Top OSCE Official Claims He Spoke With Russian Soldiers In Eastern Ukraine. But Such Brigade Does Not Even Exist

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Top OSCE Official Claims He Spoke With Russian Soldiers In Eastern Ukraine. But Such Brigade Does Not Even Exist

Alexander Hug

The former first deputy head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) in Ukraine Alexander Hug said that he does not consider Russia to be the aggressor in the conflict.

No. But I consider that Russia, Ukraine, and certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions recognised that there is a big problem that needs to be solved, and all of them have undertaken obligations,” said Hug in an interview to the Ukrainian TV channel ‘1+1’ on November 4th.

He stated that the Donbass situation can be solved “only when someone seeks to find a solution, and doesn’t try to accuse others.”

He also claimed that the OSCE SMM documented Russian military presence in Donbass.

We talked to persons who declared their belonging to Russian military units, in particular, to the 16th airborne brigade… We met them in the areas that are non-controlled by the government,” he said.

He, however, did not provide any evidence of his conversation, such as photographs. This is of significance mostly because there is no such military unit as the 16th Airborne Brigade in the Russian military. There is the 16th Special Purpose Brigade of Special Forces of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

If members of the 16th Special Purpose Brigade were allegedly deployed in Ukraine, one of its members wouldn’t speak with Hug, even if they somehow did speak to him, they would most likely not claim that they are from a non-existing brigade. Thus, it is more than likely that after repeatedly asking members of the DPR and LPR military if they are members of the Russian military, they simply mockingly retorted that they are and just called a made-up brigade’s name.

Alexander Hug also made headlines on October 25th, when it was reported that Foreign Policy had removed parts of his interview regarding the fact that the OSCE had not seen direct evidence of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine.

The following was included in the remarks on the Foreign Policy website:

“Clarification, October 25, 2018: In an earlier version, Hug stated that OSCE had not seen direct evidence of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine. We have removed this remark, as it did not convey his intended view. He goes on to cite facts and observations that his monitors have recorded,” the magazine said.

When he was asked on the OSCE’s official stance on Russia’s involvement in Eastern Ukraine, he answered:

“If the question is what we have seen on the ground, we have not seen direct evidence (of Russian involvement). We have seen convoys leaving and entering Ukraine on dirt roads in the middle of the night, in areas where there is no official crossing. In one border area, we’ve also made this public, including some footage we have put out. We have seen specific types of weapons that we have described in detail, including electronic warfare equipment. We have spoken to prisoners taken by the Ukrainian forces who claim to be members of the Russian armed forces fighting on rotation in Ukraine. We have seen men with the insignia of the Russian Federation, but you can buy this jacket anywhere. We have also seen the insignia of Germany, Spain, and others—but also of the Russians,” according to an earlier version of the interview provided by Ukrainian News Agency.

Hug left his post on October 31st, 2018. He needed to leave his post as a person cannot work for the OSCE for more than 10 years. His post will be taken by Mark Etherington. Etherington was appointed as deputy chief monitor of the OSCE SMM in 2014, however he left the post. He will return on it on November 1st.

Despite constant Ukrainian, US and EU accusations of Russian aggression against the Kiev government, it appears that even the OSCE mission, which is deployed in the conflict zone, cannot not provide any evidence to back these claims. However, sanctions over Russia’s alleged military involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine are still in place and continue being perpetuated with every passing period.

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  • BMWA1

    I think Spetz is covered under the VDV umbrella, thus the confusion, I doubt if in any numbers, either (they may not where uniform, either, if in say Donetsk region, so how OSCE would know???).

  • gordonehil

    OSCE was for a long time reliable. Sooner or later the Americans corrupt every institution they touch.

  • Barba_Papa

    >>If members of the 16th Special Purpose Brigade were allegedly deployed in Ukraine, one of its members wouldn’t speak with Hug, even if they somehow did speak to him, they would most likely not claim that they are from a non-existing brigade.<<

    Methinks saying they were from a non-existing brigade would be exactly what they would say. As it sounds both believable enough for the observer to take the bait, and then trip himself up when he reports that to the media. Thus undermining his credibility.

    Denying that they're Russian would only be reported as unmarked Russian soldiers in separatist uniforms. And that is so vague as to make it impossible for the Russians to deny it ever happened. You can't disprove a negative. Inconsistencies on the other hand are so much easier to point out.

  • John Whitehot

    it could also be that they spoke to ukrainian security personnel like SBU and they stated they were russians.
    I’m pretty sure that there is not much control of territory in the areas OSCE visited, and it would not be difficult at all for fake uniforms to be at a given place at a given time, if “some birdie” in or around OSCE told SBU where and when inspections would take place.

    • Sinbad2

      It seems highly improbable that Russian troops on a covert mission would talk to this guy.
      You think he was deceived, I think he is the one doing the deceiving.

      • John Whitehot

        then we agree that someone lied.

        they may have lied both, perhaps they did the whole thing in perfect accord with the SBU or other criminal organisations.

  • so

    If the Russian army were there they would know it. It would be game over for the Nazis, Nothing to talk about really.

  • leon mc pilibin

    Just another zionist scumbag,,the place is crawling with them.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Legally they are on vacation. Therefore they are not there although they may be there. Its not a trick, its only because Putin wants it to be legally correct. The papers says vacation. What they do on their vacation is their privacy.

  • Sinbad2

    This guy also did a whitewash on Kosovo, he’s owned by the Americans.

    • John Whitehot

      which means he’s owned by zionists.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Yes, and he must have been wined and dined a lot by the Zionists, as he has put a lot of weight on since 2014 :)

        One might say that he is a fat bastard now.

        I have been busy for a few weeks Al. I had some diesel stolen. Thay came back last night for more. I got the bastards and funnily enough they were Irish :)

  • Hisham Saber

    They were not ‘ Russian soldiers ‘ he spoke with, they were most likely members of the many, many Chechen’s that either volunteered, or some who were sent by Chechen leader Mr. Khadyrov.

    These Chechens were the ones who turned the tide and smashed the Ukrainian army at the Battles of Donetsk Airport, where thousands of Ukies got slaughtered, and Debaletsevo where very accurate artillery fire from these very experienced Chechens shredded entire armored columns. This was in 2015-2016.

    They are still there, at the ready to help their countrymen of the Donbass.

  • Davki

    Well, despite his comments about the precise military unit, the OSCE is an important player. Unfortunately, it’s the war parties that always want to do away with it. During the war in the Balkans, against Serbia, the OSCE very much stood against NATO but was, of course, ignored. Today, it’s Russia that wants to discredit them. Go figure. There is absolutely no question that Russia is elementary for the support of East-Ukrainian rebels. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t a good reason for that. After all, the so called ‘revolution’ that ousted an elected president was more of a coup d’état and the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government is more than doubtful. But Russia shouldn’t pretend not to push the issue and war in Eastern Ukraine. Of course they do. For most Russians, I suppose, the Ukraine or Ukraina has never been much of a country anyway… it’s simply Borderland.