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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukrainian Liveblog Day 194

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Reports Suggest Ukraine Has Made Gains In Komsomolskoye And Volnovakha

Earlier today freelance journalist Paul Brennan tweeted the following images while travelling from the Novoazovsk area towards Komsomolskoye, to the north:

The military vehicles in the first tweet appear, based on the white lines painted on their hulls, to be Ukrainian. 

This is also suggested by reports that Ukrainian forces are in control of the area today. 

Komsomolskoye and Volnovakha are under our control. We're digging in!

Yesterday reported (translated by The Interpreter):

Anti-Terrorism Operation forces have taken control of Komsomolskoye in the Starobeshevo district of the Donetsk region. This is being reported by the press office of the Ukrainian National Guard on Friday, August 29.

It is stated that the first operational brigade of the National Guard has successfully completed its march and reinforced the fortifications and defences in the city of Mariupol in the Donetsk region and taken control of Komsomolskoye.

"During combat operations, detachments from the brigade took control of the settlement of Komsomolskoye in the Donetsk region. As a result of the fighting, three servicemen were wounded," said the statement.

The wounded have already received the necessary medical assistance. 

It is noteworthy that, on August 27, the ATO press centre reported that a large column of Russian military vehicles, including tanks, armoured personnel carriers and rocket artillery, were headed south along the road from Starobeshevo (which reportedly fell to Russian or Russian-backed forces that same day) to Telmanovo

Komsomolskoye lies along this route, to the north of Telmanovo. Could the evidence of recent fighting described by Brennan have been left by a battle between Ukrainian forces and this column?


If this is the case, then a significant threat to Mariupol may have been neutralised, leaving only forces to the east to threaten the city. 

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Media Reports Return of Russian POWs by Ukraine

The pro-Kremlin propaganda outlet reported as follows:

All Russian paratroopers who were detained earlier in the week in eastern Ukraine have been handed over to the Russian side, deputy commander of the Airborne Forces, Major-General Aleksey Ragozin has confirmed.

“The negotiations were very difficult. However, common sense prevailed, and all ended well,” Ragozin said on Saturday night, cited by RIA.

“The most important thing - all the guys are now back with us, in Russia. I want to emphasize that we never abandon our own," he added.

From the very first minute the patrol was caught after accidentally crossing the border the Russian side was doing everything possible to secure their release, Ragozin said.

“Our guys feel sorry that this happened,” he said, adding that they will be provided with all necessary “psychological and other assistance.”

"I consider it unacceptable that for so many days our soldiers were held by the Ukrainian side and, moreover, were transferred to Kiev,” he stated. “At the same time, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who found themselves on the territory of Russia, after the provision of comprehensive care by the relevant authorities were immediately transferred back to Ukraine."

The independent TV Rain has also reported the return of the POWs, citing the state media:

Late on the evening of 31 August, the news broke that the paratroopers from the 98th Svirsk Division of the Airborne Troops had been returned to Russia, RIA Novosti reported, citing Deputy Commander Aleksei Ragozin of the Airborne Troops.


Nine of the paratroopers were returned tonight; early a 10th had been medically evacuated to a St. Petersburg burn unit.

It is not know if Ukrainian POWs were released in return.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Reports That Novosvetlovka Has Been Left In Ruins

Reuters reports that the Andrei Lysenko, the spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (SNBO), has told reporters today that the town of Novosvetlovka near the border in the Lugansk region has been virtually destroyed.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

But Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists in Kiev that Russian tanks had entered the small Ukrainian town of Novosvitlivka on the border with Russia and fired on every house.

"We have information that virtually every house has been destroyed," Lysenko added, without giving details on when the reported attack took place. Ukraine's daily military briefings typically cover the previous 24 hours.

Lysenko said the rebels had made new gains just east of the border city of Luhansk, one of the rebels' main strongholds, after opening up a new front in another area last week.

"Direct military aggression by the Russian Federation in the east of Ukraine is continuing. The Russians are continuing to send military equipment and 'mercenaries'," Ukraine's defence and security council said in a separate Twitter post.

Kiev and Western countries say recent rebel gains were the result of the arrival of armoured columns of Russian troops, sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to prop up a separatist rebellion that would otherwise have been near collapse.

There were further reports of destruction in the area:

Tanks are going and destroying house after house. A tank shot - a destroyed house. Khryashchevatoye and Novosvetlovka are completely destroyed. - Aidar.

Meanwhile separatist media claimed that the town had been demolished by Ukrainian National Guard forces.

The following video was apparently filmed in Novosvetlovka and uploaded today by the pro-separatist The description says:

After withdrawing from the village of Novosvetlovka, the punitive forces from the Aidar battalion and the Ukrainian National Guard left it behind in ruins. The people gladly greeted their liberators from the people's army of the LNR.

Another separatist Twitter account posted this image, claiming that a Ukrainian T-64M Bulat had been seized as a trophy there:

An earlier report on the events there came on August 27 from Dmytro Tymchuk of Information Resistance, who wrote on his Facebook page that:

Our troops are holding their positions near Khryashchevatoye, Novosvetlovka and Saur-Mogila.

It seems likely that Ukrainian forces attempted to hold the town and that the destruction occurred during the battle for control of the strategic position.


With Ukrainian forces forced to retreat from Khryashchevatoye and Novosvetlovka towards Lugansk Airport, the M4 highway from Lugansk to Krasndon has been freed up for Russian convoys travelling from the Izvarino border crossing.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
The Interpreter in Kiev

The Interpreter's editor-in-chief Michael Weiss and managing editor James Miller are in Kiev this week.

The rest of our team will continue to post updates, so keep following The Interpreter.
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
'Novorossiya' Conference In Yalta This Weekend With European Neo-Nazi Speakers

A conference is being held this weekend in Yalta, Russian-occupied Crimea, titled "Russia, Ukraine, Novorossia: Global Problems and Challenges."

The conference is due to be attended by numerous separatist leaders, including Aleksandr Boroday.

It had been reported that Igor Girkin, aka Strelkov, had been due to speak. However Anatoly El Murid, a Russian political theorist, posted a photo of himself in Russia with Girkin today on his blog, saying that the Russian separatist leader had only found out that his name had been connected to the event today. He says that Strelkov's name had been used by the organisers for their own purposes.


Interestingly, according to Anton Shekhovstov, an expert on Europe's extreme right, the conference is due to be attended by a number of prominent European far right figures.

He lists them thus:

Frank Creyelman (far right Vlaams Belang, Belgium)

Luc Michel (neo-Nazi Parti Communautaire National-Européen, Belgium)

Pavel Chernev (far right Ataka, Bulgaria)

Angel Djambazki (far right Bulgarsko Natsionalno Dvizhenie, Bulgaria)

Erkki Johan Bäckman (neo-Stalinist, Finland) 

Márton Gyöngyösi (fascist Jobbik, Hungary)

Giovanni Maria Camillacci (far right Lega Nord, Italy)

Roberto Fiore (fascist Forza Nuova, Italy)

Mateusz Piskorski (far right Samooborona, Poland) 

Konrad Rękas (far right Samooborona, Poland)

Bartosz Bekier (neo-Nazi Falanga, Poland)

Nick Griffin (fascist British National Party, UK)

Earlier today, the Russian state-owned ITAR-TASS news agency reported that the hotel where the conference was being hosted had been evacuated following a phoned-in bomb threat.

No explosives were found and the conference was due to continue.