From OSCE’s web site: The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) was deployed on 21 March 2014, following a request to the OSCE by Ukraine’s government and a consensus decision by all 57 OSCE participating States. The Mission’s mandate was extended by six months from 21 September 2014. The SMM is an unarmed, civilian mission, present on the ground 24/7 in all regions of Ukraine. Its main tasks are to observe and report in an impartial and objective way on the situation in Ukraine; and to facilitate dialogue among all parties to the crisis.
All this looks nice, but the main problem is that Russian observers are part of this mission. It is quite absurd: A country attacking its neighbour has its own observers operating on the enemy side of the frontline, and all this is approved by the OSCE member countries!? Of course, these Russian “observers” report all possible intel to the Russian General Staff. So, in addition to the Russian moles in SBU and the Ukrainian army, military strategists in Moscow and Luhansk/Donetsk have access to a huge amount of information about Ukraines strategies and tactical plans, movements of troops, weapons.
OSCE official Ilkka Kanerva spoke out on an assembly in Vienna in November, 2014: “Let’s be honest – the mission is restricted to report only what it sees pass through the official crossing along the tiniest strip of the border,” said Kanerva, a Finnish lawmaker who heads the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly. He added, “If we are not permitted to do it right, the question is – is it worth doing at all?”.
SMM observers are not allowed to control more than two border crossing points, they are restricted from admission to several districts in DPR/LPR and do not have access to any of the Russian military supplies disguised as “humanitarian convoys”.
As per today, SMM has 23 Russian observers reporting vital Ukrainian intel to Moscow. Some of them have been reported assisting the terrorists and regular Russian forces. On top of that, the main Russian representative of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) is major-general Alexander Lentsov (read this excellent piece by @DajeyPetros), who de facto is running the Russian military operations in Ukraine – from the government-controlled side of the frontline!
OSCE is still not able to acknowledge the fact that Eastern Ukraine is invaded by regular Russian troops, which shows the devastating incompetence of this organization. In the headquarters in Vienna the political play is very tough, and leaves OSCE more or less paralyzed.
One solution is to throw Russia out of OSCE. Another is to let another international body take over the job, and do it properly:
- Acknowledge that Russian regular forces are running the warfare operations against the Ukrainian troops. This is not a civil war, and the “insurgents” are mainly Russian soldiers (ethnic Russians, Cossacks, South Ossetians, Khadyrovtsy, Buryats etc)
- Get access to all border crossing points
- Give a real assessment of the vast amount of Russian heavy weaponry present in Donetsk and Luhansk regions
- Stop all “humanitarian” convoys from Russia
- Throw out all Russian military presence from Donbas
- Reinstate Ukrainian government and democratic institutions in Donbas