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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 917: August 22, 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.
As Russian-Backed Militants Pound Donetsk, Mariupol Areas, Prosecutor Cites Russian Officials for War Crimes

While there were no casualties reported today, Russian-backed militants kept up their attacks on the usual areas around Donetsk and Mariupol defended by the Ukrainian Army, and repeated attacks that have been added to the list under fire in recent weeks.

At 6:00 am, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported 46 instances in the previous 24 hours of firing on Ukrainian positions.

On the Donetsk line, 152-mm and 122-mm artillery was used on Avdeyevka, and various weapons were used on Novoselovka Vtoraya and Luganskoye. Verkhnetoretskoye and Svetlodarsk were fired on with 82-mm artillery; a sniper was seen in Verkhnetoretskoye. BMPs were observed near Mayorsk and Luganskoye.

On the Mariupol line, 120- and 122-mm artillery was fired on Novotroitskoye; mortar-launchers were used in Krasnogorovka; and then armored vehicles. Shirokino was fired on with 82-mm and 120-mm artillery, grenade-launchers and machine guns and later a BMP was used. Machine-guns fired on Granitnoye; grenade-launchers and large-caliber machine-guns were used on Maryinka and sniper fire was recorded.

In Lugansk Region, Novoaleksandrovka and Troitskoye came under fire from 82-mm artillery, grenade-launchers and large-caliber machine guns and grenade-launchers were also used on Popasnaya. Militants used firearms to shoot at Ukrainian positions in Novozvanivtsi and Novoaleksandrovka. There was random fire from a 122-mm artillery near Toshkovka. Drones were recorded in two areas.

At 18:00, the ATO reported a further 19 incidents of firing by Russian-backed fighters on Ukrainian positions.

Along the Donetsk line, 122-mm artillery fired about 40 rounds in Novobakhmutivtsi; 82-mm artillery was used on Avdeyevka and Novoselovka Vtoraya; grenade-launchers and large-caliber machine guns also fired on Avdeyevka and in Peski, anti-tank hand grenades were launched. A sniper was observed near Avdeyevka.

Along the Mariupol line, militants fired from 120-mm artillery on Ukrainian positions in Krasnogorovka; Ukrainian defenders of Shirokino were fired on from 82-mm artillery and grenade-launchers and automati grenade-launchers were used in Gnutovo and Vodyanoye, and firearms in Granitnoye.

In the Lugansk Region, there were reports of grenade-launchers and large-scale artillery until dawn, although it was quiet during the day.

The ATO reported that yesterday, August 21, the village of Sladkoye (Solodke) in Maryinka District was fired on by militants with 122-mm artillery for about 15 minutes. The ATO documented damage to homes including on Veteranov Street and found large craters but were unable to find the mortars that hit them. There were no casualties.

Elsewhere in the news today:

o Putin Advisor Cited by Ukrainian Prosecutor as  Helping Plan for War in Ukraine

According to Unian, in an interview with Espreso TV, Vadim Skibitsky, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) said that President Vladimir Putin's advisor Sergei Glazyev was involved in the economic issues for the "Novorossiya" project to support separatists in the Donbass. In September 2015, Glazyev prepared recommendations for Putin on how to sustain the economies of the self-declared "Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics".

Details on Glazyev's involvement are in a video uploaded to YouTube by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office. The video has audio tapes of conversations said to be had by Glazyev with Konstantin Zatulin and others on how Kharkiv, Odess, Donetsk and Zaporochia regional state administrations could be seized.

The materials are part of an investigation by the Prosecutor General of the role of top Russian officials in instigating and sustaining the war against Ukraine, Unian reported. Eighteen top officials have been named from Russia, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff, Glazyev, and others. Currently cases have been opened against a total of 39 Russians regarding incitement and conducting of aggressive warfare against Ukraine.

o Ukraine Demands Release of Jailed Crimean Tatar Leader

o Ukrainian Presidential Representative Says No Election Law to Be Drafted in Minsk

Iryna Herashchenko, presidential humanitarian envoy to the Trilateral Group in Minsk negotiating the Minsk accord implementation, said today that no election laws for Ukraine are being drafted in Minsk, Unian reported. Such laws would have to be drafted by the parliament or president of Ukraine.

Instead, she said, the parties are discussing the modalities of elections only, which are the prerequisites for elections to take place. These include security and OSCE standards, i.e. on freedom of the press. She reiterated that the "pseudoelections" called by the unrecognized people's republics should be cancelled. 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick