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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 1024: December 7, 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
5 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded in Battle; Russia-Backed Attacks Increased to 45; POW Negotiations Falter


Five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in battles along the front line in the past day, Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] issues, Liga.net reported.

In addition, one soldier suffered a concussion.

At 6:00, the ATO reported on its Facebook page that Russia-backed forces had attacked Ukrainian positions 45 times.

On the Donetsk line, they used mortar-launchers, grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns to strike Avdeyevka, Luganskoye and Svetlodarsk. A sniper fired on Luganskoye.

On the Luganskoye line, militants used 120-mm and 82-mm artillery, grenade-launhers and anti-aircraft systems to fire on Krymskoye, Novozvanovka, Novoaleksandrovka and Stanitsa Luganskaya. Firearms were used on Katerinovka.

On the Mariupol line, militants used 82-mm and 120-mm artillery to fire on Shirokino, Chermalyk, Maryinka, Krasnogorovka, Talakovka and Vodyanoye. Grenade-aunchers, armed BMPs and firearms were used on Novotroitskoye, Staroganotovka, Shirokino, Gnutovo and Pavlopol; grenade-launchers were used to strike the Maryinka checkpoint.

At 18:00, the ATO reported that while the night was quiet, in the early hours of the morning, militants began shelling Vodyanoye from 152-mm artillery and tanks. Later 120-mm artillery was used to strike Chermalyk and Shirokino, and 82-mm to fire on Krasnogorovka. Grenade-launchers and armed BMPs were used to attack Slavnoye and Shirokino.

On the Donetsk line, an armed BMP, grenade-launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms were used to attack Avdeyevka.

On the Luganskoye line, it was quiet.

o Trilateral Contact Group Negotiating POWs, Separation of Forces and Water Issues

Ukrainian representatives in the Trilateral Contact Group have insisted on the demilitarization of Debaltsevo and the further separation of forces under the condition of a total ceasefire all along the line of contact there, Liga.net reported, citing Darka Olifer, representative of Leonid Kuchma, former president of Ukraine representing Ukraine in the Contact Group, on her Facebook page.

She also noted that Russia-backed militants continued to violate the ceasefire in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya, preventing a planned separation of forces there.

Olifer also mentioned an effort to sign an agreement to end the blockade on work on the Popasnyaya canal in Lugansk Region. 

Iryna Gerashchenko, vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada or parliament, and representative of Ukraine in the sub-group on humanitarian aid, said that the canal is in debt 277 million hryvnina ($10.7 million), and that given the "very modest budget of the Popasnyaya city council," the bill must be payed, including by residents of the occupied territories. The Popasnyaya canal serves 80,000 residents in Ukrainian-controlled territory, and about 1.2 million residents in the area controlled by Russia-backed militants. Ukraine turned off the water to Lugansk Region December 1 due to unpaid bills, affecting 1.2 million residents in the separatist areas.

Olifer also mentioned an effort to get as many POWs freed as possible before the winter holidays. Gerashchenko said Ukraine was prepared to exchange 228 militants for 42 Ukrainian POWs in Donetsk region, although originally, the Minsk agreement specified a one-for-one arrangement. But she specified that they could only be released "if the law allowed," i.e. if they were charged with serious crimes such as murder, they might not be eligible. For their part, the separatists offered to exchange only 8 Ukrainian soldiers.

She also said that while relatives of the prisoners had sent warm clothes and food packages, the ICRC informed them that they had not received permission yet from the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" to deliver the packages. 

Olifer said that Ukrainian detention facilities were open to international monitors and that the ICRC had made more than 70 visits to 21 penitentiaries.

Regarding the POW exchange, Olifer said: 


"Ukraine is prepared for a compromise and humanism on the issue of releasing the POWs, if only to unblock this process. For example, after an official appeal from the OSCE recently, the measures of restraint were changed for a seriously ill convict, I.P. imprisoned for crimes related to the conflict. We appealed to the ORDO ["certain regions of Donetsk Region", the acronym used to refer to the DNR--The Interpreter] with the request to show humanism and change the measures of restraint for I. Kozlovsky, and also 5 teenagers who are detained for "subversion," so that the children could return to their families who live in Donetsk, in fact."

Darya Morozova, the ombudsperson of the DNR claimed that Kiev had not responded to any of its proposals for conducting an exchange of prisoners and "was not prepared for a constructive dialogue."

o DNR Reports Chemical Plant Fire in Avdeyevka and Obstacles in POW Exchange

The news service of the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" reported that Ukrainian 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade had fired on the Avdeyevka coke factory at 17:00, which caused a fire to break out.


-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
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