- Title: UKRAINE: OSCE negotiators arrive in Slaviansk to mediate for detained colleagues
- Date: 27th April 2014
- Summary: SLAVIANSK, UKRAINE (APRIL 27, 2014) (REUTERS) LEADER OF THE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS DETAINED BY PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS, COLONEL AXEL SCHNEIDER (CHECKED SHIRT), WALKING INTO ROOM ACCOMPANIED BY UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVER (DARK T-SHIRT) AND SEPARATIST DE FACTOR MAYOR VYACHESLAV PONOMARYOV (BLACK ZIPPED JACKET) SCHNEIDER AND UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVER TAKING SEATS IN FRONT OF JOURNALISTS SCHNEIDER UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVER MORE UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVERS TAKING SEATS ALONGSIDE SCHNEIDER FOR NEWS CONFERENCE UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVER TRANSLATOR AND FURTHER UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVER BEING LED THROUGH ROOM BY MAN IN BLACK BALACLAVA JOURNALISTS GATHERED IN FRONT OF NEWS CONFERENCE TABLE MEN SAT AT TABLE ARMED MEN SAT IN ROOM HANDS OF MEN SAT AT TABLE LISTENING TO QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (German) LEADER OF THE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS DETAINED BY PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATISTS, COLONEL AXEL SCHNEIDER, SAYING: "First of all we were accommodated in a cellar." (SPEAKER WAITS FOR ENGLISH TRANSLATION) "We had to set up conditions for ourselves in that cellar." (SPEAKER WAITS FOR ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SCHNEIDER ADDRESSING NEWS CONFERENCE NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS MAN IN CAMOUFLAGE FATIGUES STANDING IN NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM STATUE OF LENIN OUTSIDE SLAVIANSK CITY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING MAN LOOKING AT PICTURES ON BASE OF STATUE VARIOUS OF OSCE NEGOTIATORS WALKING AND ENTERING CITY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
- Embargoed: 12th May 2014 13:00
- Location: Ukraine
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA5FRR4YA2THPGC5FLK2QI7VITO
- Story Text: The leader of the international observers detained by pro-Russian separatists in the east Ukrainian city of Slaviansk said on Sunday (April 27) all the group were in good health, but they were anxious to be allowed to go home soon.
Appearing in public for the first time since they were held three days ago, seven officers from the observer team and their translator were brought into a room of waiting journalists in the separatist-held city administration building.
Guards in camouflage fatigues and balaclavas, carrying Kalashnikov rifles, were also in the room as journalists spoke to the observers, who were in Ukraine under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Colonel Axel Schneider, who was leading the observer mission, said the group came to Slaviansk without weapons and were there strictly in line with their mandate under OSCE rules, to carry out military verification work.
"We were accommodated in a cellar. We had to set up conditions for ourselves," said Schneider, describing what happened after they were seized.
The group sat side by side at a long table in front of the reporters, looking sombre and serious, but otherwise well. They were accompanied at the news conference by separatist de factor mayor of Slaviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov.
The self-proclaimed mayor Ponomaryov later told reporters he was heading into talks with negotiators from the OSCE who had arrived in Slaviansk, seeking the release of the detained observers.
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