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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 1076: January 28, 2017

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
Read-Outs of White House, Kremlin on Trump and Putin Phone Call Differ; No US Mention of Ukraine

A much-anticipated phone call between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place today, RFE/RL reported.

Prior to the phone call with Putin, Trump had a phone discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who conveyed the EU position that it is too soon to lift sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the Donbass, where Russia-backed troops continue shelling Ukrainian positions.


Ukrainians were relieved to see that no lifting of sanctions was discussed in this meeting, or any conditions for lifting them, as can be seen from media headlines.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman confirmed that there was no discussion of sanctions.

“Both President Trump and President Putin are hopeful that after today's call the two sides can move quickly to tackle terrorism and other important issues of mutual concern,” the White House statement said.

It does not appear that the White House statement was on the press release page of whitehouse.gov.

However, copies were available from the office of the press secretary. 

What stands out for us is the difference between the White House read-out on the phone call, and the Kremlin read-out.

The Kremlin read-out is longer, and says (translated by The Interpreter):

Current international problems were discussed thoroughly, including the war on terrorism, the state of affairs in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the sphere of strategic stability and non-proliferation, the situation around the Iranian nuclear problem and the Korean peninsula. The basic aspects of the crisis in Ukraine were touched upon. It was agreed to establish partner cooperation on all these and other lines. 

The White House read-out doesn't contain any mention of Ukraine.

That's of concern, because it means either the problem of the wear in Ukraine was thought not to warrant mention, or there was reluctance to include it and have to explain what was said.

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
4 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded; Attacks Step Up to 55 in Last Day
The ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] recorded 55 attacks today on Ukrainian positions -- which is a high number compared to most of the past few weeks.

One Ukrainian soldier was wounded, according to the ATO late in the day.

This brings to 4 the number wounded in the last 24 hours, as Col. Motuzyanyk, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman said at his briefing earlier in the day that there were 3 wounded.


Also we see from the ATO report that the sporadic and periodic nature of the shelling typical of previous weeks has changed to one of more constant fire, and with heavier artillery.

On the Mariupol line, Russia-backed militants fired from 122-mm artillery on Shirokino, Talakova, Lebedinskoye and Vodyanoye. Snipers fired constantly on Novotroitskoye and Gnutovo. BTRs repeatedly fired on Shirokino.; grenade-launchers were used as well as small arms on Avdeyevka, Kamenka, Zaytsevo, Luganskoye and Troitskoye.

On the Lugansk line, militants fired from 122-mm artillery on Krymskoye, and from grenade-launchers on Troitskoye and Novozvanovka.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
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