Representatives of the occupation administration in Donetsk city have announced that they stopped blocking the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission headquarters.

Oleksiy Kulemzin, the so-called “mayor” of Donetsk, said this while addressing participants of a gathering on the evening of 23 October. He stated that the protesters “have done an important job,” but due to the outbreak of coronavirus, it is necessary to go to social media.

In addition, Kulemzin added that the Mission had begun to “interact” with the occupation authorities and “conduct joint activities.” However, there are currently no reports from the OSCE of any cooperation with the Russian occupation administration.

At the same time, the SMM notes in its daily report the details of the blockade of its work by the occupiers in Donetsk.

“Throughout the reporting period, around the hotel, the Mission observed a gathering of approximately 30 people (mostly men, in their thirties) during the night of 21-22 October and of up to 250 people (mixed genders and ages) during the day on 22 October. During the night of 21-22 October, the Mission observed up to 20 men (in their twenties and thirties) rotating around the hotel regularly with at least two standing on the eastern and western entrance driveway of the hotel at all times,” the document reads.

On several occasions during the reporting period, the Mission observed members of the armed formations in vehicles with the inscription “police” on them blocking the eastern and western entrance driveways to the hotel, as well as the presence of two men in military-style clothing around the hotel.

On the evening of 23 October, the SMM saw the so-called “mayor” of Donetsk city addressing the gathering in front of the hotel after which the Mission observed the crowd dispersing peacefully.

It also saw that some of the participants of the gathering started to dismantle the tents installed in front of the hotel.

As a reminder, the OSCE Mission was blocked after the detention of Andrey Kosyak by Ukrainian servicemen. He is a native of Alchevsk, who received a passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation. The so-called “LPR” claims that Kosyak was a representative of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) and a member of the demining team. The Ukrainian side insists that Kosyak carried out reconnaissance of the positions, being armed and fighting against the Ukrainian military, and that the representatives of the so-called “LPR” and “DPR” have never been members of the JCCC.

Bohdan Marusyak

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