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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
Ukraine Liveblog Day 63: Moscow and Kiev Point Fingers After Ceasefire Shattered

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
Separatists Take Journalist Captive in Slavyansk
Estonia's President expresses his outrage at the news:

Vice News, in an article entitled "Press Conferences in Eastern Ukraine Have Been Getting Weirder and Weirder," reports:

On Monday, militias in Sloviansk paraded Irma Krat, a 29-year-old Ukrainian journalist and activist they have been holding since Sunday, before a crowd of journalists. The city was the setting of a deadly shoot-out during the weekend, which killed at least three people.

An armed, masked man led out a blindfolded Krat, took the scarf off from around her face and allowed her to address reporters, then blindfolded her once again, and escorted her away.

But, he claimed, the group was not holding her “against her will.”

The videos below show Krat speaking to reporters. Her expired press credentials are shown in the second video.

Several videos in the report show Krat, sometimes blindfolded and sometimes not, speaking to the press. Krat says she's cold, but "ok," and she's been given food and water. She is accused of being a "spy" involved in "war crimes." 

Another journalist,  freelancer Serhiy Lefter, is reportedly missing, though Krat, obviously under duress, said that she did not know if Lefter was being held by the separatists.  

On Sunday, Krat addressed reporters while blindfolded. At some point a loud bang or gunshot can be heard.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Pro-Russia Rallies Poorly Attended In East Ukraine

RIA Novosti, the recently-restructured Russian state-owned "news" outlet has this to say about pro-Russian rallies held today in eastern Ukraine:

Eastern Ukraine has been swept by rallies since last month. Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

In response, Ukrainian authorities started a special operation to crack down on pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country, a move that Moscow strongly condemned.

Ukraine underwent a regime change resembling a military coup on February 22. The country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, changed the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25. Moscow has repeatedly questioned the actions.

Their picture of the Donetsk rally: 

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The problem? It seems that the most exciting thing to happen in Donetsk in the last weekend has been sleeping dogs (and very few protesters):

And a guy playing piano:

So while Russian state-media reports hundreds of protesters, there were only perhaps a dozen visible at each of these rallies, as far as one can tell from the visual evidence. But what about today's huge protest in Kharkiv, billed as the main event for pro-Russian rallies in the east? Pro-Russian accounts on VK are circulating this picture, reportedly showing 2000 people in attendance. First of all, Kharkiv is a very large city, so 2000 would be a very small crowd. Also, there's no real evidence that the number is accurate, as we have not seen any pictures of more than perhaps a few hundred people.

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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
Donetsk People's Republic Launches Anti-Semitic TV Channel

The Euroasian Jewish Congress (eajc.org) has posted a video said to be from the armed pro-Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" who have taken power in Slavyansk (Sloviansk) and seized the television tower that broadcasts to Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Gorlovka (Horlivka), Makeyevka and other towns in the Donetsk Region. The separatists have shut down Ukrainian television channels and begun broadcasting Russian Federation TV.

On 20 April, the separatists launched their own channel using the frequency of the Ukrainian channel Inter, and posted their introductory video on the Internet. In the video, the separatists proclaim their mission, an excerpt of which The Interpreter has translated:

"Here, from Slavyansk, we will strike a most powerful information conceptual blow against the Biblical matrix...through our television broadcasting against zombie-broadcasting...Zionist zombie-broadcasting...the Zionist zombie-box..."


The video continues with the airing of a lecture of the late Konstantin Petrov, a retired general of the Soviet rocket and space forces who led a Russian nationalist neo-pagan sect with antisemitic and Stalinist views who created a political party called "Course of Truth and Unification." A "Donetsk People's Republic" activist explains that this will reveal to the audience how they are ruled globally and locally.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
US Vice President Joe Biden Arrives in Ukraine

The American Vice President, Joe Biden, has arrived in Ukraine and will meet Ukraine's acting President and Prime Minister tomorrow. Washington Post reports:

[A senior unnamed official] said the U.S. energy consulting team will travel from here to Slovakia and Hungary to work on ways of reversing the flow of some of Ukraine’s pipelines now supplying Europe. Over the longer term, the official said, the U.S. government will work with Ukraine to help the government increase domestic gas production.

In addition, the official said, teams of U.S. economic advisers will arrive to assist Ukrainian officials in using $1 billion in recently approved U.S. loan guarantees and in securing a far larger assistance package from the International Monetary Fund.

Biden will also meet here with several dozen members of Ukraine’s parliament Tuesday representing regions from across the country. His message, the official said, will stress the need for unity ahead of next month’s elections to confront the enduring security threat and economic instability.

He will then speak with members of various civil society groups working to promote democracy and anti-corruption efforts, as well as those promoting youth and cultural programs.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russian Propaganda Alert - Moscow State University Edition
The latest news from the OSCE, as shared through a tweet from a professor at Moscow State University who describes himself as "Senior Lecturer/Researcher in International Relations and Security Studies at MGU, Political Analyst for RT, US Navy vet - Nuclear Engineering." 

The actual article doesn't really say that at all. The quote is clearly out of context. The report starts off by saying that the situation in Ukraine is not as dire as some media reports suggest, and it says that casualty numbers have often been exaggerated. Interestingly, the OSCE head identifies one such occassion as the attack last week in Mariupol which reportedly left three dead. The OSCE was only able to confirm one of those deaths. But it is the Russian media that reported that first four people, and then three, were killed. In other incidents, the Russia state media has exaggerated the numbers of casualties at some incidents, even if only in their initial reports. 

As for evidence of Russian troops operating inside Ukraine, the OSCE monitor actually admits that there are "signs," though there is a lack of hard evidence: 

As for the suspected presence of Russian servicemen in Ukraine, Zillikens said that "there are signs that foreign consultants worked and operated in the Ukrainian territory, but no clear evidence of that".

"Perhaps, we will get such evidence tomorrow. I don't rule that out. But so far, there is none. Only signs. Precisely such information, such a picture we present and report to Kyiv," head of the OSCE mission in Donetsk said.
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