A report of the observer mission (OM) on August 4 said it received calls on August 1-2 “from officers of the 72nd mechanized infantry brigade who claimed that around 600 Ukrainian servicemen were surrounded by separatists and left without ammunition, fuel and food. According to them, negotiations with the separatists to open a passageway had failed”.
“The officers asked for the OM’s assistance in facilitating the transfer at the BCP and reached out to their leadership in the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to accept this option,” it continued.
“The Russian arranged for transportation of the 12 servicemen, who crossed the border back into Ukraine during the night of 3-4 August,” it said.
“From 00:45 to 10:20 on 4 August, a total of 347 servicemen (including 147 border guards) crossed into Russia in well-organized waves of 100 and were transferred to the transit facility. The wounded servicemen were given first aid and were sent by ambulance to hospital,” the report said. Under the document, the crossing became possible after the commanding officer of the 72nd brigade met with OSCE observers at the Gukovo border crossing point in the presence of the Gukovo BCP commander.
The report said that at 15:00 on August 4, 192 servicemen “were already on their way by bus to Ukraine”. The mission also said there had been no asylum requests.