The Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed later Saturday that the seven strong group of military observers being held in Slaviansk since April 25 had been released. The local separatist leader said it was a voluntary act which coincided with his own birthday. Five other people being detained, believed to be Ukrainians, were also released at the same time. The separatist leader said that Russian military emissary Vladimir Lukin had played a part in their release. As well as the Czech Republic, the OSCE mission came from Germany, Denmark, Poland and Sweden. The Swede was freed earlier on health grounds.
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