The number of observers from Russia in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine increased by 4 people over the last month and a half to 39 people, which follows from the reports of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine.
Thus, as of October 18, the number of observers from the Russian Federation in the mission was 35 people, and in November it increased to 39. In recent years, in particular, the number of observers from other key countries, in particular Poland, has increased from 31 to 35; Greece - from 20 to 23 people; for 2 people increased their participation in Canada - to 15 - and France - to 13 people.
In recent weeks, the number of observers from the Balkan countries has increased as well, some of them are considered as supporters of the Russian Federation: from Serbia - from 3 to 10 people; Moldova - from 21 to 24, Bosnia and Herzegovina - from 32 to 39 people, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - from 20 to 24. It is interesting that the United States of America over the past year reduced the number of its observers from 66 to 57 people.
It should be noted that the increase in the representation of various countries occurred against the backdrop of a general increase in the number of SMM OSCE observers for the period from mid-October to the end of November, from 595 to 629 people.
Reportedly, this week the observers of the SMM OSCE found themselves at the center of the scandal: during the transfer of the bodies of the dead soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by the militants of the so-called "LPR" to the Ukrainian side, the mission observer gave a military greeting and shook hands with the representative of the LPR. Outraged users of social networks say that the observer was Russia's representative in the mission. The SMM did not specify which country this person represented in the mission, but noted that the observer allowed a "reflex gesture" inherent to the former military.
The Ukrainian side systematically demands the exclusion of Russian representatives from the observation mission of the OSCE in the Donbas, since Russia is the actual aggressor in the Donbas and the occupier in the Crimea, and therefore can not be considered an independent observer. In Ukraine, it is believed that Russian representatives in a mission in the conflict zone in the Donbas perform intelligence functions in the interests of the aggressor country.
Earlier, in his commentary to QHA agency regarding the presence of Russian observers in the mission, the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug noted that observers work in the interests of SMM, and not in the interests of their countries. In the event that they act contrary to the ethical code of the observer, they are subject to disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal. However, by the end of this week there was no information about the dismissal of the observer who was in the center of the scandal during the transfer of the bodies of the soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which took place with the assistance of the SMM.