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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 476

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
Russian-Backed Rebels Are Restarting the War in Ukraine

The battle for Marinka is not over, but the June 3 offensive against the Ukrainian-held territory has signaled a new phase of this conflict, and may have dealt a fatal blow to the Minsk peace process. In our latest article in Foreign Policy, The Interpreter's managing editor, James Miller, argues that the war in Ukraine is back on (though it never really ended)  and the Russian strategy could spell disaster for the country:

The battle for Marinka has also already had at least one tremendous consequence. Three days after the attack, Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, who was in charge of the OSCE mission, resigned. She had been overseeing not just the monitoring of fighting in eastern Ukraine but also the cease-fire negotiations between Kiev, the rebels, and Russia. Tagliavini’s resignation is a sure sign that there is frustration within the OSCE about the deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. But with Tagliavini out, it may not be possible to find a replacement who both Russia and the West can agree to support.

If such an agreement cannot be met, the peace process in eastern Ukraine is dead. The consequence could be open war between Ukraine and Russia, war that has been so carefully avoided and yet war which some have feared has always, thanks to Putin’s aggressive intentions, been unavoidable. The Marinka attack does not augur well for the prospects of peace.
Read the full article here:

Russian-Backed Rebels Are Restarting the War in Ukraine

Last week, Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine launched a significant offensive against Marinka, a town less than 10 miles west-southwest of Donetsk, the separatists' capital. While the Ukrainian military repulsed the attack, there is now renewed fighting across eastern Ukraine.

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Jun 09, 2015 02:00 (GMT)
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Four Oil Tanks on Fire in Kiev Region; 4 Workers Injured

Social media and regional media are reporting a major fire at an oil plan in Kiev Region.

The camera man in this amateur video says he is filming June 8, 2015, and sees a large plume of smoke coming up from an oil plant in the village of Kryachka in Vasilkov Region.

A news report on the video says 4 oil workers were injured. Three gasoline tanks are on fire.

But Censor.net reported later that four tanks out of 17 on the site were on fire.

According to that report, twenty-five trucks and 90 firemen have gone to the scene, as well as 2 fire trains from Fastov and Kiev-Tovarny. They are preparing to attack the conflagration with foam.

This video is taken closer to the scene, and contains a news report that four tanks are involved.

Kryachka is about 40 kilometers south of Kiev.

The plant belongs to the oil company BRSM Nafta. The fire may have occurred when oil was being pumped from one tank to another, although company officials have not ruled out arson, says Podrobnosti.ua.

Aleksandr Melnichuk, director of the company's department of strategic marketing, commented (translation by The Interpreter):

"This can not be caused by careless handling, since the oil plant has been in operation more than 10 years and has considerable experience. Among the possible reasons deliberate arson is being looked at, since there are persons interested in this."

-- 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
Video Shows Heavy Shelling North-Northeast of Gorlovka
One area that has seen heavy fighting recently is the area around Gorlovka, northeast of Donetsk, another area where evidence suggests the Russian-supported forces are focusing their attacks. This video was reportedly taken in Gorlovka today. There is no record of this video having previously been uploaded to the internet. Furthermore we have geolocated this video to Gorlovka:

A picture of the building in the foreground can be found here in Panoramio - note that the same pipes are visible in both the video and the Panoramio image:

pipes.png

The buildings in this area also match the video:

compare-structures.pngIn the video, there is a smokestack which appears to be on the slag heaps, but as we'll see the zoom of the camera has distorted distance. The small building, or "hut" is at the bottom of this view, the slag heaps (terrikon in Russian) in the middle, and this tower...

screenshot-www.google.com-2015-06-08-17-

...is visible in the background (here):

Screenshot_7-620x566.pngAs you can also see, Shumy, a position we believe is still held by the Ukrainian military, is positioned suspiciously just beyond where this smoke is rising. 

There are reports that shelling can be hear in Gorlovka this evening:

Translation: 23:11 #Gorlovka now - very noisy

-- James Miller, Pierre Vaux, 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
Russian-Backed Forces Reportedly Shelling Shirokino With 152 mm Artillery

0629.com.ua reported at 17:57 GMT that Yaroslav Chepurnoy, a press officer for the Ukrainian military operation in the Mariupol area, had claimed that Russian-backed forces were, at that time, shelling Ukrainian positions in Shirokino with 152 mm self-propelled guns.

The attack began with small arms at 20:30 (17:30 GMT). 10 minutes later, Chepurnoy said, the self-propelled guns opened up.

The artillery fire could be heard in Mariupol.

No casualties are reported so far and the Ukrainian military claims the situation is under control. 

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Body Parts Of Missing Coastal Patrol Boat Commander Found Off Mariupol

Mariupol news site 0629.com.ua reports, citing the Ukraina TV channel, that parts of the body of the missing crewman of the Ukrainian coastal patrol boat, struck by a mine yesterday, have been recovered.

The missing man was the commander of the crew.


This now means that two crew members were killed and five wounded as a result of the blast, which the Ukrainian military says was caused by an improvised sea mine. 

-- Pierre Vaux

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