Russia brought vehicles with OSCE markings to occupied Donbas, OSCE denies its presence in the area

"I just received this photo through my channels. It was taken today in front of the checkpoint near occupied Izvaryne [Luhansk Oblast]," military reporter Andrii Tsaplienko wrote on 15 January on Telegram. 

Russo-Ukrainian war 2022

On 15 January, Ukrainian military reporter Andrii Tsaplienko shared a photo of OSCE-marked vehicles transported near the Izvaryne border checkpoint in occupied Luhansk Oblast near the Russian border.

OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) operated in Ukraine including the occupied parts of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts from 2014 up to Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

“The photo shows truck trailers arriving from Russia. On the trailers, there are white Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs with OSCE markings. Such were the vehicles used by the OSCE SMM observers to move around Donbas until 24 February 2022. OSCE vehicles could not legally end up at the disposal of the Russians in any way,” Tsaplienko wrote.

Andrii Tsaplienko suggested that Russians may use the OSCE-marked SUVs in a provocation to blame Ukraine for an alleged attack against members of the OSCE.

The OSCE denied its presence in the Donbas and said that any vehicles with OSCE markings in the area are not used for OSCE purposes:

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