Elite German special forces unit ready to storm Slavyansk to release OSCE observers
According to the publication Kommando Spezialkrafte (Special Forces Command, or KSK), that comprises about 1,100 well-trained and highly-skilled soldiers handpicked from the army and police, is the best German Special Forces have to offer. The elite military unit has reportedly been put on alert.
KSK soldiers are experts in hostage release and had previously conducted operations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most recently in Afghanistan. Decorated by the NATO, the USA and its affiliates KSK special forces have been in great demand in counter-terrorism operations, notably in the Balkans and Middle East. It will take KSK a couple of hours to get to eastern Ukraine.
Bild notes that Ukrainian Special Forces are not up to the task of releasing the OSCE military observers. High-ranking Ukrainian official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity: "A lot of our soldiers are not ready to fire at people. Special op can only be conducted with foreign assistance."
The decision on whether to carry out such an operation can be made by the emergency response center, that includes German Ministry of Defense, the Federal Foreign Office, the German Chancellery.
An international team of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe comprising eight military observers was detained in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk by the self-defence forces last week on Friday, April 25. On Sunday they were displayed during a press-conference, all unhurt and in good health.
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the people’s mayor of Slavyansk, said four Germans, one Pole, one Czech, one Swede and one Dane were detained because they failed to provide the true purpose for their visit. He also said that inspectors were not our hostages but guests.
The German government condemned the Slavyansk self-defense for taking the observers hostage and showing them at a press-conference and has also called for their immediate release. German authorities urged Russia to intervene and assist with setting the OSCE inspectors free.
An observer from Sweden has been released on Sunday on medical grounds.