Land Mine Kills OSCE Observer in Eastern Ukraine – Alexander Hug
23 April, 2017

The OSCE observer mission in Ukraine reports first loss. An American citizen has been killed when a patrol vehicle drove over a land mine. It happened near local village of Pryshyb in the Luhansk region in vicinity of the internationally-established contact line between governmental and Russian-backed separatist forces. Two other OSCE observers, a German and Czech citizens are injured and being treated in a Luhansk hospital.

Alexander Hug, the head of OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine, shared the details of tragic incident:

‘This morning at 11:17 local time, SMM Patrol consisting of 2 armed vehicles and 6 patrol members was driving near non-governmental Pryshyp, in the Luhansk region. When one of the vehicles was struck by an explosion likely to be a mine,' he said during a press-conference in Kyiv on April 23rd, 2017.

The route that the patrol took has been previously used by the mission and civilian traffic as well, Hug emphasized: "Sadly, particularly for our mission today, but for all civilians in the area, commitments [to remove mines -ed.] remain true only on paper."

Hug added that it is "critically important that whoever is responsible for the death and injury of our patrol members, through the placement of that mine, is held to account."

Earlier, representatives of the so-called ‘Luhansk People's Republic’ accused the Ukrainian military for planting the land mine that killed an OSCE observer. Later they said the the OSCE SMM's vehicle strayed from its planned route.

Head of the OSCE, Ukrainian President and the NATO's Secretary General demand to investigate the death of OSCE stuff member in Eastern Ukraine.