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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
Day 887: July 23, 2016

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
Zakharchenko Postpones Elections in 'Donetsk People's Republic'; Far-Right Alternative for Germany Party Observes

Aleksandr Zakharchenko, leader of the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR) announced that elections, which he had scheduled for tomorrow, July 24, would be postponed to November 6, 2016, Gordonua.com reported, citing the DNR's site.

RIA Novosti, citing Zakharchenko's press service, reported a different date -- October 30.

A source told RIA that the DNR leader blamed Kiev for the postponement and said he hoped "Western partners would force" Ukraine to pass a law on elections in collaboration with the separatists.

Meanwhile, Kiev has insisted that any elections in the area controlled by Russian-backed militants muyst be under Ukrainian law, which would mean that all Russian military and weapons would have to leave the area and Ukraine would have to regain control of its border, as provided for by under the Minsk agreement. 

The Trilateral Group of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the "people's republics" and OSCE have not found an agreement about the elections.

Zakharchenko has responded by saying he would unilaterally hold the elections if Kiev did not pass the law. Elections have already been postponed October 18, 2016 and March 20, 2016.

A group of international observers who had come to monitor the primaries in Gorlovka were reported to have come under "intense shelling from the side of Ukrainian forces," DNR-News, the news service of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" reported.

Udo Stein, an MP from Baden-Wurttemberg and member of the Alternative for Germany Party, a far-right anti-immigration party that has long held to pro-Russian positions and opposes sanctions stated:

"We came here as international observers but we are interested in the real state of affairs in Donbass. The lesson of World War II cannot be forgotten. Personally I am for peace in Europe;' after all, war in the 21st century should not be the method of resolving political problems."

Thomas Rudy, chairman of the Alternative for Germany in Grats-Altenburg also made a one-sided assessment of the war:

"I saw a fair amount of destruction here. I saw the impact marks of shells in a school where children were studying, and saw burning and destroyed homes. I spoke with local residents, I heard what our media doesn't tell us. In fact, it is terrible, Ukraine has unleashed a war against its own people instead of establishing dialogue and looking for a compromise."

Also in the delegation was Johan Bäckman of Finland, spokesman of the Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee, which has also long supported Russia's side in the war in Ukraine.


The Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) made two reports on the situation at the front today on its Facebook page.

In the first report, the ATO said Russian-backed forces had shelled Ukrainian positions 54 times in the previous 24 hours: 24 times in the Donetsk area; 26 in the area of Mariupol and 4 near Luganskoye.

Positions in Avdeyevka and Peski were attacked with 82-mm, 120-mm and 122-mm artillery as well as large-caliber machine guns and firarms. In Luganskoy, militants used 82-mm and 120-mm artillery and a BMP; a 82-mm artillery in Troitskoye and grenade-launchers in Novgorodskaya, Peski, Novoselovka Vtoraya, and the Butovka mine; large-caliber machine guns and firemars were used on Zatsevo.

Attacks were made on Shirokino and Starognatovka with 120-mm artillery and 82-mm artillery and grenade-launchers in Krasnogorovka, Talakovka and Vodyanoye. Snipers were active near Maryinka and Shirokino. 

In Lugansk Region, mortars were fired on Stary Aydar and grenade-launchers and large-caliber machine guns were used on Novoaleksandrovka.

Then in the afternoon, the ATO reported 40 attacks.

These included the use of 122-mm on Avdeyevka and Opytnoye; 120-mm artillery on both Avdeyevka and Novoselovka Vtoraya; firearms and grenade-launchers on Mayorsk, Avdeyevka, the Butovka mine and large-caliber machine guns near Troitskoye.

On the Mariupol line, 120-mm artillery was used on positions in Chermalyk, Gnutovo, and Novogrigoryevka; 82-mm artillery was used on Krasnogorovka. Grenade-launchers fired on Novotroitskoye and Talakovka; a tank was used near Novogrigoryevka and snipers were active near Shirokino and Maryinka.

In Novozvanovka on the Luganskoye line, militants used 122-mm self-propelled artillery, 120-mm and 82-mm artillery, grenade-launchers, anti-aircraft systems and firearms. There were also attacks near Novoaleksandrovka with 122-mm artillery, 82-mm artillery and grenade launchers, and attacks on Popasnaya.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

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