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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 631

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
Parliament Fails To Pass Anti-Discrimination Bill, Visa-Free Travel To EU Jeopardized

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has once again failed to move forward with passing anti-discrimination laws. Today, the Rada did not include anti-discrimination laws in the labor code. This comes less than a week after the Rada voted down an anti-discrimination bill. Interfax-Ukraine reports:

Corresponding bill No. 3442 on amending to the Labor Code of Ukraine (concerning the harmonization of legislation in the area of preventing and combating discrimination with the legislation of the European Union) was put on the parliament's agenda on Tuesday, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.

However, the document was supported by only 207 MPs, with the required minimum being 226 votes.

The passage of anti-discrimination legislation is essential for moving forward with Ukraine's EU integration plans, the impetus for last year's Euromaidan Revolution. Without such laws, the EU is unlikely to grant Ukraine a visa-free travel agreement.

As we have been reporting, both gay rights advocates and those seeking EU integration have protested today. Despite the protests, the new measure has once again failed.

The Kyiv Post reports:

Organizers of the protest, called “Don’t F*ck with us,” argued that since the members of parliament are chosen by the Ukrainian people, they should not block a European future that thousands of Ukrainians fought for during the EuroMaidan Revolution.

The protest’s page on Facebook said some 2,000 people would attend, but roughly 500 ultimately showed up.

“It’s not an event targeted at the LGBT community. It’s about the future of Ukraine, and to let the MPs inside the parliament know that we want a European future for Ukraine. The future that many of us dreamt of after the Maidan revolution,” Tymur Levchuk, a 21-year-old local LGBT activist wearing a rainbow umbrella, told the Kyiv Post.

The organizers of the event asked people not to bring rainbow flags or other accessories that could lead to a confrontation with anti-gay protesters. The violence at the June 6 protest – when several gay rights activists were beaten down and chased by radicals -- is still fresh in many activists’ minds.

Levchuk wore the rainbow colors, he said, to draw attention to the basic problem of inequality in Ukraine. “They want to organize an event to push MPs to vote for a European future, including legislation to forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We’re all equal here, and to show my equality I’ve brought rainbow colors,” he said.



Pro-EU protest in front of parliament

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Protesters gather in front of the parliament building to rally for legislative steps to be taken in favor of closer EU integration. A few hundred protesters braved the rain and the cold on Nov.

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Nov 11, 2015 00:21 (GMT)
-- James Miller
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukrainian Parliament Schedules Elections in Mariupol and Krasnoarmeysk for November 29

The Verkhovna Rada or parliament of Ukraine has scheduled elections in Mariupol and Krasnoarmeysk for November 29 , Unian.net reported.

A judge ruled that elections could not take place in Krasnoarmeysk due to problems with ballots, and in Mariupol elections were cancelled after days of protest by democrats against pro-Russian groups over the printing of the ballots at a printing press owned by Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, who was backing the pro-Russian mayoral candidate.

-- 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
Trial of Two GRU Soldiers Captured in Ukraine Begins in Kiev; Judge Rejects Appeal to Call Them POWs

Two GRU soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces earlier this year in Schastye went on trial today in Kiev today, charged with "terrorism," Moscow News reported:

The two Russians captured in eastern Ukraine earlier this year, went on trial in Kiev on Tuesday and denied all allegations against them, claiming they are 'unemployed' and contradicting their earlier claims of serving on active duty with Russian special forces.

Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev previously described themselves as fighters on a military mission to aid separatists fighting Ukrainian government forces in the Donbass region.

The two men face charges including terrorist assault on Ukrainian armed forces, which led to deaths of military personnel, illegal entry to the occupied territories, and illegal possession of weapons. Both face penalties up to life imprisonment.

In an interview with Novaya Gazeta's Pavel Kanygin translated by The Interpreter, Aleksandrov had admitted he was on active duty as a contract soldier; now he is denying this.

Evidence was gathered to show the soldiers were deployed to fight along fighters from the self-declared "Lugansk People's Republic" while serving in the Russian armed forces.

Now the Defense Ministry claims they were not on active duty, but they had resigned from regular duty to become contract soldiers, according to their previous testimony. Russia does not acknowledge that its forces are fighting in Ukraine.

The judge dismissed the lawyers' appeal to have the men categorized as prisoners of war.

Both men were hospitalized due to injuries sustained in battle.

-- 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
4 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded With Fighting Reported This Afternoon In Donetsk

Hromadske Radio's Dmitry Palchenko reports from Peski that Russian-backed fighters have attacked Ukrainian positions there today.

According to Palchenko, Russian-backed fighters opened fire with small arms at noon. 

Palchenko said that heavier attacks begin from 18:00 onwards.

The Interpreter translates:

"During the day it's more or less quiet. Into the evening, now it starts to get dark from 6 pm, they start firing. The fire is usually from small arms, heavy-calibre machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, sometimes they use 80 mm shells, which are banned under the Minsk agreements. But not as often as they used to."

According to Palchenko, the Ukrainian soldiers are not returning fire. "The enemy is not conducting offensive operations, the militants are clearly pounding the Ukrainian soldiers' positions. The bombardment of Peski has been going on for a week already," said Dmitry Palchenko.

rayon_doneckogo_aeroporta.jpg

Photo by Dmitry Palchenko

Ukrainska Pravda spoke to soldiers on the front near Donetsk Airport, who told the online paper that as of 15:30 today, blasts could be heard near the Butovka mine, south of Avdeyevka, and that Russian-backed fighters were attacking with grenade launchers and recoilless rifles.

Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, announced today that four Ukrainian servicemen had been wounded over the last 24 hours. 

Meanwhile the Ukrainian General Staff has denied separatist claims that Ukrainian troops attempted an assault near Debaltsevo this morning.

Interfax-Ukraine reports that spokesman Vladislav Selzenyov said: 

What they say about Debaltseve is absurd. We are constantly declaring our strict compliance with the Minsk agreements and then our alleged offensive is reported out of the blue. This information is wrong, it is one of the hysterical information breakdowns exhibited by representatives of the so-called DPR/LPR in recent days." 

But there was a new claim this afternoon from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DNR), relayed by Russia's state-owned TASS news agency.

According to Eduard Basurin, a DNR military spokesman, Ukraine has deployed two squadrons of combat helicopters to Konstantinovka, north of Gorlovka, and tanks to Zhovanka, just outside the separatist-held town.

The separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) now reports, citing the head of the Kuybyshevsky district administration, Ivan Prikhodko, that Ukrainian troops have begun shelling northern areas of Donetsk with 82 mm mortars. 

Meanwhile there are reports on social media that military trucks have been moving up and down Kuybysheva Street, which runs between the city centre and the northern edge of Donetsk this afternoon:

Translation: Military trucks driving on both sides down Kuybysheva.

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Protesters Demand That Rada Pass Bills, Including Anti-Discrimination Legislation, To Ensure Visa-Free Regime With EU

Protesters have gathered outside the Verkhovna Rada today as MPs vote on a package of laws required to enter into a visa-free regime with the European Union, a key part of the EU Association Agreement that was the initial cause sparking the EuroMaidan protests in the winter of 2013.

One of the bills required would prohibit discrimination in the work place on the basis of sexual orientation. On November 5, the Rada failed to pass the package, with this bill being one of the most contentious points.

The slogan for the rally is "Don't Fuck With Us."

President Poroshenko has called on MPs to pass the bill:

Translation: Poroshenko has called on deputies to introduce the changes to the Labour Code on the inadmissibility of discrimination

UNIAN reports that the Rada has already passed Bill Number 2541, which provides for the confiscation of assets from corrupt officials. 

The Rada has also agreed to create a new agency for managing the return of stolen of assets, Ukrainska Pravda reports.

-- Pierre Vaux

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