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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Live Day 330

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
OSCE Chair Condemns Shelling of Bus in Volnovakha

Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, the new chair-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), condemned the shelling of the bus yesterday, January 14 in Volnovakha, Ukraine in which 12 civilians were killed and 16 were wounded:

"I condemn in the strongest terms this attack on innocent passengers. I am appalled by this incident and its tragic outcome, and express my deepest sympathy to the families of the victims."

“This incident comes as the situation in the east of the country has significantly deteriorated and I call on all sides to immediately halt the use of force, exercise restraint, return to negotiating table and implementing both the letter and the spirit of the Minsk documents."

“I am following the situation closely through reports from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and I urge all sides to allow for the safe and unhindered access of OSCE monitors to all areas so that they can do their job.

Yesterday, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, OSCE's chief monitor in Ukraine called upon all sides to exercise maximum restraint in eastern Ukraine in a press statement:.

Over the past 24 hours the situation has significantly deteriorated, especially near the Donetsk airport; more civilian casualties have been reported elsewhere.

The OSCE's Short-Term Monitoring Mission has not yet released the report for yesterday; it's last report was for January 12.



The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
The Interpreter Will Be Live-Tweeting With PBS Frontline During Their New Documentary, 'Putin's Way'
Tonight at 10 PM ET The Interpreter will be live-tweeting and discussing a new documentary, Putin's Way, on PBS's FRONTLINE. Our tweets will be featured by PBS.
Here is a preview of the program:
Users can either watch online here or check their local listings for broadcast details.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
'Alternative' Theories Have Been Debunked
So far the pro-Kremlin troll brigade has theorized that a Ukrainian Grad rocket strike caused the explosion that has now killed 12 in Volnovakha. That has been debunked below. Some have theorized that gunshots killed the people inside the bus. This makes less sense since evidence of an explosion is everywhere. Now there is a theory that the Ukrainian military put a Claymore land mind on a nearby tree. That theory has been debunked as well:

The bottom line, as we wrote earlier, is that Russian-backed separatists took credit for the attack against the Volnovakha checkpoint, and then recanted when they discovered that so many civilians had been killed by the blast. Now they are all seeking to blame the Ukrainian military for bombing a Ukrainian military checkpoint.

Without significant evidence to the contrary, we see no reason to amend our previous entry.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Evidence Strongly Implicates Russian-Backed Separatists In Bus Shelling That Killed 11 Civilians

Earlier we linked to a video [here - WARNING - GRAPHIC]  showing the remains of the bus hit by a shell in Volnovakha, with the bodies still inside. We also posted a screen capture of the impact crater. It is very obvious, looking at the crater, which direction the shell came from (here is a link to the 1:34 mark in the video which shows the impact crater). The videographer says ,"This is the epicenter of the explosion. It literally exploded 7 meters from the bus."


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The Interpreter asked Dajey Petros of Ukraine at War to look at the video for us. He agrees with our assessment that this shell, which landed near the bus here (map), clearly came from the northeast -- territory controlled by the Russian-backed separatists:

impact-1.jpg

Zooming out, we see that this shell likely came from somewhere south of Donetsk:

impact-expanded.jpg

This matches a theory put forth by slovoidilo.ua:

As Christopher Miller points out, the Russian-backed rebels have their own accusation, that the Ukrainian military fired long-range and not-particularly accurate Grad rockets at their own checkpoint:

Evidence we've posted above suggests that the Russian-backed militants, not the Ukrainian military, fired this shot.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
The Sound of Grad Rockets And The Tone Of Poroshenko Suggest The Ceasefire May Officially Be Over
The live video feed from a camera facing Donetsk airport is heating up. It sounds like two huge volleys of outgoing Grad rocket fire have been heard in just the last five minutes.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has addressed the nation to speak about the civilians killed in Volnovakha, a story we've been following all day. Christopher Miller reports:

Did Poroshenko just announce that the Ukrainian government is about to restart the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) and launch a counter-offensive?

Poroshenko also took to Twitter, even sending tweets in English from his non-English account:

We will continue to watch and see if any clarifying statements are issued by the Ukrainian government tonight.

Meanwhile, the European Union may be taking steps to also designate the separatist governments  as terrorist organizations:

-- James Miller
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