine, employees of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission were taken hostage, reported the representative of Donetsk in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) for Donbass Sergey Garmash. Presumably, the members of the mission ended up in the hands of pro-Russian militants. They demanded the release of their accomplice, who had previously been detained by the Ukrainian military.
Garmash clarified with reference to report mission that on October 17, two men aged 30-39 in civilian clothes entered the hotel where the OSCE SMM was stationed. Visitors said that the mission members were allowed to move freely throughout the hotel and the parking lot behind it, while at the same time they were not allowed to leave the hotel grounds.
The mission report mentions the taking hostage of two of its members. But Sergei Garmash suggests that there were even more mission members at the hotel.
The representative of Donetsk stressed that in exchange for the release of the OSCE SMM, unknown persons demand the release of a member of illegal armed groups who was detained by Ukrainian military personnel within the disengagement area in the Zolote region on October 13.
“Let me remind you that the OSCE is 57 states, and all decisions in it are made by consensus. That is, Russia also gave its consent to the sending of the OSCE SMM to Donbass and guarantees of immunity to its members. And the fact that the members of the mission are de facto being held hostage by militants financed and controlled by Russia is a challenge to the Kremlin junta to all the other 56 OSCE member states, ”added Sergei Garmash.
Earlier it became known that the OSCE SMM in the Donetsk region actually ceased its work due to “protests” that are taking place under the buildings of hotels where the mission’s staff live. Participants in these actions demand the release of Andrei Kosyak, who was detained by Ukrainian servicemen in the area of the Golden Militant.
In turn, the OSCE SMM continues its activities in the part of the Luhansk region not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, despite the termination of work in occupied Donetsk for security reasons.
43-year-old Andrey Kosyak is suspected by law enforcement agencies of committing a grave crime in 2010, qualified under Art. 115 (murder) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. During the arrest, weapons and ammunition were seized from him, transfers Interfax-Ukraine.
During the general meeting of the group, the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG reported that the Russian armed formations had resorted to a gross provocation. “At about 10:45 am, a group of armed men with armbands from the Joint Ceasefire Coordination and Control Center (JCCC), under the guise of demining, was reconnoitring the abandoned positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the delegation explained.
At the same time, security guarantees were provided by the Ukrainian side to carry out demining work with a clear indication of the routes of movement and determination of the maximum point of advance towards the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as part of the work on equipping the terrain for opening from the temporarily occupied territories of the checkpoint (checkpoint of entry-exit) “Gold”.
According to the speaker of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG Oleksiy Arestovich, the detained Kosyak is a citizen of the Russian Federation. His passport was issued in February 2021 by the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for the Rostov Region. His detention is connected with violation of the border of the zone allowed for movement in the area of the Joint Forces Operation. “In fact, they were conducting reconnaissance of our positions,” Arestovich said.