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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 879: July 15, 2016

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.
Kerry Hopeful Of Ukraine War Resolution As Military And Civilian Casualties Continue To Rise

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has been in talks today with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.

According to Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reports that Kerry said today that he would discuss the Ukraine war with Lavrov and that his discussions with President Vladimir Putin last night had been "productive."

"There is a lot of homework to be done, but I think that there is every possibility of ensuring a real resolution to this conflict."

Kerry has form for what could reasonably be said are over-optimistic statements regarding the conflict:

Two days ago NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was rather less impressed with the outcome of talks between the military alliance and Russia on the subject of Ukraine:

"We had an open and frank atmosphere in the meeting but we didn’t agree. Allies and Russia have profound and persistent disagreements on Ukraine. There was not a meeting of minds today."

Fighting continued yesterday with one Ukrainian soldier killed and four wounded.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters today that one soldier had been killed and two wounded as a result of a mortar attack near Maryinka, west of Donetsk. Automatic-grenade-launcher fire wounded two others: one near Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, and another near Zaytsevo, north of Gorlovka. 

In addition, the Ukrainian State Border Service reported that a border guard was wounded by shrapnel when a checkpoint near Mayorsk, west of Zaytsevo, was shelled at around 1:00 this morning. 

Two civilians were reportedly wounded.

According to the Donetsk Regional Administration, a resident of government-held Avdeyevka was wounded yesterday and evacuated by ambulance.

Meanwhile the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) claims that a man, born in 1937, was wounded last night by Ukrainian shelling in Zaytsevo.

The Ukrainian military reported 64 attacks yesterday.

According to this morning's ATO Press Center report, Russian-backed forces used 152 mm artillery to shell Maryinka and nearby Krasnogorovka, which was also shelled with 122 mm artillery.

Ukrainian positions near Avdeyevka and Zaytsevo, in addition to Novoselovka Vtoraya and Opytnoye, were shelled with mortars.

In the south, mortar fire was directed at Shirokino, Vodyanoye and Lebedinskoye, east of Mariupol, as well as Beryozovoye, on the highway between the port city and Donetsk.

In the Lugansk region, attacks were reported near Novoaleksandrovka, Novozvanovka and Stanitsa Luganskaya, where the Regional Administration reports that Russian-backed fighters attempted to break through the front line, supported by grenade-launcher and machine-gun fire. One residential building and a gas pipe were damaged.

Interestingly, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has recorded a shift in the level of violence towards the Lugansk region over the last week, despite the fact that the number of "hot spots" along the front is far lower in Lugansk.

Ukraine's was told by the SMM press office last night that 122 mm howitzers and one Grad multiple-launch rocket system had been spotted by an OSCE drone in an industrial site in separatist-held Donetsk.

One Ukrainian citizen was killed and two wounded in last night's massacre in Nice.

The Interior Ministry's press secretary Maryana Betsa said that one Ukrainian man was killed with another man and a woman wounded.

Ukrainian MPs are to be allowed access to classified information on the battle of Ilovaisk.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko has announced that MPs will be allowed to examine classified data on the battle, which took place at the end of the summer in 2014 and cost the lives of at least 366 Ukrainian servicemen. According to the latest official reports, 128 were captured and 158 are still considered missing.

Ukrainian forces attempted to retake the town, southeast of Donetsk, but became encircled by Russian and separatist forces. Ukrainian troops were attacked while trying to leave Ilovaisk through a "humanitarian corridor" offered by Russian commanders.

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The Battle of Ilovaisk: A Turning Point in Russia's War on Ukraine

Today September 14, Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey announced on TV Channel 5 the list of all those killed at Ilovaisk in the worst battle of the Russian-instigated war on Ukraine: 107 Ukrainians and 300 Russians, reported.

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Jul 15, 2016 11:02 (GMT)

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has finished its current session and will resume work on September 6

Speaker Andriy Parubiy closed the session today, but said that committee work would continue into the next week. 

If necessary, 150 signatures can be gathered from MPs to call an emergency session.

This is the first time that the Rada has had a summer recess since 2013.

-- Pierre Vaux