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OSCE observers leave Russian border checkpoint amid shelling from Ukraine

August 04, 2014, 13:04 UTC+3 GUKOVO
The incidents had obviously been the result of combat operations between the Ukrainian army and Donetsk militia
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Rumin

GUKOVO, August 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who stayed at Russian checkpoint Gukovo in the southern Rostov region on the border with Ukraine, are leaving their work places due to ongoing combat actions on nearby Ukrainian territory, a spokesman for the regional Russian Federal Security Service’s (FSB) department said on Monday.

“Due to the ongoing shooting and explosions of shells…, several of the OSCE staffers working at the Gukovo border checkpoint left their work places,” Vasily Malayev said adding that border guards and customs officials remain on duty.

OSCE spokesman Shiv Sharma earlier told ITAR-TASS that the Gukovo checkpoint came twice under fire on Sunday.

He said that the incidents had obviously been the result of combat operations between the Ukrainian army and Donetsk militia. However, he said it was impossible to determine who and from where fired the shells.

Shrama said the incidents had not disrupted the work of the OSCE observers, who did not plan to change their schedule.

On July 24, the OSCE Permanent Council made a decision to send an observer mission to the Russian-Ukrainian border in line with Russia’s late June initiative to deploy international observers at its border with Ukraine.

OSCE observers began arriving in the Rostov Region starting in late July. Two observers are on duty at each of the Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints round-the-clock. The observer team was expected to be finally formed before August 16.

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