A citizen of the Russian Federation is directing the hostage taking operation in Sloviansk, reports the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).
In a statement released by the SBU Antiterrorist center on April 26, the SBU states that the holding of the official OSCE representatives as hostages in Sloviansk is a crime planned and executed under the direction of Russian citizen Igor Strelkov, who is the leader of Russian commandos in the city. The immediate perpetrators of this crime are saboteurs “Terets” and “Abver,” the statement says.
“Today officials from the OSCE are being held in inhumane conditions in the basement of the terrorist headquarters. Among the detained is a person that urgently needs medical attention,” the statement says.
The SBU reports it is ready to provide such (medical) assistance on the spot, but the terrorists are rejecting any assistance and are making it impossible to help the hostages.
“Recognizing the inevitability of punishment, the terrorists are planning to use hostages as human shields, literally terrorizing the entire international community and all the member countries of the EU,” statement says.
In addition, Ukrainian law enforcement has learned that the terrorists themselves admit they are coordinating their actions with Russia.
“The Ukrainian side emphasizes the urgent need for the Russian Federation to officially condemn and dissociate itself from the terrorist actions in Sloviansk. As a member of the OSCE, Russia needs to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages and the delivery of medical and other assistance,” the SBU states.
As previously reported, terrorists have seized a bus with OSCE representatives who came on a mission to Ukraine. At the entrance to Sloviansk, on the Kramatorsk side, unknown persons stopped the bus with 13 passengers. Among them were 7 OSCE representatives, 5 representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the driver of the vehicle.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has already appealed to the Russian Federation with the demand to influence the terrorists to free the representatives of the mission who arrived in Sloviansk with the goal of “reviewing the progress of the antiterrorist operation in Ukraine in compliance with international law regarding the protection of civilians.”
According to the OSCE, the people on the captured bus are not related to the special monitoring mission of the OSCE or to election observers. The detained military verification mission “arrived at the invitation of the government of Ukraine in accordance with the Vienna Document 2011.” It consists of eight people: 4 German citizens and one representative each from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland and Sweden.