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OSCE SMM members still blocked in occupied Donetsk

OSCE SMM is unable to send a patrol from the Donetsk Patrol Hub as the Mission members are still blocked in the hotel they reside in the temporarily occupied Donetsk.

“The Mission observed that the gathering in front of the hotel where Mission members reside in non-government-controlled Donetsk city continued. There was no patrol movement in and out of its premises on 19 October. The gathering continued on 20 October,” reads the OSCE SMM daily report 246/2021 issued on 20 October 2021.

As noted, throughout the day, around the hotel, the SMM observed a gathering of between 30 and 80 people (mixed genders and ages). The Mission “again heard protesters playing loud music over a speaker and saw media representatives filming statements and speeches given by participants.”

“It [Mission] also again observed that some protesters communicated with handheld radios and that they had placed wooden pallets on the driveway of the hotel, which could hamper vehicle access to the hotel entrance,” reads the report.

In the morning of 19 October, three Mission members exited the hotel to perform vehicle checks in the parking lot of the hotel. Eight participants of the gathering (men in their twenties and thirties) in civilian clothes allowed the Mission members to approach the SMM vehicles after 5 minutes. Some of them used their mobile devices to record Mission members performing vehicle checks, after which the Mission members returned to the hotel.

Read also: OSCE envoy condemns blocking of monitors’ work in occupied Donbas

“On several occasions during the reporting period, the SMM observed different vehicles blocking the gate leading to the parking lot at the rear of the hotel, as well as blocking the eastern and western entrance of the hotel, and the presence of two members of the armed formations around the hotel,” the OSCE SMM informs.

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