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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 171

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
Could a Russian Invasion Come Via Chernihiv Region?
Reports in Russian-language Ukrainian news sites that are getting a lot of discussion on Ukrainian and Russian social media have identified a possible route for a Russian invasion -- through Chernihiv Region -- and a date -- today, August 8.

The reports appeared in podrobnosti.ua and obozrevatel.com, two sites that have been known sometimes for floating conspiracy theories that didn't always pan out before, but which sometimes are early harbingers of what is to come.

The reason podrobnosti.ua has seized on the idea of "August 8" as an invasion date is not only because of the Russian troops massed at the Ukrainian-Russian border right now, but because that was the date in August 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia. For weeks before that date, Russia buzzed its airplanes over Georgian territory, and for years had engaged in various provocations, including handing out Russian citizenship to people in Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia.

The armed conflicts in Georgia then and today in the Donbass are similar in that Russia used proxy rebel forces and also Chechen fighters in the original Vostok Batallion in Georgia.

Podrobnosti.ua says a source within the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has told them the following:

"At about noon on 8 August 2014, from the direction of Chernihiv, through the border crossings of Semenovka, Senkova, and Klyusy an invasion of forces of the Russian Federation is planned numbering 5-7 battalions of tactical groups."

The source said the SBU garnered this informed from intercepts of radio and telephone communications among the fighters on Russian territory. Invasion with heavy armored vehicles and artillery is also planned.

"This is about 13,000-15,000 people, 50-70 units of heavy armored vehicles, 100-120 units of light armored vehicles, about 50 units of self-propelled artillery and the Grad system of volley fire."


Obozrevatel said there wasn't any confirmation of this information from any other sources. The border-crossings they indicate consist in some places such as Klyusy of a footpath through people's gardens or crossing a river, so heavy equipment couldn't be brought through there.

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Semenovka is a large freight border crossing near the district center of the same name in Chernihiv Region, bordering the Russian crossing of Klimovo in Bryansk Region. Senkova is a village in Gorodnyansk District through which the main transport routes from Gostomel and Bryansk run to Chernihiv. There is a bordering crossing with a helicopter landing pad there where the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia would meet.

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Stock photos of border crossings from obozrevatel.com


Yesterday we reported that Kharkiv Mayor Hennadiy Kernes engineered a decree by the city council recognizing his two business associates from the Russian Federation, one a senator, as "honorary citizens," sparking fears of unrest and disbanding of the city council.

Interior Minister Aven Avakov protested the move, and now Kernes is under house arrest.His lawyer said the prosecutor issued a warrant for his arrest in relationship to a criminal investigation based on a complaint by an injured party, but they were not advised of it until Kernes' arrest. Details of the charges are not know but there were reports in July that Kernes was being probed in regard to kidnapping, torture and threats of murder.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russian Bombers Have Violated US Airspace 16 Times in 10 Days

Washington Times reports that Russian nuclear bombers have violated United States airspace at least 16 times in only 10 days.

During one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet was detected along with the bombers.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Separatists Damage Mi-8 Medical Helicopter, Force It Down

Earlier we carried reports that separatists have shot down a military airplane. Now there are reports that they've also hit an Mi-8 helicopter. Pravda reports (translated by The Interpreter):

On Thursday evening, fighters shelled a Mi-8 helicopter, Aleksei Dmitrashkovsky, ATO press officer, told Channel 5.

"The helicopter was shelled and made a forced landing," he reported.

Dmitrashkovsky also emphasized that the place of the landing was not being reported "in order to preserve the life and health of the members of the crew and the people who were on board."

"According to all international laws, shelling of such craft is prohibited," he said.

Earlier Dmitry Tymchuk of Information Resist
ance had reported on Facebook that "they shot down an Mi-8 medical helicopter from the ATO forces, flying wounded persons under an agreement with the fighters."

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukrainian Jet Shot Down Northeast of Donetsk - Reportedly By a Buk
On the northeast corner of the self-declared 'Donetsk People's Republic' a Ukrainian aircraft has reportedly been shot down:

Translation: At 19:40 Moscow time before the eyes of a press group returning from Lugansk, an SU plane was shot down in the region of Zhdanovka about 40 km. from Donetsk.

Pravda provides more context (translated by The Interpreter):

Fighters have shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 destroyer above Enakievo.

Valdislav Seleznyov, head of the ATO press center reported this to Ukrainska Pravda.

"About half an hour ago our destroy was shot down above Enakievo. Most likely it was shot down from the Buk anti-aircraft missile system," he said.

"The pilot tried to steer the plane away from residential regions," Seleznyov added.

According to him, the pilot survived. A search-and-rescue operation is now underway.

A Buk is, of course, the weapon that shot down MH17. As you can see from the map, this is not far from the MH17 crash site to the east and southeast.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Will Russia Invade Ukraine? New Interpreter Podcast
In this week's The Interpreter podcast Boston College Professor Matt Sienkiewicz and The Interpreter’s managing editor James Miller are joined by The Interpreter’s editor-in-chief Michael Weiss to discuss the latest news from Ukraine.

The key questions on everyone’s mind — will Russia invade Ukraine? What is Russia’s end game here? Why is Putin doing what Putin is doing? And what does this all have to do with the shooting down of MH17?

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