I doubt this will come as any great revelation, but Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine are still hampering the work of OSCE conflict monitors. Russia’s now using the Coronavirus as an additional means in restricting the movement of OSCE patrols. It is the Kremlin’s Coronavirus con.
The below May 4th OSCE report lists the latest restrictions and denials of access imposed on them. Monitors are routinely refused passage through checkpoints, towards gov-controlled and occupied territories. In some instances, land mines and barriers block OSCE vehicles.
Now with the coronavirus, you might say Russia’s sham Donetsk and Luhansk republics are merely putting the safety of their region first. However, any pretence at claiming the humanitarian high ground is shot to pieces by OSCE weekly reports detailing Russia’s still allowing thousands of civilians to cross back and forth into eastern Ukraine from Russia. So why stop a handful of OSCE monitors from crossing back and forth? Russia-led soldiers could just as easily check the health status of OSCE staff, something they claim to be doing to civilians within their territory.
So it’s obvious this is all about taking the opportunity to hinder the work of the OSCE further and has nothing to do with the Coronavirus. Note the OSCE refer to Russia-led forces as “armed formations.”
The below OSCE Status Report for April 6th to 19th, list 50 occasions when soldiers restricted OSCE freedom of movement. All 50 occasions occurred in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government, meaning they were restricted by Russia-led forces.