OSCE observers are leaving, DPR says

SMM OSCE cars are filmed heading towards Russian borders to evacuate

Monitors of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) were leaving Donetsk People’s Republic and heading towards the Russian border, as reported on Tuesday by a DPR representative of the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination.

They [OSCE SMM monitors] have already left Donetsk and are heading towards the Russian border through “Uspenka” checkpoint. They’ll further evacuate from its territory”, the source claimed, as cited by Russian news agency Interfax.

On Monday, OSCE issued its weekly report on Ukraine. The organization stated it managed to evacuate most of its international observers in compliance with the decision made on February, 25.

Все машины мониторинговой миссии ОБСЕ уезжают из Донецка, сообщил руководитель представительства ДНР в Совместном центре по контролю и координации режима прекращения огня Руслан Якубов.

Видео: Валентин Спринчак/ТАСС pic.twitter.com/IvscGixXx5

— ТАСС (@tass_agency) March 1, 2022

It also reported that the SMM monitoring teams remained in shelters in Kharkov and Kherson due to “continuing fighting”, while teams from patrol centers in Donetsk and Lugansk were preparing for evacuation.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission began its work in Ukraine on March 21, 2014, after the decision to launch the mission was supported by 57 member states. About 1,000 monitors take part in the mission.

Last Thursday Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine, claiming it was necessary to “demilitarize” Ukraine to protect the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and Russian security interests. The international community has reacted with indignation and imposed heavy sanctions against Moscow and select officials.

The first round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine was conducted on Monday and lasted for five hours, after which the representatives were recalled to their superiors for “further consultations”.

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