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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 332

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
And Now More Explosions In Donetsk.
In the last several moments there have been explosions in Donetsk for the first time in hours. There were only a few, however, and it's unclear what caused them, but you can watch the live video feed from the camera facing Donetsk airport here.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Incredible Behind the Scenes Video From Inside The Battle For Donetsk Airport

The following is a video posted by the Russian news agency LifeNews, which has extremely close ties to the Russian security apparatus, and the Russian-backed separatists. The video takes us deep inside today's battle for the Donetsk International Airport. It, and a video we posted earlier also filmed by LifeNews, are must-watch footage.

The claim made in the video: that the anti-Ukrainian forces now control the new terminal.

Another version of the video:

Here's a quick breakdown of what we see:

The first few frames of the video appear to show the militants firing from a high position, perhaps from the 4th floor of the new terminal.

At 30 seconds in we may be seeing the fight for the second floor.

At 47 seconds in we see that the video is looking up at the old terminal. We believe that this is filmed from the underground parking garage, which may now be in control of the Russian-backed fighters.

At 2:04 we see a tank and a man with an RPG firing at the far side of the terminal. It's interesting that the soldier with the RPG is so exposed, perhaps suggesting that at various points in the fight the Ukrainian military 'Cyborgs' are completely suppressed and cannot fire out of the terminal.

The takeaway: at least during parts of the day, the Russian-backed militants had control over large parts of the airport and were moving around with near impunity. This is the second time in three days that parts of the new terminal have been taken over by the militants.

In our previous entry we noted the report of a 'Cyborg' counter-attack. This video and that claim are not mutually exclusive, since the entire LifeNews video appears to have been shot early in the day while the sun is high.

Meanwhile, the positions Ukraine has used to defend the airport in Peski and Avdeyevka have been absolutely hammered, reducing the towns to rubble and potentially limiting the Ukrainian military's ability to directly support the Cyborgs.

It's not clear who controls which parts of Donetsk Airport, and things appear to be very quiet there for more than an hour. One thing is clear: Donetsk International Airport has come close to falling into the hands of Russian-backed fighters twice this week, and it's clear that the anti-Ukrainian forces are expanding their fight both here and elsewhere.The Cyborgs have lasted this long, but they have perhaps never been in a tougher spot than they are right now, and as far as we are aware the Ukrainian military shows no signs of launching a major offensive against Donetsk any time soon.

-- James Miller


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Donetsk Airport Is Still Being Heavily Shelled After 'Cyborgs' Reportedly Launch Counter-Attack

All day there has been speculation about whether or not the Donetsk Airport has been captured by Russian-backed separatists.

The Cyborgs have moved to counterattack and defended the Donetsk Airport, Ukrainian journalist Yury Butusov says on his Facebook, according to a report from 62.ua. Here is his report as of 17:40 today (translated by The Interpreter):

Counter-attack of the "Cyborgs" in the new terminal! In light of the threatening situation and the surge of the enemy to the second floor of the new terminal this morning, a fresh sub-division of paratroopers came to their aid today at the airport. According to Censor.net, an hour ago the Ukrainian units at the new terminal had mounted a counter-attack on the second floor of the terminal in order to repel the storm groups of the Russian Sparta brigade. In a fierce, close battle, the enemy was forced out of most of the spaces on the second floor which has a key tactical significance for holding the building.

Fierce, close battle with the major forces of the enemy's infantry today continued all day long and continues even these minutes. Several times it came to hand-to-hand combat -- the enemy was 3-5 meters away. This is a real Stalingrad in the 21st century.

Control over the terminal is in our hands. The enemy has placed the DNR flags on the edge of the building and maintains positions in the basement of the new terminal and on the third floor. The placement of the flags is the only "success" of the enemy for the whole day. The latest 156th "seizure of the airport" by "Motorola" ended like all the previous storms. The Russian detachments suffered large losses. The new terminal is under our control, our forces do not intend to retreat from the terminal.

The Russian forces are conducting artillery fire along the whole front in the area of the airport, and are trying to crush the Ukrainian artillery, to disrupt the deployment of reserves and the supply to help the defenders of the airport. All Ukrainian villages along the line of contact are being subjected to massive strikes.

This confirms details we reported earlier that the Russian-backed Sparta Battalion had taken over part of the new terminal.

Meanwhile, on the live video feed facing the airport, large flashes can be seen hitting the western parts of the airport. This indicates that the Russian-backed anti-Ukrainian forces are continuing to shell those positions, a strong indication that they are not in control of the airport.

-- James Miller, Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Frightening Videos Reportedly Show Significant Shelling In Schastye Today
Yesterday we reported that the Russian-backed fighters had shelled Schastye so intensely that natural gas supplies to the town and surrounding areas had been cut.
Tonight new video has emerged which reportedly shows intense shelling of the town, quite possibly the result of a multiple-launch-rocket-system like Grads.

The video was uploaded to Youtube at 16:37 GMT today (18:37 local time). There's no evidence that it was uploaded to Youtube previously, though we cannot confirm the location due to lack of daylight.

This was uploaded earlier today. It is a video of a Ukrainian soldier who says several civilians have been killed and others wounded after shelling in the town. At one point, a civilian (possibly deceased) is loaded onto an ambulance.

The soldier says that separatists have also laid 6 or 7 mines in a civilian area (though, he may mean that the city has been shelled 6 or 7 times, the language is not clear).

The video shows extensive damage to civilian buildings. It is somewhat graphic.

This is a good reminder that the battle is so much larger than Donetsk, though significant explosions have been heard in the last few minutes in northwest Donetsk.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
British Embassy In Kiev Says Russia Still Sending Weapons Into Ukraine
The British Embassy in Kiev has sent The Interpreter this tweet to highlight more equipment used by the separatists which they believe proves that the fighters are being directly armed by the Russian military.

In recent weeks we've seen the Russian-backed anti-Ukrainian forces supplied with several weapons we've not seen before, including the BPM-97 fighting vehicle which is only used by Russian border guards, and the GAZ Vodnik armored vehicle.

However, there is a growing list of military equipment used by the Russian-backed fighters which could not have been supplied by anyone else than the Russian military.

 -- James Miller

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