Donetsk, Mar 1 - DAN. The personnel of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission are leaving the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic en masse, head of the DPR Office at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) Ruslan Yakubov told the Donetsk News Agency.

“All the vehicles of the OSCE Mission Donetsk office are leaving the Republic today,” Yakubov said.

The cars are driving towards the Russian border; overall, there are more than 40 vehicles in the column, eye-witnesses told DAN.

A TASS correspondent reported an empty parking lot next to the Park Inn Hotel which had accommodated the OSCE SMM Office.

Earlier reports said that the OSCE SMM had turned off cameras on the contact line and began to prepare for evacuation from Donbass.

The OSCE SMM began its work in Ukraine on March 21, 2014, after all the 57 participant countries supported the decision to set up the Mission. It comprises some 1,000 monitors. The head office was in Kiev; the Mission also had offices in Donetsk and Lugansk. *jk