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East Ukraine militia say they did not fire shots at OSCE patrol, fired one warning shot

April 08, 2015, 15:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ukrainian media earlier reported that DPR self-defense forces had fired shots at OSCE representatives

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Militia fighters in eastern Ukraine

Militia fighters in eastern Ukraine

© Konstantin Sazonchik/TASS

MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have not shot at the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) near Shirokino, but only fired a warning shot in the air, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Wednesday.

"While moving along the northern suburbs of Shirokino, an OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] patrol stopped in front of a DPR checkpoint. A [OSCE] representative went to the tranches, and then heard a warning shot fired in the air. He was warned about systematic shellings by Ukrainian forces. The car proceeded and [OSCE observers] could see the results of shellings by anti-tank guided missiles. This fact is reflected in the OSCE report from April 7," Basurin said.

"I would like to remind you that, in accordance with this organization’s protocol, in case of threat to life, representative of the mission turn back, but those [OSCE observers] proceeded with their planned route," he added.

Earlier today, Ukrainian media reported that DPR self-defense forces had fired shots at OSCE representatives.

"Ukrainian media are again distorting facts, pointing to DPR’s shots at OSCE. Yeseterday, [Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy] Yatsenyuk himself called them biased and dependent on their leaders, that’s why objective information can only be found in OSCE reports," Basurin noted.

According to an OSCE report, on April 7, while traveling east on road E58 toward a DPR checkpoint in Shirokino, the SMM was halted by an improvised DPR roadblock, located on the northern edge of Shirokino, controlled by DPR.

"As the SMM approached the checkpoint on foot, a patrol member immediately encountered warning shots of heavy machine gun fire to his right, and semi-automatic rifle fire to his left," the report said. "The SMM proceeded to make contact with a ‘DPR’ member, emerging from a nearby trench, to negotiate passage through the roadblock. After some discussion, and a search of SMM vehicles by ‘DPR’ members, the SMM patrol was allowed to proceed," it added.

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