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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 924: August 29, 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.
Russia Deploys Planes to Ukrainian Border and Airborne Troops to Crimea; 2 Soldiers Killed, 4 Wounded
President Vladimir Putin has deployed divisions of the Airborne Troops (VDV) to occupied Crimea for jump training, Unian reports.

The VDV troops are taking part in the unannounced military inspection Putin called for last week.

The VDV is also practicing jumps at the Rayevsky training grounds near the Russian port of Novorossiysk. 

As was previously reported, Putin has also put the troops on the border of Ukraine on combat alert "for localization of crisis situations" following the Crimean border clashes earlier this month.

The Russian Defense Ministry also announced that the planes on Ukraine's border were placed on two-minute readiness, Unian announced.

The Ukrainian Border Service reported heightened activity at the administrative border between the Ukrainian mainland and Russian-occupied Crimea. Mi-8 was seen flying along the border and armor made demonstrative drives around the occupied territory. Russians also shone large projectors on the border guards serving at the site. Two drones were seen flying in the area.

Mobile radio reconnaissance posts have been observed in Kharkiv Region on the Ukrainian border with Russia as well. Reconnaissance and signal systems have been deployed.

The exercises in the Southern Military District, which now incorporates Russian-occupied Crimea, involve re-positioning of fighter jets to airfields closer to Ukraine, Unian reported.

The Southern Military District said in a statement (translation by The Interpreter):

The radar stations activated in the conducting of the unannounced inspection of combat readiness of the troops, including Nebo, Kasta, Desna, Gamma, and Oborona with various modifications, enable the military to monitor the entire air space from 0 to several dozens kilometers in elevation and for a distance to several hundred kilometers. Units of the anti-aircraft missile systems Triumf S-400, Favorit S-300 and Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile launching systems conducted simulated tactical launches of the missiles at training targets, and improved cooperation with command centers of the units of the air defense of the Southern Military District.

Furthermore, the crews of the Su-25 bombers and Mi-28N, Mi-35M and Mi-24 assault helicopters worked on cover for convoys of arm and automobiles during re-grouping of forces activated during the sudden inspection. The units practiced air reconnaissance and tactical ground strikes as well as shooting through thermal traps and maneuvering to prevent return ground fire.

There have been further reports of Russian convoys on the move in Russian-occupied Crimea, on the highway from Kerch to Simferopol near the village of Primorskoye, at least two convoys of BTRs and trucks were seen, Unian reported, citing Hromadske Radio.

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in battle and 4 were wounded in the last 24 hours, Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the presidential administration on ATO affairs announced at a briefing today, Unian reported.

The ATO released a video from the front in Avdeyevka where fighting has stepped up in recent days.

Буремна Авдіївка

Details... →
Aug 29, 2016 20:21 (GMT)

The Ukrainian Army makes a point of not showing their defensive positions. The video shows a roadblock by the sign at the entrance to Avdeyevka and scenes of devastation of large apartment complexes.

Soldiers are also shown shooting RPGs and heavy machine guns, then retreating to their fortified bunker to eat.

Ukrainian navy men responded to the video made of pro-Russian commander "Givi" landing on the beach near Shirokino with their own video on the beach with amphibious armor. They said the DNR fighters would be "turned into fertilizer" if they made a trip to this resort area, which would be their last.
Russian-backed militants fired 76 times on Ukrainian positions: along the Donetsk line 152-mm artillery was used on Arkhangelskoye; 122-mm artillery was used on Avdeyevka as well as Peski.

Militants fired on the norther part of Avdeyevka near Gorlovka with 120-mm artillery, grenade-launchers and heavy machine-guns.

The ATO also said that militants fired from tanks more than four dozens shells on Avdeyevka. Near the Svetlodar Bulge, 82-mm artillery was used as well as BMPs; an anti-tank missile system was used to attack Novoselovka Vtoraya. Anti-aircraft weapons were used on Luganskoye, Peski, and Avdeyevka. Snipers were also active in Pesky and Opytnoye.

On the Mariupol line, 122-mm artillery was fired more than 60 times at Shirokino, and 7 times on Talakovka. Russian-backed forces used artillery, grenade-launchers and machine-guns on Maryinka, Taramchuk, Krasnogorovka and Talakova, and automatic grenade-launchers were used on Novogrigorovka and Starognatovka. BMPs are actively moving in Maryinka and a sniper was active in Shirokino.

In Lugansk Region, grenade-launchers were used on Novoaleksandrovka, Novozvanovka and Zhyoltoye and 82-mm artillery, grenade-launchers, heavy machine-guns and firearms were fired on Stanitsa Luganskoye. A sniper was active near Novoaleksandrovka. Drones were recorded twice.

President Petro Poroshenko announced that there is still no confirmation from the Kremlin that the "Normandy Quartet" meeting will take place as originally planned, Unian reported. On August 10, after reported Crimean border clashes, Putin threatened to cancel the meeting, scheduled during the G20 meeting in China on September 4-5. 

The foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France issued a statement urging the de-escalation of the conflict in the Donbass.

Elsewhere in the news:

o Pogroms have been unleashed against Roma communities in Odessa Region after the murder of a young girl, age 9, reports.

In the village of Loshchinova, the body of the young girl was found with signs of a violent death. Police said she may also have been raped but were awaiting forensic tests. A 20-year-old local man has been arrested, evidently of Roma descent, after which mass disorders broke out, with 300 local people descending on Roma communities in the area and trashing homes and beating anyone they could find.

Police ultimately intervened but not before many homes were damaged and some burned down.

o President Petro Poroshenko dismissed Boris Lozhkin and appointed a new head of the presidential administration, Igor Raynin, former chairman of the Kharkiv Region government administration.

o Aleksandr Shchetinin, a Russian journalist and founder of the Novy Region news site, was found dead on the balcony of his apartment in Kiev by friends who had come to celebrate his birthday, reported. He had a gunshot to the head and a suicide note was nearby. He had also sent an email to a relative about his intended suicide.

Even so, there has been speculation about his death because he was yet another Russian journalist who moved from Russia to Ukraine to escape censorship. Another was Pavel Sheremet, a Belarusian journalist who first fled Belarus to Russia, then moved to Ukraine from Russia citing pressure on the media. He was murdered earlier this month in a car bomb still being investigated by police.

Ukrainian media first reported that police opened a case on Shchetinin's death as a suicide, but later 112 Ukraina said an investigation under "premeditated murder" had been opened. 

Police did not relay the contents of the note found by the journalist's body or the friends who had a key to his door. 

Meanwhile Artyom Shevchenko, spokesman for the police, said Shchetinin was known to have suicidal behaviors. Shchetinin announced in February 2014 that he was leaving the news agency where he had worked for 17 years. He said there was pressure on the editorial board from the Russian government.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick