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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 336

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
Ukrainian Forces Take Control of Pisky

The district of Pisky (Peski in Russian) northwest of the Donetsk Airport is under full control of Ukraine again after Ukrainian forces launched a counterattack to defend the airport and environs yesterday.


(Photos by @unaPhotographer [Tom Daams] from Pisky in the last week can be seen here.)

Dowse posted a photo from Pisky on Instagram:


Pisky-Louis-Dowse.png

Translation: Peski is controlled by Ukrainian forces. Volunteers are evacuating the civilians.

Novosti Donbassa reported that six injured people have been brought out of Pisky, and six more from the neighboring village of Tonenkoye.

Earlier, the forces of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR) had claimed control of the area, although the pro-Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda war correspondent now concedes the Ukrainian control:

Translation: They're asking about Peski...Well, for now, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have it.

Borislav Bereza, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, reported the following on his Facebook page. The Interpreter has translated an excerpt:

 

So here's how it was. There really was a tank strike on Pisky. Our forces repelled an attack by the rashisty [Russians]. In reply to this, the separs [Russian-backed separatists] banged away with all their weapons on Pisky. But! No one surrendered Pisky nor has any intention of surrendering Pisky.
Regarding Donetsk. Everything is all complicated. The unified forces of the Russian Airborne Troops are not clearing Donetsk, they have just...lost their way. At this time, they are orienting themselves to the locality. During the process of the paratroopers' orientation, a spontaneous self-clearing is underway of Donetsk of the separatists' forces. This information has been received from sources at the scene of the events.

I will repeat it for those who don't understand. Ukraine does not intend to violate the Minsk agreements. The separs are perishing on their own.

-- 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
Lawyer Found Shot Dead In Kharkiv

Ukrainska Pravda reports (translated by The Interpreter):

The body of a lawyer has been found in the centre of Kharkiv with gunshot wounds.

This was reported on Monday evening by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, citing a source in law enforcement.

"This was near 1, Pravdy avenue. A body was found. It appears to be a lawyer, Aleksandr Gruzkov," said the agency's source.

In addition, the source noted that the lawyer was not connected to a case that was heard on Monday in Kharkiv's Moskovsky court, near the walls of which, an explosion occurred on Monday evening.

150119-kharkiv-map.png

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
At Least 13 Reported Injured in Kharkiv Court House Bombing

At least 13 persons have been reported as injured now in a blast at the Kharkiv Moskovsky District Court House.


Earlier, we reported that the bombing may be related to the case of a Svoboda party member who was ordered arrested by a judge for carrying weapons into a voting booth in October 2014.

-- 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
DNR Launching Artillery From Civilian Areas; Amnesty Int'l Warns of Civilian Casualties
Ruptly's live video feed from Donetsk is offline (RT says their cameras lost power due to the fighting, and while we can't confirm this it is a plausible claim). RFE/RL has collected several tweets from Donetsk, however, the first is two hours old and the second is was sent about an hour and a half ago:

RFE/RL also reports that Amnesty International has warned about the increasing risk to civilians:

"The use of heavily populated areas for launching attacks by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Horlivka and the return of fire into these areas by pro-Kyiv forces is putting civilian lives in great danger," said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

"Pro-Russian separatist forces must stop using densely populated areas for launching military operations and Kyiv-controlled forces must not launch indiscriminate attacks which put civilian lives at risk. These are violations of the laws of war for which civilians are paying with their lives."

The problem with this statement, however, is that it's not clear whether Ukraine has more advanced weaponry to bring to bear against the Russian-backed fighters who are well supplied by their Kremlin arms masters. Ukraine has also repeatedly asked the United States and other nations for drones in order to better target their weapons, but these requests have not been honored.

While several incidents which have led to civilian casualties have not been properly examined, most of the civilians this week have been killed inside territory controlled by Ukraine, presumably by rockets fired by the Russian-backed militants. An OSCE investigation into the Volnovakha Bus Shelling, which left 13 dead, concluded that the Grad rockets originated from the north-north-east, which we explained is territory controlled by the Russian-backed militants.

The Russian-backed fighters have bragged about their strategy to employ human shields, a phenomenon recorded by Russian state TV reporters and documented by The Interpreter. Since these rockets, and the ones that have hit Ukraine's military positions, are often located in civilian areas, this puts Ukraine in a precarious situation.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Explosion at Kharkiv Court House; 6 Wounded

Yet another bomb has gone off in Kharkiv, this time at a court house, and six people have been wounded, local bloggers and media are reporting.

Translation: Kharkiv. Explosion at the Moscow Court, no killed, there are several seriously wounded.


Translation: at this moment, as witnesses are saying, there are no people killed in the explosion at the Moskovsky District Court.

ZN.ua has reported that the explosion may be related to a case heard at the courthouse today.

Anton Gerashchenko, member of parliament and former Interior Ministry advisor, reported on his Facebook (translation by The Interpreter):

Half an hour ago in Kharkov, an explosion was heard at the Moscow District court building.

I emphasize that it is not inside the courthouse, but next to the court building.

Six people are wounded. A investigative group is working at the scene along with a brigade of medics.

From preliminary information, it is known that the explosion accured immediately after the conclusion of a court case regarding a member of the Svoboda Party whose last name is Sokolov.

He is charged with entering a voting precinct on October 26 with a weapon.

The judge ordered Sokolov's arrest. His support gropu demanded that he be released from arrest, but the court did not make such a decision today.

His support group was at the hearing.

After the hearing, they entered the court building, and then the explosion was heard.

It is still too early to make any conclusions as to whether this is a terrorist act or one of the comrades of the accused came to the courthouse with a grenade.

There have been many similar incidents across Ukraine in the last week or so. Two days ago reporter Oliver Carroll recalled a conversation he had with Pavel Gubarev, the self-declared "People's Governor of the Donetsk People's Republic," in which Gubarev said that the separatists may have provocateurs inside many Ukrainian cities: 

In December, Gubarev told me they have people working on disrupting the situation in all these cities. I was reminded of that conversation today.

Here are several tweets from December 6 when he interviewed Gubarev:





-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
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