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Scoop of the weekend: OSCE suspends mission in eastern Ukraine over Donetsk protests

Scoop of the weekend: OSCE suspends mission in eastern Ukraine over Donetsk protests

Donbas

The OSCE has suspended its monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine following protests near its headquarters in separatist-controlled Donetsk, Reuters has reported, quoting the chief monitor.

"About 200 pro-Russian protesters confronted OSCE monitors on Saturday to demand the release of a rebel officer captured by the Ukrainian military last week. The mission had faced previous protests organised by Moscow-backed separatists, but this time demonstrators appeared to block the entrance to the hotel where the monitors are based," it reported.

On 16 October, Ukraine registered 11 ceasefire violations by Russia-backed militants, including with the use of banned heavy weapons on four occasions, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said.

Medvedchuk

If Russia confirmed that Opposition Platform-For Life MP Viktor Medvedchuk has Russian citizenship, he could be exchanged for detained Ukrainian citizens, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said on ICTV.

"Mr Medvedchuk is a Ukrainian citizen and Ukrainian law applies to him. On the other hand, if, for example, Russia were to confirm that Mr Medvedchuk has Russian citizenship, for example, let's say it is quite possible, then - after this confirmation or at least a hint - we would gladly consider exchanging Mr Medvedchuk for real heroes and Ukrainian citizens who are not in Ukraine," he added.

Gas

Ukraine has sufficient gas reserves, Zelenskyy told ICTV.

"I want to reassure everyone. Today there is enough gas for society, enough gas for consumers at very normal prices compared to European prices," he said.

According to him, had the government not intervened in the situation, the price of gas would have reached UAH 50 per cu.m.

USA

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is traveling to Europe to reassure allies and partners of America's commitment to their sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression, the Pentagon has said.

Austin will stress in both Georgia and Ukraine that there is an open door to NATO and encourage the nations to make the changes necessary for them to qualify for membership in the defensive alliance.

Ex-MP

Former Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who is hiding from Ukrainian justice while facing corruption charges, was granted Russian citizenship last year, Babel has reported.

According to Onyshchenko, he is a member of the Russian national equestrian team.

Incident

The body of Ukraine's former ambassador to Estonia, Viktor Kryzhanivskyy, was found in his summer house in Kyiv's Osokorky on 16 October. According to preliminary reports, he died after falling down the stairs. He was Ukraine's special envoy for the Dniester settlement.

Crime

The Security Service of Ukraine has detained three men who in 2016 carried out a series of attacks on bank branches and cash collection vehicles in Zaporizhzhya, the SBU press service has said. According to LB.ua sources in law-enforcement agencies, the suspects were formerly affiliated with the Azov volunteer battalion.

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