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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 971: October 15, 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-backed Militants Fire 42 Times on Ukrainian Positions; DNR Reports 3 Fighters Killed, 3 Wounded

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed today as Ukraine celebrated Defenders' Day, but military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said they died "from a quarrel," not in combat.

At 6:00 am, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported on its Facebook page:

Russia-backed militants fired 42 times on Ukrainian positions; of these 27 times on the Mariupol line, using 122-mm artillery near Lebedinskoye, Vodyanoye, Shirokino and Pavlopol. The intensity of 152-mm artillery was directed on Vodyanoye and 120-mm artillery was used elsewhere. In Krasnogorovka and Maryinka, militants fired from a tank, BMP and mortar-launchers.

On the Luganskoye line, the rea near Novozvanovka was struck with 152-mm artillery and Novoaleksandrovka was struck with machine guns and grenade-launchers; firearms were used in Stanitsa Luganskoye.

On the Donetsk line, 120-mm and 82-mm artillery were fired on Zaytsevo and grenade-launchers and small arms were used. There were also shots fired from small arms and grenade-launchers near Avdeyevka and Novgorodskoye.

At 18:00, the ATO reported on its Facebook page 23 more instances of violations of the ceasefire. On the Mariupol line, there were 8 attacks with 120-mm artillery on Maryinka, Shirokino and Krasnogorovka; machine-guns and small arms were also used.

On the Luganskoye line, 122-mm and 152-mm artillery was used near Novozvanovka and 82-mm and small arms near Popasnaya and Novoaleksandrovka.

On the Donetsk line, Ukrainian positions at Troitskoye, Avdeyevka and Novgorodskoye were attacked with grenade-launchers, heavy machine-guns and small arms.

o Basurin Reports 3 DNR Soldiers Killed, 3 Wounded 

Eduard Basurin, the "defense minister" of the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" said at his military briefing that 3 DNR soldiers had been killed and 3 wounded in firing from Ukrainian forces.

He said Ukrainian forces fired on Yasinovataya, Spartak, Gorlovka, Zaytsevo, Ozeryanovka, Dokuchayevsk and the villages of Novolaspa and Belaya Kamenka to the south as well as Petrovsky District and the villages of Aleksandrovka and Trudovskiye to the west of Donetsk and Sakhanka to the south.

o Did Russia-Backed Forces Break Through Ukraine's Lines at Vodyanoye? 

Ukrainian military intelligence reported yesterday  that the Russian-backed 1st Motorized Battalion of the 9th Separate Assault Motorized Infantry Regiment (Novoazovsk) and the 1st Army Corp of the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" had occupied a position in the village of Vodyanoye with the help of artillery and snipers, TSN and Hromadske reported.
But Aleksandr Kindsfater, press secretary for the Mariupol operations and tactical group said the militants hadn't occupied a position in Vodyanoye and that Ukrainian soldiers stayed at their positions and had not withdrawn. Militants fired 15 times on Ukrainian soldiers who did not return fire, he said.

A Ukrainian soldier in the 701st Infantry Battalion who blogs on Twitter with the name "Dyadya Petya" (Uncle Petya) (@patriot_petya) posted tweets that appeared to confirm that there was a breakthrough of the Ukrainian lines by Russia-backed separatists which then was sealed.



But later he removed these tweets, and also added that he hadn't been in Vodyanoye. Another blogger who had translated them into English kept his post.

Set as default press image
2016-10-16 00:01:18
Translation: In short, yes, the seps broke through our defense in Vodyanoye. That's all for now.
Set as default press image
2016-10-16 00:01:00
Translation: if I understood correctly the breach was sealed. We went there as reinforcement.
Translation: Mariupol, it seems our guys responded to the Orcs from the road. They were pounding in the direction of Shirokino and Pavlopol. The city hasn't recalled such fireworks in a long time.
Mariupol TV broadcast the news as follows and a blogger reported incoming fire:
Translation: #vodyannoye #militants Militants advanced ahead near Vodyanoye and are equipping new positions.

Translation: Mariupol: from the east large-caliber incoming shells -- it seems like the Russkies want to occupy Vodyanoye, just 8 km !!! from Mariupol.

A Twitter user was sarcastic about claims there was no fighting. 

Translation: The militants didn't occupy Vodyanoy...The Ukrainian Armed Forces didn't shower them with 152-mm artillery....Mariupol didn't each anything. ((

The previous day, there were Ukrainian army exercises outside of Mariupol. 

Translation: Armor convoy of the 137th Infantry Battalion on the march outside of Mariupol during the active phase of the training "Border - 2016".

Here is the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission report issued today for yesterday October 14, regarding the Mariupol area:

More than 683 explosions were recorded in areas to the north-east of Mariupol.

Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Zaichenko (26km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM heard 20 to 40 explosions, assessed as impacts of multiple-launch rocket systems rounds (MLRS; BM-21Grad, 122mm) at an undetermined distance to the south; at least 120 explosions assessed as artillery fire (both incoming and outgoing) and 16 undetermined explosions, 1-1.5km south between 11:00 and 11:45.

Positioned in government-controlled Pyshchevyk (25km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard 15 undetermined explosions, one assessed as an impact and also heard 20 artillery rounds fly overhead and their subsequent impacts 2km west-south-west. The SMM heard 30 undetermined explosions at an undetermined distance south. The SMM also heard 20 explosions assessed as outgoing rounds and subsequent impacts and 32 explosions assessed as artillery fire 2-2.5km west-south-west and west of its position.

Positioned in government-controlled Orlivske (23km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM heard 14 explosions assessed as outgoing rounds 6-7km south-east and south-west.

Positioned in government-controlled Hnutove (20km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM heard 15 explosions assessed as outgoing mortar rounds 500m north.

Positioned in government-controlled Sopyne (16km east of Mariupol) the SMM heard 71 explosions assessed as impacts of artillery, 17 explosions assessed as MLRS (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) impacts, and 89 explosions assessed as outgoing artillery fire, all at an undetermined distance north-east of its location as well as 14 shots 3km north-east and subsequent impacts of infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; BMP-1) cannon (73mm) fire 4-6km north-north-east. Later, the SMM heard five explosions assessed as outgoing rounds and seven explosions assessed as impacts at undetermined distance north-north-east.

Positioned in government-controlled Lomakyne (15km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM heard and saw 33 explosions assessed as impacts, 66 explosions assessed as outgoing rounds and seven undetermined explosions, all assessed as artillery fire, 8km north. Both incoming and outgoing explosions were assessed as occurring near government-controlled Talakivka, “DPR”-controlled Pikuzy (formerly Kominternove, 23km east of Mariupol), between government-controlled Vodiane (19km north-east of Mariupol) and “DPR”-controlled Zaichenko (25km north-east of Mariupol) and near “DPR”-controlled Verkhnoshyrokivske (formerly Oktiabr, 29km north-east of Mariupol) and government-controlled Pavlopil (26km north-east of Mariupol). 

Positioned between government-controlled Talakivka (17km north-east of Mariupol) and government-controlled Sartana (15km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM heard 15 undetermined explosions at an unknown distance west-north-west. The SMM observed at least four barrels of artillery at a location approximately 8km west firing east-south-east. It was not possible to identify the weapons’ type as they were positioned in cover in a forested area. The SMM also saw two artillery guns assessed as towed howitzers (D-30, 122 mm) and two trucks in a field nearby, in violation of the withdrawal lines.

While in Mariupol city (102km south of Donetsk) in the afternoon of 14 October, the SMM heard at least 20 undetermined explosions at an undetermined distance north-east.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick