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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 893: July 29, 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
Google Caves Under Russian Pressure to Revert 'De-Communized' Names of Cities in Crimea
Yesterday we reported that Google had changed some 900 Crimean place names on its maps, following a resolution passed by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) to "de-Sovietize" the names.

In Ukraine, the new names were to take effect after Kiev restores control over Crimea, which Russia forcibly annexed in March 2014. That day would not likely come soon, but Google changed the names anyway.

But after Russia complained about the changes, Google restored the names, including Sovyetsky (Soviet) and Krasnogvardeyskoye (Krasnohvardis'ke) (Red Guard), RFE/RL reported. The Ukrainian parliament had wished to rename the towns Ichkiy and Kurman.

The names have now been reverted on both Russian-language and Ukrainian Google maps.

Russia's communications minister claimed that Google's temporary change was "illegal," but in fact, the UN General Assembly voted to affirm Ukraine's sovereignty and condemn the illegal annexation in 2014. 

Sergei Aksyonov, head of the self-proclaimed Crimean government accused Google of producing a "propaganda product rather than real maps," said RFE/RL.

-- 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
Delegation Of French MPs Arrives In Occupied Crimea

A delegation of French MPs, most of them members of the center-right opposition party, Les Républicains (LR), has arrived in Russian-occupied Crimea.

Several members of the group, including Républicain Thierry Mariani and Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo of the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), have already visited the occupied Ukrainian peninsula. 

Both these politicians have pushed for rapprochement with Russia, co-authoring non-bind resolutions calling for the lifting of sanctions that were passed earlier this year by both the Senate and National Assembly.


The other members of the delegation are as follows:

Jean-Claude Bouchet MP (LR)

Senator René Danesi (LR)

Nicolas Dhuicq MP (LR)

Sauveur Gandolfi-Scheit MP (LR)

Jérôme Lambert MP (RRDP)

Jacques Myard MP (LR)

Jean-Luc Reitzer MP (LR)

Michel Terror MP (LR)

Patrice Verchere MP (LR)

Michel Voisin MP (LR) 

Leonid Slutsky, an MP with Russia's ill-named Liberal Democratic Party and Chair of the Duma Commission on CIS Affairs, posted photos of the group on his Facebook page, showing them posing with a statue of a Russian paratrooper.

The monument commemorates the seizure of the peninsula by Russian special forces at the end of February in 2014.  

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2016-07-29 17:33:08

The group was invited by Slutsky earlier this month to come and attend Navy Day in occupied Sevastopol on Sunday.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National, also received an invitation from retired Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov.

It remains to be seen whether Le Pen will turn up. If she does, it will be an embarrassment for Les Républicains, for whom any association with the far-right could be toxic.

The leader of the Les Républicains, former President Nicolas Sarkozy, made his sympathies towards Russia clear earlier this summer: 

In October, The Interpreter's editor-in-chief Michael Weiss debated Jacques Myard on France 24. In the conversation about Russia's air campaign in Syria which had just been launched 48 hours earlier, Myard echoed lies and disinformation spread by the Russian and Syrian governments, claims that were debunked by The Interpreter and Weiss in his work with The Daily Beast. 

The discussion was quite heated. The first part of that discussion can be watched here: 

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Putin's Syria gambit (part 1) - France 24

THE DEBATE Latest update : 2015-10-01 By François PICARD Michael WEISS Co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror" Jacques MYARD French MP, Les Républicains party Benjamin HADDAD Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington Joachim BITTERLICH Former German ambassador to NATO

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Jul 29, 2016 22:01 (GMT)
The second part can be watched here: 
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Putin's Syria gambit (part 2) - France 24

THE DEBATE Latest update : 2015-10-01 By François PICARD Michael WEISS Co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror" Jacques MYARD French MP, Les Républicains party Benjamin HADDAD Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington Joachim BITTERLICH Former German ambassador to NATO

View full page →
Jul 29, 2016 22:03 (GMT)
-- Pierre Vaux
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Kiev Reports 56 Attacks, 3 Soldiers Wounded Yesterday

Three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded yesterday.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters today that two had been wounded by shelling near Krasnogorovka, west of Donetsk, and one near Pavlopol, northeast of Mariupol.

The Ukrainian military claims that Russian-backed forces conducted 56 attacks over the course of the day.

According to this morning's ATO Press Center report, the heaviest fighting was seen in the Avdeyevka area, where Russian-backed forces attacked Ukrainian positions with 82 mm mortars, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft artillery, heavy machine guns and small arms.

Military press officer Arkady Radkovsky told the 112 television channel this morning that, after midnight, 122 mm artillery and 120 mm mortars had been used to shell Ukrainian positions northwest of Donetsk, near Peski and Nevelskoye. 

Mortars were also reported by the ATO Press Center to be used in attacks on Troitskoye, Mayorsk, Zaytsevo, Maryinka, Vodyanoye and Krasnogorovka.

The Press Center published photos of damage purportedly inflicted by 82 mm mortar shelling on residential areas of Zaytsevo: 

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2016-07-29 13:36:18

The self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) claims that a civilian was wounded by Ukrainian shelling last night.

Maksim Zhukovsky, head of the separatist-backed Petrovsky district administration, told the Donetsk News Agency that a man, born in 1961, was wounded when shells struck the western area of Donetsk city. 

Another resident of the district was severely injured last night while trying to dismantle unexploded ammunition he had found. He is now on life support in a critical condition. 

Three people, including a NATO representative, were killed in an explosion at an arms decommissioning site in the Sumy region.

Reuters reports:

Three people died, including a NATO representative, in an explosion at a military installation in northern Ukraine, the Ukrainian defence company Ukroboronprom said on Friday.

The explosion occurred on Thursday afternoon while a missile was being unloaded from a vehicle, the company said in a statement. It said two other workers were injured.

Local media said the NATO representative was an Ukrainian who monitors the disarming Soviet-era weapons, a process partly financed by NATO.

Ukraine, the western-most outpost of the former Soviet Union, inherited thousands of tonnes of obsolete ammunition and weapon which is due to destroy.

Liga Novosti reports that Ukroboronprom has announced that they have identified three possible causes for the blast:

  • Self-detonation of the warhead due to chemical degradation over the course of its storage.
  • The explosion of an as-yet unidentified foreign object.
  • Careless handling.

-- Pierre Vaux

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