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Talk Pages: News-Talk Page... Category Ukraine Talk Page... Minsk Protocol.... Ukraine War Casualties...Odessa massacre...... MH17 Crash

December 11, 2015: Oleg Barna, a Poroshenko block deputy, presents flowers to Prime Minister Yatseniuk (click on the picture for the linked video)
American and Canadian instructors prepare Ukrainian soldiers , Petr Sagaidachnyi center, Apr. 4, 2016, Ukraine. Also on this video from Lviv

Recent updates

News

Poroshenko, Kiska - EU entry at Uzhgorod
Alley of Angels, in memory of killed children of Donbass. Ukraine "über alles"?-Donetsk Partisan
Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev

15 Nov. Putin discussed with L/DPR leaders and supported large-scale prisoners exchange plan proposed by Ukrainian politician Victor Medvedchuk

14 Nov. Basurin sit-rep (Eng.): children going to school in Zaitsevo came under UAF mortar fire, managed to hide behind buildings so that nobody was hurt. Basurin accused UAF commander of targeting children intentionally. Further, according to him, on the eve of a scheduled Minsk meeting UAF issued false reports of DPR attacks.

Surkov and Volker had another meeting. No concrete details released, but apparently peacekeepers among the issues discussed. Positions continue to differ (Surkov: "...better than zero"). It is stated that Russia accepted 3 out of 29 US items (and some number of Russian items are said to be accepted by USA). Continued support of Minsk agreements stated. (On peacekeepers, in essence Russia and L/DPR want then on separation line; Ukraine with US backing want them on the border with Russia. With core positions like that, no chance of progress).

13 Nov. Gennady Moskal: "Politically marginalized provocateurs will not be able to cause quarrel between Ukrainians and Hungarians". The Transcarpathian Regional State Administration is outraged by the behavior of the right-wingers, who arranged a provocative "torchlight procession" in Beregovo.

10 Nov. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 3 people were killed (2 soldiers and a child killed in Petrovskii District of Donetsk), 9 people were wounded (4 soldiers, 1 civilian woman, 2 civilian men, 2 children under 18).

Washington Scores A Victory In Battle Over North Sea Pipeline Forbes; Reuters; Kyiv Post; gearzovbiz

Brussels has found a new way to disseminate the requirements of the Third EU energy package on the “Nord stream — 2”. The European Commission has decided to include marine (=offshore) pipeline sections in the list of objects controlled by these rules. They had previously applied only to land routes. As experts believe, in consequence, the EU have the right to prohibit Gazprom to use the power of the “Nord stream — 2” in full force. Such a scenario threatens to lead to a reduction in its profitability and falling of interest of investors to this project.

9 Nov. US is 'to test Moscow’s willingness' by proposing 20,000 peacekeepers for Donbass, via OSCE route -WSJ, paywalled. Apparently for better testing, several U.S. officials said the White House has approved in principle providing Ukraine lethal weapons, including Javelin antitank weapons (denied by the White House, according to Sputnik). In any case, Russia views the numbers as excessive, and Russia & L/DPR are very unlikely to agree to sealing the Russia-L/DPR border (L/DPR position is that this is to be done by legalized by Ukraine L/DPR military, possibly becoming part of Ukrainian military).

Klimkin: Ukraine agreed with the United States on the main parameters of the joint draft resolution on the peacekeeping mission in Donbass. Klimkin: no Russian peacekeepers; peacekeepers to seal border with Russia.
RT: "Absurdity and exorbitance..."

8 Nov. This video, filmed from UAV, and received by Rusvesna from an unknown email, appears to show DPR responding to UAF fire on Donetsk, Nov 5. Ukrainian munitions storage is hit on the video.

Ministers' deputies, Council of Europe meeting document on situation in Ukraine

12. reiterated their appeal to all sides to strictly respect the Minsk Agreements, above all the ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops, armed formations and military equipment, to take the necessary steps for their full and swift implementation; underlined the Russian Federation’s responsibility in this context

Special representative of the French government brought Putin a message from Macron about Ukraine

I brought here [in Moscow] a message from our president addressed to the president of the Russian Federation, it concerns Ukraine, "he said. "It's pre-eminent over our relations, in the end it's the reason for the sanctions," added Shevenman.

6 Nov. Full past day DPR MOD report gives high count of heavy weapons shelling by Ukraine (450 Grad missiles, 44 artillery 152 mm shells and 25 122-mm shells, 202 120-mm mortar shells, 181 82-mm mortar shells, 8 tank shots. One child was killed when unexploded munition detonated, 2 more children were wounded. Informal opolchenie correspondent report give high casualty count, 5 civilians and 11 soldiers killed in the past day (not in the official report). Ukrainian video emerged showing them discussing shelling Spartak, with explosions in the foreground. Further reporting and locals interviews also confirmed that shelling took place. Pro-Russian social media reports suggest rotation of UAF forces and their advancement to the separation line, possibly to prepare for an attack; there is a word that one of such advancing groups could be targeted by DPR, but no confirmation or solid details what exactly happened.

5 Nov. DPR representative at JCCC reports sharp increase of shelling by Ukraine (Engl.), including 90 Grad missiles, 18 artillery 152 mm shells, 2 tank gun shots, 9 mortar shells of 120 mm and 3 of 82 mm. Civilian was wounded in Kiev district of Donetsk (video from the scene)

DPR returned fire -details (Rus.)

4 Nov. 'Trump could be offered $47 million option to arm Ukraine against pro-Russian separatists' - ABC.

LPR's Vladislav Deinego: Volker & USA proposal to place UN peacekeepers without L/DPR approval violates Minsk agreements

3 Nov. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 people (3 soldiers and a civilian man) were killed, 3 people (a woman and 2 civilian men) were wounded.

2 Nov. The replacement for the notorious Victoria Nuland, fired by Trump as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, is sworn in. Dr. Aaron Wess Mitchell is the former CEO of a neo-con think tank- and an outspoken neo-con himself.

1 Nov. Oleg Tsarev quoted by Rusvesna with a claim that his Ukrainian source in one of power services offered a version of events according to which (1) Nemtsov murder was arranged by Chechens opposed to Kadyrov and based in Ukraine (that was indeed suggested early into investigation, but subsequently there was no/little backing for such version) (2) Russian supporters of Nemtsov asked Pavel Sheremet to investigate (unconfirmed), and he was killed after his investigation went too far (there was little progress in Sheremet murder investigation; it was not established why he was killed). (3) Amina Okueva (below) was involved in Sheremet murder (alleged earlier, man and woman seen on video recording), and she was then killed to cover it up. (Ukraine blamed Russian services or Kadyrov - with Anton Gerashenko ears noted in early announcements and videos).

30 Oct. Volker to Hromadske.ua

Q: What will be the role of the self-proclaimed "DPR" and "LNR" in this process? Will they be involved in some way? Russia controls them, but formally they control access to territories where peacekeepers must come.
A: I think this issue has been resolved: Minsk agreements - between Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE. The idea is to restore control of Ukraine over these territories, to hold elections there. Therefore, there is no place for the so-called republics.

Female member of nats. bat 'Kiev 2' Amina Okueva was killed and her husband Adam Osmaev, accused (by SBU in 2012, then in Russia) of Putin assassination plot, was wounded when their car was shot at near Kiev (Osmaev interview in hospital; Gerashenko; Gordonua; Rusvesna). Okueva was a doctor with weapons training including sniping; born in Odessa and identified as a Chechen, but apparently via marriages to Chechens. That may include conversion to Islam; she stated that she is a Muslim. On a previous assassination attempt on Osmaev, 1 Jun., she shot and wounded the attacker. . Her and her mother's birth certificates appeared on the web and their non-Chechen origins discussed.

28 Oct. DPR. Civilian man (Kotov, 1992 DOB) was killed in Ukrainian shelling of Trudovskaya mine pit area.

'Military camp to be established next to Rada', after protesters demands on introducing in Rada anti-corruption court and presidential impeachment laws were not met. Saakashvili calls for a Veche (public gathering/historic term) near Rada tomorrow, to discuss 'new demands' and 'plan of change of power'.

27 Oct. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 DPR soldiers were killed, 9 people (6 soldiers ond 3 civilian men) were wounded.

DPR MOD weekly report, as well as OSCE, note that heavy weapons were moved away from storage areas and towards the separation line. Increase of hostilities is anticipated (Rus.), (Eng.)

26 Oct. Explosion in central Donetsk, in a residential building, not far from the government quarters. Two people were wounded. Said to be natural gas explosion, by preliminary reports.

25 Oct. Assassination attempt on a notorious Ukrainian MP Igor Mosiychuk, a motorcycle exploded nearby. Mosiychuk was wounded, a bodyguard and a by-passer were killed 112.ua, Rusvesna. Earlier, on 24 Oct., Mosiychuk took part in a mob storming Kiev court, to try to release OUN member Kohanovsliy (arrested for using a traumatic gun on an opponent during an altercation). Mosiychuk was also involved in calling for an investigation of Sergey Levochkin (some other rather shadowy business dealings were also mentioned). In 2014, Mosiychuk was on a video shooting at Kadyrov portrait (Kadyrov denied any role).

24 Oct. Ukrainian migration service denied Saakashvilli request for a refugee status in Ukraine. Separately, Lutsenko accused him of plotting a coup. Saakashvilli announced that he plans to move to a tent opposite the Rada building in Kiev (video)

Putin ordered to regulate, tax bitcoin mining in Russia.

22 Oct. DPR MOD: in the past day, 1 DPR soldier and 1 civilian was wounded. Unconfirmed Ukrainian reports that DPR woman sniper 'Belosnezhka' was killed. Some reports attribute it to propaganda; another report gives a location, Spartak, near Donetsk. It is noted that photos of 2 different people are shown in Ukrainian report.

The “Mad Dog” Appears in the Donbas -AtlanticCouncil's Digital Forensic Research Lab

21 Oct. DPR MOD: in the past day, 1 DPR soldier was killed

19 Oct. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 people were killed (all sodiers), 3 people were wounded (1 soldier, 1 civilian man, 1 civilian woman).

Answering K. Zatulin on additional measures to absorb refugees (1.2 mln of them in Russia), Putin stated that "the Government ... have received such instructions" (exact details not supplied). DONi news interprets this as granting Russian citizenship to Donbass refugees

18 Oct. At 17:20 police attempted to take down the tent city on Grushevskaya street. After some clashes and pepper spray use, police retreated -(Rusvesna)(112.ua).

17 Oct. Some clashes between protesters (+'Donbass' nats bat) and law enforcement were reported. It is said that law enforcement then retreated (Rusvesna photos, videos).

Some clashes reported, apparently when a tent was brought. One policeman injured. (Photo made by MP Anton Gerashenko).

Rusvesna: An artillery battery was deployed (said to be for a salute) in the Mariinsky Park in Kiev, located in close proximity to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, where mass protests are taking place today, and once the camp of "Anti-Maidan" was stationed (photos).

Saakashvilli is in Kiev and addressing protesters (and said to be giving 'till the end of the day' for their demands to be fulfilled). Rada MP Mosiichuk and MOI adviser Shkiryak accused protesters camp in planning to storm Rada. It is reported that Poroshenko proposed to lift Rada deputies immunity, which will go towards fulfilling one of the demands. (Peak of protests which started on defenders' day was expected around today. 112.ua online coverage).

Independent reporter Graham Phillips publishes a short documentary from the construction site of what will be the largest mosque in Eastern Europe in Simferopol, Crimea.

The World Jewish Congress condemns the unveiling in the city of Vinnitsa of a statue of "cruel barbarian" Symon Petliura, "indisputably responsible for pogroms in which 35,000-40,000 Jews were murdered".

14 Oct. Latest UN report contain civilian casualties data, 16 May to 15 August 2017, separately for L/DPR (where shelling casualties, as presented, are about 2 times higher) and Ukrainian-controlled areas, p. 7. Also overalls from 1 Jan. 2016 are given.

13 Oct. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 3 people (2 soldiers, 1 civilian man) were killed, 4 people (1 soldier, 1 civilian man, a civilian woman, and a 16 years old teenager) were wounded.

Larisa Saragan, spokeswoman of Ukrainian attorney general Lutsenko, claimed (Eng. version) that Turkey will not allow ships which visited Crimea to 'enter Turkey' (and its ports). It is discussed whether this implies restrictions on passing Bosporus. Similar claims were made earlier. Turkish document is here.

12 Oct. First since the start of 'school ceasefire' Grad strike by UAF, on Bezymennoe settlement in DPR south. ATGM (ПТУР -Rus.), mortars, BTR and BMP guns, small firearms also used.

PACE adopted a resolution critical of Ukrainian language policies (Ukrinform).

10 Oct. Miloš Zeman answers the question of Alexey Goncharenko in PACE (video).

DPR MOD reports a firefight between 2 Ukrainian detachments (36 обр МП and 59 омпбр) due to lack of communication, which they tried to blame on DPR, by firing on DPR positions and trying to cause return fire. (DPR says they did not respond).

9 Oct. 47 years old father of 3 was killed by Ukrainian shelling of Gorlovka hitting his home; the wife and children were not hurt. Video from the scene.

Ukrainian politolog and journalist Dmitry Gordon on live News One porgram, quoting his sources (not revealed): USA set a condition that a new president (after 2019 elections) must not have any connection to past power, and there are two such people already seriously preparing. They are famous Ukrainians known to the whole world.

6 Oct. DPR MOD: 48 ceasefire violations in the past day (increase of nighttime shelling reported on social media), 1 soldier was killed. In the past week, 278 ceasefire violations, 2 soldiers killed and 3 wounded.

Rada extended by another year a law on 'special self-governance' in L/DPR ('ORDLO'), to be in effect on the continuation that 'Russia withdraw its troops' (which was always denied). It also adopted in the first reading 'reintegration law', which does not mention Minsk agreements (and contradicts those).

Kurt Volker interview to gazeta.ru(robo-translation), prior to meeting with Surkov in Serbia (offers help restoring Ukrainian sovereignty, with peacekeepers for pro-Russians safety).

4 Oct. Poroshenko introduced in Rada a bill on reintegration of Donbass (bill robo-translation). In the bill, L/DPR territory is portrayed as temporarily occupied by Russia. That is used to back-justify using of armed forces, control flow of goods and people, etc. Stated goal is 'liberation' and establishing Ukrainian control (article 4). Crimea is not discussed in details, but similar principles indicated. When the law was introduced (June, 2017), it was made clear that it was inspired by Croatia events (after protracted process, Croatian forces defeated Serbian forces of the Republic of Serbian Krajina in two sudden military strikes). DPR stated that the bill contradicts Minsk agreements (+ they were not consulted, as Minsk requires, of course).

1 Oct. The (only partly successfully) crowd-funded documentary "Frontstadt Donezk - die unerwünschte Republik" by German independent filmmaker and part-time Donetsk resident Mark Bartalmai, covering the civilian life and nation-building efforts in the city, is published free for all on youtube (German language).

30 Sep. Poroshenko signed a document on the concept of state management in conditions of emergency, prepared by the national defense council. Andrey Babitskiy wonders why now; submits that currently Rada has 2 days to approve presidential order establishing a special rule, those 2 days may be unavailable in case of a next Maidan.

DPR. A man, resident of Trudovskoe, was wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Trudovskaya pit mine. He was a guard at the mine, and was closing doors at the time.

Basurin sitrep: 36 ceasefire violations, with artillery, tank, mortar fire (numbers provided), 3 houses were damaged, 1 civilian and 1 soldier wounded

29 Sep. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 2 people (all soldiers) were killed, 5 people(3 soldiers and 2 civilian women) were wounded.

28 Sep. According to reports (Rusvesna);(earlier, sled.net.ua), it is alleged that a company linked with Rada deputy from Poroshenko block arranged for itself to serve as intermediary loading US coal (end of July, 2017 news) on trains at Ukrainian ports. While 'Yuzhnyi' port was arranged to not compete to provide such services, with costs estimated to be as high as 10% on top of the price. (Something like that, if true, would be business as usual in either Ukraine or Russia, but perhaps below standard for a Western democracy. The coal price itself was above the market even with Russia and Donbass excluded).

27 Sep. Nadezhda Savchenko linked (on-going) weapons munition explosions near Vinnitsa with weapons illegal trade and subsequent cover-up (zik.ua +video).

23 Sep. Assassination attempt on DPR minister of taxation and revenues Alexander Timofeev ("Tashkent") in Donetsk, said to be by a mine explosion near his car. It is said that Timofeev 'is doing fine'. Initial reports suggested that a number of passer-byes were wounded. A Donetsk-native blogger offers his account (anti-personnel mine against heavily armed car? "Tashkent" apparently was not hurt. Offers critical opinions on overall state of affairs)

22 Sep. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, no killing reported, 7 people (2 soldiers, 1 civilian woman, 4 civilian men) were wounded.

21 Sep. Poroshenko meets Trump, on the sidelines of the UN meeting in New York. Ukrainian sources present the meeting as American support of Poroshenko alternative plan to place peacekeepers mostly on Russia/LDPR border, while Russian proposal places them mostly on the separation line. Official White House transcript is rather less definite, here.

19 Sep. Patrick Lancaster visits Zaroshenskoe, interviews a local man who tells him that neither opolchenie nor UAF were based in the village itself back in July 2014, but there was an Ukrainian position few km away on a by-pass road. They stayed in the area for a few more weeks, until Ilovaysk battle events when they were pushed out. Lancaster goes in that direction, finds a possible dig-out, apparently with small firearms casings and what looks like a trench entrance, reports on all that on youtube suggesting this may be Ukrainian position indeed (a user comments that this may be a silo pit; those are probably smaller and are not supposed to have trenches and casings). This report goes along the lines of supporting the early Russian MoD and subsequent Almaz-Antey version of events in MH17 shoot-down, placing Buk position/launch site near Zaroshenskoe.

16 Sep. 112.ua: massive fire at a summer camp for children, some jumped from windows to escape fire. There were 42 children in the camp, 3 of them perished. Video of fire rescue included.

112.ua: (special US representative in Ukraine) Kurt Volker: even if Russia will fulfil Minsk agreements, the sanctions will not be lifted because of the Crimea. Also: Russian idea on UN peacekeepers are 'interesting' but 'I believe that details of what was proposed are most likely to further divide Ukraine and not solve the problem' (112.ua ); (rferl.org) . Pushkov: 'Volker needs not to criticize Russia's ideas, but to think about how to ensure peace and convince Kyiv to carry out Minsk-2. Otherwise, his mission will end ingloriously' (Interfax.ru)

Saakashvilli : We decided to join the initiative of civil activists and gather in Kyiv on October 17 with three demands: the creation of anti-corruption courts, the abolition of parliamentary immunity, the adoption of a new electoral law. And the rest of the requirements we will collect throughout Ukraine until the 17th.

15 Sep. DPR Ombudsman: In the past week, 5 soldiers were killed, 5 people (3 soldiers and 2 civilian men) were wounded.

10 Sep. Mikhail Saakashvili returns to Ukraine by calling his supporters and the media to the border with Poland and then have them "carry" him over it, literally breaking through a police cordon.

7 Sep. Deteriorated security situation is reported prior to Minsk format meeting. 2 DPR soldiers were killed by Ukrainian sniper fire.

Peskov: Kiev should first discuss UN peacekeepers deployment with L/DPR. Russia is not a side of the conflict.

5 Sep. Putin proposed to send UN peacekeepers to Donbass, and Russia introduced a UN resolution to do so. Ukraine expressed 'an interest to immediately discuss the resolution', however there are crucial differences in the approaches. Ukraine wants to place peacekeepers on the Russian border with the republics, Russia wants them on the separation line.

Ukraine experiments with replacing traditional, teacher-led Soviet-based school system, with Western-inspired one, no homework, grades pressure or classroom desks, to ANNA news horror. Finland-based, suggests TSN.ua

1 Sep. DPR ombudsman: In the past week (a supposed ceasefire) 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 1 civilian man was wounded. DPR MOD: 186 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past week, 642 artillery, tank and mortar shells fired, one house damaged or destroyed. (Rus.), (Eng).

Videos

More videos on talk page

Photos

Aftermaths of Ukrainian shelling of the village Zheltoe (Yellow), LPR, 29 Nov. 2016 lug-info.

Sources

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).

OSCE

Official Ukrainian sources

Ukrainian media

DPR and LPR

Minsk Agreements

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

Agreements

Archive 2017
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
01 02 03 04
Archive 2016
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
01 02 03 04
Archive 2015
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
02 03 04
Archive 2016
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
01 02 03 04
Archive 2015
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
02 03 04

Documenting Incidents, Human Rights violations

Analysis

Blaming Ukraine

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.

Blaming Russia

  • '(...) 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'.

Odessa news

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.

Photos/Videos

Debaltsevo Damage to houses, big craters. It is said in the article that sometime UAF intentionally damaged houses by a direct fire.

Uglegorsk: NAF arranged a corridor for civilians (English sub.) Donetsk children Enakievo Gorlovka Nikishino Nikishino (center) Uglegorsk

Ukrainian Agony

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).

Minsk Agreements

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

Agreements

Resurgent Events?

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
(22.7.15)
(12.2.15)
  • 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)
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

....

Updates

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

Ukraine Contact Group notes "good exchange of views" — OSCE official, TASS-English

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

24.02 FM meeting in Normandy format ended in Paris; heavy weapons withdrawal, verification, Debaltsevo were discussed, nothing new signed. Germany has concerns with implementation.

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

17.02 UN SC unanimously approved a resolution supporting Minsk agreements. (Yet, testy rhetoric noted by Churkin)

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)

Plotniskii, Zakharchenko press statement (English subs)

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.

Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande insist on the immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Donbas

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.

Maps

20.02.2015 Front line, and heavy weapons withdrawal zones, black 25 km (artillery), green 35 km (MLRS), pink 70 km (heavy MLRS and Tochka U). Zones were agreed by Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC). As of 24.02, only DPR and LPR pulling heavy weapons. (source)
18.02 Debaltsevo Cauldron. Debaltsevo is controlled by NAF. Blue arrows: Ukrainian armored vehicles escape route. (Click image for earlier versions)
02.02.2015 ATO map (Ukraine) .

Dragon-First maps; Kot Ivanov .

Casualties

Total

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)

Children killed

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.

Military Casualties

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)

08.02 LPR commander Maxim Martakov, a military policeman, and 6 fighters were killed under Chernukhino. They provided corridor for civilians. 11 UAF soldiers were killed, 29 wounded (Basurin)

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).

Civilian Casualties

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.

04.02 Donetsk hospital shelled, 5 killed, 5 wounded. Civilian objects destroyed: Donetsk 17, Makeevka 28, Gorlovka 2

02.02.15 16 killed, 34 wounded in DPR and LPR combined. Civilian areas hit by MLRS, Makeevka and Donetsk, (13), (14) on opolchenie map, 02.02.2015

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

13.01 Volnovakha bus: 12 killed, 18 wounded (talk). 24.01 Mariupol market shelling: 30 killed, 83 injured (talk) .

  • 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).

Gorlovka

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.

UNHCHR

  • 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

03.02.15 Two UAF SU 25 were shot down (near Commisarovka and Chernukhino; one pilot bailed out). Also a drone shot down near Irvino

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

Ukrainian tanks in residential area, Spartak-Peski, Spring-Summer 2015. Supposed to be free from heavy weapons (according to weapons withdrawal maps); but a long-running flash point in the conflict

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, [1], 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

Cluster munitions

04.02.15 UAF shelled Telmanovo from Mirnoe by Smerch MLRS, civilian houses destroyed

03.02.15 Luhansk and Donetsk: Smerch, heavy MLSRS with cluster munitions used by Ukraine.

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).

Economy

  • 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". [1] 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. [2]
  • 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. [3] [4] 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 [5]. 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).

Sources

News Sources

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
Rada; President.

English-language sources

Documentaries

Opinion Polls

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).
How Do The Attitude Of Ukrainians To Russia And Russians To Ukraine Has Changed
  • 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)

Abbreviations Used

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

  1. Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, "Ukrainischer Oligarch bereichert sich an IWF-Krediten", 27.08.15
  2. RT (Russian), "DWN: Коломойский «оприходовал» транш МВФ и скрылся в Америке", 28.08.2015
  3. Financial Times, "Ukraine secures debt deal for war-ravaged economy", 27.8.2015
  4. 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
  5. The Guardian, Ukraine agrees 'win-win' debt restructuring deal, 27.8.2015