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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 1779

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 WIA; Reuters Details Role of Surkov in Running Separatists in Eastern Ukraine
One Ukrainian soldier was wounded today, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation].

Most of the attacks were on the Maritime line, where militants fired Grad missiles, 82-mm mortars, an armed tank, a BMP, a BTR, anti-tank grenades, heavy machine guns and small arms on the marines' positions at Shirokino.

Vodyanoye was attacked with an armed BMP, grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns. The marines in Gnutovo were pounded with anti-tank grenade-launchers and small arms and heavy machine guns and grenade-launchers were fired on Pavlopol and Novoselovka Vtoraya.

On the Donetsk line, 120-mm mortars were fired near the Butovka mine; 82-mm mortars, anti-tank grenades and small arms were fired on Zaytsev. 82-mm mortars and an armed BMP were used to attack Ukrainian positions near Luganskoye; 82-mm mortars and heavy machine guns were also fired at the defenders of Avdeyevka, and an armed BMP, heavy machine guns and small arms were used on defenders of Novgorodskoye.

Near Kamenka, grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns were used; an armed BMP fired near Troitskoye an Ukrainian positions at Peski were struck with anti-tank grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns.

On the Lugansk line, 120-mm mortars and anti-tank grenades were used on Novoaleksandrovka; grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns as well as small arms were fired on Valuyskoye and Novozvanovka, and defenders of Krymskoye were hit with automatic grenade-launchers.

The Ukrainian army returned fire in certain cases.

The Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination reported that the Russia-backed forces were using artillery banned under the Minsk agreement, notably the 122-mm mobile Partisan system. 

Other news:

Prisoners Don't Want to Return to DNR 

Irina Gerashenko, vice speaker of the Verkhnova Rada and representative in the humanitarian sub-group said Russia demanded 640 law-violators in exchange for 128 Ukrainian hostages, but nearly 300 of the 640 do not want to return to separatist territory. The issue is to be raised at the May 15 Minsk meeting.

She also said that the Russians refused to make compromises in the Minsk talks. She believes President Vladimir's strategy is to allow Ukraine's own internal divisions and problems to escalate before making concessions.

Liga Special Report on Three Years of War has published a special report on three years of war in Ukraine, the involvement of President Vladimir Putin and his associates in the war, and the threat Russia constitutes to Europe.

Mining Halts with Miners' Strike 

The mining company Evraz Sukhaya Balka decided to cease operations at the Yubileynaya and Frunze mines for the sake of workers' safety, as they went on strike yesterday.

Ex-rebel Leaders Detail Role Played by Putin Aide in East Ukraine

Reuters published a report detailing the role Vladislav Surkov played in managing the separatists in eastern Ukraine:

The three men who have held senior roles in the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine have explained in detail how Surkov controls the situation on the ground via handpicked proxies who give him regular situation reports, used aides to arrange elections there, and has worked to build power structures that are responsive to Moscow's wishes.

    "Any call from Moscow was viewed as a call from the office of Lord God himself and... was implemented immediately," recalled Alexei Alexandrov, one of the leaders of the separatist rebellion in Donetsk who has since left the area in eastern Ukraine. Two other separatists corroborated his account, but declined to be identified.

SBU Says Operative Who Was at Site of Sheremet Murder Dismissed in 2014

Yesterday, Ukrainian media reported on new details that surfaced of an SBU agent named Ihor Ustymenko (Igor Ustumenko) who was seen by journalist Pavel Sheremet's home the night before his murder. Both Sheremet and his partner said they had been repeatedly followed before he was killed.

The SBU press office said today that Ustymenko was dismissed from the SBU in 2014. A film aired by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and yesterday implied Ustumenko was still working for the SBU.

RFE/RL reported that Ustymenko gave an interview in which he said he was in the area, but was working as a security guard for a family.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

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