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Ukraine News in Container
23 Aug. Following Normandy-4 conference call and a contact group meeting in Minsk, a new indefinite-time ceasefire from 25 Aug. was announced, on the occasion of the starting school year. At the contact group meeting, Russia raised an issue of disciplinary punishments for those violating ceasefire. It remains to be seen whether the latest ceasefire will last.
21 Aug. Vladislav Surkov meets US special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in Minsk, tells that meeting was constructive and supported an improved version of Minsk. No details how, but a new meeting between the two said to be planned (TASS-Rus.)(RFE/RL-Eng)(Rusvesna op-ed).
- Volker is quoted to say this at a briefing in Vilnus (and unclear whether they are exactly on the same page with Russia, in real terms): During his visit to Kiev, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared the main goals of the United States - first of all, the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And to guarantee security to all citizens regardless of their religion or nationality. The first step along this path is a prolonged ceasefire (as robo-translated).
- Ukrainian politologist Oleg Voloshin: Volker should have gone to the "L/DPR"
20 Aug. Basurin: on the eve of Ukraine's independence, the units of 57 separate motorized infantry brigade under the command of Krasilnikov tried to show their skills, to curry favor with the higher command, and attempted to seize DPR positions near Zhabunki. The attack was repelled. Later, UAF fired on the territory of the Donetsk airport, the area of the Volvo center and vicinity, as well as the outskirts of Yasinovataya and the industrial zone and the village of Staromikhailovka in the west of Donetsk. As of 19.00 more than 150 artillery and mortar shells were fired.
LPR reports UAF provocations, heavy shelling too.
Very tidy photos from Donetsk: roads that the fools failed to defeat; + another, a Donetsk blogger congratulates with Orthodox/Slavic Savior of the Apple Feast Day, complete with video of heavenly Grebenshikov performing 'Apple days' (different apples?) live, back in 1986.
19 Aug. UAF shelled Zaitsevo for several hours, a woman was wounded.
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.
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.
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).
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
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)
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.
- 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).
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.
- 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).
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).
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.
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.
- Family of 7 home hit by shelling in Donetsk, published 11 May 2017
- DPR Sakhanka: life goes on under shelling, 11 Oct. 2016
- 'Suburbia of life', about the effect of the war on life in small villages and towns. Shelling, destruction, economic hardship. Slow running, in Russian. Sept. 29, 2016.
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
- ATO press releases and maps
- Official website of Ukrainian president
- National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine
- Verhovna Rada
DPR and LPR
- DPR: DAN news (Eng).; DPR MOD, Russ.; DPR ombudsman, Russ.
- LPR: lug-info (Eng).
- Donbass international news agency, DoNi news (Eng.)
- 22.7.15 Under-100 mm weapons withdrawal was agreed Poroshenko statement: ' I hope it will be the real beginning of the ceasefire'.
- 12.2.15 Two documents were agreed: on measures on implementing Minsk protocol (English language PDF here).
Documenting Incidents, Human Rights violations
- Interactive map of human rights violations, human rights NCO organization 'Just Defense' based in Moscow in partnership with Ombudsman-DPR vkontakte (vk.com) Ombudsman-DPR -Daria Morozova (announcement video).
- Why They Are Killing Donbass? Novorossia TV with English subs. Blames consumerism, has very interesting cultural observations and quotations (incl late acad. Vladimir Arnold at 21:23 on educational reasons).
Gennady Korban (Kolomoiskii team) "ATO operation handling was a failure" ru.tsn.ua 'Korban made statements about corruption [...] and failed ATO handling' . Previously, criticized using heavy weapons in Donbass and suggested that at most police action is appropriate.
- '(...) Lies about Ukraine', -Boris Nemtsov, Leonid Martyniuk-blames Russian Government (based on inaccurate or later reversed statements made at the official level).
Blaming the USA
- Paul Craig Roberts ’ Address to the International Conference on the European/Russian Crisis Created by Washington', June 19, 2015. ...' Wolfowitz Doctrine...The gullibility of the public has enabled Washington to establish the foundation for a new Cold War...' ' "Washington doesn’t want partners. Washington wants vassals" ' 'European governments and, of course, the lapdog UK government, are complicit in this implicit declaration of war against Russia and China. If it comes to war, Europeans will pay the ultimate price for the treason of their leaders [...] as Europe will cease to exist'.
26.4.2016 'Maidan' activists protesting against city mayor Trukhanov, erecting light barricades at the city administration building, were dispersed by unknown activists armed with wooden sticks and pepper spray, several protesters were injured (photos, videos in the report).
With May 2 anniversary approaching, situation remain tense. Nationalists are making threats aimed at city administration. Regional governor Saakashvilli asked Poroshenko to deploy national guards to the city for the early days in May, explaining that those were tragic events which still resonate with many people, while those responsible were not brought to justice; and that he feels extra guards are really needed. It appeared that the request was granted, but than contradicting reports appeared.
15.1.2016 Maria Gaidar became assistant head of Odessa regional administration (Saakashvilli is the head)
6.1.2016 The subsistence minimum (this is known as poverty level in the West) per odessite in 2016 is as follows: from January 1 - 1330 hryvnia per month (that is 55 USD at this time) , from May 1 - 1399 hryvnia, from December 1 - 1496 hryvnia 1 TV, Odessa.
27.8 DPR all-for all prisoners exchange list includes 63 anti-maidan activists arrested or charged after May 2 events.
19.7 Saakasvilli clashed with Filatov, Kolomoiskii ally. Clash has to do with elections in Chernigov where another Kolomoiskii ally Korban is running. Saakashvilli is said to come to support opposing candidate Berezenko, his main opponent, but gave a different reason for the visit; that ended in verbal and almost physical clash with Filatov (video), and a court case threatened by Filatov.
17.7.2015 Maria Gaidar appointed vice-governor responsible for social policy. She is a daughter of late Yegor Gaidar (a reformer, acting prime minister of Russia in the second half of 1992). Indicated that her priority will be to show residents that regional authorities care about them. tAfter showing reluctance to persistent journalist questions on who Ukraine is fighting with, eventually provided] politically correct answer telling that Russia attacked Georgia and Ukraine (on her 4th attempt).
30.5.2015 Mikheil Saakashvili appointed governor of Odessa region. Poroshenko stated that knows Saakashvilli for a long time and trusts him. Control of Odessa port which may be used for military aid, Transnistria border, and creating positive image abroad, are seen as some of the reasons behind the appointment. Port control and other economic matters placed Saakashvilli on collision course with Kolomoiskii, whose ally was a previous Odessa governor.
Debaltsevo Damage to houses, big craters. It is said in the article that sometime UAF intentionally damaged houses by a direct fire.
- Donetsk Airport ~ Before and After, January 2015 . 3D model-sketchlab
- Luhansk Airport photos,-Graham Phillips and Cassad.
December 20, 2015: German freelance journalist Mark Batalmai, who has lived in Donetsk since mid-2014 and worked embedded with the opolchenie, releases his crowdfunded full-length documentary "Ukrainian Agony" in an English-language version (German-language original).
- 22.7.15 Under-100 mm weapons withdrawal was agreed Poroshenko statement: ' I hope it will be the real beginning of the ceasefire'.
- 12.2.15 Two documents were agreed: on measures on implementing Minsk protocol (English language PDF here).
Since now, December 23 2015, for the (n+1) time unconditional ceasefire is announced, although I do hope that one is the last, there is no warranty. So I'll just keep labels and dates for important but so far resurgent events here.
February 23 update: by the end of January, 2016, lots of shelling incidents are again reported daily. Once again, promises of ceasefire did not materialize.
- Unconditional Ceasefire in Donbas.
- 23.12.15 (starting 0:00, Dec 23, 2015, as announced-TASS
- Donetsk Airport, Donetsk suburbs shelled by Ukraine
- 13.2.16;9.2.16; 26.1.16(tank fire);25.1.16;21.1.16; 20.1.16;15.1.16; 13.1.16;31.12.15 (Staromikhailovka); 29.12; 28.12.15 (Zhabichevo); 27.12.15(Petrovskyi) ; 26.12.15(Spartak); 24.12.15 ; 13.12.15 (Dokuchaevsk) .
- (Every other day, up until now)
- Gorlovka, nearby villages shelled (Rusvesna updates-Gorlovka)
- 13.2.16;21.1.16; 11/12.1.16 (Engl).; 10.1.16 (1 DPR killed) 9.1.2016; 27.12.15; 24.12.15.
- (Similar to the above)
- Villages near Mariupol shelled by Ukraine
- 25.1.16 (artillery, from Mariupol);Kominternovo: 21.1.16;31.12.15 29.12.15 ; 24.12.15 + Basurin & OSCE came under sniper fire, 27.12
28.4.16 Detailed discussion of Nuland visit and Minsk progress by a Ukrainian source. Renewed push, with a deadline of having laws in place by the end of May, implementation by the end of summer is noted. IMF loan to Ukraine may be linked to Minsk implementation, as well as adoption of a packet of other required laws. However, so far Poroshenko tactics was to delay implementation hoping that time is on the side of Ukraine, and such an approach may last forever.
25.3.16 Foreign Minister Steinmeier in Moscow: "We need Russia to help resolve conflicts". Highlights insufficient progress implementing Minsk-2.
27.1.16 Constitutional amendments: Russia's position in Minsk talks:
- the vote on the Constitution of Ukraine should be tightly linked to the simultaneous adoption of the amendments to Articles 1 and 10 of the law on the special status of Donbass by giving special status of a permanent framework according to "Steinmeier formula";
- revision of the amendments to the law on the special status should be agreed in the contact group;
- A legal formula has to be found that guarantees that paragraph 18 of the transitional provisions of the Constitution will refer to the current wording of articles 2-9 of the law on the special status and to new, agreed by the contact group, wording of Articles 1 and 10;
- This formula should be fixed (закрепить (Rus) = lit. 'fix, make firm'; here 'used'/'entered') in the Constitution of Ukraine;
- it is also necessary to legislate in the Constitution of Ukraine, that the powers of those representatives elected in Donbass elections under a separate law will not be discontinued in 2017, as is envisaged in the constitutional reform for the rest of Ukraine
11.1. 2016 Boris Gryzlov visited Kiev. Next trilateral group meeting is on 13.1.2016 in Minsk.
Normandy four agreed to extend Minsk agreements into the year of 2016, TASS, Dec. 30, 2015
24.12.2015 Kuchma fools around trying to reinterpret Minsk agreements, demanding border control and in effect DPR/LPR disarmament prior to elections. This is not what was agreed (and could not possibly be agreed the way he tries to put it now, with Novorossia advancing militarily at the time of the agreement). Dirty games now, and so not surprisingly no progress...
18.11.2015 Ukraine did not show up for a contact group meeting where a law on special elections in Donbas was to be discussed. Previously, it was reported that sides could not reach an agreement. According to Pushilin, agenda included a ban for Ukrainian political parties to participate in local elections in Donbas, mechanism of participation for temporary displaced persons, and amnesty law.
15.3 Minsk 3 ? It is rumored that part of Ukrainian leadership is seeking a compromise and another Minsk meeting. Maybe an info release merely testing waters; but the essence of compromise is said to be a special mode to local government which covers the entire territory of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions (including those controlled by Ukraine), but these areas will be led by the people agreed as Kiev and Moscow, and the other members of the Minsk process (Germany and France). It is said that a similar proposal was made a year ago after a meeting involving Kuchma, Medvedchuk, and DPR, but Poroshenko refused to consider it and started the ATO instead. Ukrainian media claim that the plan is actually coming from "representatives of Moscow".
- Kremlin 'melancholically denied' (Cassad) re-interpretations/free interpretations of Minsk TASS
12.6.15 Poroshenko expects to submit de-centralization bill to Rada by the end of parliamentary session in July
- other constitutional changes proposed by the sides: see news entry for 9.6.15 above
10.6.15 Kuchma: Russia insists on including Novorosiia representatives into tripartite liaison group, Normandy format ; but his is not acceptable to us; they are included as consultants.
17-19.03 Russia called for a UNSC closed door meeting to discuss Ukraine breaking Minsk 2 agreements. Later Lavrov criticized the US position, and indicated further diplomatic moves and planned meetings in in Normandy format
16.03 Special status law requires elections based on laws of Ukraine prior to such special status. LPR/DPR were not consulted about this (although that is required in Minsk 2 agreements). With leaders of LPR/DPR and Soviets recently elected already, another elections will be problematic. There were no local elections though, may be local elections can be arranged in a way acceptable to both sides.
14.03 Poroshenko introduced special status law for Rada consideration -TASS quoting Rada site.
13.03 Zakharchenko and Plotniskii write to Hollande and Merkel about Ukraine not fulfilling its obligations: not following schedule on heavy weapons withdrawal; (most importantly) Rada has not started discussing special status for Donetsk, Lugansk regions--that work is supposed to finish by 14 March; continued economic blockade.
27.02 UNSC meeting on Ukraine started with OSCE report, highlighting state of affairs and challenges OSCE faces. Overall partial calming of warfare in the past several days noted. Neither side was willing to provide details of heavy weapons they posses, or their exact destination after proposed withdrawal. Technology (e.g. satellite), experts, and procedures need to be upgraded for OSCE to fulfill its required mission (video of OSCE presentation in Russian translation is here, other languages not found at this time)
- abc news report dailystar SBS
- Churkin gives a brief account of the UNSC closed door meeting TASS-English
19.02 Poroshenko has held a phone conversation in the Normandy format, told them "not to pretend that the events in Debaltseve meet the Minsk agreements". He has also urged to elaborate clear guarantees for the possible attempts of violating the given agreements in the future. (Debaltsevo situation was known in Minsk--indeed he should not be pretending).
18.02 Poroshenko plans to ask for UN peacekeepers
14.02 Russia introduced UN SC resolution approving Minsk agreements of February 12. So far, English speaking world, UK and USA, did not clearly expressed their positions, and it may give an indication. So far, it was along the lines that Russia has to deliver, and may be further sanctioned otherwise, while Ukraine has nothing to deliver, and will not be sanctioned for failures. Russian officials called for a change of such approach, taking a position that the conflict is internally Ukrainian and Russia is not a participant (example). While Russian media are making presentations indicating that it is the USA who is a participant, in Kiev overlord capacity (example).
12.02 Two documents were agreed:
- on measures on implementing Minsk protocol (English language PDF here). Ceasefire starting on February 15; separation of heavy weapons (from actual line for Ukraine, and from September 19 line for Novorossia; this enlarges separation), starting in 2 days from ceasefire, finishing in 14 days. All for all prisoners exchange, to finish in 5 days from separation begins. Time limits are given for all major steps. Return of border control to Ukraine is agreed to occur after local elections and constitutional reform (taking interests of breakaway regions into account)
- declaration of support of Ukrainian peace settlement. This includes support and control of implementation.
10.02 Contact Group agrees (a plan of) heavy troops withdrawal, ceasefire regime -TASS
- It may be the case that sides do not make binding obligations, but approve and support listed measures (language is a bit vague, if something is broken later, or sides do not agree whether later vague steps actually occurred, not clear exactly what will follow)
Still no direct contact between official Kiev and Novorossia. -(Mentioned by Putin in his press statement as one of the reasons negotiations took so long, had to go back and forth with Trilateral Group).
08.02 After telephone conference today, it is said that Normandy four to meet in Minsk on 11.02 if some positions will be resolved prior to that. Details of positions not explained. (Lukashenko talked to both Putin and Poroshenko about this and is happy and keen for them to come to Minsk)
06.02 Hollande-Merkel-Putin talks are finished in Moscow, it is said that a Normandy format document is being prepared based on meetings in Kiev and Moscow. Phone conference call in Normandy format expected on Sunday. (--Putin spokesman Peskov, TASS).) Putin off to Sochi, meets Lukashenko and rests; Hollande and Merkel also departing Moscow.
Plotniskii and Zakharchenko press conference -explains Republics position why it is not their fault that latest Minsk meeting did not succeed (English subs).
Victor Baloga, Governor of trans-Carpathian region of Ukraine, proposes a referendum on whether to continue war or separate from the rebel regions. Also, Gennady Korban, assistant Governor, Dnepropetrovsk, proposes to choose between war and an agreement.
8.7.15 Zakharchenko, at a a joint LPR/DPR press conference: "In 2015, 1212 people were killed, including 25 children under the age of 18 years ". During the conflict in 2014, 3864 DPR peeople died , including 522 women and 65 children. "That is more than 5000 of our people were killed just because they are residents of Donbass." (unclear is this civilian deaths or total deaths--probably total). More than 6,200 people, including women, children and the elderly were seriously injured and became disabled for life were . More than two thousand DPR inhabitants are missing.
14.8.15 From the start of hostilities, 5061 people were killed, among them 4295 men and 766 women, according to the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in DPR; and according to the Center for Emergency Medical Aid, 6100 were wounded Dan-news, 14.8.15. The figure is close to the one given by Zakharchenko in July (he had a higher number of 5076, so a small discrepancy here)
3.12.15 DPR ombudsman: during the conflict, almost 80 children were killed in Donbass, Rossiiskaia Gazeta, 3.12.2015. According to DPR ombudsman Yana Chepikova, uring the hostilities, 78 children were killed in DPR, 313 were injured, 35 of them seriously injured. In LPR, 30 children were killed according to data available.
19.02 Zakharchenko: Ukrainian losses in Debaltsevo cauldron may be up to 3 -3.5 thousand killed. There are plans to release or exchange those taken prisoners.
16.02 UAF: estimated 60 killed; NAF 2 killed, 21 wounded (source).
14.02 for the day and up to the ceasefire started: UAF lost 111 killed, NAF lost 8 killed, 28 wounded -Basurn
13.02 up to 100 UAF killed Basurin, DPR
12.02 Day + night, UAF lost 169 killed (links in the news section)
04.02.15 UAF losses: 21 killed
03.02.15 UAF losses estimated at 79 killed.
02.02.15 UAF losses estimated at 130 killed.
- Totals. In 29 days, up to ceasefire starting, 2760 UAF killed, 60 taken prisoners -Basurn
- In 22 days since fighting restarted, 2056 UAF killed (Basurin)
- 17 Jan.-3 Feb. UAF losses estimated at 1738 killed, 52 taken prisoners (Basurin, DPR).
According to the Head of the DNI, the year the war seriously injured for life became disabled more than 6,200 people, including women, children and the elderly. More than two thousand inhabitants DNI missing. 08.02 Many instances of shelling of Donetsk with MLRS (including Uragans), and artillery. One very powerful explosion (videos available) was reported as well. Later it was said that a chemical plant producing paints and dry mixes in Donetsk was hit by a heavy artillery shell (DPR did not confirm that it was ammunition plant); preliminary information is that nobody was killed in that explosion.
07.02 After ceasefire ended on 6.02, Ukraine attempted an attack on the whole front line; the attack was repelled. 6 civilians were killed, 15 wounded in Donetsk due to shelling by Ukraine from the North-West.
05.02. Shelling by Ukraine had 7 civilians killed, 44 wounded, most of them in Donetsk. Schools, hospitals, kindergartens hit. Ukraine is using Smerch MLRS; range is 80 km; a full salvo covers an area of 8 football fields.
22.01 Donetsk bus shelled at least 8 killed, 13 injured
- Residents react abusively to UAF 'cyborg' officer captured earlier at the Airport and brought to the scene
- Totals. Latest official UN figure: 224 civilians killed and 545 wounded in the three weeks leading up to 1 February. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the overall death toll now exceeds 5,358 people, with another 12,235 wounded since mid-April last year (Deaths here are likely certified, and mostly civilian).
In 6 months ending July 2015, 164 civilians were killed, including 16 children; 501 were wounded, including 42 are children DAN news, quoting city administration data,31 July 2015.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Accountability for killings in Ukraine from January 2014 to May 2016" -report. Blames both sides, but Western media mostly highlightes alleged crimes by rebels. While large number of civilian shelling victims are reported as if it is not known who is predominantly to blame. Significant number of other cases are likely not fully investigated or included in the report.
- "Ukraine crisis: Impunity 'pervasive' in east, says UN" , BBC, 14 July 2016 (highlights one case in rebel controlled Luhansk, where some Cossacks were accused of a crime)
Military Hardware Lost
23.02 Zakharchenko: 'Poroshenko is our main ally'. In 5 days at Debaltsevo, 170 UAF tanks were captured or destroyed; most of them can be repaired. Also, 50 artillery pieces; they did not even count mortars. Ammunition, still move it out by railroad wagon-loads.
19.02 In Debaltsevo, opolchenie captured 265 pieces of UAF military equipment. 28 tanks, 63 BMP/BTR, 145 vehicles, 16 anti-aircraft guns, 13 artillery and mortar pieces were found in good condition and have been adopted by the DPR army. Also captured: about 1000 firearms, 39 ammunition storages and 2 railroad card with ammunition -Basurin
14.02 4 Grads launchers and ammunition seized by NAF near Debaltsevo -Basurn
02-03.02.15 UAF lost 5 tanks, 1 BMP, 11 artillery pieces, one plane (and/or one Tochka U)
- Totals: for 29 days, up to ceasefire: UAF lost 3 airplanes, 1 helicopter, 205 tanks, 182 BMP, BTR, MTLB, 208 field artillery guns, 124 vehicles -Basurn
- for 22 days since fighting restarted: UAF lost 3 planes, 1 helicopter, 168 tanks, 133 BMP/BTR, 124 artillery pieces, 94 vehicles
- 17 Jan.-3 Feb. UAF lost 3 planes, 1 helicopter, 146 tanks, 114 BMP/BTR, 91 artillery pieces, 64 vehicles
Banned Weapons Use
There were numerous reports on phosphorus bomb use, with consistent photo and video footage, witness reports, burns consistent with such weapons use, etc. Many articles on Rusvesna on this topic. One of them here, for example, contain a photo of an explosion, and video, allegedly of nationalist battalion fighters, based on colors/regalia, discussing and accepting that such munitions were used by Ukraine (dated 13.02.2015 ). There were numerous other such incidents. The latest phosphorous munition report is by DoNI press, , translated at Fort Russ, Apr. 24, 2016, from Zaitsevo.
02.02.15 Report on phosphorous ammunition used against civilians by Ukraine-burns can be seen.
More photos, sky alight in Marinka (Donetsk suburb), Aug. 1, 2014
04.02.15 UAF shelled Telmanovo from Mirnoe by Smerch MLRS, civilian houses destroyed
28.01.15 OSCE confirms (03.02.15 report) that cluster Smerch munitions were used against Artemivskyi district of Luhansk, shelling was from NNW. (Shelling done by Ukraine).
- Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten: "The IMF has pumped billions in recent months into the Ukrainian financial system to stabilize the country's banks. Approximately $ 1.8 billion were going to the largest financial institution Private Bank, which is controlled by the oligarch Igor Kolomoiski. But instead of investing the money into the Ukrainian economy, Kolomoiski has managed to channel the emergency loans through a network of offshore companies abroad".  Ukrainian anti-corruption project "Our Money" ('Наші гроші' (ukr) = "Nashi Groshi") is quoted as offering an explanation of the scheme, involving a 'purchase' of foreign goods which were never delivered, using a credit from Private Bank, and the payment deposited to accounts in off-shore branches of the Privat Bank. 
- Ukrainian $18 bln debt (held in bonds) will receive a 20% 'haircut'. However, between 2021 and 2040 investors will receive up to 40 per cent of the value of Ukraine’s annual economic growth above 4 per cent, although total payments will be capped at 1 per cent for the first four years.   Ukrainian GDP is 177.4 billion USD (2013) -by google search. It went down quite a lot in 2014; but the IMF projection is 134 bln USD in 2020. One percent of that in growth is 1.3 bln; such amount may be paid to investors for 20 years bringing 26 bln USD. Write-off amount is about 3.6 bln USD. This wonderful deal is called a 'win-win' by Ukrainian finance minister and the Guardian . Franklin Templeton is one of the largest investors involved. Russia has 3 bln USD in Ukrainian debt and is not participating in the deal.(Vasili Muravitskii/Cassad brought up this matter).
- Opolchenie version of events. Rusvesna-news (rusvesna.su, Russian) , (rusvesna.su, English) , (rusnext.ru, Russian).
- Official Donetsk People Republic (DPR) news dan-news.info.
- Oplot TV-Donetsk Live now , youtube channel vk Oplot TV
- First Republican Channel-DPR youtube vk ('official channel of DPR', created in April 2014, and unofficially broadcasting some material online; possibly re-broadcasting Russia 24 in their vacant slots.
- Lugansk People Republic (LPR) news: LPR Sovet (legislature) site, news, luganskallnews.ru, news, lug-info.com
- OSCE SMM-Ukraine
- TASS Chronicle-link to daily updates, (Russian) , TASS - Ukraine (English) (easiest to search).
- Daily Press Briefings - US Department of State
- "Les masques de la revolution", Russian dubbed over French version, Feb. 1, 2016
- 'Times of Donbass' (Italian/Russian), Jan 12, 2016
- 13,3% would vote for the party "Block of Petro Poroshenko"
- 12,8% - for the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (Yulia Timosenko)
- 6,8% - for the party "Union Samopomich" (Sadovyi)
- 5,8% - for the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko,
- 4,1% - for the party "Opposition block" (Boyko) --formerly 'Party of Regions'-Yanukovich
- 3,1% - for the party "Civil position"
- 3,0% - for the party "Right Sector"
- 3,2% - have crossed all the parties /spoiled bulletin
- 14,3% - chose not to vote,
- 23,5% - hard to choose,
- 2,6% - refusal
- Source: Socio-Political Situation In Ukraine: July 2015. Report also have opinions on various peace/Russia issues, by region (English).
- In DPR/LPR, polling is done by Center for Sociological Study 'Special Status' (Центр социологических исследований «Особый статус» -russ.) Here is their opening presentation. Poll results are published by news sources.
- DPR poll conducted in the beginning of August in 19 DPR towns, 5900 people took part, 5% statistical error
- 43 % for DPR to join the Russian Federation (33.8% 3 months ago)
- 17 % for DPR to be independent ('sovereign') (42.8 % 3 months ago)
- 18 % for the 'creation of a joint state' (unclear what that would be exactly- some sort of autonomy aligned with Russia)
- 11 % ('not more than') for DPR as a part of Ukraine. 14.9 % see some future with Ukraine following Minsk agreements (18.8 % 3 months ago)
DPR: Donetsk People Republic (prime minister: Alexander Zakharchenko)
LPR: Lugansk People Republic (head: Igor Plotniskii)
JCCC Joint Center for Control and Co-ordination, consists of Ukrainian and Russian military officers,- tries to mediate to have ceasefire implemented.
MLRS: Multiple Launch Rocket System, Grad/Uragan/Smerch. Uragan or Smerch typically have cluster munitions
UAF (=AFU): Ukrainian Armed Forces
NAF (=AFN): Opolchenie, Novorossia Armed Forces
OSCE: Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe
RSG: recon and subversion group
SMM: Special Monitoring Mission-OSCE===References===
Here comes a third pi
Very cool! Should be fun to work with, but no promises I'll figure it out just yet. --Caustic Logic 07:35, 4 October 2012 (EST)
Houla (May 25, 2012)
Daraya (August 25, 2012)
Tremseh (July 12, 2012)
Sari Saoud (November 26, 2011)
- Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, "Ukrainischer Oligarch bereichert sich an IWF-Krediten", 27.08.15
- RT (Russian), "DWN: Коломойский «оприходовал» транш МВФ и скрылся в Америке", 28.08.2015
- Financial Times, "Ukraine secures debt deal for war-ravaged economy", 27.8.2015
- Finance Ministry of Ukraine, Ukraine and the Ad Hoc Creditors' Committee agree on Indicative Heads of Terms for restructuring of sovereign and sovereign guaranteed Eurobonds, 27.8.2015
- The Guardian, Ukraine agrees 'win-win' debt restructuring deal, 27.8.2015