Representatives of the mission welcomes members of the freed OSCE team congregate. Credit: Getty Images
A group of military observers who were seized last week by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk has been released, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed on Saturday.
"We can now confirm the release of the military observers," said a spokeswoman for the OSCE, under whose auspices the military verification officers led by German defense ministry staff were in Ukraine, at Ukraine's request.
"Staff of the special monitoring mission are now waiting to receive them," she said, referring to a larger OSCE mission gathering information and trying to reduce tensions on the ground in Ukraine.
Earlier, Slaviansk's pro-Russian separatist leader said he had released the observers, and said the move was voluntary and made to coincide with his birthday.