SLAVYANSK, April 27. /ITAR-TASS/. A German officer out of the ‘group of experts’ detained Friday by volunteers in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk told news conference Sunday he and his fellow-military from other European countries were getting fair treatment from the detainers and their personal security was warranted by the city mayor, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov.
Axel Schneider, a colonel of Bundeswehr, said this at a news conference organized by Slavyansk self-defense forces.
He said the people’s mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, gave them a word of honor that no harm would be done to them and he kept the word, and that is why members of the group believed him.
Schneider said experts of the group were in good health and no one had done anything damaging to them after their detention. He added he did not known when their release might take place.
He said members of the group had spoken much to the people who had been guarding them since their arrival in Slavyansk and they had learned much about how the situation was affecting the locals’ families and how the current situation was exerting impact on people’s lives.
Schneider said the group members were stunned by seeing the local levels of poverty.
He claimed the group had come to the area in the capacity of OSCE observers with a diplomatic mission and mayor Ponomaryov told them he was considering them to be his guests.
Scheider said he could attest to the fact the mayor’s word was really a word of honor because no actions of physical assault had been taken against the observers and the treatment given to them was as respectful as it could only be in those conditions.
He said the mayor’s promise would most likely be observed throughout the group’s stay in Slavyansk and in the region and no one would do any harm to the officers, including the military interpreter.
Schneider said he did not have any information to indicate that the officers might be sent away to their home countries.