OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said on Friday he saw Russian individuals, but not Russian army units, fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
Lamberto Zannier also said that the OSCE monitoring activity in eastern Ukraine was being hampered by security concerns. On January 29, the chief of Ukraine’s General Military Staff Viktor Muzhenko acknowledged that Russian regular army units were not involved in combat action in the troubled Donetsk and Luhansk regions adding that he had information about Russian civilian and military individuals fighting alongside independence supporters in the country’s east.
Since the start of the government forces’ military assault on eastern Ukraine’s independence supporters in April 2014, Kiev and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of intervening in the Ukrainian crisis. The accusations went as far as to claim that Moscow sent troops and weapons to help the independence militias.
Nevertheless, the Kremlin has dismissed the claims as not corroborated by any evidence. Moscow does not deny, however, that some of its nationals are fighting in Donbas as volunteers.
By September 10, 2016