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You're reading: OSCE says situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense, deteriorates in Slovyansk

 Over the holiday weekend the situation in the western and central Ukraine was calm. Tensions remained in the Donbas – the separatists continued the occupation of the building of the state security service (SBU) in Luhansk as well as several other administrative buildings in Donetsk Oblast. Due to the proximity to this region, the situation in parts of southern and eastern Ukraine remains tense. Both proponents of the unitary Ukraine and separatists declared that their implementation of the Geneva statement depends on the mutual, synchronized disarmament and vacation of buildings.  

The situation in Kharkiv remained calm over the weekend. A meeting of anti-Maidan groups on Liberty Square was conducted peacefully. Police presence in the city centre had been notably enhanced, but forces kept a low profile with very few wearing riot gear.

The monitors in Luhansk were approached on several occasions by spontaneous assembled groups, expressing their views. They challenged the position of the Government, and regarded the Geneva Statement as not being relevant to them or likely to be ineffective. In their assessment, a division of Ukraine or union with Russia would be the most likely way to achieve an acceptable quality of life. The team did not find any indications that the Geneva Statement was starting to be implemented in the Luhansk region. Occupants of the SBU building told the team that they would demobilize once the occupied buildings in Kiev were vacated.

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