US Staff of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine Start Evacuations

US staff at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) started evacuating from the rebel-held city of Donetsk.

The US staff were assigned to Ukraine as part of OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM) and are employees of government contractor PAE.

An alleged PAE employee claimed that they have received a memo from the US State Department ordering all 46 US citizens working for the SMM must evacuate immediately. 

“The US Government has instructed PAE to begin steps to immediately withdraw all US citizen SMM personnel in Ukraine under the PAE REACT contract. Additionally, as it is not clear where something may occur, this applies to all US Mission Members regardless of where you are currently deployed,” said part of the memo. 

The OSCE SMM has not yet raised alarm over the situation in Ukraine but as of February 12, they have already reported several ceasefire violations in separatist-held Donetsk and Luhansk while their movement has become more restricted. 

“The SMM’s freedom of movement continued to be restricted, including at a border crossing point and a railway station outside government control in Luhansk region. Its UAVs again encountered instances of GPS signal interference, assessed as caused by probable jamming,” said the SMM.

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