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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukraine LiveBlog Day 209

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.
OSCE Monitors Report on Shelling of Donetsk Marketplace
The following is the spot report today September 14 from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) regarding the shelling of the Putilovsky Market (AKA known as Putilovka):

On 14 September, at about 15:00 hrs, the SMM was on patrol close to the Putilovka market, Kievskyi district, Donetsk city. The market appeared to have been subjected to shelling prior to the SMM’s arrival. Smoke was coming from one building and a fire brigade was at the scene. Members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) present at the location reported that a total of four people had been killed in the incident. About 20 m from its position, the SMM team could see the body of a civilian woman lying on the street.

While at the scene, the SMM team heard mortar shelling. Subsequently, four shells impacted and exploded within 20 seconds about 200 m from the team’s position.

The SMM monitoring team stopped at another location about 1 km away from the market. About 10 minutes later another mortar shell exploded about 100 m from the SMM’s position. The SMM team immediately left the area.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Heavy Shelling Continues in Donetsk; Marketplace, Railroad Hit; Airport Battle Continues

Heavy shelling continued throughout the day in Donetsk and into the evening.

Yesterday September 13, the Ukrainian army said it had "repelled" Russian-backed fighters from the Donetsk Airport, which it had under control, but the battle continues today.

As usual, the Russian-sponsored self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" attempted to portray the shelling as all coming from the Ukrainian army, uploading extremely graphic videos to pro-separatist websites and YouTube channels to reinforce this narrative of civilians killed. In the edited video, survivors are prompted to scream about the "Kiev junta" being responsible and that Kiev is "wiping Donetsk from the earth."

Indeed, the Ukrainian army defending the airport is shelling, yet there were independent accounts that explain how the separatists themselves are shelling at the airport and in residential areas and breaking the ceasefire.

Translation: In Donetsk, the [separatist] fighters have organized a "Bloody Sunday".

The photos in this tweet are from local news site

This video uploaded to YouTube by the Lenta Novostei channel was shot by young citizen reporters who say within the video that DPR fighters are shelling the  marketplace. The text explanation with the video says "In Donetsk, DPR fighters have shelled the Putilovsky Market, there are armed clashes between the terrorists, there is shell fire periodically heard in the city."

Earlier today, we cited other reports from OSCE indicating that there is in-fighting among separatist battalions.

Here is an unedited citizen's video of the shelling of the Putilovsky Market, uploaded to YouTube today September 14. The narrator says it was taken at 13:30. In this video, damage is visible, but people aren't acting and screaming for the camera as they were for ANNA news, although the author labels the video "Putilovsky Market 14.09.2014 Donetsk. There are casualties."

A number of reports mention Grads fired by the Russians and/or separatists at the airport:

Translation: Donetsk now. Grads hitting the airport.

A video uploaded today to YouTube claims to show Russian Federation forces firing Grads in the Donetsk area. While it is dated today and appears to be a new video not previously showing in Google images, we cannot confirm the video.

People recycle older footage at times like this, for example this tweet has a screen shot from a video actually shot in mid-August.

Translation: The railroad bridge was blown up over the road from Slavyansk to Donetsk and Mariupol.

This Twitter account which is often used for "official" announcements from the "Donetsk People's Republic" reported casualties, citing DPR-appointed prime minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko.

Translation: Donetsk on Sunday was shelled about 38 times, the dead number about 20 civilians, 24 people wounded -- Zakharchenko.

Here's a citizen's video of the shelling of the Donetsk Airport today:

This amateur video is labelled "14.09.14. Shelling of the railroad. Donetsk in smoke" and contains an agitated conversation spiced with plenty of cursing about whether the shells will fall on the area where the cameraman is.

This dark video uploaded by a citizen reporter three hours ago indicates the battle for the airport continued this evening.
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
OSCE Reports Russian-backed Fighters War With Each Other, Shell Pervomaisk, Donetsk Airport

This report from the observer mission of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), dated September 12 and distributed September 13, reports that while the POW exchanges are continuing, Russian-backed separatists are warring with each other in Popasnaya and people are hit in the cross-fire. Pervomaisk is under control of a Cossack fighter who is not answerable to the "Lugansk People's Republic" -- and who has taken responsibility for the shelling that is breaking the ceasefire in the belief there is a build-up of Ukrainian forces:

The SMM observed a simultaneous release of 68 people in Donetsk; and monitored the non-use of weapons regime established under the Minsk Protocol.

In the early hours of 12 September, the SMM observed the simultaneous release of 68 hostages/prisoners close to Avdeevka (18km north of Donetsk city). The Ukrainian side handed over 31 members of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”), whilst the “DPR” side handed over 37 Ukrainian servicemen. In addition, the SMM at 17:00 hrs that day observed the handover of six more prisoners by the Ukrainian side to the “DPR” at the same location, thereby balancing the figures. The releases followed a verbal agreement between the sides made the previous evening – as part of the implementation of the Protocol signed in Minsk on 5 September – at an SMM-facilitated session of the Tri-lateral Contact Group held in Kyiv.

The SMM – located close to Donetsk airport – heard what appeared to be a number of detonations, seemingly coming from the direction of the airport, at 11:00hrs. Local people told the SMM that sporadic fire of automatic weapons had been heard throughout the night in the same area.

The SMM observed a large crater near a bus-stop in the village of Gornikov (15 km northeast of Donetsk city). Four people in the village separately told the SMM that the crater was the result of shelling at 08:00 hrs that morning. They said three people had been wounded as a result. The SMM observed another crater in the neighbouring village of Khanjenkovo (26 km northeast of Donetsk city), also caused by shelling at around 08:00 hrs, according to a local man whose home had sustained some minor damage as a result of the shelling. No casualties were reported.

Mariupol appeared to have been calm during the reporting period, with various interlocutors in and around the city reporting no signs of fighting.

The SMM received numerous reports– from Ukrainian military personnel and local people in a number of towns in the vicinity of Pervomais’k (70 km west of Luhansk city) – that there had been small arms fire and shelling over the previous 24 hours in the area. The acting District Police Chief of one of the towns – Popasna – later outlined several alleged incidents spanning the period of 8 to 11 September, in which Popasna had been shelled. In another of the towns in the area – Zolotoye – local people told the SMM that four different separatist groups were engaged in a power struggle in the area.

Later in Luhansk city, a senior representative of the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) told the SMM that Pervomais’k was under the control of a Cossack commander unanswerable to the “LPR”. The SMM subsequently visited Pervomais’k, where they met the commander, the self-styled Colonel Pavel Dremov. He confirmed that he had been involved in shelling, saying he had done so because he had received information that there had been a substantial build-up of Ukrainian military forces around Pervomais’k, including at least 64 tanks. He said there were about 700 Cossack armed personnel in the town, equipped with three D-30 artillery pieces.

In Stanitsa-Luhanska (24 km northeast of Luhansk city), the SMM observed a civilian vehicle carrying at least half a dozen separatists, armed with a 122 m anti-tank weapon, moving in the direction of a Ukrainian military checkpoint.

The SMM, at around 09:30 hrs, observed Ukrainian military personnel laying 10 to 12 anti-tank mines, in two rows, on the road from Shchastye (24 km north of Luhansk city) to Metallist (9 km north of Luhansk city).

The situation remained calm in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.

The SMM observed on 11 September people in Tavriis'k (80 km east of Kherson city) digging trenches on the side of the main road connecting Kherson with Crimea. There is also a hydro-power plant and a bridge over the Dnepr River in the vicinity.

A high-ranking Ukrainian military official told the SMM in Odessa that there had been a significant recent build-up of Russian military forces in both Transdniestria and northern Crimea.

The situation remained clam in Chernivtsi.

The SMM in Ivano-Frankivsk city, observed 1,000 college students, wearing yellow and blue t-shirts, moving along the streets, singing Ukrainian patriotic songs and chanting slogans. The participants dispersed peacefully.

The situation remained calm in Lviv and Kyiv.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian 'Humanitarian Convoy' Crossed Into Ukraine Without Permission: OSCE Monitors

The Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has issued a revised report of the Russian 'humanitarian aid' convoy of 216 vehicles that crossed into Ukraine without permission at the Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints:


On 12 September 2014 starting at 22:20 (Moscow time) and throughout the night, a Russian convoy of 216 vehicles, including 189 cargo trucks, entered the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP) and crossed into Ukraine in six groups. By 13 September at 07:45, all the vehicles had crossed into Ukraine. According to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations (MES), the convoy is carrying only food products and heading to Luhansk.

The first group of 36 trucks were quickly checked by the Russian border guard and customs services. The 180 other vehicles were not inspected. All vehicles crossed into Ukraine without being inspected by Ukrainian border guard and customs officers or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


On 12 September 2014 at 22:10 (Moscow time), the Observer Mission (OM) observed the arrival of vehicles belonging to a second Russian humanitarian aid convoy.

At 22:10, two cars arrived at the BCP. One of the passengers introduced himself to the Observer Team (OT) as an official of the MES of the Russian Federation (RF). He explained that soon a humanitarian aid convoy consisting of 200 vehicles loaded with food products but without medicines, would arrive at the BCP. The MES official added that the vehicles would undergo a control by the RF customs and the border guard services. According to him, the process would not involve Ukrainian customs and border guard officers who are still present in the vicinity of Donetsk BCP. He also stated that the convoy was due to cross the border on 13 September at around 06:00 hrs.

The convoy entered the BCP compound in groups as detailed below:

At 22:20, a first group of 36white coloured trailer trucks accompanied by one workshop truck, one tow truck and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP. By 23:30, Russian border guard and custom checks were completed and all vehicles were parked in the buffer zone between the Russian and Ukrainian BCPs (outside of OSCE sight).

At 03:50, a second group of 34 cargo trucks accompanied by one workshop truck, one tow truck and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP. The second group of vehicles joined the first group parked in the buffer zone between Russian and Ukrainian BCPs (outside of OSCE OM’s sight).

At 04:50, a third group of 25 cargo trucks accompanied by five fuel trucks, one ambulance, two workshop trucks, one tow truck, and one spare truck tractor entered the BCP and joined the other two groups.

At 06:00, the fourth group of 30 cargo trucks accompanied by one spare tractor, one ambulance and one tow truck entered the BCP and joined the rest of the convoy.

At 06:45, the fifth group of 33 cargo trucks accompanied by one spare truck tractor and one workshop truck entered the BCP and joined the rest of the convoy.

At 07:00, the sixth and final group of 31 cargo trucks accompanied by one ambulance, two spare trucks tractor, two workshop trucks and one tow truck entered the BCP.

By 07:45, all vehicles of the convoy had crossed the checkpoint and exited into Ukraine.

The movement of the first groups into Ukraine must have started earlier because of the lack of space in the aforementioned buffer zone. Since this area was out of sight, the OM cannot confirm the exact time of departure of the convoy. Most of the trucks were marked with a Russian flag.

Total number of vehicles which crossed into Ukraine: 216 (189 cargo trucks and 27 support vehicles).

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian-Backed Fighters Continue to Shell Donetsk Airport

There are continued reports of the shelling of the Donetsk Airport this morning by Russian-backed fighters.

A citizen has uploaded a video to YouTube, and says artillery fire can be seen in the Kuybyshev District of Donetsk, located here on Google Maps.

Local news site reports that about 11:00 am, Russian-backed separatist fighters attempted a new storming of the airport in Donetsk.

Local residents report:

"Just now there were two volleys in a row from Howitzers apparently somewhere from the direction of Bakin, explosions at the airport...For some reason at Putilovka, it has become louder than usual."

There are also reports of Grad shelling with the help of tanks, report locals:

"Six tanks have passed the station at the airport...Two Grads have passed along Universitetskaya Street in the direction of the airport...Apparently they are shelling from the slag heap on Kuybysheva Highway and from Durnaya Balka at the airport...Volleys against the airport are coming from the Khimreaktiv [Chemical Reaction] plants"

Translation: #Donetsk #News Fighters in Donetsk have begun a new storm of the airport - 6 tanks are taking part in it.

Translation: At 10:20 am 4 tanks with Russian flags and one BTR passed through Azotny in the direction of Lidiyevka.

This live feed from Ruptly now shows a recording from earlier in the day: