Monday, August 14 2017 15:50 EEST
Armed man at Stanytsia Luhanska bridge threatens to shoot OSCE SMM patrol members
Armed, Stanytsia,  Luhanska,  OSCE,  SMM

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has reported that an armed man at the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge threatened to shoot SMM patrol members.

"On 13 August at 09:45, an SMM patrol consisting of four members was on foot immediately south of the broken section of the pedestrian bridge south of government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), next to a forward 'LPR' position inside the disengagement area," the OSCE SMM said in a spot report.

As the SMM patrol was monitoring civilians crossing the wooden ramps, an unarmed man wearing military-style clothing approached and spoke to the SMM, but the patrol members could not fully understand him, as he spoke in broken Russian with a strong accent assessed as from the northern Caucasus. He walked away from the patrol but two minutes later returned with an assault rifle (AK-variant) and – with exaggerated motions – adjusted the rifle's magazine, disengaged its safety catch, and pointed it at the patrol from about 3m away. Two unarmed men in military-style clothing were also present. The armed man gestured with his rifle to the patrol to move, loudly saying (in Russian), "You are all spies. You do not have to walk near our positions. You have nothing to do here at all. Get out of here. I will count to three, and if you do not leave, I will shoot". He then began to count (in Russian), "One… two...". The Mission patrol leader spoke up to interrupt the count, saying that the patrol would move. The SMM immediately returned to its two armored vehicles, which were parked south of the bridge, and departed the area."

The Mission informed the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination about the incident and requested that it follow up, reads the report.

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