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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 192

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
Reports of Assassination of Bolotov, Former Head of 'Lugansk People's Republic'

A number of Russian-language Ukrainian sources are reporting that Valery Bolotov, former self-declared head of the self-proclaimed "Lugansk People's Republic" has been assassinated.

We have no confirmation of this report.

Translation: He knew too much. @RT @makars Valery Bolotov liquidated in Russia.


Translation: Valery Bolotov is dead. Photo proof.

According to joinfo.ua, Russian intelligence officers in the Anti-Terrorism Center of the Interior Ministry had him assassinated. There have been no statements from Russian officials or coverage in the Russian media.

The sources for this story was an "unnamed Lugansk businessman" who says he used to pay protection to Bolotov. The Interpreter has translated the story:

"After Valery Bolotov resigned, information surfaced that he had been taken to Russia in order to provide explanations, or for getting instructions about his future activity. But then Bolotov never came back. Then, the situation took the following turn. Lugansk businessmen who under fear of execution had payed "taxes" to Bolotov every week, transferring the money through some people close to him, encountered a small problem. When they went to "pay their taxes" as usual, they were told they did not have to for now.

Naturally, the businessmen wondered whether Bolotov himself knew about this and whether they should send the money to him personally. But they were told that "there's no one to pay. Bolotov's gone." And they were told to await further instructions.

According to another version of the story, Bolotov was "liquidated" by Ukrainian oligarchs related to the previous Yanukovych regime, since he had cooperated with many of them and they didn't want any witnesses to their corruption. Former Ukrainian deputy Vladimir Landik said on a television show that Bolotov previously worked for Party of Regions parliamentary faction leader Aleksandr Yefremov.

Landik claimed Bolotov worked as a look-out for Yefremov at the mines in Krasny Luch, and served as chief of his security and driver.

Russia state media announced in mid-August that Bolotov was resigning on "health grounds."




Translation: Valery Bolotov announced his resignation from the post of head of the LPR due to his health condition.

Then he disappeared from sight.

Kremlin propagandist and web entrepreneur Konstantin Rykov blogged about the changing fortunes of the Novorossiya leaders on August 20.

He cited an interview on August 19 by Lenta.ru with Oleg Tsarev, who is described as the "speaker of parliament of Novorossiya," which combines the "Donetsk People's Republic" and the "Lugansk People's Republic".

Tsarev said that Bolotov had been in Moscow for while, but he didn't know where he was at that time; he was not in the Donbass. He said Bolotov had been wounded, and was getting medical treatment in Russia.

These stories conform with two common theories about the separatists: 1) that they are mafia lords available to serve as bag men for Russia's GRU (military intelligence), and Russia may have kompromat ("compromising material") on them; 2) that when their Russian overlords are done with them, they will be "liquidated."

While this could be the case, the problem with that theory is that so many of the "Novorossiya" leaders we see today in fact served the Kremlin agenda for the last decades, in theaters of conflict from Chechnya to Abkhazia to Transdniestria and even Bosnia. Far from being killed, they were re-used again and again, sometimes after cooling-off periods in Russia.

Another theory about the separatists is that Moscow is busy "nationalizing" the "Novorossiya" movement now by replacing Muscovites like Aleksandr Boroday or Igor Strelkov with home-grown Donbass leaders. And to some extent that has been the case. Bolotov was originally from Taganrog, Russia, and moved to Lugansk Region in 1974.

But according to Lugradar.net and other pro-separatist sources some of the fighters in Lugansk, as distinct from Donetsk, are being replaced by Russian military. All of these stories cite "the Information Center of the Council for National Security (CSNB) and Defense". Yet the CSNB itself didn't make this announcement, nor nor did any pro-Kiev sources report it. It could be disinformation.

The story claims that there has been a "rotation" in Krasnodon, Antratsit and other towns seized by separatists, and in Lugansk itself. Russian military reinforcements have supposedly come to Perevalsk, Zorinsk, Maloivanovka, Malaya Popovka, Vergulievka, and Rassypnoye -- either RF soldiers, or Russian separatists who first went for recuperation in Russia and then returned.

"This reinforcement is to organize these population centers and prepare them for a prolonged defense in case of a siege," says lugradar.net The article also claims that Russian Federation medical personnel came to the hospital in Krasnodon, bringing with them medical equipment -- and then there was a large influx of wounded separatist fighters in this hospital.

None of these reports could be verified, and local Lugansk media did not report anything about Bolotov or any new Russians in the area.

Meanwhile, they did report about the killing of a famous Russian mercenary with the nick-name "Dingo" who real name was Yevgeny Ponomarev. He was from Belorechensk, Krasnodar Territory, and a professional Cossack from the Tersky Cossak community.




Translation: Famous Russian Federation mercenary Dingo killed outside Krasnodon.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Fighting Continues in Donetsk; Evacuations Planned for Tomorrow

Fighting continued in Donetsk today after a lull in the morning.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, like other pro-Kremlin sources, focused on damaged buildings from shelling which they implied had only come from Ukrainian forces.

839283.jpg


Other sources identified shelling coming from Russian-backed separatists:

Translation: From these slag heaps, terrorists were banging from mortar at the center of Donetsk.

This report geolocated a Pantsir-S1 in the hands of the separatists.

Translation: Donetsk 27/08/14 Deployment of a Pantsir-1 anti-aircraft missile and gun system.

A number of damaged buildings are reported around Donetsk, with fighting street-by-street in some districts.

Translation: #Donetsk 132 Sobinova St.


Translation: They shot from Shchelgovki St, went up higher along Partizansky Ave., shot some more, then moved higher. It can all be heard. And it's been like this an hour most likely.


Translation: #Donetsk 28.08.2014 Partizansky Ave. SMALL PART...FOR TODAY #UkraineUnderAttack #RussiainvadedUkraine.


Translation: Ukrainian Donetsk today.

Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian oligarch who owns a number of coal mines and other businesses in Ukraine and also has a philanthropic fund, has announced the organization of evacuation from a number of cities.

Translation: Attention! #Evacuation 29 August #Donetsk #Makeyevka #Enakievo #Khartsyzsk #Mariupol

Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has a photojournalist in Donetsk now, Yevgeny Feldman, who has published a photo essay on how people are trying to cope in Donetsk.



Translation: Donetsk under fire: refuge, fires, separatists...Photo reportage.

People were staying in bomb shelters, and a sunflower oil factory has been damaged, reports Feldman.


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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
Woman Humiliated by Russian-Backed Separatists is Released

A Ukrainian woman who was reported by the New York Times last week as arrested by Russian-backed separatists, bound to a pole and forced to face public humiliation has been released, gordonua.com and TV Rain reported.

Her name is Irina Dovgan.

Thanks to the intervention of journalists, she was ultimately let go, TV Rain photo correspondent Dmitry Belyakov reported.

Dovgan had been beaten, wrapped in a Ukrainian flag, tied to a post with a sign calling her an "agent of the henchmen" and then subjected to spitting, kicking and tomato-throwing by passersby.

62_tn.jpg

At first Aleksandr Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion in Lugansk Region, said he was unaware of the situation.

Belyakov reported (translation by The Interpreter):


After intervention by [British journalist] Mark Franchetti, my colleague, and myself, we were able to convince him [Khodakovsky], that Irina had to be released. On the whole, we did not have to take long to persuade him -- Aleksandr conducted his own investigation, expressed outrage at what was going on, and confirmed that he did not know that the woman had been held on his base. He promised that those guilty would be punished. On the whole, I can testify that Irina Dovgan is alive, well, and everything is fine with her, and she will soon be reunited with her daughter.

Earlier, when the New York Times reporters tried to intervene, for their trouble they themselves were detained briefly by separatists:

A call placed by The New York Times to an aide for a senior separatist commander informing him of the abuse resulted in the rebel soldiers at the checkpoint briefly detaining the journalists. The aide, who uses only the nickname The Georgian, sent a car with gunmen to extricate the suspected spy and journalists from the Motel.

The two groups of gunmen agreed to release the journalists, but were not able to agree on handing over the woman. After the discussion, the captors drove her away to an unknown location.

The man known as The Georgian, who is a member of the Vostok Battalion, which consists of mostly local Ukrainians, said the Ossetian volunteers at the Motel checkpoint do not report to Ukrainian commanders, so nothing further could be done. He said he condemned the abuse.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Issues List of 49 Banned Russian Journalists and Media Executives

The Ukrainian National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting has issued a list of 49 Russian journalists and television executives who are banned from entry to Ukraine, Interfax reported.

The list is being transferred to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). The following names are on the list:

Konstantin Ernst
Ivan Okhlobystin
Dmitry Kiselyev
Yuliya Chumakova
Irada Zeynalova
Ivan Prozorov
Mikhail Leontyev
Yekaterina Andreyeva
Aleksandr Evstigneyev
Vitaly Yelitseyev
Pyotr Tolstoy
Pyotr Fyodorov
Oleg Dobrodeyev
Aleksey Balitsky
Yuliya Bystritskaya
Yevgeny Popov
Andrei Kondrashov
Zarif Salima
Boris Korchevnikov
Yevgeny Bekasov
Evelin Zakamskaya
Vladimir Kulistikov
Kirill Pozdnyakov
Anatsiya Litvinova
Irina Varlamova
Andrei Dobrov
Aleksey Pushkov
Ashot Gabrelyanov
Ermina Katondzhyan
Anatoly Suleymanov
Yekaterina Agafonova
Stanislav Grigoryev
Sergei Dorenko
Aleksey Efimov
Maksim Kiselyev
Serge Skripnikova
Anton Zlatopolsky
Vitaly Arutyunyan
Anna Prokhorova
Semyon Pegov
Aleksey Pimanov
Ilya Doronov
Vladimir Solovyev
Arkady Mamontov.

Interestingly, while the head of LifeNews, Ashot Garbrelyanov, and one LifeNews correspondent Semyon Pegov, other correspondents from LiveNews were not placed in the list.

Pegov was recently on assignment with Andrei Stenin, who has been missing for more than three weeks. Pegov reported that he may have found Stenin's remains in a bombed car near Snezhnoye, but the identification was not conclusive and awaits forensic testing.

Other war correspondents from pro-Kremlin newspapers such as Komsomolskaya Pravda were not in the list, nor were RT journalists. In May, Ukrainian authorities banned Aleksandr Kots from Komsomolskaya Pravda for five years, but he has still managed to come to Donbass through separatist-controlled checkpoints and is filing dispatches.

Many of the people in the list are those associated with management of state TV shows notorious for their anti-Kiev propaganda, like Dmitry Kiselyov of Rossiya Segodnya.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
UN Security Council Concludes Without Action on Ukraine

The UN Security Council met today in an emergency session this afternoon but no action was taken, as the text of a statement to be issued by the current president, UK Amb. Lyall Grant, could not be agreed.


Even making his presentation, Amb. Churkin didn't seem to maintain the fiction that the separatists in Ukraine are unrelated to Russia.


Translation: Churkin: "So, what, the militia should just lay down their arms and simply leave for the territory of Russia?" #RussianinvadedUkraine  Freudian slip.

But the statement could not be cleared to acknowledge separatists' role in ending the conflict.

During the session, Western ambassadors diagnosed the problem. But as is often the case, the problem wasn't getting information and defining the invasion, but rather gathering the political will to oppose it.


However, with not only the Chinese and Russian veto to be wielded, but failure to bring around other members to persuade Russia to adopt even a document shy of a resolution, no action could be taken.



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