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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 1101: February 22, 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.
1 Ukrainian Soldier Wounded in Battle; 10,000 Nationalist Protesters March on Parliament in Kiev

The situation remains tense in Avdeyevka (Avdiivka) and adjacent areas, Col. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk noted today at his daily briefing, Ukraine Crisis Center reported.

o One Ukrainian Soldier Wounded 

“At this area over 150 mortar shells were launched, more than 65 times tank weapons were used, and the extensive use of light armaments and snipers were recorded," he said. No soldiers were killed but one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in fighting near the Donetsk airport .

Later in the day at 18:00, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported 27 more attacks, reported.

On the Mariupol line, there were attacks on Vodyanoye east of Mariupol with 122-mm artillery and mortar-launchers and also Partizan Grad missiles. Lebedinskoye and Shirokino were hit by mortar fire. Machine-guns and small arms were used on Gnutovo and Pavlopol.

On the Donetsk line, militants fired on Luganskoye with 82-mm mortars and used grenade-launchers and small arms on Opytnoye, Peski, Zaytsevo and Luganskoye. A BMP also fired on Luganskoe.

o Russian Delegation Fails to Show for Teleconference

Darka Olifer, representative of Leonid Kuchma in the Trilateral Contact Group said on her Facebook page that the Russian delegation failed to appear for a video conference over Skype today which had been a Russian initiative and supported by the OSCE, reported.

The purpose of the call was to discuss progress on a cease-fire effort that went into effect February 20.

o 10,000 Ukrainian Nationalists March on Parliament; Smoke Bombs Set Off by Building

About 10,000 nationalists from the groups Svoboda, National Corps and Right Sector  marched on the Verkhovna Rada or Ukrainian parliament building today, Unian reported. Organizers claimed there were 20,000 participants but reporters said "virtually there were at least 10,000 at the rally."

There were reportedly no arrests or incidents but several smoke bombs were set off near the parliament, engulfing the building in smoke to the second floor, Unian reported.

The groups, none of which passed the 5% threshold to enter the parliament, are marking the third anniversary of the Maidan protests with a list of grievances to the authorities, including a demand to stop trading with the Russia-back separatist-held areas of the Donbass and support for a blockade of that region. They also expressed frustration with lack of economic reform and demanded a new leadership.

Six pro-blockade protesters were detained on Sunday, February 19 when they clashed with police, Unian reported.

o Sailor Arrested with Arms Reportedly Destined for Kiev Protests

Ukrainian Naval police detained a sailor with arms said to be destined for protests in Kiev, Unian reported. The Navy said it would step up control over weapons.

Yesterday, Anatoly Matiuos, the chief military prosecutor posted on his Facebook page that a contract soldier in the Navy was planning to bring 12 Kalashnikov rifles and an SVD rifle to the Maidan. The sailor, who was part of a so-called "Odessa People's Republic" did not realize he was under surveillance by Ukrainian counterintelligence.

o Yanukovych Denies He Gave Order to Disperse Maidan Protesters

Unian reports that Viktor Yanukovych, the fugitive former president of Ukraine who now resides in Russia denied that he had given the order to disperse the activists on the Maidan Square in November 2013. He blamed Andriy Klyuyev, a businessman who was briefly the head of the presidential administration under Yanukovych and Serhiy Lyovochkin, his predecessor in that position, who resigned in protest over police violence.

Yanukovych's claim contradicts the findings of the Ukrainian prosecutor in 2015, who said the decision to use force was taken by Yanukovych and Vitaliy Zakharchenko, then Interior Ministry. Klyuyev was instructed to implement the plan along with police chiefs.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick