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Ukraine Separatists Say Expel Two Monitors, OSCE Denies

Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say they have expelled two OSCE monitors, but the organization denies the allegation.

A separatist leader in the Luhansk region, Vasily Nikitin, said on October 26 that the two monitors had "violated the Minsk agreements" aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

An unidentified official in Luhansk said the monitors were asked to leave last week.

But the deputy chief of the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission, Alexander Hug, said in a statement that "no monitors have been removed" from the Luhansk region.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the cease-fire deal signed in Minsk in February and for coordinating peace talks between Kyiv and both Moscow and Ukraine's separatists.

Fighting between government forces and separatists has killed more than 7,900 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax