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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 169

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
Churkin Speaks At Emergency Meeting Of UN Security Council

The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has just spoken at an emergency meeting, called by Russia, "on the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine."

Churkin, citing recent comments from the International Committee of the Red Cross, said that "today, in all certainty, there is a need to speak of a true war" in eastern Ukraine.

He said that Ukraine was continuing military operations and taking lives "in spite of all agreements," noting agreements from April 17 in Geneva and July 2 in Berlin.

Churkin made a number of specific allegations.

He said that members of the Ukrainian National Security Council had set up "punitive militias... funded by oligarchs," who were attacking the people of the south-east. 

He claimed that there is "continuing information from locals about the use of phosphorus and cluster bombs." It should be noted here that Russian state-owned media have been caught out before fabricating stories about Ukraine's use of phosphorus, including presenting footage from the 2003 Iraq war as being from Ukraine.

He cited numbers of civilians killed in towns and cities across the Donbass, blaming the Ukrainian government for these deaths with their use of Grad rockets and artillery.

Churkin also repeated claims that Ukrainian shells were falling on Russian territory, and that a Ukrainian mine had exploded on the border near Gukovo. The Russian ambassador made no mention of the well-documented incidents of shelling from Russian territory into Ukraine.

He then claimed that more than 800,000 Ukrainians have come to Russia since the crisis began. Earlier, John Ging, Director of the Operational Division at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, cited a figure from Russia of 740,000 Ukrainians crossing into the Russian Federation since the start of the year. He said that the UNHCR had agreed with this figure.

Churkin said that Russia did not require material assistance from outside in dealing with this claimed flow of refugees.

Kiev, he said, has refused all Russian proposals for aid "scornfully".

The key point of Churkin's address, was his statement that Russia would like to send humanitarian assistance to eastern Ukraine. He proposed that a humanitarian convoy could be sent, with international monitors, to distribute aid to Lugansk and Donetsk.

This proposal is feared by some to represent a pretext for a wider, open Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine, under the guise of humanitarian intervention.

So far, none of the other speakers at the event have endorsed this specific proposal. 

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Airstrikes Reported In Donetsk
There are reports of explosions across the city of Donetsk right now as airstrikes have reportedly hit the city.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Timelapse Map Of Separatist Territory in Eastern Ukraine

LiveUAMap is a website dedicated to mapping the current crisis in eastern Ukraine. Using their maps we have made a timelapse GIF of the territory controlled by the separatists since July 13th. As you can see, the amount of territory controlled by the separatists has shrunk significantly, the Ukrainian military offensive has worked to divide the eastern 'Lugansk People's Republic' (LPR, or LNR on the GIF) from the Western 'Donetsk People's Republic' (DPR, or DNR on the GIF) and the fighting is growing closer and closer to the main cities in the region, Donetsk and Lugansk.

You can also see that despite the fact that the  DPR has lost a lot of territory, much of the LPR, especially areas that border Russia, remain intact, which is how the separatists are getting new armored vehicles, tanks, fighters, and other supplies.

LiveUMap-Timelapse-July-13-Aug5.gif

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Heavy Fighting In Western Donetsk - 2 Civilians Dead

The website of the mayor of Donetsk, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, has made two announcements on reports of armed fighting in the Petrovsky district, on the western edge of the city.

The Petrovsky district lies to the immediate east of the suburb of Marinka, which was entered by Ukrainian forces yesterday

The first post at 17:00 (14:00 GMT) said:

As of 17:00, active fighting is ongoing in the Petrovsky district in Donetsk. Residents report powerful explosions, aggressive shooting and damaged infrastructure in the area. The rest of the city is also restless - automatic gunfire and shots from heavy weapons are heard periodically.

At around 14:00 over 100 transformer substations went offline as a result of shelling in the Petrovsky district. A large part of the district was left without electricity.

Later, at 19:00 (16:00), came another announcement from the mayor's office:

As of 19:00 on active fighting continues on the border of the Petrovsky district, the village of Aleksandrovka and the town of Marinka. We have been reliably informed now that two civilians have been killed. Teams from the Donetsk regional branch of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry and paramedic crews are working at the scene of the shelling.

Right now, residents of the Kirovsky district report that artillery shells are reaching the Tekstilschik area. This report is confirmed.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Calls For UN Security Council To Hold Emergency Meeting On Ukraine

The Russian state-owned news agency ITAR-TASS reports that the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has said that his delegation is convening an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council "on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine."

The meeting is intended to begin at 17:00 local time in New York (21:00 GMT), however the UK, which current presides at the UNSC has not yet given consent to the meeting.

Churkin said:

"So far, the British presidency is jibbing but we will insist on convening the meeting this evening."

ITAR-TASS notes:

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry said that the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration and the International Committee of the Red Cross were ready to discuss Russia's initiative to send a humanitarian mission to eastern Ukraine.

Russia's 'humanitarian initiative' is a possible pretext to an open intervention by Russian armed forces, who have been growing in number on the Ukrainian border.
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