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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 161

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
Pentagon: 100 Russian Vehicles Crossed The Border Into Ukraine

Not only is the Pentagon warning that Russia has at least 12,000 combat troops on the border with Ukraine, they also say that a convoy of more than 100 Russian armored vehicles has already crossed the border -- and that's not the only vehicles that have crossed the border, it's just the biggest:

“I can tell you that last week we saw a column of over 100 Russian vehicles moving into Ukraine,” Warren said. “That’s the largest one we’ve seen. It is a substantial enough number that is a great concern to us.”

Heavy and sophisticated equipment requires trained personnel, he said. “What we’ve seen that most concerns us is in southern Russia, Ukrainian separatists participating in training activities … around Rostov,” he added. “This indicates that Russia is, in fact, training these separatists on how to fight, how to operate equipment [and] how to conduct operations in Ukraine.”

This corresponds to  what we've been reporting for several weeks, that since shortly before MH17 was shot down the amount of direct military aid -- and fire support -- which the separatists have received from the Russian military has increased exponentially and continues to increase.

And there are more reports of artillery and rocket attacks into Ukraine from Russian soil as these words are being written:


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Fighting Intense Near Donetsk

Kyiv Post reports that fourteen people, five of them children, have died in Gorlovka (Horlivka) according to the Donetsk regional state administration:

"According to the Donetsk regional state administration's health department, 14 people were killed in Horlivka on Sunday, among them five children. No information is available about casualties in Avdiyivka and Debaltseve," the posting says.

The Ukrainian military has retaken Gorlovka, but fighting further to the south could intensify, especially since there are more reports of columns of separatist armor, reportedly reinforcements coming from across the Russian border, arriving in the city of Donetsk. The website Inforesist has posted this picture of the new armor arriving in Ukraine's fifth largest city:

bron1.jpg


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
New Sanctions Coming For Russia, But Will They Hit The 'Big Fish'?

The Wall Street Journal reports that the EU will sanction five individuals and two entities, but will avoid slapping new sanctions on the "big fish":

The move comes as the EU is putting the finishing touches on sectorwide economic sanctions that would target Russia's financial system and restrict exports of arms, militarily sensitive goods and equipment used in unconventional oil destined for Russia, diplomats said. The financial sanctions would sharply restrict the ability of Russia's largest banks, including Sberbank  (SBER.MZ -3.11%) and VTB Group, to raise financing in the EU, the diplomats said.

Meanwhile, RFE/RL reports that the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy have agreed to pass more sanctions against Russia:

The leaders of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy agreed by telephone on July 28 they would impose new sanctions on Russia for its role in the crisis in Ukraine.

The French president's office released a statement about the call that said the five leaders "confirmed…their intention to adopt new measures against Russia."

There were no details about the sanctions the five discussed.

The statement added the leader said they would watch carefully to see if Russia was giving direct military support to the separatists.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Rebel Leaders In Disarray As Ukraine's Military Advances

UPDATE: 22:21GMT

Novorus has pulled the article translated below. We have no confirmation that Girkin/Strelkov was arrested. He gave a press conference at 15:00GMT and was seen by Western journalists. Since then his whereabouts are not known.

Ukraine's separatist leadership is in disarray. As we've reported today, the self-appointed Prime Minister of the self-declared 'Donetsk People's Republic,' Alexander Borodai, has reportedly left the country to go to Moscow. Separatist commander Igor Bezler has not been heard from (to our knowledge) since he fled the Ukrainian military assault in Gorlovka, we're not sure where too. Aleksandr Khodakovsky, head of the Vostok Battalion, the Kremlin's military right hand on the ground in Ukraine, has either lost Saur-Magila or is on the verge of losing it (depending on who you ask), and since the area is his primary claim to glory, it's unclear if he has fled or if he has gone down with the ship.

Earlier today there were reports that separatist commander Igor Strelkov was captured by the Ukrainian government. The pro-separatist website Novorus reports (translated by The Interpreter):

News has been received from Shakhtyorsk today that DPR Defense Minister Igor Strelkov along with several other officers have been taken captive by the Ukrainian punitive units. We will recall that earlier Igor Ivanovich had come to Shakhtyorsk in order to personally lead the action of one of the chief assault divisions of the DPR, the Kalmius Spetsnaz Battalion.

According to preliminary information from our informed sources, Strelkov was immediately evacuated in the junta's 'medical' helicopter deep into Ukrainian territory, as his kidnappers plan to exchange him for the Ukrainian terrorist pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.

"The use of a helicopter with the identifying marks of the Red Cross for transferring Strelkov once again illustrates the base nature of the Ukrainian junta, since the transport of prisoners of war by such means violates the Geneva Convention. Indeed, this possibly indirectly confirms that Strelkov was wounded during the heroic resistance against the Ukrainian henchmen," said our other source.

Since, however, Strelkov has given a press conference:

And as Russian armored vehicles have been spotted moving into Ukraine with increased frequency just yesterday, Seddon asks a pertinent question:
The bottom line is that the separatist leadership was fragmented before, but now it may be in complete disarray. And the Ukrainian military is clearly pressing their advantage with an urgency that was not present at all just a few weeks ago.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia's Next Crisis: A Brain Drain?
Today The Interpreter's Andrew Bowen published in The National Interest on why the Ukraine crisis is just one of the problems that Russia is now facing.

Increasingly there have been examples of Russia's best and brightest emigrating, from the respected economist Sergei Guriev to Russian facebook founder Pavel Durov. Emigration figures have jumped to 186,382 in 2013 from 33,578 in 2010. Yet, the numbers belie the more troubling trend as those figures are not just political refugees and cannot simply replaced by more immigrants from Central Asia, those figures include the entrepreneurs and bright minds of Russia. Minds that an increasingly isolated Russia can ill afford to lose.

"That is why today's émigrés are all the more important-they have higher educations and are the engines of innovation and growth that Russia can ill afford to lose as it is increasingly isolated from the rest of the World.

And without people like these, Putin's Stalin-like "four-year production plan" to boost labor productivity and ignite a "technological revolution" that will serve to energize the economy are more than likely to fall short. This-combined with his calls for further support of the arms industry to produce more "high-end jobs"-is not encouraging for the diversification of the Russian economy."

You can read the full article here.
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