Monday, 28 April 2014

Ukraine separatists stir tensions

Two of the eight captive members of an OSCE military verification
team are marched in under armed guard for a press conference 
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has dispatched a negotiating team to the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk try to secure the release of OSCE observers being held by armed pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, an OSCE spokeswoman said April 26, Reuters reported…The pro-Russian group has offered to release the observers…The OSCE’s monitors are part of a German-led military verification mission which went to Ukraine in early March at Kiev's request…The separatists holding the observers captive said they found a Ukrainian spy traveling with the party…Meanwhile, Russian military aircraft repeatedly crossed over into Ukrainian airspace overnight, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said April 27, Euronews reported… The aircraft may have been testing Ukrainian radar or making a show of force, the officials said…A Pentagon spokesman called on Russia to immediately de-escalate the situation…Tensions are running high in eastern Ukraine as Kiev dispatches troops to dismantle pro-Russian checkpoints while armed “protesters” storm municipal buildings…Kiev has failed to show convincing evidence it can bring the region under its control…Thousands of Russian troops remain stationed close to the border …The troops could simply be posturing or be waiting for a pretext before entering Ukraine proper on behalf of the pro-Russian “protesters”…Releasing the OSCE observers is important for Berlin because it wants to avoid a major economic confrontation with Moscow which would undermine efforts to stabilise Europe's economy and sour important business ties between Germany and Russia…Moscow will gain an important propaganda win if the observers are freed resulting from its intervention.

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