Canadian election observers warned of security threats in Ukraine: leaked memo

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OTTAWA - Applicants for the Canadian observer mission to Ukraine's upcoming elections are being warned they face personal security threats.

And The Canadian Press has learned a retired RCMP officer has been recruited as a security consultant for the mission to help manage the potentially volatile environment.

Some 330-plus Canadian volunteers are headed to Ukraine to observe the May 25 presidential elections.

There is increasing instability in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militias are seizing control of cities and a separate team of military monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is being held hostage.

In an email leaked to The Canadian Press, CUSO International — one of two groups organizing the Canadian mission — is warning applicants that "personal security risks may be a factor."

A spokesman for the Canadian mission says security is a significant concern.

Organizations: Canadian Press, RCMP, Organization for Security

Geographic location: Ukraine, OTTAWA, Europe

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