OSCE cannot yet confirm reports of buildings in Ukraine's east being unilaterally evacuated
Monitoring teams of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine cannot yet confirm reports that administrative buildings occupied by separatists in some towns in Donetsk region are being unilaterally evacuated.
"In the past 48 hours we have received unconfirmed reports of a handful of buildings being unilaterally evacuated," Michael Bociurkiw, the Media Officer of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, told Interfax-Ukraine on Sunday.
"Our teams are working hard to confirm these developments," he said.
Bociurkiw notes that monitors face some challenges in the east of Ukraine.
"Aside from the physical distances one faces in a large country such as Ukraine our teams in the East have encountered check-points and road blocks. We have also found the need to take the time to explain who we are (impartial observers) and to explain our mandate and the contents of the Geneva accord," he said.
In his words, the situation is tense in some locations and each site requires a tailored approach.
"It is fair to say that we have encountered a wide range of reactions from people. In terms of signs of progress on the Government of Ukraine side, we have noted such measures as temporarily suspending the anti-terrorism operation and proceeding with plans for a multi stakeholder dialogue on such issues as de-centralization," he said.
Plans are also proceeding for the presidential elections scheduled for May 25, 2014, he added.