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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 674
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Donetsk Governor Says Russian-Backed Forces Have Entered 2 Other Villages Along Coast
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The governor of the Donetsk region, Pavel Zherbivsky, has told reporters this afternoon that Russian-backed fighters have not only moved into Kominternovo, as reported yesterday, but also the village of Vodyanoye, even closer to Mariupol.

151223-vodyanoye-map.png reports that Zherbivsky said that Russian-backed fighters had captured Vodyanoye, Kominternovo and Zaychenko - a village east of Kominternovo -  as "revenge" for the deployment of Ukrainian troops in Pavlopol and Pishchevik.

Ukrainian troops recaptured these villages in February before withdrawing after a Russian counter-attack and the second Minsk agreements. This area was then declared a "buffer zone," however an OSCE report from April described Pavlopol as being under government control and, on December 2, Ukrainian troops once again entered the village.

Zherbivsky said that the Minsk agreement, while placing these villages in the military "buffer zone," had divided them into Ukrainian and separatist "zones of influence." While Pavlopol and Pishchevik fell under Kiev's zone, the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic holds sway in the agreement over Kominternovo and Vodyanoye.

The governor said that garrisons of Russian-backed fighters were being established in the villages which, he said, need to be liberated, noting that he could not see any non-military solutions to the issue.

Around an hour ago, Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsaplienko reported from the front line near Kominternovo.

The Interpreter translates:

Our foremost checkpoint before Kominternovo. We've been in touch with residents of the village. This is what they say: Yesterday people were allowed out. A woman was giving everyone orders. Today the situation has changed and there is a different commander. People aren't being let in or out.

Granted, they're conducting themselves properly, they're not making threats or being rude. They say that entry and exit will be blocked for two days. Then, they promise, the situation will change. There's not much food or water.

To the question of who seized the village - Russians or separatists - the locals answer that both are much the same. The villagers asked these 'polite people' to leave the village, telling them to go and dig their trenches in the fields. But the polite people say: "We are little people, we have orders."

They communicate very politely. They're digging in properly, for the long term. The villagers fear a repeat of Shirokino.


Tsaplienko's uses "polite people," the euphemism used to describe  unmarked Russian soldiers deployed during the takeover of Crimea at the end of February last year.

-- Pierre Vaux