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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
National Guardsman Warns of House to House Fighting if Army Enters Slavyansk
5 years
Aftermath of Oktyabrskoye Ambush

The Kyiv Post reports on statements made at a press conference yesterday by Andriy Antonyshchak, a member of the 1st Special Battalion of the National Guards. 


 Antonyshchak, a former Maidan self-defence unit leader, said that “sniper nests are situated in the upper floors of residential buildings, and the city center is heavily fortified". The paper reports:

 After spending two weeks manning a checkpoint on the outskirts of Sloviansk in a unit that was formed with other ex-EuroMaidan security personnel, Antonyshchak said the men in addition to possible house-to-house fighting, face “an enemy that has up to twenty years of combat experience consisting of mostly Russian military intelligence, Chechens, and mercenaries.”

He said the Kremlin-backed militants are armed with the latest weapons that include up-to-date Russian-made AK-100 series rifles, mortars and anti-aircraft missile systems.

Antonyshchak stressed the difficulty and importance of winning over the local population:

When the group first arrived in a village three kilometers from Sloviansk, local residents were hostile towards them. “By the third day, though, we walked around the village unarmed after explaining to them that we were there to protect them.”

Antonyshchak added that many residents “are brainwashed by Russian media and there are some who are paid to spread disinformation among them,” part of the reason why Ukrainian forces have faced stiff resistance in the region.

Meanwhile, Ukrainska Pravda reports on the efforts by journalist Roman Burko to collect and map local data on separatist checkpoints and positions. In a Facebook post, Burko said:

I'm asking for anyone who can help identify terrorist sites, upload coordinates, photos or videos posts on the number of militants and if possible, the types of weapons. Any information that will help anti-terror groups neutralise the militants and occupiers.

Burko has been compiling these reports on Google Maps. The resulting map is displayed below these updates.