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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
Day 1012: November 25, 2016

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
One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Reports Of Heavy Artillery And Mortar Use

One Ukrainian soldier was killed in the Donbass yesterday.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters today that a Ukrainian soldier was shot dead by a sniper in Opytnoye, north of Donetsk.

According to the Ukrainian military, Russia-backed forces conducted 28 attacks yesterday.


One Ukrainian soldier was killed in the Donbass yesterday.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters today that a Ukrainian soldier was shot dead by a sniper in Opytnoye, north of Donetsk.

According to the Ukrainian military, Russia-backed forces conducted 28 attacks yesterday.


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This morning's ATO Press Center report claims that Russia-backed forces used mortars extensively, shelling positions near the villages of Shirokino, Gnutovo and Vodyanoye, near Mariupol; Slavnoye and Novotroitskoye, near the highway to Donetsk; and Maryinka and Krasnogorovka, west of the separatist-held regional capital. BMP infantry fighting vehicles reportedly fired on positions near Starognatovka, east of Volnovakha.

Last night Ukrainian TSN news correspondent Yevgeniya Tsvetanskaya reported that she had witnessed a skirmish between Ukrainian Aidar Battalion troops and Russia-backed forces at a checkpoint near Yelenovka, on the Donetsk-Mariupol highway.

Two Russia-backed fighters were reportedly by return fire after they attacked the checkpoint, though it was uncertain whether they were killed or wounded. 

Colonel Lysenko told reporters that "almost 150 mortar rounds" were fired in these areas yesterday, with the worst shelling occurring in Krasnogorovka, which was reportedly bombarded for two hours and 20 minutes.

The Ukrainian State Border Service reports that Russia-backed forces have today attacked a civilian frontier-crossing checkpoint in Maryinka, just south of Krasnogorovka.

Elsewhere, the Ukrainian military reported grenade-launcher attacks on Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, and mortar and grenade-launcher fire in the Lugansk region, near the villages of Novozvanovka, Krymskoye and Novoaleksandrovka. 

The military reports a further 23 attacks between midnight and 18:00 local time today.

According to this evening's report, 152 mm artillery was used against Shirokino, while mortars, BMPs, grenade launchers and small arms were used in attacks near that village, Talakovka, Pavlopol, Novotroitskoye, Lebedinskoye, Gnutovo and Vodyanoye.


122 mm artillery was reportedly used to shell positions in Avdeyevka, while those in Luganskoye, east of Gorlovka, were shelled with mortars.

Meanwhile the Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk have accused Ukrainian forces of firing 217 artillery and mortar shells yesterday.

Eduard Basurin, military spokesman for the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) claimed that Ukrainian forces shelled the outskirts of Gorlovka and Donetsk, damaging two homes in the Staromikhailovka suburb in the southwest of the city, near Maryinka. 

Basurin also claimed that four civilians had been killed and one wounded by Ukrainian fire over the course of the last week. 

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Yanukovych Appears As Witness In Ukrainian Court Via Video Link, But Hearing Rescheduled Until Monday

Viktor Yanukvoych, the former Ukrainian President who fled the country at the height of the Maidan protests in February, 2014, has finally appeared in a Ukrainian court today, albeit via video link from Russia's Rostov-on-Don.


RFE/RL streamed the proceedings live, though without subtitling: 

Yanukovych was to be questioned about his role in the shooting of protesters in Kiev on February 20, 2014.

He told the court today:

"This is on my own initiative - to appear as a witness in this case. This my own decision. Therefore I am interested in seeing that the truth in this case is established." 

However the court has had to postpone the Yanukovych's questioning until November 28, due to the fact that the five former Berkut riot police officers, charged with killing at least 48 protesters, were not present in court today.

This is because activists from the nationalist Pravyi Sektor party blocked the authorities from moving the accused men from the Lukyanivske pre-trial detention facility to the court.


Ukrainski Novyny reported that around 30 activists, carrying flags of Pravyi Sektor and the Svobodnye Lyodi (free people) organization, barred the exit of the Lukyanivske jail. Artyom Skoropadskiy, Pravyi Sektor's press secretary, told the news agency that the party feared that court would release the former Berkut officers from custody.
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The Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote on his Facebook page this afternoon that his ministry would not use force to disperse the activists at the jail.

"Yanukovych has already brought about enough bloodshed and misery in Ukraine. The Interior Ministry will not participate in another provocation  by Moscow's puppet and enter into violent conflict with the protesters. Moreover, we understand the viewpoint and motives of these people and we share many of them.

The National Police and the National Guard will ensure the delivery of the accused to the court, as soon as it is technically possible, and in doing this, we will not be forced into participating in a provocation played out by a fugitive ex-president under the diktat of the aggressor country."

Yanukovych implored the court to conduct his questioning today, but confirmed that he would indeed be available to give evidence by video link on Monday, at 13:00 Kiev time.

Notably, he was not himself charged with any involvement in the killings today, despite this morning's statement from Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy that the former president would be read his charges during today's hearing.

Yanukovych, who has been almost entirely silent since his flight to Russia, bar a handful of interviews, has also announced that he will give a press conference in Rostov-on-Don this evening. 

Translation: Yanukovych in Rostov: "This evening I will tell you everything and answer your questions."

-- Pierre Vaux
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