The OSCE Is Unable to Confirm the Presence of Russian Troops in Donbass

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the OSCE can’t confirm the presence in Donbass of Russian troops per se, but pays attention to proof of the involvement of foreign citizens and arms in the conflict. This was stated by the Secretary-General of the OSCE Lamberto Zannier during a briefing, reports Interfax Ukraine.

“When I am asked whether there are Russian organisations there (troops), I, with reference to the information of our observers, say that there aren’t these organisations per se there. But we see the existence of military equipment from the outside. In addition, we see a big presence of equipment and fuel, it also arrived from somewhere. Also, in the region there are foreign military personnel,” he noted.

At the same time Zannier emphasized that such military personnel themselves recognize this, but say that they arrived to fight according to a private order.

“And these fighters deny that they have official relations with the Russian Federation. There are also people who not only shoot, but manage sophisticated military technology and equipment,” he added.

Zannier noted that he would like to refrain from drawing some parallels with other known military conflicts, but, according to him, what distinguishes the conflict in the east of Ukraine from others that are similar, from even Yugoslavia, is the existence of a large number of arms and military equipment.

“We abstain from making estimates, our task is to promote the establishment of dialogue, to promote the creation of a platform on which the involved parties can discuss the situation, including economic interests,” he summarized.

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