osce ukraine
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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, better known by its acronym OSCE is, per its own definition, the world's largest regional security-oriented intergovernmental organization with observer status at the United Nations. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation, promotion of human rights, freedom of the press, and free and fair elections. It employs around 3,460 people, mostly in its field operations, but also in its secretariat in Vienna, Austria, and its institutions. Most of its 57 participating countries are in Europe, but there are also members present in Asia and North America. The participating states cover nearly all of the Global North.

These self-describing definitions would make you think that OSCE cannot possibly be anything but a force for good. After all, in short, this should be their stated mission. Well, the war in Donbass, which has been going on for nearly a decade now, and which has taken the lives of around 15,000 local men, women and children, has pushed the role of OSCE into more of a gray area, especially in light of recent revelations.

OSCE's mission in Donbass, which the organization itself claims to be "arms control, promotion of human rights, early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management" has already failed. In fact, it has continually been failing for 8 years now, because how else could you call the fact that the Ukrainian shelling of the people of Donbass never stopped. Worse yet, former president of the post-Maidan Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko once openly stated that "our kids will be going to school freely, while their kids will be hiding in basements". So much for the "president of all Ukrainians". OSCE never reacted to such statements.

Needless to say, OSCE's "post-conflict rehabilitation" not only failed (since it failed to achieve any of its previous goals), but is highly unlikely to ever be conducted by OSCE, given that the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have effectively banned the organization and ordered it to leave their territory. Now, why would the leadership make such a move? Hasn't OSCE been helping for the last 8 years? Well, it turns out that they didn't just do anything to prevent the conflict from raging for the last 8 years, but they might have even done certain things to facilitate it.

In a rather disturbing revelation by war correspondent Alexander Sladkov, OSCE has used high-resolution cameras, originally placed to conduct ceasefire monitoring, to relay DNR and LNR positions to the Ukrainian military which would then use the provided data to target or correct their artillery fire at the DNR and LNR forces. Sladkov further explains how the OSCE mission in Donbass provided the Armed Forces of Ukraine with their observation data, captured by cameras and other monitoring equipment they installed over the last 8 years.

In essence, OSCE was spying and effectively waging war on the side of the post-Maidan Kiev regime. To make matters worse, the provided monitoring data also included the movement of regular Russian military personnel in the last 50+ days. Russia, an OSCE member state, will hardly remain silent on the matter, given that the organization's actions most likely contributed to the death of Russian and DNR/LNR troops. According to Sladkov, who also posted a video report from the area, a high-resolution 200x zoom-capable camera was installed on a tower and used to monitor the DNR-held town of Sahanka, as well as the "Avalam" military post of the People's Militia of DNR.

As the joint DNR-Russian task force approached the city, forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat, the Ukrainians fired at the camera, which would explain the small arms fire damage the cameras suffered. However, special services of the DNR and Russian military intelligence managed to salvage the data and then determined how the data was used. The extracted video data shows DNR and Russian forces being shelled after the cameras caught their movement.

Among other evidence, laptops which were supposed to be used only by OSCE personnel were also found at Ukrainian positions, which would explain how the Ukrainian forces used the direct video feed of the OSCE-installed cameras. Further intelligence investigation discovered that the operator could control multiple cameras across the frontline, all of which were coordinated into a map of the area, effectively serving as an artillery targeting platform for Ukrainian troops.

Another piece of evidence found by the DNR and Russian military intelligence was a smartphone taken from a captured Ukrainian officer, which contains information on the OSCE data being relayed to Ukrainian field commanders, who would then use the data to target or correct fire at DNR and Russian forces, as well as plan and conduct ambushes. Due to these findings, DNR intelligence detained one of OSCE's former field assistants, Vadim Golda, who stated that the surveillance system was not only used to conduct real-time surveillance of DNR forces, but was created for the very purpose of relaying the information directly to the Kiev regime forces.

This revelation doesn't only damage OSCE's reputation, beyond repair, to say the least, but it might as well facilitate member states to leave OSCE, or even the dissolution of the organization itself. Such actions severely undermine the very concept of international law, which is supposed to provide a blueprint for international cooperation, security and conflict prevention. But how are we supposed to believe that's possible when an organization which was created for this very purpose is effectively a party to the conflict?