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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 1111: March 4, 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 Killed, 9 Wounded, 2 Concussed; 100 Attacks by Russia-Backed Forces; Water Returns to Avdeyevka

Carboard box of TNT and ammunition found under the bridge in Shipilo, site of a blockade. Photo by

One Ukrainian soldier was killed, 9 were wounded and 2 suffered concussions in battle today, March 4, the ATO reported. Col. Andriy Lysenko also reported that yesterday March 3, one Ukrainian soldier and one officer of the Border Service were wounded.

He added that Russia-backed forces are using heavy artillery on all fronts, and reached nearly 100 attacks yesterday. The Mariupol area is the hardest hit, with 49 attacks yesterday.

Yesterday March 30, a 60-year-old resident of Volnovakha was killed from an explosive. The man happened to be the acting director of the Priyazov Geological Exploration Expedition and had left his workplace to run an errand when he was evidently hit by a grenade. Police are investigating the incident but believe it was an accident.

Leonid Matyukhin, spokesman for the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported today that overnight, the Russia-backed forces attacked Ukrainian positions 52 times.

On the Mariupol line, 122-mm artillery and mortar-launchers were used to fire on Bogdanovka, Maryinka, Novotroitskoye and Vodyanoe. Small arms and grenade-launchers were fired on Gnutovo, Vodyanoye and Shirokino. Snipers shot at Talakovka, Novotroitskoye, Maryinka, Vodyanoye and Lebedinskoye. A BMP fired on Bodyanoye and Shirokino.

On the Lugansk line, 152-mm artillery was fired on Kalinovo-Popasnyaya, Novozvanovka and Troitskoye and 122-artillery was fired on Novoaleksandrovka, Krymskoye, Orekhovo, Popasnyaya, Katerinovka, Troitskoye and Novozvanovka. Korent anti-tank missile systems were repeatedly used to attack Krymskoye. Grenade-launchers, heavy machine guns and snipers fired on Stanitsa Luganskaya in the area where the sides are separated. A sniper also fired on Valuysk.

On the Donetsk line, tanks and mortar-launchers were fired repeatedly on Avdeyevka, the Butovka mine, Peski, Opytnoye, Verkhnyetoretskoye, Zaytsevo, Kamenka, and Luganskoye, and grenade-launchers and small arms were used on Zaytsevo and Troitskoye. Snipers fired on Zaytsevo and Opytnoye

o Water Back on in Avdeyevka

The Donetsk Filtration Station is once again working at full capacity, reported, citing Pavel Zhebrivsky, head of the Donetsk Region Military Civil Administration. 

Accompanied by both OSCE Special Monitoring Mission personnel and representatives of the Joint Coordination and Control Commission (JCCC), repair men were able to restore operation of the pumps. Water was already reaching homes at 20-21:00.

The Filtration Station's chlorine line was knocked out of service on February 24 due to shelling by Russia-backed forces. Avdeyevka lost power as well as water service.

o Train Moves Ahead After More Than 2 Months' Blockade; Blockades Continue Elsewhere; $3.5 Billion in Losses

A locomotive with 57 empty cars that had been stalled at the crossroads in Shipilovo-Svetlanovo was able to move ahead, reported, citing Ukrzaliznitsa.

While blockaders had held up the train  since January 25, they allowed it to go through today, the engineer reported. Police found a cache of ammunition and explosives in a cardboard box under the bridge near Shipilovo by the blockaders' post today.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said today the blockade had already cost Ukraine $3.5 billion, and 75,000 people in the mining industry could lose their jobs, reported. Reserves of anthracite coal were dwindling and could not be replaced quickly with imports.

Groysman said the blockade was "in Russia's interests" because some plant directors were forced to buy coal from Russia.

o Hug Calls Out DNR for Shooting on Monitors

In a press briefing today, Alexander Hug, first deputy head of the OSCE SMM made a frank condemnation of the Russia-backed forces for attacking monitors in Yasinovataya on February 24:

"This is a direct challenge to the collective will of the 57 participating states of the OSCE. This incident is ironical since the so-called DNR is the first to pick up the bullhorn and demand the monitoring of shelling."
He said in fact his monitors had been investigating shelling in the area when shots were fired on them. The monitors were about to launch a drone when they heard a round of gunfire about five meters away. DNR fighters then seized the drone.
He added that recorded explosions in general had increased 250% in the last week, and mortar fire had increased by a factor of 12.

He described the triangle of Avdeyevka-Yasinovataya-Donetsk Airport as the "hot spot" where 46% of the ceasefire violations occur.

Social media reports indicate that while one area is fixed, the next one goes down.

The DNR's 2nd Separate Motorized Battalion, called Diesel, uploaded a video of tank exercises.

Translation: The little tanks of #Diesel #1ak . Excuse the musical accompaniment, it's not me.

There are reports of armor on the move. 

Translation: #Stakhanov 22:25 -- 4 D-30 Howitzers pulled through the center.

Translation: Winter 2017 #Avdiivka #Promoka [Industrial Zone] from @Huyovyi_Kolhoz

The industrial zone is shelled nearly every day. 

The DNR military spokesmen do not always admit casualties on their side. So Ukrainian bloggers  glean reports from social media.

A soldier and DNR schoolteacher wrote on his Facebook page (translation by The Interpreter):

"It's evening...friends...A f*ked evening...My war buddy was killed.

The younger brother of my friend. A fierce Cossack, a real soldier.

Zaytsevo...he hit a mine. He didn't let the enemy come down, saying the hell with the possible unhappiness of the staff rats...Sleep in peace, brother. Eternal spring to you...We'll met again."
The DNR soldier also complained about corruption in the DNR.

"While my brothers are Gorlovka, vermin of all stripes are breeding and flourshing," he said, selling drugs and contraband, stealing the DNR's money and currying favor with  the "gangbangers and lowlifes" who have settled in Moscow.

Some Ukrainian media characterized this post, which is not unique, as evidence of dissent in the DNR ranks.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick