Pro-Russian separatists abduct OSCE monitors in eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, who were identified as the Sloviansk self-defense forces, have detained four OSCE monitors. The Ukrainian foreign ministry confirmed their detention and said Wednesday that "work on their release is being continued now."

By JC Finley

KIEV, Ukraine, May 29 (UPI) -- Four members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's special monitoring mission in Ukraine have been taken hostage by pro-Russian separatists.

They have been held since Monday by a group identified by Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for the people's Mayor of Sloviansk, as the Sloviansk self-defense forces. "The have been detained ... We had warned them not to go near defense positions, but they did not heed the warning, and we had to detain them," she said.


The spokeswoman alleged that "some of the detained did not belong to the OSCE mission. They have been kept captive until all circumstances are clarified." She did not specify what "circumstances" require clarification.

When asked where the captives were being held, Khorosheva responded "they were not in Sloviansk."

Ukrainian foreign ministry information policy department director Yevhen Perebyinis confirmed that the four OSCE monitors "are being detained by a pro-Russia group and work on their release is being continued now."

Latest Headlines