Poroshenko, Kiska - EU entry at Uzhgorod
Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev
18 Aug. DPR MOD: in the past week, 362 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 2085 artillery, tank and mortar shells fired, 24 houses damaged or destroyed. 12 DPR soldiers were killed, 6 people (2 soldiers, 4 civilians) were wounded (Rus.), (Eng). Ombudsman numbers: 13 soldiers killed, 13 wounded (10 soldiers, 1 civilian woman, 2 civilian men, including one child).
Humanitarian situation in Salvyanoserbsk region, LPR video. Alexander Deineko, action administration head, tells that Ukraine keeps firing on residential areas. Damage from Ukrainian shelling creates problems with water supply, especially remote areas, Oboznoe, Veselaya Gor, Privetnoe. Every day or the other day there are casualties. On 12 Aug., aging man was wounded by a mortar shell (crater shown at 2:23, man seen at 2:41). On 15 Aug, Veselaya Gora was shelled from 82 mm mortars, 2 houses were damaged. No reason to talk today about full 100% ceasefire. At 2:59, shelling sometimes causes brush fire, an area near Znamenka, Prishib shown where locals stopped fire themselves before their homes were affected. Otherwise, humanitarian situation is stable, there is food and medicine, LPR people's militia is helping with deliveries.
16 Aug. It is said that this video shows US marines training in North Carolina in a simulated 'Ukrainian village' with Russian-speaking props.
DPR announced that a group of saboteurs was arrested, their task was to down a TV tower in Petrovskii district of Donetsk.
DPR MOD keeps publishing videos documenting alleged war crimes: Crime of the Ukrainian military in the DPR (episode number 163). Crimes of the Ukrainian military (video) August 2014, Ilovaysk, from the story of eyewitnesses. August 10, the Azov battalion entered the village of Zelenoye, fired randomly from tanks and small arms around everything that moves. On the same day, a shell hit the victim's house - the house was almost completely destroyed. August 16, in the sector where the victim lives, the battalion DNEPR 1 entered, the soldiers behaved in a boorish and brazen manner, engaged in mockery of civilians and looting. People were undressed and searched.
15 Aug. DPR: at about 21:00, 6 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 3 wounded in a failed breakthrough attempt (Rus.)(Engl). According to Basurin report the next day, 2 DPR soldiers were killed and 1 wounded.
FSB detained Ukrainian man said to be SBU agent preparing acts of sabotage in Crimea (1),(2).
14 Aug. Russell "Texas" Bentley publishes (blog) (twitter) part one of an interview with what he says is a now retired member of the OSCE monitoring mission, who complains about how the org puts a political spin on its reporting through the Kiev office led by A. Hug. It is also claimed that there are detailed field reports produced by OSCE (including Odessa events, 2 May 2014, field reports on shelling and craters, etc), but those reports are not made public and only selective information is released. One time, about two years ago, I heard in the news that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov asked to see the raw data, (field reports) to conduct his own analyses - this of course, was not allowed, but I was somewhat surprised that he never repeated the demand (...despite Russia being an OSCE member...).
12 Aug. SBU tried to recruit Marina Goiko, who serves in LPR militia, and has her mother living in Ukrainian -held area, by using her mother and Marina's underage daughter staying with the grandmother. On 9 Aug mother was approached by unknowns in uniform who demanded that she contacted Marina to convince her to collaborate with SBU. They made another visit next day when grandmother and child were away, talked to her brother, took and checked his documents, and left. At a check point, grandmother and child were stopped, and the birth certificate paper was confiscated, to make the child stay in Ukrainian-held territory and to force Marina to collaborate with SBU. To contact Marina, they took grandmother's cellphone and called from it. Caller gave his name as Vladimir. She asked what is his affiliation, is it SBU or not, as they told grandmother they are SBU (answer to her question is not on the video). They gave Marina 1.5 hours for an answer. Marina came to LPR security services instead and reported the incident. report, with Marina on video.
DPR ombudsman office received complains from 2 servicemen, 1983 and 1966 DOB, complaining of "moral and psychological pressure", threats of illegal criminal prosecution by SBU exerted on their relatives living in Ukrainian-held areas. DPR sent official letters to UN human rights representatives on that matter. A day before, in a press briefing in Donetsk, two DPR servicemen , the natives of Kramatorsk (part of the Donetsk region controlled by Kiev) and Pervomaisky (Kharkiv region) Oleg Boyko and Igor Grigoriev told journalists about threats from the SBU against their families.
Prankers Voval and Lexus interview Saakashvilli (who threatens to use all his connections and energy to fight Ukrainian authorities for stripping him of Ukrainian citizenship; not too concerned about his associates like Maria Gaidar). The same, disguised as Arsen Avakov also phoned Georgian Interior Minister Georgy Mgebrishvili, who told prankers not to ship Saakashvilli back to Georgia if he is arrested in Ukraine (...let him live like a bum).
11 Aug. DPR MOD: in the past week, 342 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 1692 artillery, tank and mortar shells fired, 21 houses damaged or destroyed. 6 people (5 soldiers and 1 civilian) were killed, 3 people (2 soldiers and 1 civilian) were wounded (Rus.)(Eng.) .
DPR ombudsman office posted several reports with videos on "Ukrainian war crimes in DPR" 1 (a man was wounded, his house destroyed, some others were killed); 2 (family house was completely destroyed, wife wounded, husband killed, son shell-shocked); 3 (civilian on a bike delivering some bread to his village was wounded by a sniper); 4 (a prisoner was beaten, jaw bones broken, abused, medical help not provided).
Weekly updates from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. UCMC (Hug, video)
9 Aug. Ukrainian criminalist Sergey Iskruk press conference (report)(video). Sergey Iskruk was involved in the official Ukrainian investigation of events in Odessa, 2 May 2014, and causes of mass casualties. After he submitted his conclusions to prosecutor office, he was pressured to change conclusions, refused to re-write his report, and subsequently physically attacked, twice. He was later approached by 2 men in fatigues from one of nats. battalions and told that they will bring him the 'correct' conclusion. At this point, he decided to leave Ukraine. He recorded a message, to be published by his friends in Europe in case of his disappearance. He did not appear in time so they did just that, but he later emerged safe and sound to give a press conference in DPR. Describing his conclusions, he pointed out that victims did not assume a 'boxer' pose typical for suffocation/fire victims, and that they were relaxed; that there were reports of spilled liquid and unusual yellowish smoke; that a couple was found embracing and relaxed, while extremities were burned; and that medical pathologist/forensic investigation (судмедэкспертиза) conducted shortly after the event found presence of chloroform in blood of some of the victims. Chloroform is anesthetic but when exposed to fire it turns to phosgene, a chemical warfare substance. Sergei Iskruk later met in DPR ombudsman office with a UN representative, 'to record true results of expert investigation' of Odessa events.
8 Aug. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel: The new round of US restrictive measures against Russia can call into question the solidarity of Western countries in terms of the Ukrainian crisis, "sanctions against European companies are totally inadmissible"- as quoted by TASS
7 Aug. US Navy (Seabees) break ground on Maritime Operations Center in Ukraine, one of their 3 other projects in Ochakov (map), Ukraine. Influential Russian MP Klintsevich accused Ukraine of provocation, violating non-block status, and preparing to join NATO, threatened unspecified consequences. In response, Russian patriotic opposition, once again, accused the authorities of inaction and failure.
Georgian prosecutors have called on Poland to extradite Saakashvili who entered the country on August 3rd and was seen in public at the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. He was quoted saying that he plans to leave Poland on Monday (7 Aug.) and travel 'in Europe', without telling a precise destination. He hopes to return to Ukraine legally one day.
6 Aug. Lavrov: US special representative Volker is to visit Moscow, meet with Surkov
5 Aug. US-born DPR-based journalist Patrick Lancaster (featured here by BBC) got married in a church ceremony in Donetsk (report, photos/video).
4 Aug. DPR MOD: in the past week, 407 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 744 artilley, tank and mortar shells fired, 6 houses damaged or destroyed (Rus.)(Eng.) DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 2 soldiers were killed, 12 people (10 soldiers, 1 civilian man and 1 woman) were wounded.
ANNA news video: Ukraine shelled residential area in Slavyanoserbsk, LPR, 2 places shown, mortar shell crater, bullet found. Crater and a compass seen on video, red arrow, likely North as in modern compasses, red is highlighting color (old ones had red pointing South, blue/black north, hot/warm colors). Likely it flew in the direction towards the flowers, what we see on the ground is back-blow pattern damage, while stuff flew up-and-away in the greens/flowers direction (looks like less damage there, but excavation is towards the flowers way). So it appears it came from NNW, i.e. Ukraine. A bit tricky, wish they give us a better view and figured on the video where it came from; they sort of do it with sign-posted arrows, without telling.
Report: Pentagon asks WH to give Ukraine anti-tank Javelins (see 31 Jul. entry for L/DPR response).
2 Aug. Yurii Boyko (Opposition block) proposes (video), in effect, to change Minsk agreements, using road-map (agreed to be developed in recent Normandy format talks, but not actually developed yet) and new initiatives to be introduced by Ukraine. He proposes to add USA to the format (such possibility is mentioned by both sides from time to time, but it's unclear is it going to help the process; Russia is very cautious here); place UN 'blue helmets' on the separation line (raised by Poroshenko awhile back; but it seems that the rebel republics do not support or at least much doubt the idea; Russia is not known to back the plan, or make changes to Minsk agreements. Russian response is that 'agreement of sides to the conflict is needed', which pushes towards direct contact between Kiev and republics. Kiev likely uses blue helmets talk to gain control on republics border with Russia, reversing the order in Minsk agreements; such change to agreements will be clearly unacceptable).
1 Aug. 2 DPR soldiers were killed by Ukrainian sniper fire in the past day (Basurin claimed that foreign snipers are fighting on Ukrainian side, a claim made quite often).
31 Jul. Pentagon and State Department are said to propose arming Ukraine; needs White House approval- WSJ; NYT; Russia24. Anti-tank Javelines and anti-aircraft weapons are said to be considered. L/DPR said (robo-translation) they will buy it from Ukraine, or capture.
Ukraine signed a contract to buy 700 thousand tons of anthracite brand coal from a Pennsylvania, USA -based company XCoal. It is reported that the price of the first shipment is 113 $/ton which is about twice higher than this type of coal from Russia or Donbass.
28 Jul. DPR MOD: 294 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 640 artillery, tank and mortar shells fired (Rus.)(Eng). DPR Ombudsman: in the past week, 7 people were killed (6 soldiers and 1 unknown man killed in Vasilievka, Yasinovataya region), 9 people were wounded (7 soldiers, 1 civilian man, 1 child under 18)
"Recording from UAF drone. Residential homes in Alexandrovka, DPR are shelled"
27 Jul. Stateless Saakashvili is with relatives in the Bronx and has a US visa until the end of the year, he told Foreign Policy. He accuses Ukrainian authorities in using faked declaration form in revoking his citizenship.
26 Jul. ANNA news crew arrives to LPR positions near Kalinovo, makes a night-time recording from front-line of the Ukrainian artillery and firearms shelling of Popasnaya, LPR (red marker), as well as their own positions (linked) from a mortar (yellow marker shows impact). Report links increased shelling with Kurt Volker visit.
DPR: Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant will resume production in Sept, 2017 (530 mm to 1,220 mm diameter pipes).
Ukraine cuts electricity supplies to the rebel Donbass area.
Saakashvilli's Ukrainian citizenship was revoked (reports)(official statement)(response).
- Dec, 2016 interview to Zhanna Nemtsova : ambition to create new political movement, pro-business, against oligarchy and corruption, seeking to win early parliamentary elections. Describes current corruption and economic stagnation ('will take 15 years to come back to Yanukovich levels). Several references to Trump in the interview (before the US elections).
25 Jul. Video: UAF continues provocations in Avdeevka industrial zone. Video: UAF continues shelling of peaceful settlements.
Video: a civilian man (Andrey) is wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Trudovskoe in the evening of 25.07; DPR corps provided first aid; he is in bandages, and interviewed with his wife. Shelling came from Shurovka or Mar'inka, Ukrainian-held. Two civilians were wounded near Donetsk in total, another is a teenager wounded by UAF shelling of Alexandrovka.
24 Jul. Normandy-4 telephone conversation, calls for ceasefire, disengagement zones: Merkel and Marcon 1, 2 Kremlin. (Traction record of agreements is so far poor).
23 Jul. Volker: Hot war not frozen conflict in Donbas; will consult Normandy group (+EU, OSCE, NATO, UK reps) before making recommendations (EngloUkr-UNIAN)(Rus-TASS).
- Ukrainian news report suggests that Volker was shown a residential high rise building in Avdeevka 'damaged by tank fire of hybrid Russian forces in Ukraine'. Building is not clearly shown but may be the same as the one shelled by Ukraine from a close distance in front of the cameras (news item on 11 March 2017). Firing and impact on video is under 1 sec apart; sound travels 340 m in a second, while shell is much faster, 800-900 m/s. On that day, filming was done from a church located some 200 m away (geolocated), and can be estimated by second bang delay compared to the flash; so tank is close, under some 500 m away; while DPR positions are over 2-3 km away. This point was made by us back in March, and similar arguments also appeared in social media, eg 1, 2).
22 Jul. Russian Amb. to the US, S.I. Kislyak farewell reception for colleagues and friends before returning to Moscow. (Mr. Trump and the team is not seen in attendance).
21 Jul. DPR MOD: 298 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past week, 1092 artillery, tank and mortar shells fired, 21 houses damaged or destroyed Rus., Eng. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 people (3 soldiers and 1 civilian woman) were killed, 20 (13 soldiers, 2 civilian women, 5 civilian men) were wounded.
A mortar shell was fired by Ukraine on the pumping station of the South Donbass waterway in the settlement of Vasilievka while OSCE SMM patrol was inspecting the facility.
20 Jul. ATO spokesman: in the past day, 4 UAF were killed near Krasnogorovka, 1 near Donetsk, 1 near Mariupol, 3 more killed by IED; 5 wounded (2 in Krasnogorovka, 3 by IED).
Pro-DPR social media: The commander of a reconnaissance group, call sign Prince (Князь), was seriously injured in his legs during the shelling and decided to stay so that the cover group did not die. He refused that others risk their lives evacuating him, and gave the command to leave. When he was surrounded by the enemy, Alexander blew up a grenade... In another social media report, 4 recently killed DPR soldiers are mentioned (including Prince); two of them, Obrezkov and Panchenko, are said to be killed near Krasnogorovka.
DPR: in the past day, 1 soldier was killed, 3 civilians wounded (Rus.) , (Eng).-- Also reports that 4 UAF soldiers were wounded after loading their mortar twice in the state of alcoholic intoxication, then blamed the incident on DPR shelling.
19 Jul. Ukraine shelled Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, 2 houses reported on fire, a civilian is seriously wounded. Dokuchaevsk was shelled earlier in the day. In the past day, 1 DPR soldier was killed.
Contact group meeting was held in Minsk, with prisoners exchange, observing ceasefire, separation of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya on agenda, but no progress to report. The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 2.
18 Jul. Sputnik reports that Alexandr Zakharshenko declared Ukraine a failed state and proposes the creation of a successor state Malorossiya ("little Russia") with a transition period of "up to three years" and the capital Donetsk. According to novorossia.today, the LPR is on board with the plan (others deny that) and the eventual territory shall be all of "former Ukraine" (discussion).
- Main document, the political declaration-Engl.; LPR official reaction-Engl.; Peskov-Engl.
14 Jul. DPR MOD: in the past week, Ukaine fired 556 artilery, tank, mortar shells, 12 houses were damaged or destroyed - Rus, Eng. DPR ombudsman:3 people were killed, including 2 soldiers and 1 civilian, a man (apparently the same as the one killed in the grey zone several weeks ago by mine explosion, whose body was recently evacuated; 1962 DoB). 7 people (4 soldiers, a civilian woman, and 2 civilian men) were wounded.
12 Jul. Ukrainian security council lead by Turchinov prepared draft law on 'de-occupation of Donbass'. The law was not adopted (Turchhinov explained it by need to consult 'strategic partners'), and lacks transitional articles normally present in such laws, but published by Ukrainian and Russian sources. The law describes policies of not recognizing rebel republics, especially property acts (art. 2) and calls for 'liberation' and restoring Ukrainian control (art. 4). Yet art. 7 pretends to follow Minsk agreements. Art. 9 gives the president authority to use armed forces (current use of armed forces without a war or emergency rule is illegal). Art. 11 : order of crossing the line of demarcation, and carriage of goods, is determined by the Chief of the Joint Operational Headquarters.
9 Jul. Kurt Volker, US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations (listed at McCain Institute) arrived to Kiev with Sec. Rex Tillerson and will stay for a few days. Rusvesna: new bloody provocations by UAF may be expected to portray 'aggressiveness' and 'incapacity for peace' of the breakaway republics.
2 cargo NATO planes landed in Odessa for Sea Breeze maneuvers -report, photos
7 Jul. LPR. Two explosions in central Lugansk, near Government House. In the first explosion, a lady captain of medical services of people's militia was killed and 5 people wounded - report, videos. LPR blamed Kiev for the attack, during G 20 meeting, aimed to prevent peaceful settlement in Donbass.
DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 3 people (all soldiers) were killed, 6 (3 soldiers and 3 civilian men) were wounded. DPR MOD: in the past week, Ukraine fired 865 artillery, mortar and tank shells, 17 houses were damaged or destroyed. Provocations planned by Ukraine but prevented, and some of the targets found on captured flash drives are presented. Onn July, 4, a terrorist attack in Donetsk was prevented by vigilant citizen. (Rus);(Eng).
6 Jul. DPR: SBU prepares a terrorist attack during a festival in Mariupol, 7-9 July, coinciding with G-20 meeting dates, to blame the attack on opolchenie and justify renewal of hostilities.
5 Jul. Rada may consider draft law 'on reintegration and de-occupation' of Donbas, in an attempt to legalize/legally define 'ATO'.
4 Jul. Major of UAF separate mountain brigade was captured near Peski. It is said that a thumb drive with orders to use artillery on targets in Donetsk was recovered- report and video. Artillery use is banned by Minsk agreements; also targets, and the whole operation, are near Peski, bordering residential areas of Kuibyshev district of Donetsk; further topographic target details are provided. An order to use 2.5 ammunition kits per day (i.e. quite a lot) is given.
It is said that LPR apprehended Ukrainian RSG planning armed or IED attack on OSCE mission. It is said that a car and a video recording from damaged dashboard camera were recovered, discussing attack plans --that alleged video is included in the report.
Lynn Tracey is quoted to say that US Amb. to Russia John Tefft is to leave his post this fall; believed to be replaced by John Huntsman.
1 Jul. Russian alt rock songster Dolphin was scheduled to perform in Kiev 'Atlas' festival, but was prevented from entering Ukraine because he has visited Crimea. His musicians went ahead with Karaoke version, with audience singing along, in Rus. One of those, 'The Spring' here, and him performing earlier, here.
More videos on talk page
Aftermaths of Ukrainian shelling of the village Zheltoe (Yellow), LPR, 29 Nov. 2016 lug-info.
Note on sources. At present, pro -Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources more often than not offer opposing claims on events, and a choice needs to be made. Currently factual part of reporting by pro-Russian sources appear more accurate, complete, and closer to truth, out of the two available alternatives. It is also less known, as the other side has greater support by the Western mass media. For that reason, a lot of reporting here is based on Russian sources. It is not done for the sake of supporting any pre-determined narrative. If and when Ukrainian sources appear more accurate, they will be used without a reservation.
Some Ukrainian source reporting is very good, for example Tatyana Montyan numerous videos, some of them translated, are spot-on and at times appear closer to reality than any pro-this or that narratives. However the bulk of Ukrainian media is unreliable, and often just unbelievable, not passing cross checks (e.g. as was illustrated numerous times by well-read on both sides Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Sharii); or else, is filled with hate and may cheer more people harmed or killed (any of such sort, from any side, is totally unsupported here).
Official Ukrainian sources
DPR and LPR
Safety zone (no heavy weapons) agreed at Normandy format meeting in Minsk, 12.02.2015. Black: current front line; red-19 September line. At the bottom it says: source: the web site of the President of Russia