OSCE: Pro-Russian separatists attempt to deceive monitors by using fake residents
The Principal Deputy Chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, during a press briefing on Tuesday in Donetsk stated that pro-Russian separatists attempt to deceive monitors by having people who pretend to be local residents talk with members of the SMM. As reported by Ukrinform, the leaders of the separatists organize buses to transport "local residents" from village to village to spread misinformation to the OSCE.
“When we were about to leave the village of Zaytsevo, a group of civilians was on the road from another settlement. I had also seen Eduard Basurin, the Deputy Commander of the Defense Ministry of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), who was hiding in the house directly behind these people,” Hug said. He also answered the question of a representative of the Ministry of Information of the so-called DPR on why Hug only spoke with some locals and not others.
Hug also said that when he and a group of OSCE observers left Zaytsevo, Basurin passed them in his car en route to Donetsk. Hug then said, “You can tell Basurin that I am ready to talk to him directly. He doesn't need to bring people by bus to communicate indirectly", Hug said.
Answering the question about how the observers knew that they were not locals, Hug said, "They looked at the Church and tried to find the entrance to it".