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OSCE: 'No demands so far' from abductors of OSCE monitors in Ukraine

The OSCE reiterated Monday that the two monitoring teams abducted by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine last week have not yet been released and their captors have not issued any demands.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   June 2, 2014 at 6:46 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, June 2 (UPI) -- Two groups of OSCE monitors have not yet been released by their captors in eastern Ukraine and no demands have been made, an OSCE official said Monday.

Speaking at a briefing in Kiev, Michael Bociurkiw, the press secretary for the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine, said "We're engaged in dialogue on a wide number of levels to get our colleagues back to base." But so far, "we have received no demands."

The first monitoring group, comprised of four people from Estonia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Denmark, was detained by a pro-Russian separatist group identifying itself as the Sloviansk self-defense forces on May 26.

OSCE lost contact with the second group of four monitors and a translator on May 29 after the group was taken by armed separatists in Luhansk, a stronghold of the pro-Russian resistance.

Bociurkiw added that because of the security situation in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE is reformatting its mission in the region. It is unclear what changes will be implemented.

The OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine consists of 294 monitors.

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