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Kremlin Downplays OSCE Report Of Russian Troops In Eastern Ukraine

The Kremlin on August 4 played down a report by OSCE monitors who found an armed man in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine who identified himself and a group of uniformed soldiers as a members of Russia’s armed forces.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said on August 3 that the armed man was guarding a weapons depot controlled by pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

It said the man “claimed that he and those present at the site were part of the 16th Airborne Brigade from Orenburg, Russia. They did not wear identifying insignia.”

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Pesko said on August 4 that “the Kremlin questions the accuracy of the data of the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine which allegedly registered the presence of the Russian military in the conflict zone.”

He said “the trustworthiness of these reports needs to be verified” and that Russia’s Defense Ministry was the most competent authority to verify the report.

Based on reporting by dpa and TASS