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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukraine Live Day 719

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian-Backed Forces Step Up Attacks on Eve of 'Normandy' Talks; Child Injured in Fighting Near Gorlovka

The ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] [press center said the Russian-backed forces were stepping up their attacks on the eve of the "Normandy quartet" talks by the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to be held February 13, reported today: (translation by The Interpreter):

"All along the line of contact, the enemy is using not only banned weapons and diversionary-reconnaissance groups but also mobile mortary-firing gropus, like those used in Chechnya in the summer of 2014 and 2015."

He said the militants fired not only on Ukrainian positions but on their own, for the purpose of blaming the Ukrainian military. He said the fighters drove Ural trucks with tarpaulins covering 120-mm artillery and quickly changed their positions, firing on Gorlovka, Zaytsevo, Aleksandrovka, Marinka, and Krasnogorovka as well as Kominternovo, Gnutovo, and Talakovka. 

The separatist news service DAN-Info made the opposite claim, that Ukrainians fired on their own positions to the north of Gorlovka.

A 9-year-old girl was said to suffer shrapnel wounds in her arms and legs in fighting in the town of Zaytsevo to the north of Gorlovka, in a part controlled by the forces of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's republic," the separatist news service DAN-News reported, citing the head of administration of Zaytsevo. Officials accused Ukrainian forces of opening fire at 14:00. The girl was taken to the hospital in Gorlovka.

Zaytsevo has been under fire by separatists for weeks. 

Russian-backed fighters shelled Ukrainian positions along the Donetsk and Mariupol lines using 82-mm artillery, grenade-launchers and small arms, reported, citing the ATO's Facebook page.

The following towns were struck: Luganskoye, Marinka, Peski, Opytnoye, Novgorodskoye, Troitskoe and Shirokino. An anti-aircraft system was used on Optynoye and and a BMP in Novgorodskoye.

In Talakovka, Gnutova, Avdeyevka, Zaytsevo, Mayorsk and the Butovka coal mine, 82- and 120-mm mortars were used. 

The militants fired 14 times on Krasnogorovka alone, and broke the ceasefire a total of 84 times. The Ukrainian military said they returned fire with weapons permitted under the Minsk Accords.

The Mariupol city news site reported that  separatists fired on Ukrainian positions in Marinka, Krasnogorovka using RPGs, AGS, 82-mm artillery and sniper rifles. "The Ukrainian forces were forced to open return fire," said There were 6 massive shellings, and some reports of wounded but no further details were available.

There were also reports of heavy fighting around Gorlovka (Horlivka) but these were disputed =- although shelling was reported.

Translation: heavy battles shaking Gorlovka. A real hell has descended from the depths of the underworld to the northern outskirts.

In other news:

-- In Kiev, someone used an RPG-26  grenade-launcher to shoot a car repair garage at about 3:30 am in Solomensky District, reported. No injuries were reported, and police found the tail of the grenade on the site of the damaged building.

-- Police reported that on February 4, a bouquet of flowers was sent to the director of an IT firm in Kiev, and it then exploded in the boardroom. There were no injuries, but the furniture was damaged.

-- Marina Cherenkova and scholar Ihor Kozlovsky, kidnapped last week, are still being held.
-- A video was uploaded to YouTube that has not previously appeared in Google search that shows 70 BTRs moving through Russian-occupied Crimea from Stary Krym to Feodosiya.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick