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OSCE Monitor Says Ukraine Separatists Man Checkpoints With Children

Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

A spokesman for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has said that pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country use children to man some checkpoints, and some of them carry weapons.

Michael Bociurkiw told a news conference in Kyiv on June 11 that it was the second time recently that OSCE monitors saw children, this time during a visit to the village of Shyrokyne.

"During that most recent visit our monitors did spot what appear to be underage children as well at the checkpoints, and if my memory serves me correctly, this is the second time in recent times that we've seen children and some of them with arms," Bociurkiw said.

He added that, despite assertions to the contrary, neither the Ukrainian forces nor the separatists completed the withdrawal of heavy weapons as agreed during truce talks in February in Minsk.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax