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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 921: August 26, 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.
Ukrainian Civilian Volunteer Killed by Sniper in Shirokino; Maryinka is Town Most Under Fire

A sniper has killed a volunteer fighter in Shirokino, reports, citing the Department of Communications of the Donetsk Region Police.

Police received a report that the body of a man had been brought to a hospital in Shirokino, with penetrating gunshot wounds to his chest. He was identified as a 30-year-old resident of Lvov Region, but his name was not released. According to local sources, he was a driver who brought food deliveries to Ukrainian forces.

Ten days ago, another volunteer, born in 1954, from Berdyansk, was shot dead in the village of Chermalyk in Donetsk Region, reported. The man had served as a mechanic, repairing military vehicles, and was found dead after Russian-backed militants opened fire on Chermalyk.

Today, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] posted a photo of a candle in a bullet casing, often used to signify a soldier has died, but made no explanation. A reader in the comments noted that a volunteer in Shirokino has been killed.

o ATO Reports This AM 48 Attacks in Previous 24 Hours, Then 27 Attacks Today 

The ATO said today at 6:00 am on its Facebook page that in the past 24 hours, Russian-backed forces fired 48 times on ATO positions.

Along the Donetsk line, about 170 shells from 122- and 152-mm artillery were fired on Avdeyevka and Arkhangelskoye. Mortar, grenade and machine gun fire continued on the northern outskirts of Gorlovka . The separatists have sent a drone over the industrial zone in Avdeyevka. BMPs were seen near Luganskoye and Korovo.

Along the Mariupol line, Maryinka, Shirokino and Vodyanoye came under the most fire, from grenade-launchers, large-caliber machine guns and firearms. In Maryinka and Gnutovo, 82-mm artillery was used. In Pavlopol and Novomikhailovka, 120-mm artillery banned under the Minsk agreement was used. Military armor was also spotted in Maryinka.

In Lugansk Region, it was quiet during the day but at night, Novoaleksandrovka was attacked with grenade-launchers and large-caliber machine guns were used in Troitskoye; provocations with firearms continued near Novozvanovka and Zolotye. The militants fired on Stanitsa Luganska from mortar-launchers and grenade-launchers and twice used a BMP.

At 18:00, the ATO reported that the militants had fired 27 times on ATO positions during the day.

On the Lugansk line, there was a massive artillery strike on Krymskoye from 122-mm artillery; more than 50 shells were fired. Militants fired machine guns on Zolotoye and grenade-launchers and firearms were used in Novozvanivtsi.

On the Mariupol line, 82-mm and 120-mm artillery was used to fire on Krasnogorovka; 120-mm was used on Ukrainian positions in Taramchuk, Shirokino and Lebedinskoye. In Vodyanoye, 82-mm artillery was used, and automatic grenade-launchers in Beryozovoye.

In the afternoon, provocations continued against Shirokino and Maryinka; there was also sniper fire in Maryinka.

Along the Donetsk line, shelling continued of Avdeyevka, Zaytsevo, and Peski. Hand grenades were launched near Luganskoye and BMPs were recorded near Svetlodarsk.

o OSCE Reports Growing Tensions Between IDPs and Host Communities 

In other news, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission released a report today saying the presence of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) was causing strain with host communities. 

Challenges such as the lack of employment and inadequate housing that face both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the host communities in which they live could be major potential triggers for strained relations between the two and lead to secondary displacement, says a new report issued today by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM).

The report, Conflict-related Displacement in Ukraine: Increased Vulnerabilities of Affected Populations and Triggers of Tension within Communities, highlights the impact of the conflict in Ukraine that has forced thousands of people to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Focusing on the long-term displacement of IDPs and their relations with host communities, the report is based on the findings of focus group discussions and individual interviews conducted with conflict-affected populations in 19 regions across Ukraine.

The report shows that displaced persons were usually welcomed with solidarity and understanding. However, as the resources of the host communities became increasingly scarcer, IDPs reported feeling a shift in attitude towards more frustration and indifference. In order to increase acceptance, some IDPs engaged in volunteer work with the local population.

o Increase in Ceasefire Violations in Donetsk, Says OSCE 

In its report issued today for yesterday, August 25, the OSCE SMM also indicated a "significant increase" in ceasefire violations in the Donetsk Region. 

The SMM noted a significant increase in the number of ceasefire violations observed in Donetsk region on 25 August (at least 543 explosions) compared with 24 August (over 350 explosions).[1]

On the night of 24 August, the SMM camera in Avdiivka (government-controlled, 17km north-west of Donetsk), recorded between 19:14 and 19:43 eight explosions, assessed as impacts of rounds from unknown weapon systems, as well as continuous exchanges of fire including uncountable explosions (impacts and outgoing), airbursts and bursts, all 5-7km south-east of its location.

ing the night of 24 August whilst in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), between 19:35 and 22:35, the SMM heard 80 explosions assessed as mortar (82mm) rounds, cannon rounds (BMP-1, 73mm), recoilless gun rounds (SPG-9, 73mm), automatic-grenade-launcher rounds, as well as over 100 bursts of anti-aircraft cannon (ZU-23, 23mm) and heavy-machine-gun fire, all 2-4km south-east, south-south-east and south of its position. Between 23:35 and 00:30, the SMM heard 12 explosions assessed as impacts of 122mm artillery rounds, five explosions assessed as outgoing cannon rounds (BMP-1, 73mm) and bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 2-5km south and south-east of its position. Whilst in Horlivka (“DPR”-controlled 39km north of Donetsk), between 21:00 and 22:30 the SMM heard a total of 49 explosions of which 39 were assessed as impacts of mortar (82mm) rounds, seven were undetermined and three were assessed as impacts of automatic grenade launcher rounds, as well as bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire, all 7-9km north-west of its location.

Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), during the day, the SMM heard, between 11:55 and 12:56, 118 undetermined explosions, as well as numerous bursts of small-arms fire 3-6km west-south-west of its position. From 15:20 to 18:41 the SMM camera in Avdiivka (government-controlled, 17km north of Donetsk) recorded 16 undetermined explosions, 4-5km south-east of its position. At different locations in the same area, the SMM heard 44 explosions, most of which it assessed as outgoing mortar rounds and ten explosions it assessed as mortar round impacts at a range of 0.5 to 8km east and south-east of its positions.

In the early afternoon, the SMM heard one undetermined explosion approximately 1km east of its residence in Donetsk city. A “DPR” member told the SMM that the unidentified body of a man in civilian clothing was found at the scene of the explosion.

There were also reports on social media of the explosion in Donetsk. 

o Azov Regiment Withdrawn from Mariupol and Redeployed to Zaporozhia 

Yesterday, August 25, reported that the Azov Regiment, a volunteer unit with many ultranationalists, some who have been found with Nazi views and regalia, has been withdrawn from its service in Mariupol.

Azov complained on its web site that this was done due to the need to accommodate the pro-Russian government in Mariupol which resulted from the last Ukrainian elections, as well as pro-Russian leaders in the National Guard who "want to surrender positions and entire cities."

The National Guard confirmed that Azov was being withdrawn to Zaporozhia Region, where soldiers will serve at checkpoints and observation points.

In 2015, Azov, a regiment of volunteers, was placed under the command of the National Guard, which is subordinate to the Interior Ministry.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick