OSCE chief: Russian units not in Donbass — no mention of troops and snipers from Poland and the Baltics
September 12, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Novosinform, translated by Tom Winter –
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) can not confirm the presence of Russian troops in the Donbass as such, but draws attention to evidence of involvement of foreign citizens and weapons in the conflict. This was stated by OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.
“When I am asked if there are Russian units there, I, referring to the information from our observers, say that these units are not there as such, but we see the presence of military equipment from the outside. In addition, we see a large presence of equipment and fuel, which came from somewhere, in addition, there are foreign military personnel in the region,” he said.
At the same time, Zannier stressed that such military men themselves acknowledge this, but they say that they came on their own.
“And these fighters deny that they have an official connection with the Russian Federation. There are also people who do not just shoot but control complex military gear and equipment,” he added.
Zannier noted that he would like to refrain from drawing any parallels with other known military conflicts, but, in his opinion, what distinguishes the conflict in the east of Ukraine, from other similar ones, and even from Yugoslavia, is the presence of a large quantity of weapons and military equipment.
“We abstain from assessments, our task is to promote dialogue, to promote the creation of a platform on which the parties involved can discuss the situation, including economic interests,” he concluded.
It should be noted that on May 2, in an interview with RBC-Ukraine, the Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and internally displaced persons, Georgy Tuka officially recognized that there are no Russian troops on the territory of the Donbass.
Yet, Zannier did not focus on the fact that foreign mercenaries are constantly streaming into the Donbass from the Ukrainian side. As recently as March, foreign mercenaries arrived in the occupied territory of the Lugansk Peoples Republic. Military instructors from the Baltic states and Poland have been stationed 10 km from the village of Borovskoye, in the Severodonetsk area, on the base of one of the scout camps. They are training the military personnel in the tactics of fighting in urban conditions, as well as conducting subversive activities.
We add that in the same month, the reconnaissance of the Donetsk Peoples Republic revealed the positions of ten sniper pairs from among the mercenaries of Polish private military companies.