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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 246

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
Guardian: Sweden Will Almost Inevitably Join NATO Now

One story that has a lot of eyes right now is the search for a suspected Russian submarine in Swedish waters. The editorial team of The Guardian has written a scathing condemnation of both Russia's incursion into Swedish territory, but also Sweden's weak military and its propensity to try to sit on the sidelines:

20 years of steady bipartisan cuts to Sweden’s defence budget mean that there is no longer a single helicopter equipped for anti-submarine warfare, and many of the boats involved in the hunt are inflatable. Meanwhile, on the surrounding islands as many as 200 troops are deployed in the hunt for suspected Russian special forces soldiers. A further comic element is supplied by the antics of a Russian oil tanker, which is quite by coincidence shuffling back and forth uneasily just outside Swedish territorial waters in a position from which it might rescue, or have launched, a miniature submarine. There is even a certain grim amusement to be had from the shamelessness of the Russian response: “Russian submarines, just like their surface fleet, carry out their duties on the oceans.” That these duties include the routine violation of other nations’ territorial waters is apparently too obvious to be worth stating. The Kremlin’s suggestion that the hunted submersible might be Dutch is funnier, but also one of those lies that expresses utter contempt for its audience.

If the Swedish military is unable to find this submarine, it will be the ultimate symbol of Sweden's need to finally take Russia seriously and join NATO, The Guardian argues.

That editorial was written before NATO intercepted a Russian military Il-20 aircraft, a signals intelligence (SIGINT) flight which may have been attempting to monitor the search for the missing submarine. Either way, Russia's denials coming immediately before more incursions into foreign airspace just underlines The Guardian's point that the Kremlin no longer respects or fears Europe, and even if it is at least somewhat afraid of NATO, it has nothing to fear from an independent non-aligned country like Sweden.


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Lysenko Claims Donetsk Chemical Plant Blast Caused By Mishap In Explosives Manufacture

Ukrainska Pravda reports that the spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andrei Lysenko, has claimed that the huge blast at the Donetsk State Chemical Products Factory (DKZKhI) was caused, not by a Ukrainian strike, but by a manufacturing accident.

Lysenko said (translated by The Interpreter):

"Since the capture by militants of the Donetsk State Chemical Products Factory, whose warehouses contain many chemical substances, the terrorists have been trying to establish the manufacture of explosives."

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Lysenko claimed that the blast was the result of a failure to adhere to the safety requirements of explosives manufacture.

Further video of the devastation wrought by the blast has continued to appear online. 

This video from the separatist Novorissya YouTube channel shows the factory site after the explosion. The separatists claim, contrary to the Ukrainian government, that the blast followed a strike by a Ukrainian Tochka-U short range ballistic missile.

Meanwhile this footage shows a young girl narrowly escaping grievous injury as a section of the façade of the Donbass Arena football stadium collapsed yesterday after being struck by the shock wave from the DKZKhI blast.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Temporarily Bans Ukrainian Fruit And Vegetables

Reuters reports that Russia will temporarily ban fruit and vegetables from Ukraine:

In a statement, Rosselkhoznadzor said that it was imposing the ban because of a lack of labelling, which it said was evidence that the goods were not of Ukrainian origin.

It said that a possible explanation for this was that goods from the European Union were being imported through Ukraine to evade Russian counter-sanctions against the EU.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
NATO Jets Scrambled To Intercept Russian SIGINT Aircraft Over Baltic

The Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) have announced that NATO Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) F-16 fighters have been scrambled to intercept a Russian Il-20 aircraft over the Baltic.

The news comes amidst heightened tensions in the region as the Swedish military continues to hunt for a suspected Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago.

Sweden's Expressen reports that the Il-20 is a signals intelligence (SIGINT) flight. 

According to Expressen, the scramble was confirmed by Kaspars Galkins, chief of the communications department of the Latvian armed forces.

Galkins said that the F-16s were deployed when the Russian aircraft flew near the Latvian border, however the flight had remained within international airspace.

The NBS then tweeted that an Il-20 flight had also been intercepted by Canadian CF-118 Hornet fighters yesterday. 

Expressen reported that Luftwaffe Major Robert Gericke of the NATO Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany, said that two CF-118s had been scrambled on October 20 in order to identify the aircraft. Gericke confirmed that the flight was a Russian Il-20.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Poroshenko Announces Introduction Of 'Artillery Silence' In Donbass

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has announced the introduction of an "artillery silence" in the conflict zone in the eastern Donbass regions.

Interfax-Ukraine reports:

"There is going to be another agreement on an attempt to declare artillery silence. Let's see how this is done. The agreements reached in Milan give grounds for very cautious optimism," Poroshenko said while visiting the Pivdenne design bureau in Dnipropetrovsk on Tuesday. 

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