Ukraine separatists say free Swedish observer on medical grounds

by Reuters
Sunday, 27 April 2014 16:38 GMT

(Corrects spelling of separatist spokeswoman's name)

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 27 (Reuters) - One of the eight European observers being detained by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukraine city of Slaviansk on Sunday evening was escorted to an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) vehicle and driven away.

A Reuters reporter outside the city administration building in Slaviansk said the man came out, escorted by three unarmed men, got into a white OSCE jeep and drove off. The group declined to answer reporters' questions.

Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the separatist mayor of Slaviansk, said the observer who left is a Swedish national. "He has a mild form of diabetes and so we decided to let him go," she told reporters.

Asked if he was the only one of the observers who was to be released on Sunday, she replied: "Yes." (Reporting by Thomas Grove; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)