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Pro-Russian rebels show OSCE captives as Obama warns Moscow

Armed men in military fatigues stand guard outside a regional administration building seized by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 27, 2014Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) – Pro-Russian militants in Ukraine presented a captured team of international observers as “prisoners of war” Sunday, raising the stakes in the crisis as US President Barack Obama warned Moscow against “provocation”. The self-styled mayor of rebel-held Slavyansk, which has become the epicentre of the crisis, led eight European members of an OSCE military inspection mission before scores of local and foreign journalists in the town hall. With four armed rebels watching over him, a spokesman for the group, German officer Axel Schneider, said the team was in good health and stressed they were “OSCE officers with diplomatic status”. One of the OSCE men, a Swede, was later released as he suffers from diabetes, a rebel spokeswoman told AFP.

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