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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 520

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 Militants Bring Heavy Artillery to Town Near Mariupol: OSCE SMM
OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) has recorded a build-up of heavy artillery in the possession of the Russian-backed separatists in the area of the town of Bezymyannoye (Bezimenne) near Mariupol, Unian.net reports.

Translation: We Won't Surrender Mariupol! Fighters have brought heavy artillery near Mariupol. OSCE: Special Monitoring Mission.

According to the SMM's report from yesterday, July 21:

At a further Ukrainian Armed Forces holding area, the SMM noted that weapons previously recorded at that location were no longer there, though personnel present claimed that such weapons had never been held at the site. At one “DPR” site the SMM verified that all weapons previously recorded were present. The SMM was prevented from accessing the other “DPR” site*.

Despite claims that the withdrawal of heavy weapons was complete, the SMM observed the following weapons’ movements in areas that are in violation of the weapons’ respective withdrawal lines. In government-controlled areas, the SMM observed two anti-tank guided missile systems (likely 9K111 Fagot or 9M113 Konkurs) at different locations. The SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) observed a concentration of 11 MBTs, 31 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), four towed artillery pieces (probably 122mm D-30 howitzers) and at least 31 trucks in “DPR”-controlled Bezimenne (30km east of Mariupol). In government-controlled Krasnohorivka (19km west of Donetsk) one MBT was spotted. The SMM UAV was jammed flying over both government and “DPR”-controlled areas*.

Bezymyannoye (Bezimme) is a town in Donetsk Region on the shore of the Azov Sea about a 11 kilometers to the east of Shirokino and about 37 kilometers from Mariupol.

Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces recently both withdrew from Shirokino under an effort by the OSCE to create a "demilitarized zone" but the separatists moved only a few kilometers away to the town of Sakhanka.

Bezymyonnoye.png

Last August, Ukrainian forces took up position in Bezymyonnoye when combined Russian and separatist troops took over Novoazovsk before the battle of Ilovaisk.

But now Bezymyannoye is now in separatist hands, one of many small towns the separatists have seized in the last year.

Military%20Maps%20July%2022.png

The SMM also reported on yesterday's shelling of Donetsk, characterizing the situation as "relatively calm" despite significant shelling:

Despite the SMM observing 12 mortar explosions at and around Donetsk airport (8km north-west of Donetsk city) and exchanges of small arms fire between government-controlled Pisky (15km north-west of Donetsk) and the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Volvo Centre (13km north-west of Donetsk), the situation in Donetsk region was relatively calm[1]. In government-controlled Sopyne (16km east of Mariupol) the SMM heard some small arms fire. Near government-controlled Novobakhmutivka (26km north of Donetsk), the SMM heard over 100 bursts of small arms fire.

The SMM saw damage to three apartments at Kuibysheva Street in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city consistent with arrow-type anti-armoured tank ammunition. The shell struck the north-facing external wall of one apartment and passed through three internal walls. The SMM assessed the tank shell to have been fired from a north-north-easterly direction. According to residents the incident happened during the early hours of 21 July, and caused no injuries. Residents told the SMM the shell had not exploded and was removed by “DPR” members.

The direction of "North/Northwest" would mean the shelling could have come from  Pisky.

Read the rest of the SMM report here.

-- 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
Ukraine Condemns French MPs' Visit To Occupied Crimea; Fabius "Shocked"

Volodymyr Groysman, speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, has written a letter to the president of the French National Assembly, Claude Bartolone, asking for a response to the announcement by French MP Thierry Mariani that he and nine other parliamentarians were to visit occupied Crimea this week.


In a statement published on the Rada website, Groysman said that the planned trip was in violation of Ukrainian law as the group, primarily comprised of MPs from the opposition Republicans party, is due to travel to Crimea from the Russian Federation, ignoring Ukrainian border controls.

Groysman wrote (translated by The Interpreter):

"Hopeful for the further development of friendly, trustful and mutually beneficial Ukrainian-French inter-parliamentary cooperation, I would like to hear your thoughts concerning this event, with which certain politicians are trying to cast doubt on the territorial integrity of our state."

Oleksii Makeiev, political director at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, tweeted:

Translation: The visit by French deputies to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea [ARK] is an irresponsible step, disrespectful to the laws of Ukraine and the French/EU policy of not recognising the occupation of the ARK. There will be consequences.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariana Betsa tweeted: 

Le Figaro reports this afternoon that, according to sources in parliament, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, has said that he is "shocked" by the news of the visit and expressed his "hostility" towards it, speaking before a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.

According to Le Figaro's sources, two of the senators who were due to travel to Crimea, Yves Pozzo di Borgo and Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, have now pulled out of the trip.

Fabius reportedly said that Gérard Larcher, president of the Senate (and a fellow member of The Republicans), had successfully talked the two out of travelling.

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Poroshenko Appoints New Governor Of Lugansk, Georgiy Tuka

President Petro Poroshenko has appointed volunteer activist Georgiy Tuka as the new governor of the Lugansk region.

Translation: Helicopter on the way to Severodonetsk.

Poroshenko signed the order to make Tuka governor at a ceremony in Severodonetsk this afternoon, UNIAN reports:

5a07168-1.jpg

"The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the appointment of George Tuka as Chairman of the Luhansk Regional State Administration. We kept the nomination in  secret. The decree will be signed right now, and I decide to appoint George Tuka Chairman of the Luhansk Regional State Administration..." Poroshenko said at a meeting with activists from Luhansk region, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

"I emphasize again: he is a new person, with an impeccable reputation, with intolerance to corruption, with new thinking, with modern non-standard decisions, and most importantly – with Ukraine in his heart. This is George Tuka," he said.

Tuka replaces the acting head of the region, Yuriy Klimenko, who took over when governor Hennadiy Moskal was reassigned to head the Zakarpattia region last week.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russian Backed Fighter Says Russian Troops Regularly Rotate Into Ukraine

A Russian citizen who is fighting against the Ukrainian government in the Donbass has told RFE/RL many details about the Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine:

He said that regular Russian troops enter Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions for a period of one week before they leave and are replaced by fresh forces. Russia also regularly sends military instructors to Ukraine's east to train pro-Russian separatists, according to Rustam.

...

Once on the ground, Rustam learned that every separatist unit in eastern Ukraine has one military instructor sent from Russia. He claims that these instructors were sent under the guise of contractors.

Overall, he estimates that every unit "has some 15 volunteers from Russia" fighting for it. The other fighters, he says, "are local people."

The fighter also says that Russian rubles are brought in by armored car each day and are distributed as needed.

Read the entire article here:


Volunteer Rebel Sheds Light On Russian Military Involvement In Eastern Ukraine

Russian troops regularly enter separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine and serve there on a rotational basis, according to a volunteer who has been fighting with the insurgents since October. Rustam, a Russian citizen from Tatarstan's Saba district who gave only his first name, made the claims in a telephone interview with RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on July 20.

View full page >
Jul 22, 2015 19:28 (GMT)
In March, U.S. Army Europe Commander Ben Hodges said that there were approximately 12,000 Russian soldiers active in eastern Ukraine. In a recent article in The New York Times, Russian forces on both sides of the border were examined. The head of the OSCE mission in Ukraine also gave insight into the amount of soldiers who have crossed the border:
-- James Miller
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Two Civilians Reported Wounded During Shelling Of Avdeyevka This Afternoon

Vyacheslav Abroskin, chief of the Donetsk regional branch of the Interior Ministry, wrote on his Facebook page at 12:04 GMT that residential areas of Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, were under mortar bombardment.

Several houses on Kirov street were, Abroskin, wrote, completely destroyed by direct strikes.

Two civilians, a woman born in 1968 and a man born in 1965, have been wounded.

Abroskin reported the shelling continued at the time of writing. 

-- Pierre Vaux

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