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OSCE Mission Says Russian Helicopters ‘Never Seen’ Crossing Ukrainian Airspace

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Observers from the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who are working in the Rostov Region, have not detected any violations of Ukrainian airspace by Russian helicopters, the head of the mission Paul Picard said.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - Observers from the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who are working in the Rostov Region, have not detected any violations of Ukrainian airspace by Russian helicopters, the head of the mission Paul Picard said.

"We (have) noted the presence of helicopters, but fewer than last week. They were seen here, at the Donetsk checkpoint, and there, in the Gukovo checkpoint. As noted in the [OSCE] report, we have never seen them crossing (into) Ukrainian airspace. They have always stayed on Russian territory," Picard told reporters.

The OSCE observers noted an increase in the number of drones.

"They are flying all the time, they have a schedule - every 18-25 minutes – they fly over us, night and day," Picard said.

Kiev has repeatedly claimed that Russian troops are violating the Ukrainian border, but has not yet provided substantial evidence that would verify these accusations.

On August 15, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed that Ukrainian artillery destroyed part of the Russian military hardware that had allegedly crossed into Ukraine at night.

On August 17, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) working in Ukraine under the auspices of the OSCE also could not confirm the reports of any Russian military convoys crossing the Ukrainian border.

On August 28, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko canceled his trip to Turkey in light of Russian troops allegedly crossing into Ukraine.

Moscow called Kiev’s claims groundless and said that they are a publicity stunt that is unlikely to surprise anyone in the international community. Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said such claims were sparked by Kiev’s attempts to justify its military setbacks in the east and downplay the results of recent talks in Minsk.

Tags:
Airspace Violation, drones, OSCE, Rostov Region
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