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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 1106: February 27, 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.
Russia-Backed Forces Attack Ukrainian Positions 62X; 3 Ukrainian Soldiers KIA, 5 WIA in 48 Hrs; OSCE Monitors Attacked

Russia-backed militants attacked Ukrainian positions 62 times in the last 24 hours, reported.

Two soldiers were killed, two were wounded, and two suffered concussions in the last 24 hours, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported. Yesterday at 18:00, the ATO reported one Ukrainian soldier KIA and another WIA.

Late yesterday, news came that one of those killed was Ukrainian naval infantryman Roman Napyaglo, felled by a sniper's bullet near Mariupol, reported. He was 20 years old, and a member of the Legion of Freedom, Oleh Tyahnybok reported on his Facebook page.

Today, on the Mariupol line, mortar launchers were used on Vodyanoye, Maryinka and Shirokino and firearms and grenade-launchers were fired on Pavlopol, Lebedinskoye, Talakovka, Gnutovo and Shirokino, Maryinka and Vodyannoye as well. A sniper was active at Talakovka and a BMP and a BTR fired on Maryinka and Vodyanoye and a tank on Pavlopol.

On the Donetsk line, tanks fired on Peski and the Butovka coal mine, and 82-mm and 120-mm mortar launchers on Avdeyevka, Kamenka and Luganskoye. Grenade-launchers and small arms were fired on Luganskoye, Novoluganskoye and Zaytsevo. A BMP fired on Verkhnyetoretskoye.

On the Lugansk line, separatists fired 120-mm mortar-launchers on Popasnayaya, Orekhovoye and Katerinovka. Grenade-launchers and small arms were used on Novoaleksandrovka, Lobachevskoye and Novozvanovka.

Ukrainian officers of the Joint Control and Coordination Center (JCCC) reported that they came under fire from Russia-backed militants on Sunday, February 26

Avdeyevka is now a 4th day without power, and generators have been set up, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Avdeyevka numbered about 22,000 people before evacuations earlier this month with the escalation of fighting; some have returned. Currently heat, electricity and water are out due to damage from shelling.  Ukrainian Emergency Services reported that 12 trucks and 33 workers were sent to Avdeyevka to manage the generators.

On February 25, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) issued a spot report regarding the attack on their members:

At 13:27 on 24 February 2017, the SMM heard a burst of small-arms fire (three to five shots) at close range while preparing to launch a mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the north-western edge of non-government-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), about 130m south-east of the M-04 highway. (The SMM patrol was attempting to launch the UAV to monitor the reported shelling of the Donetsk water filtration station.) The SMM patrol members took cover behind one of their vehicles and saw four men in military-style camouflage clothing carrying AK-variant automatic assault rifles about 30m to the south. The men shouted “Stand still!” in Russian[1] and then approached, with two of the men kneeling and aiming their weapons at the SMM while the two others advanced in short movements. One of them seized the mini-UAV from the ground. The SMM members loudly identified themselves as OSCE in Russian and English. The four men withdrew with the mini-UAV. When 15-20m away, one of them fired a burst of small-arms fire (three to five shots) that impacted on the snow about five metres from the SMM vehicle, behind which the patrol was taking cover. The patrol got into their vehicles and left the scene.

Earlier in the day, around 12:15, two men carrying AK-47s and wearing military-style camouflage clothing typical of “DPR” members engaged in conversation with an SMM patrol member in the centre of non-government-controlled Pikuzy (formerly Kominternove, 23km north-east of Mariupol). One of them, apparently intending to demonstrate that his firearm was functional, pointed the weapon into the air and fired a round. The SMM left the area.

No SMM members were hurt or vehicles damaged. The SMM informed the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination about both incidents and asked it to assist in recovery of the UAV.

The US Department of State condemned the attack February 24 on the OSCE SMM team and the seizure of the SMM's drone by Russia-backed forces.

The State Department said:

"It is imperative that these forces halt their attacks on civilian infrastructure, including the Donetsk water filtration station. We call on Russia and the separatist forces it backs to immediately observe the cease-fire, withdraw all heavy weapons, and allow full and unfettered access to the OSCE monitors."

The Trilateral Contract Group also held an emergency meeting February 26 and issued a statement urging ceasefire compliance to enable repair of the Donetsk Filtration Station.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick