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OSCE's Ukraine Observer Mission 'Concerned' About Reported Russian Spy Leak

Members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine in a grain depot destroyed in a shelling attack in Dokuchaievsk, Ukraine, in 2016.
Members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine in a grain depot destroyed in a shelling attack in Dokuchaievsk, Ukraine, in 2016.

KYIV -- Russian intelligence has acquired internal documents of the international team monitoring the conflict in eastern Ukraine, including dossiers with personal information about its hundreds of staff members, from a spy, likely a staff member, according to German broadcaster ARD.

In a report aired on July 16, ARD’s Fakt program reported that Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), was now in possession of the data.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) in Ukraine on July 16 expressed concern over the alleged spy activities.

“The mission is concerned about any alleged breach of its security and is determined to examine all the allegations thoroughly in accordance with established procedures," the Ukraine mission said in a statement.

Reached by RFE/RL via e-mail, the OSCE SMM declined to provide further comment.

The dossiers reportedly contained personal information about monitors, including their telephone numbers and habits, the types of women they were attracted to, their financial situations, and whether they were susceptible to alcohol.

“Without proper verification, the OSCE SMM cannot comment or speculate on documents of unknown origin,” the Ukraine mission said. “However, the mission is concerned that alleged breaches may carry a potential risk for its staff, compromising their privacy and security.”

The OSCE’s Ukraine monitoring mission is the largest field operation within the pan-European security body, focused on monitoring and reporting on the security situation in Ukraine. Its role is to observe the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed forces in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions and facilitate dialogue.

More than 10,300 people have been killed in the regions since the Russia-backed separatist insurgency began in April 2014. The conflict erupted after Moscow’s forcible annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, a move condemned by the international community.

There is no end in sight, despite a cease-fire deal known as Minsk II.

The OSCE SMM said in its report on July 15 that over July 13-14, it had recorded "more cease-fire violations" than the previous reporting session.

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