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28 May, 2019 11:56

Russian member of UN mission detained, reportedly injured in Kosovo raids

Russian member of UN mission detained, reportedly injured in Kosovo raids

Moscow is demanding the release of a Russian citizen who was detained and possibly injured during a Kosovan police incursion into the ethnic Serb-majority northern areas of the breakaway region.

Mikhail Krasnoshchekov, a Russian national and member of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was among those detained during the early Tuesday raids by Kosovan special police forces (ROSU) in the region's northern areas, populated mostly by ethnic Serbs.

The man was injured in the operation and had to be hospitalized, according to a Mitrovica hospital medic cited by TASS.

The Russian embassy in Belgrade has demanded Krasnoshchekov's immediate release.

We are outraged by the provocation against the Russian citizen, UNMIK member Mikhail Krasnoshchekov. We demand that the Russian be released immediately and all those responsible be held to account.

“The detention was carried out despite the fact that the Russian citizen has a UN employee's immunity,” the Russian Foreign Ministry has said, condemning the incident as an “outrageous act.” Moscow earlier denounced the police raid, which Pristina said was aimed against an “organized crime network,” as a provocation abetted by the US and the EU, and that it violated agreements between Belgrade and Pristina. The two had made a spoken agreement that Kosovan forces would stay out of the Serb-majority north back in 2013, which has been repeatedly broken since.

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At least 19 people were detained and several injured during Tuesday's raid as some locals resisted the ROSU incursion. Some of the worst clashes took place near the town of Zubin Potok, where barricades were put up and tires burned in an attempt to slow the police forces down.

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