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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 428

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
US Military Attachés Visit Ukrainian Troops In Donbass

The Ukrainian military's ATO press centre has announced that US military attachés have travelled to the Donbass to meet with Ukrainian troops defending the front line and assess the situation there.

Interfax-Ukraine reports:

As part of bilateral cooperation between the Ukrainian and U.S. Armed Forces, Ukrainian soldiers deployed in the Donetsk region met with officials from the office of the defense attache of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to discuss security, the region's social and humanitarian issues and risk assessments, the press center said.

"U.S. Armed Forces officers Joseph Hickox and Michael van Develde familiarized themselves with the situation along the contact line and the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukrainian servicemen," it said.

The U.S. representatives also discussed the situation in towns and villages in the army operation area with the local authorities, the press center said.

US paratroopers are currently deployed in Yavoriv, in western Ukraine, to train Ukrainian National Guard troops as part of Operation Fearless Guardian.

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Arsonists Torch Car Used By Ukrainian Fighters And Another Belonging To Turkish Diplomat In Kharkiv

Interfax-Ukraine reports that an all-terrain vehicle was blown up last night in Kharkiv.

According to he report, the vehicle, an Opel Frontera, was camouflaged and was used in the Ukrainian army's operations in the Donbass.

"Law enforcement personnel working at the scene have established that the blast damaged an Opel Frontera car. No one was hurt in the explosion, which, however, blew out windows in nearby houses. Vehicles in the epicenter of the explosion were also damaged," the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's branch for the Kharkiv region said in a press release.

The police department in the city's Dzerzhynsky district was alerted about the incident at 4:00 a.m. local time.

Interestingly, Kharkiv news site 057.ua reports that a car belonging to a Turkish diplomat was also torched last night.

The Lexus car was reported to be burning at 21:10 last night on Tchaikovsky street. 

Police are investigating the incident but have yet to make any arrests.


-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Interior Ministry Conducts Raids At Office And Homes Of Lustration Committee

Officers from the Investigative department of the Interior Ministry (MVD) have conducted a raid at the home of Tetiana Kozachenko, head of the Lustration Committee.

Kozachenko wrote on her Facebook page this morning that security officers had broken down her door and were conducting a search. 

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Kozachenko later said that her lawyer had arrived and was speaking to the investigators in her doorway.

Investigative reporter Denys Bigus posted photos from the scene on his Facebook page:


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11108193_10203742295909153_3204980843231

Bigus wrote that another lawyer had arrived and that they were trying to establish who the investigator was. He writes that she would not identify herself.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that a raid was also conducted both at an address registered to (but not inhabited by) Kozachenko's deputy, Dmitry Dymov, and the Lustration Committee's office.

Kozachenko herself told the news site that she believes the raids to be a response to the the Committee's activities.

The Interpreter translates:

"There are a great number of officials in whose interests it would be for lustration procedures not to happen in Ukraine.  But I cannot link this to anyone specific," said Kozachenko.

She did not exclude the possibility that the searches could be connected to a forged letter from the ex-head of the State Financial Service [GFS], Anna Ignatenko, who had fallen under lustration, however it was stated in the letter she could continue to hold her position.

"If this is indeed connected to that letter, then I'm amazed. Because not only did I find that letter, we wrung her out of the GFS, we publicised it and forced them to dismiss someone. But I have not once been questioned on this issue, I haven't been summoned," said an indignant Kozachenko.

"Carrying out a raid like this is just pressure so they can take advantage of this situation to get to the plans and documents in the department," she says.

"If I was summoned somewhere, given some questions, If I knew that there were some kind of criminal proceedings, I would understand. I have more than 15 years of human rights experience. But this search - this is exclusively for the opportunity to get to the information, to the documents," believes the head of the department.

"This the documentation from the prosecutor's office, including details of individuals subjected to lustration. Which positions they occupied and when etc. In fact, during the search they could take documents on people subject to lustration and give them the ability to avoid it," said Kozachenko.

Kozachenko claimed that the investigators did have documentation detailing who had been assigned to conduct the search.

A correspondent for the site later reported, echoing Kozachenko's concerns, that a hard drive had been seized from the Committee's office. 

The drive reportedly contained documents related to the Ignatenko letter.

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the MVD, wrote on his Facebook page that searches were under way at four other committee employees' homes. 

The MVD is supposedly conducting the raids to investigate the forgery of the letter. Herashchenko said that the Committee's computer and printing equipment would have to be examined to help determine the origin of the forgery.

In addition, three locations, at which Anna Ignatenko lives or works, are being searched, wrote Herashchenko.

The adviser claimed that only those involved with the forgery and the attempt to conceal it had anything to fear, and that this did not include Kozachenko.

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Three Wounded Last Night

The Ukrainian military has announced that one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and another wounded in combat during the last 24 hours. 

LIGABusinessInform reports that Alexei Andryushin, head of the press centre at the ATO headquarters told the news site that the soldiers, from the 93rd brigade of the Ukrainian army, came under mortar fire last night in Peski, north-west of Donetsk.

According to Andryushin, the attack was conducted with 120 mm mortars, weapons that should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreement.

The wounded soldier has been hospitalised and is receiving treatment. 

In addition, Ukrainska Pravda reports that governor of the Lugansk region, Hennadiy Moskal, has announced that two Ukrainian border guards were wounded and taken to hospital after their truck was blown up by a mine near the village of Krasnaya Talovka, right on the border with Russia, north-east of the front-line town of Stanitsa Luganskaya.

Moskal describes the incident thus (translated by The Interpreter):

The mine was placed on the dirt road by a sabotage and reconnaissance group of militants and was set off at the moment the Ural truck carrying the Ukrainian border guards was driving past.

The location of the incident indicates that the attackers likely came from Russian rather than separatist-held Ukrainian territory.

Note that there are no river crossings along the Seversky Donets east of Stanitsa Luganskaya:


150421-krasnaya-talovka.png

These casualties follow a day on which the Ukrainian military reported no losses and only six attacks on the night of April 19-20.

But today the ATO press centre claims that Russian-backed fighters fired on Ukrainian positions 17 times between 18:00 and midnight yesterday. 

According to the report, there were 5 attacks with 120 mm mortars, including the fatal one in Peski.

Ukrainian forces near Avdeyevka, to the north-east, came under fire from not only 120 mm mortars, but also armoured personnel carriers and automatic grenade launchers.

The press centre also claimed Russian-backed fighters had "aggressively attacked Ukrainian military positions near Mayorsk, Opytnoye, Leninskoye, Vodyanoye and Kirovo with mortars, tanks, assault rifles, grenade launchers and small arms."

In the Lugansk region, the press centre reported an attack on a Ukrainian defensive position outside the village of Zheltoye and a skirmish near Sizoye.

On the coast, Ukrainian positions in Shirokino were attacked with tanks, the report claims.

This morning UNN reports that the Ukrainian Azov regiment has claimed that Russian-backed fighters are attacking their positions in the village, east of Mariupol, once again.

The Interpreter translates:

"Starting at 5:40 until 7:30 in the morning, the terrorists again fired on our positions with 120 mm and 82 mm mortars."

The Azov press office told UNN that one of their fighters had been wounded during the attacks.

Later, at 10:29 (7:29 GMT) UNN relayed Azov claims that Russian-backed fighters were stepping up their attacks.

The Interpreter translates:

"At 8:20 in the morning the terrorists opened fire with tanks on the Azov regiment's positions in Shirokino. Covered by the tanks, a group of enemy infantry attempted to attack our positions," says a statement.

The regiment added that at least two terrorists had been killed as a result of the shooting battle. "Detailed information on the terrorists' losses is being confirmed. Azov fighters are maintaining their positions and are giving the enemy an adequate response," added Azov. 

-- Pierre Vaux

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