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 491

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
Suspect in Buzina Murder, Former Ukrainian Soldier, Released on $230,000 Bail

Denis Polishchuk, a suspect in the murder of Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina has been released on bail of 5 million hryvnia ($230,000), Novaya Gazeta reported, citing journalist Aleksandr Rudomanov on his Facebook page.

57_main.jpg

Buzina, a pro-Russian writer and editor of Segodnya was murdered in a drive-by shooting on April 16, 2015.

According to Segodnya, the person who paid the bail was Aleksei Tamrazov.


Translation: 5 million hryvnia were paid for bail by Aleksei Gavriyevich Tamrazov to free the suspect in the murder of  Buzina from custody.

Three suspects were detained, but one was let go for lack of evidence. The other suspect, Andrei Medvedko, another former soldier, is to remain in custody until August 14.

Polishchuk, 25, is a Kiev activist who took part in demonstrations against illegal construction sites in Kiev. He also fought in war against the Russian-backed separatists; he was head of a platoon in the 54th Reconnaissance Brigade with the rank of lieutenant of the guard.

Polishchuk's wife claims that he was fighting in the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] zone at the time of the murder in April and returned home only during the first 10 days of June. She also said he didn't know how to drive a car.

But Interior Minister Aven Avakov says there is direct evidence tying these suspects to the crime.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Translation: 5 million hryvnia were paid for bail by Aleksei Gavriyevich Tamrazov to free the suspect in the murder of  Buzina from custody.

Three suspects were detained, but one was let go for lack of evidence. The other suspect, Andrei Medvedko, another former soldier, is to remain in custody until August 14.

Polishchuk, 25, is a Kiev activist who took part in demonstrations against illegal construction sites in Kiev. He also fought in war against the Russian-backed separatists; he was head of a platoon in the 54th Reconnaissance Brigade with the rank of lieutenant of the guard.

Polishchuk's wife claims that he was fighting in the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] zone during April and returned home only during the first 10 days of June. She also said he didn't know how to drive a car.

Interior Minister Aven Avakov says there is direct evidence tying these suspects to the crime.

-- 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
OSCE Sees Less Fighting Near Shirokino, Plenty of Fighting Elsewhere

Here is the map provided by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council today:

23-06_eng.jpg

Far fewer attacks near Mariupol are reported:

But there's plenty of fighting elsewhere:
The NSDC also retweeted two messages sent by the OSCE international monitors:

That reads like the Ukrainian military is also seeing what the OSCE is seeing, and believes it is part of a larger trend. Let's take a closer look at the OSCE's latest report, dated last night, June 22, at 19:30 Kiev time. Here are some excerpts.

The OSCE spotted heavy fighting around Donetsk:

The situation at and around Donetsk airport was tense. Between 09:00 and 17:00hrs, at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at Donetsk central railway station (“Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled, 8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM observed a total of 362 explosions consistent with artillery and mortar fire as well as bursts consistent with automatic grenade launcher, heavy machine gun and small-arms and light-weapons fire. The SMM assessed that the explosions occurred at locations to the north, north-west, north-east and west and at distances ranging between 2 and 10km from its position. The SMM also observed 26 airbursts of anti-aircraft weapon at 2-3km west and north-west of its position.

The OSCE also saw that things are quieter near Shirokino:

In the early evening hours of 21 June, the SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spotted burning houses in Shyrokyne. The situation around Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) was quiet between 06:30 and 13:50hrs; during this period of time the SMM did not observe any ceasefire violations from its observation points located 1.5 and 3.5km west of Shyrokyne.

Interestingly,  journalist Oliver Carroll has filed a report from Shirokino, presumably filmed within the last several days.

In a companion piece written in The Times, Carroll writes that the scene in Shirokino does not resemble, say, the battle of Debaltsevo. If the Russian military is leading a push in eastern Ukraine, Carroll suggests that it does not appear to be doing so in the area east of Mariupol:

Contrary to Ukrainian government warnings of an rebel offensive on Mariupol through Shirokine, there’s is little evidence of an imminent Russian-backed push. In fact, the rebels seem poorly equipped and demoralised. 

There is very little of the control, coordination and supply of men and equipment that typified the Russian-backed assault and capture of the strategic town of Debaltseve in February.

...

The soldiers themselves are a motley mix of locals, mercenaries and Russians. Few of the privates seemed to be regular army soldiers. For many of them, there is nothing left at home, or no home to go back to.

Recently the OSCE and the Ukrainian military have reported the use of artillery fired into Ukrainian territory in this area, however. So it's possible that this equipment is further behind the front lines, though the soldiers in the video above say that they are not properly supported by artillery either.

The OSCE did indeed spot the movement of vehicles within territory held by the Russian-backed fighters:

Despite claims by all sides that the withdrawal of heavy weapons was complete, the SMM observed weapons in areas that are in violation of withdrawal lines according to the Minsk Package. In “DPR”-controlled areas, the SMM observed one main battle tank (MBT) (T-64), in ”LPR”-controlled areas six MBTs (T-64) and in government-controlled areas three MBTs (T-72). Additionally, an SMM UAV observed two artillery pieces in “DPR”-controlled areas east of Mariupol as well as a concentration of 39 MBTs, six towed artillery pieces and several Armoured Personnel Carriers and trucks in the vicinity of Ternove (“DPR”-controlled, 60km east of Donetsk) at an apparent training facility and a concentration of seven MBTs in the area of Komsomolske (43km south-south-east of Donetsk).

The base at Komsomolske is interesting, since The Interpreter has been able to establish that a large military base, complete with fighters from Russia, has been established near there. It is also near a rail station where armor has been spotted in recent weeks.

Read our report here: 

There is another interesting line in that OSCE report, however. The report says that the SMM spotted three T-72 tanks moving in "government-controlled areas." The Ukrainian government has not yet deployed T-72s to the front lines, as it is unable to supply them without Russian parts. So far, the Ukrainian T-72s have been held in reserve in the western parts of the country, and Ukraine has not been documented as having used T-72s in this conflict. Perhaps the OSCE made a mistake in their write-up of the report? Perhaps the OSCE was witnessing T-72s belonging to Russian-backed fighters entering government-held territory? Or perhaps the Ukrainian government has finally deployed T-72s? It's not clear. We have contacted the OSCE for clarification but as of publishing have not received a response. Three tanks is not that many, in the greater scheme of this conflict, but this issue bears watching.

The OSCE also reports ceasefire violations and heavy equipment, operated by both sides, out of compliance with the Minsk agreements. However, since the Ukrainian military said on June 3, at the height of fighting in Marinka, that it was redeploying its forces toward the front lines in order to respond to the attacks launched by Russian-backed fighters, it's less and less clear how the Minsk agreement means anything on the ground in Ukraine.

The full OSCE SMM 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
Yanukovych Denies He Gave Order to Shoot Maidan Demonstrators, But Takes Some Responsibility
Deposed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych gave an interview to BBC journalist Gabriel Gatehouse on "Newsnight" last evening June 22 and surprisingly Yanukovych said he "didn't deny responsibility" for violence against protesters

What made the interview riveting was Gatehouse was able to speak to Yanukovych directly in fluent Russian, and particularly when he evaded questions, could keep following up.

Gatehouse said Yanukovych had denied responsibility for state violence on Maidan, saying "the whole event was staged" and "part of a military coup."

He asked the all-important question as to whether Yanukovych gave the order to have snipers shoot at demonstrators.

But when he got a "no" he asked another equally-important question: did Yanukovych give the order not to use violence? Here, too, he got an evasive "no" -- and that in itself is telling.

The Interpreter has translated an excerpt from the interview:

Yanukovych: I don't have any such facts, that someone gave the order, that someone was giving the order...

Gatehouse: But we saw it on the video...

Yanukovych: ...to shoot at the demonstrators. I was categorically against it.

Gatehouse: I am trying to understand. Did you as the president give the order not to shoot?

Yanukovych: I did not give any orders. That was not my authority.

Gatehouse: But you were the president!

Yanukovych: That's in the first place. In the second place, I publicly said I was against the use of force, especially shooting.

Gatehouse: But still and all, Maidan ended in force. Maidan ended in bloodshed. But as the president and the commander-in-chief, don't you think that you bear a part of the responsibility for this?

Yanukovych: Of course. Of course. I don't shirk the responsibility.


Yanukovych denied the opulence found in his presidential palace, and claimed he had bought certain furnishings with his own salary, and everything else didn't belong to him.

The interview took an odd turn then Gatehouse interrupted Yanukovych and deadpanned: "But then who did it belong to? The ostriches?"

Yanukovych defensively replied, "What's wrong with supporting the ostriches?" Yanukovych said that they lived there. Gatehouse pressed further, saying it was odd that the president of a country had ostriches wandering around. Yanukovych said they weren't just wandering around, they had a certain section of the grounds. Gatehouse had a come-back -- he had been to the palace and saw they were all all on the same grounds.

"You're asking some rather impolite questions," Yanukovych finally began to object, explaining that he loved animals but didn't have time to spend with the ostriches.

Read the article and watch the full interview here: Ukraine Crisis: Yanukovych Regrets Bloodshed in Kiev

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

X

Acknowledgements