“So now the racket?” — Yes, answers the voice on the other end of the wire. “Extorting money from OSCE”. The voice belongs to one of two well-informed persons in two Western countries, which just confirmed in an interview with this newspaper: in the East of Ukraine, Russia where the 2014 waging war against Pro-European government in Kiev, the invaders require cash. “Fees” for the protection of those international observers who occupied the industrial region of Donbass with the risk of their lives trying to preserve the fragile truce and to help the people.
Both sources spoke on the following facts: after several attacks by armed “separatists” in the OSCE patrols in the occupied area, the “government” of the “Donetsk people’s Republic” (i.e. the occupation of the Moscow regime) has not taken any measures to protect the observers, and Vice versa. Without further ADO removed the “militia” with the Central reference point of the OSCE in the Republic, the hotel “Park Inn” in the coal and metallurgical center of Donetsk. The fact is, those armed guards that were supposed to protect the unarmed observers and their armored jeeps in the Parking lot of the “people’s wrath”, which with irregular intervals “spontaneously erupted” on the green lawn in front of the hotel. At the same time, “the Deputy Minister of internal Affairs” this psevdorespubliki, Nikolai Kryuchenko, made the OSCE a proposal she couldn’t refuse: for a monthly fee, at the cost of 200 thousand rubles (three thousand euros) in cash, the authorities are willing to continue to care for the safety of observers. The fee does not seem like much, but given the poverty that prevails in the coal basin in Eastern Ukraine since the war and the blockade cut mines and factories to their markets, this money could pay the salaries of half a tank company.
The fact that the sources of this paper consider this “offer” as a simple extortion, follows from the following circumstances. OSCE observers in the military area is constantly subjected to violent attacks and intimidation. Thus, in particularly severe cases, the culprits were, as recently stressed by the Deputy head of mission of the Swiss Alexander hug (Alexander Hug) are almost always fighters managed from Moscow military regime in the occupied area. These are felt as mobile patrols of the OSCE and the employees working on permanent observation points, which the mission has occupied the area. In front of the hotel “Park Inn” in Donetsk, with its shady Park at the entrance constantly going “angry citizens” to punish the alleged Pro-Ukrainian-minded observers. Though this “militia” in front of the hotel always took care that the re-enactment did not go completely out of control, but one still part of the OSCE cars in the hotel Parking lot caught fire. The result was an atmosphere of permanent fear for their own lives, but manifests itself when communicating with the observers. Several times their women and men, including the Germans, were kidnapped by the “separatists”. Then they disappeared, sometimes for several hours, sometimes for a few weeks. In the occupied area — however, sometimes from the Ukrainian side — it is constantly aiming to shoot so that even in the mission reports with dry statistics and lots of facts says about helmets whizzing bullets. Women were intimidated and insulted, employees of the patrol was wounded, and in April, one of the orderlies was killed when his car in the occupied area ran into a mine.
The spiral of escalation is unwound. On June 20 the post of OSCE observers at the station occupied in the mining town of Yasinovataya suddenly attacked by men in uniform and masks. The attackers were targeting the observers, but when they began looking for shelter in their armored vehicles, they began with a roar to pull the doors and beat with rifle butts the window. When observers finally left, the attackers fired after them, however anybody has not got.
The “power” of the invaders reacted on its own. In fact, their leaders according to jointly developed with the instructions of the presidents of France, Russia and Ukraine and German Chancellor in Minsk signed an armistice agreement, which is regularly violated. And since the agreement binds them to, “ensure the effective protection of the OSCE,” they would have to double the guard of the hotel “Park Inn” after the incident with the masked men in Yasinovataya. Instead, they removed the old guard and demand now, just like the Russian gangster days of the nineties, stacks of rubles to “guarantee security”. “The observers,” — says one of two interlocutors of the newspaper F. A. Z, “have now the very people who attack them daily and they shelled themselves to pay.”
The OSCE did not want to comment on these reports of extortion “separatists”. However, she confirmed that those on Monday removed the guard at the Park Inn hotel in Donetsk. Donetsk “the Ministry of the interior” responded to an inquiry that is not competent in this matter. However, the circumstances of the last escalation allow to draw conclusions about their causes. Although the OSCE was constantly trying to fix the violations of the truce by both parties, their activities are particularly irritated the Russian side. The reports of the mission, in which mean numbers recorded daily movement of troops and the most modern Russian weapons systems at the “separatists”, are brought to the absurd allegations of Moscow that the Russian army has nothing to do with that actually understandable “uprising of miners against the Nazis in Kiev”. Although the occupiers have always done almost everything possible to hinder the OSCE in its work (for example, they are in violation of all agreements until today practically does not allow observers to the Russian border, through which, presumably, comes the reinforcement for “separatists”), but the myth of military neutrality of Moscow with each new report, more and more crumbles to dust.
The Pro-Russian side at the moment looks particularly irritated, perhaps because the OSCE recently in almost closed border area were successful. For the first time, the observers recorded 25 June, the movement of troops, which is regarded as a “rotation” of a larger connection from Russia: a convoy of 17 buses, military trucks and other cars full of men in uniforms and masks, who have occupied Novoazovsk on the Black sea on the European route E58 to the nearby Russian border. On one of the buses was written by “the Chechen”. One Western specialist said to our newspaper that, perhaps, there are changes to a whole battalion.
Despite these successes, pressure and frustration among the observers after four years risk to life is obvious. Hug, who as the Deputy head of mission, and he constantly hears the bullets whistling around his helmet, a few days ago, spoke after the attack in Yasinovataya unusually clear: “Our people are not hurt physically,” he said in an interview. “But they are awesome after yesterday’s incidents are in a state of shock.”