And finally, you can view your Pressimus profile by clicking on your profile image, and selecting your profile, and you can customize your Pressimus settings by selecting settings.
Watch quick explainer video
Finish
X

Request Invitation




Submit
Close
Submit
Stream by
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 449

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
Readability View
Press View
Show oldest first
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Kremlin Interpreter Omits The Word "Criminal" From Transcript of Merkel's Remarks on Crimea Annexation

As we reported, at a joint press conference between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, Merkel did not have kind things to say about Russia's actions in Ukraine. Specifically, she called Russia's annexation of Crimea "criminal."

Or at least that's what those watching the press conference or those reading the German transcript of Merkel's remarks heard. However, the Russian translator, and the Kremlin's  website, seem to have omitted the word "criminal" entirely. RFE/RL reports:

Standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a May 10 press conference in Moscow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear her views of the Kremlin's seizure of Crimea.

"We achieved cooperation between NATO and Russia," Merkel said. "Due to the criminal and illegal, under international law, annexation of Crimea and the military conflicts in eastern Ukraine, this cooperation has suffered a serious setback."

The word "criminal," however, was excised in real-time by the Russian-language interpreter at the press conference. Those listening exclusively to the interpreter were given the impression that Merkel considers the takeover of Crimea only a "violation of international law."

It is unclear whether the interpreter made a conscious call to soft-pedal Merkel's rebuke, or simply missed the word.

RFE/RL notes, however, that whether or not the word was deliberately withheld as the interpreter translated the comments live, the word was also absent in the Kremlin's official transcription of the press conference, published on the Kremlin's website.  

The Kremlin may be more than willing to promote the idea that the annexation of Crimea is a violation of international law since it is a key part of the Kremlin's own narrative -- that Russia is standing against the international community which they have branded as corrupt and anti-Russian. Criminal, however, is a word that the Russian government might be more interested in avoiding.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Separatists Make Proposals For Elections, Effectively Barring Pro-Ukrainian Parties

The pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) reports that the representatives for the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DNR and LNR) to the tripartite Contact Group, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deynevo, have presented their proposals for the holding of local elections in separatist-controlled territory.

The local elections are a key component of the Minsk agreement and are mandated under the so-called Special Status law on self-governance passed by the Verkhovna Rada.

The separatist representatives today laid out their conditions for such elections, and they appear to exclude any pro-Ukrainian parties from participating.

The Interpreter translates:

"Ukrainian parties, whose representatives participated in the administration of the ATO regime, the economic blockade, in stirring up militaristic propaganda and social and ethnic hatred, will not be allowed in the elections," emphasises the statement by Pushilin and Deynevo. The elections must be observed by international organisations, including the ODIHR and the ASCE.

Readers should note that the ASCE must not be confused with the OSCE.

The ASCE - the Association for Security and Cooperation in Europe - was first reported on in November last year when journalists were invited to a press conference in Donetsk.

The apparently intentionally misleadingly named body is a sham monitoring body formed by members of Europe's extreme-right and left. Members include Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, a member of France's Rassemblement Blue Marine who was in Donetsk yesterday, Austrian Ewald Stadler, Marton Gyongyosi of Jobbik and Frank Creyelman of Vlaams Belang.

One question raised by today's statement is whether the Opposition Bloc, the Ukrainian political party formed out of the remnants of Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions, will be allowed to take part.

Pushilin also said that amendments made to the Special Status Law on March 17 this year would have to be removed for the peace process to progress. 

According to the amendment, elections must be held in accordance with Ukrainian law in the occupied territories before the Special Status can come into effect

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Shkiryak Resigns As Acting Head Of State Emergencies Service

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Zoryan Shkiryak, the acting head of the State Service for Emergency Situations (GosChS), has resigned.

At a briefing today Shkiryak announced that the time had come to "give way to professionals," saying that a fully-qualified candidate for the permanent post had been found.

He said that he was tendering his resignation to the interior minister, Arseniy Avakov.

Shkiryak noted that his appointment had always been a temporary measure. He was placed in charge of the GosChS after his predecessor, Sergei Bochkovskiy was arrested, along with his deputy, Vasiliy Stoitskiy, at a cabinet meeting on March 25.

Shkiryak's time in office has been challenging, with GosChS having to deal with forest fires around the Chernobyl nuclear plant and the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens from Nepal, in addition to their regular duties and increased demands from the war in the south-east.

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
OSCE Sees Long Period Of Calm Shattered By Intense Fighting

There's a theme in the latest OSCE report on the situation in Ukraine, dated May 11 at 19:30 Kiev time -- a long period of calm, shattered by heavy fighting:

The SMM noted long periods of calm – followed by intense fighting – in areas in and around the destroyed Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk airport (8km north-west of Donetsk) and Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol).
At the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation post at “DPR”-controlled Donetsk railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk), JCCC representatives told the SMM that there had been no shelling in the area on the night of 10-11 May.

However, whilst at the observation post from 08:05 to 17:00hrs, the SMM heard a total of 105 explosions, and sporadic small arms and heavy machine gun fire.
The SMM noted a calm situation in areas around government-controlled Berdianske (1.5km west of Shyrokyne) in the morning of 11 May. At a regular SMM observation post on the eastern outskirts of the village, however, it observed numerous fresh craters – one just metres from the actual observation post. The SMM observed an additional eight craters in residential areas in the village – caused by 122mm artillery rounds – and a further two, caused by 152mm artillery rounds. Local people told the SMM that the shelling had occurred the previous night.

In nearby Shyrokyne village, the SMM noted that a calm situation prevailed. It observed, however, a crater, which, after analysis, it concluded had been caused by an 82mm mortar. According to local people, the round had killed a 47-year-old man on 29 April. The SMM assessed that the round had been fired from a position to the west. As the SMM was leaving the village at 16.15hrs, it heard small-arms and mortar fire in the north-west of the village.

The general calm in the Berdianske-Shyrokyne area came to an end at 16:30hrs, when an intensive exchange of tank, mortar and anti-aircraft rounds began, which continued even as the SMM left the area at 19.20hrs.   

In Lugansk region things have been relatively calm.

Here are several observations by the OSCE about Right Sector:

In government-controlled Pervomaiske (16km north-west of Donetsk), Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers told the SMM that a Pravyy Sektor (Right Sector) medical unit in the area had been replaced by a Ukrainian Armed Forces medical unit.

...

Also in Kyiv, the spokesperson for the Pravyy Sektor (Right Sector) told the SMM that the Pravyy Sektor volunteer battalion had not integrated into regular Ukrainian military structures. He said one proposal – placing the battalion under the control of the National Guard – had been rejected because the National Guard is under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which the interlocutor said had still to be “lustrated”. A subsequent proposal – allowing individual Pravyy Sektor members to enlist in the Armed Forces – was also unacceptable, according to the interlocutor, as it would have entailed the dissolution of the battalion. 

The OSCE continues to see other ceasefire violations:

In government-controlled Stanytsia Luhanska (16km north-east of Luhansk), the SMM noted two houses next to a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint, one destroyed and the other damaged. Checkpoint personnel and local residents told the SMM that a barrage of small arms, anti-aircraft, and automatic grenade launcher fire – emanating from across the bridge in “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled territory – had been directed towards the checkpoint for four hours in the evening of 10 May. Interlocutors explained that a gas explosion had resulted, causing the damage to the houses. A fire brigade was on the scene.

Despite claims that withdrawal of heavy weapons was complete, the SMM observed the following weapons’ movement/presence in areas that are in violation of the Minsk withdrawal lines: (i) in “LPR”-controlled areas, three artillery pieces (122mm D-30); and, (ii) in government-controlled areas, six tanks (T-64).

The entire report can be read 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
What We Know About Boris Nemtsov's Last Report

When Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov wrote a detailed report on the Sochi Winter Olympics, which was translated by The Interpreter, it was important not only because of its substance -- though the waste of $50 billion and the astonishing level of corruption makes the report important on its own -- but the fact that the report worked to undermine Putin's narrative.

Nemtsov methodically documented the corruption, the cronyism, and the theft of taxpayer funds, thus souring an event which was designed to be Putin's triumph.

At the time of his murder, Nemtsov was working on a new report, "Putin. War." which was to detail the Russian military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. 

That report was released today. We have already discussed some of the most important elements of the report here:

-- James Miller
X

Acknowledgements