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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Liveblog Day 113: Ukrainian Forces Repel Attacks in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Says It's Stopped Two Terrorist Attacks - In Moscow And Crimea

Russia says that it stopped two terrorist attacks, one in Moscow and the other in Crimea, that were set to disrupt "Victory Day," May 9th, the holiday commemorating the defeat of the Nazis during World War II. Reuters reports:

Itar-Tass news agency quoted the FSB as saying it was investigating a number of Russian citizens suspected of preparing an attack on May 9, the Victory Day holiday, using a home-made bomb packed with bolts, screws and nails.

The group were arrested two days before the planned attack, it said.

In a separate speech to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said the alleged Crimean plot - which the security service first made public last month - had targeted the Eternal Flame war memorial and a monument to Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in the regional capital Simferopol. He said two home-made bombs were found.

The FSB, a successor to the Soviet-era KGB which Putin used to work for, said on May 30 it had arrested four men it said were members of a far-right Ukrainian nationalist group.

The group, Right Sector, said at the time it had never engaged in terrorism and called the allegation an FSB provocation. Supporters of the four men, who include a well known film maker, have protested their innocence.

Reuters reports that the FSB has yet to release any details or evidence that corroborate the claims.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russian Trucks And Artillery Spotted In Separatist Hands In Gorlivka?
This is a serious allegation:
While we have not yet verified the location or date of this video, the architecture and street layout is at least consistent with areas of Gorlivka. Taking a closer look at the video, we also see that the Kamaz vehicles are towing either small artillery pieces or anti-aircraft guns:

What we do know is that these vehicles and guns match descriptions of equipment that reportedly crossed the border this week.

But without a closer look at the arms it's not possible to tell the origin of the weapons. Are these vehicles and guns originally from Russia, or is Russia just allowing the separatists to cross the border whenever they it suits them? There are many indications that at the very least the second scenario is already playing out across eastern Ukraine. But there are plenty of allegations that at least some of this equipment came from Russia in the first place.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Separatists Reportedly Block National Guard Troops At Lugansk Airport

ITAR-TASS reports that separatists have confronted Ukrainian National Guard troops at the Lugansk International Airport:

The self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic on Tuesday blocked Ukraine’s National Guard units stationed at the Luhansk international airport, the republic’s spokesperson Vladimir Inogorodsky told ITAR-TASS.

“We confirm this information. Negotiations are currently underway,” Inogorodsky said refusing to comment on conditions put up by the parties.

The Luhansk International Airport stopped dispatching and receiving passenger and charter flights on June 3 because of the need to repair the runway, Vasily Tatarinov, the hub’s Director General, said.

The strength of the rebel assault is unknown, but another Russian media report suggests that 2000 National Guard troops are surrounded and they have been unable to break out of the airport:

According to RIA Novosti, about two thousand servicemen of the National Guard and a large number of armored vehicles are staying on the territory of the airport. [Head of the Lugansk People's Republic, Valery Bolotov] noted that the militiamen were ready to let their opponents leave the airport only in case they laid down their arms.

"If they lay down arms, we will give them an opportunity to leave without weapons," said Bolotov.

Yesterday Ukrainian forces reported that the power and water lines to the airport had been cut, but there's little indication from pro-government sources of the scale of that rebel attack.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
With No Sign Of Rebel Defeat, Slavyansk Civilians Brace For War

Slavyansk, a town which has been a key base for the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, is increasingly at the heart of the fight that threatens to destabilize the country. Reuters reports on the city which looks more like a war zone each day:

Dozens of charred bicycles stand upright in the rubble of a burnt-out sports shop in Slaviansk, a strategic stronghold for pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

After a week of intensified shelling by government forces, windows of buildings on the outskirts of the city have been blown out, fires have gutted stores and the hulks of damaged Soviet-era cars lie abandoned in the road.

A few stores are still operating in the leafy town center, where the muffled sound of mortar fire drifts in from areas around the city edges, but life has been transformed even there.

The real problem, though, is that the separatist militants show no sign of backing down, and militarily they  are stronger than even, and even before recent gains they proved that they were militarily able to resist what the Ukrainian government has thrown at them so far. So if Slavyansk is in trouble now, its troubles have only begun.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia to Deploy 20 Su-27 Fighters to Belbek in Occupied Crimea

RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency, reports that a "source in the Russian Ministry of Defence" has informed them that twenty Sukhoi Su-27 fighters will be deployed to the airfield at Belbek, north of Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea.

“By the end of the year about twenty SU-27 fighter jets will be based at Belbek airbase serving the Russian air defense unit,” said the source.

Earlier, more than 50 aircraft were based at Belbek, including MIG-29 Ukrainian Air Force fighter jets. Currently, the process of transferring the fighters to Ukraine is near its completion.

According to the source, Russian pilots are to fly these planes, while pilots who quit the Ukrainian army are being trained as well. “The training will take half a year,” said the source. 


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