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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 1099: February 20, 2017

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.
One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Another Soldier and A Civilian Wounded Yesterday

One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another wounded, in addition to a civilian yesterday in the Donbass.

Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, said today that both military casualties had been incurred in Avdeyevka, northeast of Donetsk.

Motuzyanyk also reported that the MOD had established that one of two Ukrainian scouts who went missing in the Lugansk region on February 11 is dead. Last week representatives of the so-called Lugansk People's Republic claimed that both scouts were likely killed.

Another Ukrainian soldier, who had been wounded in battle in Zaytsevo, north of Gorlovka, on February 16, has died in the hospital, Motyzyanyk reports.

Meanwhile the Lugansk Regional Military-Civil Administration reports that a civilian woman was wounded by gunfire in Stanitsa Luganskaya. According to the Administration,  Russia-backed fighters fired on the town with small arms yesterday afternoon.

The Ukrainian military claims that Russia-backed forces conducted 62 attacks yesterday.

According to this morning's report, Russia-backed forces shelled Avdeyevka, Troitskoye, Opytnoye and Kamenka, all to the north of Donetsk, with 120-mm and 82-mm mortars.

These weapons were also reportedly used near Gorlovka, against positions outside Zaytsevo, Luganskoye and Novgorodskoye.

In the south of the Donetsk region, the military reported mortar attacks on Gnutovo, Novotroitskoye and Lebedinskoye. In Shirokino, on the Azov coast, Ukrainian troops came under fire from BMP infantry fighting vehicles, while those in neighboring Vodyanoye were fired on with anti-tank missiles.

In the Lugansk region, grenade launchers and small arms were reportedly used in attacks on positions near Valuyskoye, just outside Stanitsa Luganskaya.

This afternoon the Ukrainian military claimed that they had observed a reduction in the level of violence along the front line by contrast with the last week.

Fifteen attacks had already been recorded between midnight and morning, however heavy weaponry was not used.

Meanwhile, the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR) claimed that Ukrainian forces had fired on separatist-held territory 882 times over 24 hours, but had not conducted any attacks since midnight.

Last night Martin Sajdik, the OSCE's special representative to the trilateral Contact Group on the peace process in eastern Ukraine, said that Ukrainian and separatist representatives had agreed to begin withdrawing heavy weapons form the front line.

The DNR's military spokesman, Eduard Basurin, claimed that separatist forces will withdraw artillery if a ceasefire lasts until midnight tonight.

The Ukrainian Interior Minister claims that railway lines across the front in the Lugansk region have been severed by a blast.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has been severely critical of an on-going blockade of coal shipments across the front line, organized by activists and former volunteer fighters.

He said today, in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine, that a blast occurred in occupied territory in the Luganks Region, around 5 kilometers from the border.

Therefore, Avakov said, even if the blockade was lifted immediately, coal supplies from separatist-held territory to power plants on the other side of the front line will take time to restore, depending on the actions of the occupying authorities.

The Kiev police report that they have arrested a man carrying a grenade on Khreshchatyk Street in the city centre.

Zoryan Shkiryak, adviser to Arsen Avakov, claimed that police had prevented a potential terrorist attack, which would have occurred while memorial events for protesters killed during the Maidan revolution three years ago in this very area.

-- Pierre Vaux