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  • » 05/03/2014, 00.00


    Ukraine, OECD observers released: all in good health

    The group - made up of 7 foreigners and 5 Ukrainians – had been held by pro-Russian separatist militias in the eastern part of the country for a week. The release took place "without conditions": the observers are in good condition. Moscow blames Kiev for Odessa violence, which resulted in approximately 40 deaths, and announces: "We no longer have any influence over the separatists".

    Kiev (AsiaNews) - The seven international observers taken hostage last week in eastern Ukraine were released this morning. Along with them 5 other Ukrainian officials, who work for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were also released. The pro-Russian separatists in the city of Sloviansk responsible for the kidnapping, said that the release took place "without conditions". Those released are all in good health.

    In the meantime, however, violence continues to rage in the area: Kiev has relaunched a military intervention against the separatists, and clashes of varying intensity are reported.  Russia, accused by the West of being behind the unrest, says it "no longer has any influence" over the separatists. Moscow also accused Kiev and the West of responsibility for the violence in the south-western city of Odessa, which left at least 40 people dead.

    Vladimir Lukin, the Kremlin's envoy to negotiate the release of the OECD officials, said he hoped the "voluntary act" by the separatists would be reciprocated by Kiev, adding: "I would very much like military actions to end". President Vladimir Putin's spokesman in Moscow, Dmitry Peskov, said: "From now on Russia essentially has lost its influence over these people because it will be impossible to convince them to lay down arms when there's a direct threat to their lives".


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    See also

    26/08/2014 RUSSIA-UKRAINE
    Putin and Poroshenko meet in Minsk
    No one expresses hopes for an end to growing tensions. Russia wants to send a new aid convoy to the rebel regions and calls for the cooperation of the Red Cross and the Kiev government. Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine. Date for next elections set for October 26.

    01/10/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA
    Donetsk, separatists carry icon in procession: stopped from entering church
    The icon had come from Russia, but the Orthodox clergy were directed to have "no ties" with the militia, much less to give them their blessing. The miraculous icon is that of the Blessed Mother of God of Tikhvin, also called "militia".

    08/04/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church urges Putin to prevent war and the country's division
    Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate talks about a message personally written by the Church's pro temp head Onufry to the Russian president. As Kyiv launches an anti-terrorist operation against pro-Russian groups in the east, Russia warns against "civil war."

    08/09/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    With truce teetering, Moscow threatens "asymmetric" response to any new sanctions
    One death was reported yesterday in Mariupol. In Donetsk, as the day ended calm fell on the city after shelling caused fires. With the West threatening new economic sanctions, Medvedev threatens to close Russian airspace to Western airliners.

    19/07/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA
    Ukraine, inquiry into downed flight hindered
    Despite yesterday’s statements, pro-Russian separatists restrict OSCE observers access to area. Mystery on the actual responsibility. The White House claims "Putin has the power to defuse violence but does not want to”. The Pope prays for victims and calls on all parties to the conflict "for peace and for a commitment to find negotiated solutions."

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