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Swedish authorities confirm release of military observer in Sloviansk

April 28, 2014, 1:45 UTC+3 STOCKHOLM
He was arrested by the self-defense forces of the Donbass on the suspicion of spying activity
1 pages in this article
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Member of the OSCE military observers delegation, Thomas Johansson (C) of Sweden
Member of the OSCE military observers delegation, Thomas Johansson (C) of Sweden
Member of the OSCE military observers delegation, Thomas Johansson (C) of Sweden
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
A group of Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) delegates are escorted by pro-Russian militants as they arrive to attempt to negotiate the release of a group of foreign military observers
A group of Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) delegates are escorted by pro-Russian militants as they arrive to attempt to negotiate the release of a group of foreign military observers
A group of Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) delegates are escorted by pro-Russian militants as they arrive to attempt to negotiate the release of a group of foreign military observers
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
OSCE military observers and People's Mayor of Sloviansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev (L) attend a press conference in Sloviansk
OSCE military observers and People's Mayor of Sloviansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev (L) attend a press conference in Sloviansk
OSCE military observers and People's Mayor of Sloviansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev (L) attend a press conference in Sloviansk
©  EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO
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Member of the OSCE military observers delegation, Thomas Johansson (C) of Sweden
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
A group of Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) delegates are escorted by pro-Russian militants as they arrive to attempt to negotiate the release of a group of foreign military observers
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
OSCE military observers and People's Mayor of Sloviansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev (L) attend a press conference in Sloviansk
©  EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

STOCKHOLM, April 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Swedish authorities have confirmed the release of the 57-year-old Major Tommas Juhansson from captivity in the East-Ukrainian city of Sloviansk.

Major Juhansson arrived in the area of Sloviansk as a member of an international team of observers, which included nationals of another four European countries, apart from him.

They were arrested by the self-defense forces of the Donbass coalfields area on Friday on the suspicion that they had been engaged in spying activity on behalf of Ukraine’s central government.

The self-defense forces of Donbass are fighting for a referendum destined to determine the future status of the area and for Ukraine’s transformation into a federation - something the Kiev authorities, the US and the EU oppose vehemently.

A Swedish television channel said the country’s foreign minister, Carl Bildt, had spoken to Juhansson over the phone, calling it later one of the best telephone conversation he had had recently.

He thanked everyone who had assisted Juhansson’s release.

Swedish Defense Ministry confirmed the TV report but refrained from any commentaries on the officer’s whereabouts.

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