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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 180

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
Russian Battalion with Chechens Geolocated to Snezhnoye

As we reported earlier on our Ukraine LiveBlog and Russia This Week blog, we've been looking to see if a number of videos uploaded today to YouTube, claiming to show a Russian Federation battalion with Chechens or others from the North Caucasus could be geolocated -- already inside southeastern Ukraine.

Thanks to  @djp3tros, who runs the Ukraine@War blog, one of the videos has been located here on Google Maps for The Interpreter:

Chechens-in-Snezhnoye.png

A clump of foliage in the field visible on the map can be seen in the video at 0:19.

Clump.jpg

The fighters can be heard crying "Allahu Akbar!"

This is a copy of the original video, which was deleted.

The other videos now fall into place as in that area on the road between Dmitrovka (AKA Dmitrievka) and Snezhnoye because they have the same narrator with a Russian southern accent in them, who talks to some people with Caucasian accents:


This is a copy of the original video, which was deleted.

Taken in conjunction with a report from separatists that they received from Russia 1,200 fighters, 30 tanks and 120 armored vehicles (see our story here) and another report from a Ukrainian soldier (since deleted and possibly inaccurate) of 600 fighters with some Chechens captured, it seems quite likely that Russian soldiers, possibly from Special Operations Force (SOF) have invaded Ukraine.


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Separatists' Videos from Break-out of Blockade near Snezhnoye

Earlier today we reported on separatists' claim of advances near Snezhnoye.

Over on our Russia This Week blog, we also examined reports of Chechens and other fighters from the North Caucasus in the Russian Federation present in this region of Ukraine, based on a number of videos posted today.

So now we are putting them together and seeing if we can geolocate them and find out more about what is happening.

First, it's helpful to go back to this video uploaded August 15, dated August 13, with the label "This is after nine days of the blockade of Dmitrievka (AKA Dmitrovka) at Snezhnoye 2."

As a user of VKontakte said about this video, "No one knew there was a blockade of Dmitrievka. There's a lot they don't tell us."

Apparently Ukrainian troops had this village surrounded, but separatists then seemed to have broken out.



This video was geolocated for Interpreter to Snezhnoye by @djp3tros who runs the Ukraine@War blog.

The location is here on Google Maps.

A scene in the video here enabled the location.Monument-in-Snezh.png

Monument-in-Snezhnoye.png

So take a look again at the other three videos we found about the mop-up of the highway from Dmitrievka to Snizhnoye -- they appear to be in the same location. (For more background, see Russia This Week).


Note: This first video is now deleted from YouTube with a notice that it has been "removed by the user."

It was widely copied on blogs and VKontakte with the following title (translation from Russian) ""Newest Russian BTR-82A in Snezhnoye. The Kremlin no longer hides its participation in the war."

Here's a screenshot of the BTR:

BTR.jpg

An embedded copy of the deleted video and description of the BTR in Russian can be found here. Another copy is here.


There's also this video dated August 12 and uploaded today, also with a label about mopping-up or "cleansing" the road from Dmitrievka to Snezhnoye.


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Claims Retaking Of Zhdanovka While Separatists Claim Advances Near Snezhnoye

The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has announced on Twitter that Ukrainian forces have retaken the settlement of Zhdanovka, to the east of Donetsk, Interfax-Ukraine reports:

"The Ukrainian Armed Forces have heroically liberated the town of Zhdanivka in Donetsk region. Glory to Ukraine!" he wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a video has been uploaded to YouTube today, which purportedly shows separatist fighters advancing behind a BTR-80 armoured personnel carrier along the road between Dmitrovka and Snezhnoye. The description says that the fighters are clearing the road:


We have not been able to geolocate this video.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
SBU Suggests MH17 Buk May Have Been Manned By Ukrainian Defectors

UNIAN reports that Viktor Yagun, the deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has told 5 Channel TV that the Buk SAM system, believed to have shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, may have been crewed by Ukrainian defectors.

UNIAN reports (translated by The Interpreter):

"The personnel, who manned this Buk, could not be local residents, trained up on any courses. People who operate such weapons need not only professional training, but firing experience," he said.

"We are working on several scenarios, including one, which is that it was our specialists, who remained on the Crimean peninsula and defected to the Russian side," said Yagun.

Yagun said that there was a training facility near Yevaptoria, where all air defence servicemen underwent firing training.

"The best-trained air defence unit was based there, which had considerable experience in the use of Buks. The possibility cannot be excluded that these specialists could have been the operators," said the representative of the SBU.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
DNR Leader Says They Have Received 1,200 Troops, 30 Tanks And 120 Armoured Vehicles From Russia

The independent Russian radio station Echo Moskvy reports that the new head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, has acknowledged that his fighters have received "heavy reinforcements" from Russia.

They report (translated by The Interpreter):

According to him, the reserves showed up at the most crucial moment. They were made up of 1200 personnel, who had been trained for four months in the Russian Federation. In addition to the troops, the reinforcements, according to Zakharchenko, included 30 tanks and 120 armoured vehicles. A video of the speech by of the head of the government of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic was posted online.

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