Another monitoring group abducted in Ukraine

The five-person team was abducted by armed separatists in Luhansk.

By Ed Adamczyk
Members of the Ukrainian National Guard. UPI/Ivan Vakolenko
Members of the Ukrainian National Guard. UPI/Ivan Vakolenko | License Photo

KIEV , Ukraine, May 30 (UPI) -- Another election-monitoring team is missing in eastern Ukraine, the second in two days, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported Friday.

The organization said it lost contact with the five monitors in Luhansk, a stronghold of pro-Russian resistance, who were traveling in two vehicles and were detained by armed separatists. Four others were confirmed abducted earlier in the week and are being held by separatists in the Donetsk region.


International monitors have typically been detained several hours and then released, but the two incidents this week indicate an escalation of tensions after the May 25 presidential election, won by pro-unity candidate Petro Poroshenko. The abductions also came during a week in which a Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down in the eastern region, causing the deaths of 15 soldiers aboard, including a general of the Ukrainian National Guard.

The Kiev government, after the election, said it would continue to increase military operations against the separatists.

Luhansk and Donetsk declared themselves "sovereign republics" after a May 11 referendum on self-rule in eastern Ukraine.


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