Russia’s harassment of the OSCE in Ukraine is sadly nothing new, however yesterday, things took an ugly turn. OSCE report, a patrol was stopped at a checkpoint. Soldiers demanded to check the vehicles contents. Ominously, soldiers said if the monitors did not comply with their demands, or leave the area, they would call a “special forces team,” who would take them to another location.
For those involved, this must have been distressing and indeed frightening experience. Due to Russian forces moving military equipment and not wanting the OSCE to see it, monitors are routinely delayed at checkpoints. However, this is the first time a patrol has been threatened with detention. 2018 has seen a dramatic upscale in what can only be described as organised and Russian condoned aggression shown towards OSCE monitors, many of which are women. If it continues, one fears it can only lead to the eventual injuring or killing of OSCE staff.
Horlivka is on the front line, not far from the Russian occupied city of Donetsk.