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Published in Stream:
Ukrainian Liveblog Day 194
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Reports That Novosvetlovka Has Been Left In Ruins
5 years
The Interpreter in Kiev
Russian Media Reports Return of Russian POWs by Ukraine

Reuters reports that the Andrei Lysenko, the spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (SNBO), has told reporters today that the town of Novosvetlovka near the border in the Lugansk region has been virtually destroyed.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

But Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists in Kiev that Russian tanks had entered the small Ukrainian town of Novosvitlivka on the border with Russia and fired on every house.

"We have information that virtually every house has been destroyed," Lysenko added, without giving details on when the reported attack took place. Ukraine's daily military briefings typically cover the previous 24 hours.

Lysenko said the rebels had made new gains just east of the border city of Luhansk, one of the rebels' main strongholds, after opening up a new front in another area last week.

"Direct military aggression by the Russian Federation in the east of Ukraine is continuing. The Russians are continuing to send military equipment and 'mercenaries'," Ukraine's defence and security council said in a separate Twitter post.

Kiev and Western countries say recent rebel gains were the result of the arrival of armoured columns of Russian troops, sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to prop up a separatist rebellion that would otherwise have been near collapse.

There were further reports of destruction in the area:

Tanks are going and destroying house after house. A tank shot - a destroyed house. Khryashchevatoye and Novosvetlovka are completely destroyed. - Aidar.

Meanwhile separatist media claimed that the town had been demolished by Ukrainian National Guard forces.

The following video was apparently filmed in Novosvetlovka and uploaded today by the pro-separatist real-info.info. The description says:

After withdrawing from the village of Novosvetlovka, the punitive forces from the Aidar battalion and the Ukrainian National Guard left it behind in ruins. The people gladly greeted their liberators from the people's army of the LNR.

Another separatist Twitter account posted this image, claiming that a Ukrainian T-64M Bulat had been seized as a trophy there:

An earlier report on the events there came on August 27 from Dmytro Tymchuk of Information Resistance, who wrote on his Facebook page that:

Our troops are holding their positions near Khryashchevatoye, Novosvetlovka and Saur-Mogila.

It seems likely that Ukrainian forces attempted to hold the town and that the destruction occurred during the battle for control of the strategic position.

140830-scrnmap.png

With Ukrainian forces forced to retreat from Khryashchevatoye and Novosvetlovka towards Lugansk Airport, the M4 highway from Lugansk to Krasndon has been freed up for Russian convoys travelling from the Izvarino border crossing.