OSCE mission to investigate death of American member

An American observer with an OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitoring team in eastern Ukraine was killed when a landmine blew up his vehicle. An investigation into the death has been launched.  

Alexander Hug, the OSCE mission’s deputy head, made comments on April 24. He said the mission is in contact with Ukrainian authorities and that most of the mission’s patrols had been canceled. Normal operations will resume after details of the incident become clear.

Hug said his colleague’s body would be returned to his love ones quickly and with as much dignity as possible.

The incident happened in the separatist Luhansk on April 23. Two European members of the mission were also wounded.

The self-proclaimed security ministry for the Russia-backed separatist rebels in Luhansk said the mine had been laid by Ukrainian forces.

The rebels and the Ukrainian government have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014.The war has killed more than 9,900 people.

The OSCE monitoring mission assesses compliance with the two-year-old Minsk peace deal that was to bring a cease-fire and heavy weapons pullback to the region.

It also conducts work on human rights and civil society issues as well as mine-awareness programs.