Ukraine news

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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

23 Jul. Volker: Hot war not frozen conflict in Donbas; will consult Normandy group (+EU, OSCE, NATO, UK reps) before making recommendations (EngloUkr-UNIAN)(Rus-TASS).

22 Jul. Russian Amb. to the US, S.I. Kislyak farewell reception for colleagues and friends before returning to Moscow. (Mr. Trump and the team is not seen in attendance).

21 Jul. DPR MOD: 298 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past week, 1092 artillery, tank and mortar shells fired, 21 houses damaged or destroyed Rus., Eng. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 people (3 soldiers and 1 civilian woman) were killed, 20 (13 soldiers, 2 civilian women, 5 civilian men) were wounded.

A mortar shell was fired by Ukraine on the pumping station of the South Donbass waterway in the settlement of Vasilievka while OSCE SMM patrol was inspecting the facility.

20 Jul. ATO spokesman: in the past day, 4 UAF were killed near Krasnogorovka, 1 near Donetsk, 1 near Mariupol, 3 more killed by IED; 5 wounded (2 in Krasnogorovka, 3 by IED).

Pro-DPR social media: The commander of a reconnaissance group, call sign Prince (Князь), was seriously injured in his legs during the shelling and decided to stay so that the cover group did not die. He refused that others risk their lives evacuating him, and gave the command to leave. When he was surrounded by the enemy, Alexander blew up a grenade... In another social media report, 4 recently killed DPR soldiers are mentioned (including Prince); two of them, Obrezkov and Panchenko, are said to be killed near Krasnogorovka.

DPR: in the past day, 1 soldier was killed, 3 civilians wounded (Rus.) , (Eng).-- Also reports that 4 UAF soldiers were wounded after loading their mortar twice in the state of alcoholic intoxication, then blamed the incident on DPR shelling.

19 Jul. Ukraine shelled Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, 2 houses reported on fire, a civilian is seriously wounded. Dokuchaevsk was shelled earlier in the day. In the past day, 1 DPR soldier was killed.

Contact group meeting was held in Minsk, with prisoners exchange, observing ceasefire, separation of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya on agenda, but no progress to report. The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 2.

18 Jul. Sputnik reports that Alexandr Zakharshenko declared Ukraine a failed state and proposes the creation of a successor state Malorossiya ("little Russia") with a transition period of "up to three years" and the capital Donetsk. According to novorossia.today, the LPR is on board with the plan (others deny that) and the eventual territory shall be all of "former Ukraine" (discussion).

Main document, the political declaration-Engl.; LPR official reaction-Engl.; Peskov-Engl.

14 Jul. DPR MOD: in the past week, Ukaine fired 556 artilery, tank, mortar shells, 12 houses were damaged or destroyed - Rus, Eng. DPR ombudsman:3 people were killed, including 2 soldiers and 1 civilian, a man (apparently the same as the one killed in the grey zone several weeks ago by mine explosion, whose body was recently evacuated; 1962 DoB). 7 people (4 soldiers, a civilian woman, and 2 civilian men) were wounded.

12 Jul. Ukrainian security council lead by Turchinov prepared draft law on 'de-occupation of Donbass'. The law was not adopted (Turchhinov explained it by need to consult 'strategic partners'), and lacks transitional articles normally present in such laws, but published by Ukrainian and Russian sources. The law describes policies of not recognizing rebel republics, especially property acts (art. 2) and calls for 'liberation' and restoring Ukrainian control (art. 4). Yet art. 7 pretends to follow Minsk agreements. Art. 9 gives the president authority to use armed forces (current use of armed forces without a war or emergency rule is illegal). Art. 11 : order of crossing the line of demarcation, and carriage of goods, is determined by the Chief of the Joint Operational Headquarters.

9 Jul. Kurt Volker, US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations (listed at McCain Institute) arrived to Kiev with Sec. Rex Tillerson and will stay for a few days. Rusvesna: new bloody provocations by UAF may be expected to portray 'aggressiveness' and 'incapacity for peace' of the breakaway republics.

2 cargo NATO planes landed in Odessa for Sea Breeze maneuvers -report, photos

7 Jul. LPR. Two explosions in central Lugansk, near Government House. In the first explosion, a lady captain of medical services of people's militia was killed and 5 people wounded - report, videos. LPR blamed Kiev for the attack, during G 20 meeting, aimed to prevent peaceful settlement in Donbass.

DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 3 people (all soldiers) were killed, 6 (3 soldiers and 3 civilian men) were wounded. DPR MOD: in the past week, Ukraine fired 865 artillery, mortar and tank shells, 17 houses were damaged or destroyed. Provocations planned by Ukraine but prevented, and some of the targets found on captured flash drives are presented. Onn July, 4, a terrorist attack in Donetsk was prevented by vigilant citizen. (Rus);(Eng).

6 Jul. DPR: SBU prepares a terrorist attack during a festival in Mariupol, 7-9 July, coinciding with G-20 meeting dates, to blame the attack on opolchenie and justify renewal of hostilities.

5 Jul. Rada may consider draft law 'on reintegration and de-occupation' of Donbas, in an attempt to legalize/legally define 'ATO'.

4 Jul. Major of UAF separate mountain brigade was captured near Peski. It is said that a thumb drive with orders to use artillery on targets in Donetsk was recovered- report and video. Artillery use is banned by Minsk agreements; also targets, and the whole operation, are near Peski, bordering residential areas of Kuibyshev district of Donetsk; further topographic target details are provided. An order to use 2.5 ammunition kits per day (i.e. quite a lot) is given.

It is said that LPR apprehended Ukrainian RSG planning armed or IED attack on OSCE mission. It is said that a car and a video recording from damaged dashboard camera were recovered, discussing attack plans --that alleged video is included in the report.

Lynn Tracey is quoted to say that US Amb. to Russia John Tefft is to leave his post this fall; believed to be replaced by John Huntsman.

1 Jul. Russian alt rock songster Dolphin was scheduled to perform in Kiev 'Atlas' festival, but was prevented from entering Ukraine because he has visited Crimea. His musicians went ahead with Karaoke version, with audience singing along, in Rus. One of those, 'The Spring' here, and him performing earlier, here.

30 Jun. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 1 soldier and 1 civilian man killed, 20 people (18 soldiers, 1 civilian man and 1 civilian woman) wounded. DPR MOD: in the past week, Ukraine fired 847 missiles, artllery, tank and mortar shells Eng., Rus.

LPR multimedia weekly report, showing shelling areas, with maps; 1089 shells in total. 11 houses damaged, 1 civilian wounded. Another Ukrainian RSG group apprehended, one wounded UAF soldier was abandoned by comrades, died in neutral zone.

29 Jun. Trade University building partially collapsed in central Donetsk, possibly explosion, casualties, but not confirmed. Emergency services so far believe that there are no casualties.

27 Jun. LPR: Ukrainian RSG attacked a group delivering food to contact line, killed 2 and captured 4, including Victor Ageev. Russian MOD: Victor Ageev never served under contract, only under draft, which ended in May, 2016. (Ukrainian HQ claims;lenta.ru-his documents). Graham Phillips and LPR reports suggest that those killed were first tortured, based on injuries observed.

Head of Ukrainian GRU reserve detachment Maxim Shapoval was killed when his Mercedes car exploded in Kiev; another man was wounded. (112.ua)(Rusvesna 1,2). 'In Kiev, it was already suggested (by Anton Gerashenko) that Russian services can be behind'.

He was the first Kiborg, had some role in guarding Voronenkov (23 Mar.), probably some business interest too. The attack day coincide with some anniversaries, including his detachment's (1,4 July)...

Ukrainian sources: 'Chernobyl station is monitored in manual regime due to cyber-attacks'

25 Jun. Ukraine will buy 2 mln tons of coal in Pennsylvania, USA, in order to reject Donbass coal. That was negotiated during Poroshenko visit to Washington.

24 Jun. In the first hours of the newest agreed ceasefire, Ukraine violated it 7 times, twice in Mariupol area (small firearms fire), 3 times near Donetsk (tank and mortar fire), 2 times near Gorlovka (small firearms). 'Bread' ceasefire, to gather crops, 24 Jun.- 31 Aug., was negotiated by the contact group on 21 Jun.

23 Jun. DPR MOD: in the past week, 328 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 2840 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. (Rus.)(Eng.)Ombudsman: 4 people (2 civilian women and 2 soldiers) were killed, 6 people (5 soldiers and 1 civilian man) wounded (1 soldier critically wounded -MOD).

22 Jun. Macron wants to know what is happening with Minsk agreements ("neither war nor peace"), and so plans to have a Normandy format meeting before G-20.

Preparation for Putin-Trump meeting at G-20 is not conducted in practice, according to both sides

Ukrainian journalist Igor Guzhva, chief editor of Ukrainian site strana.ua was arrested on charges of 'extortion' (later released on bail). His site sometimes published more accurate information on ATO events (e.g. reported on Ukrainian advance on Zhelobok, contradicting the official line). In his own words: now in each large media channel, a system of curators is being established, from presidential administration, government, and SNBO. They read through the news and say, this material goes, and this does not. This is channeled through owners and made to look nice, not a direct censorship. (Clip starts with him telling that all important policies are controlled 'by Americans', followed by jump cut)

21 Jun. NATO's F-16 (apparently Polish) closely approached Russian DM Shoigu plane flying over neutral waters of Baltic sea, and was steered off by escorting Su -27 -video. Shoigu was heading to Kaliningrad for a meeting on 'security issues from the Western strategic direction'.

DPR: 81 years old woman died from injuries received in Yasinovataya shelling by Ukraine on 19 Jun.

20 Jun. OSCE claimed (in initial twit version, now apparently softened) that their observers were assaulted in Yasinovataya by 'armed DPR men' (nobody was injured). DPR investigates, calls this a provocation (designed to coincide with Poroshenko visit to USA, arrests some suspects, who are said to be not members of DPR armed forces or security services.

19 Jun. DPR. A young woman was killed by Ukrainian shelling of Kominternovo. An old woman was wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Yasinovataya

It is said that Poroshenko administration on the eve of his US visit develops some new plan presented as halting ATO, some 'peaceful reintegration', possibly even change of legal status of rebel areas --and, somehow, emergency military rule in Ukrainian-held Donbass. DPR reaction after 3 years of war is skeptical.

18 Jun. DPR MOD: 1 DPR soldier was killed, at least two houses damaged. New provocations feared prior to Trump meeting with Poroshenko (who visits on 19-20 Jun) , and contact group meeting on 21 Jun.

Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev

16 Jun. DPR MOD: 447 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3850 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. 1 DPR soldier and 3 civilians were killed, 5 civilians were wounded (Rus.)(Eng.)

13 Jun. An old woman, 1939 DOB, was killed by Ukrainian sniper fire in Sakhanka -DAN news (Eng.)

12 Jun. Two civilians were killed in overnight Ukrainian shelling of Petrovskii and Kievskii districts of Donetsk. According to DPR MOD, with a video from the scene, OSCE did not attend the scene due to lack of asphalted road leading there. 'A shot fired from BMP-1 gun in Mar'inka took lives of 2 people, a mother and her son'. (Discussion).

Anna News correspondents recorded from Kalinovo Ukrainian night shelling of LPR (1:49-2:17;2:38), while that same Ukrainian position is shelled by Ukrainians themselves (2:16-2:27; 2:51-3:18; also around 4:00-4:40 from another direction). Lights in Popasnoe, Ukr. held, seen at 4:42. Camera is on a forward LPR position, there are no LPR positions in front of the camera. 5:46-6:02, cameraman is spotted and fired on, 120 mm mortar shell lands nearby. 6:07 -6:21, LPR is shelled some more; 6:23 more shots on LPR from Troitskoe. Ukrainian sources reported that UAF positions were shelled in Popasnoe and Troitskoe by the militants

11 Jun. 'Water of Donbass' pumping station near Yasinovataya lost power again due to Ukrainian shelling, affecting water supply in several large cities in soutwestern Donbass. Russian JCCC reps and plant operators came under Ukrainian fire when visiting the station (casualties were luckily avoided).

10 Jun. LPR weekly report (multimedia, Rus.) Ukraine fired 1506 mortar and artillery shells and grenades. Zhelobok attack: 7 houses destroyed, 2 civilians wounded. LPR claims that 11 UAF were killed and 18 wounded, bodies were left in the grey zone near Zhelobok, some of them could be saved if evacuated in time. On 7 June in the afternoon (Zhelobok attack day), OSCE SMM patrol near Muratovo (Ukrainian-held) heard 30 MLRS missiles. LPR: those were fired from Zolotoye (Ukrainian controlled).

Zhelobok report & photos, by "Prizrak' commissar 'Dobryi'.

DPR MOD: 395 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3800 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired (Rus.)(Eng.) DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 7 people (6 soldiers and 1 civilian woman) were killed, 24 people (16 soldiers, 1 civilian woman, 7 civilian men) were wounded. 736 DPR people are in Ukrainian custody (426 confirmed and 303 being verified; + 7 new petitions regarding DPR supporters arrested by Ukraine, dated from Aug. 2015 to June 2017).

8 Jun. In the past day, 1 DPR soldier was killed and 1 wounded.

LPR official report: in the past day, Ukraine fired 413 mortar and artillery shells banned by Minsk agreements. 4 soldiers and 2 civilians wounded, 7 houses destroyed.

Opolchenie report: Zhelobok settlement, LPR (map) is under control of 'Prizrak' (LPR), and partially by Ukraine in the grey zone; before the attack, the situation was similar. Some heights which were captured by Ukraine remain under their control. Fierce artillery duels continue, and extend to Donetsk suburbs. 'Water of Donbass' report that equipment at a pumping station near Yasinovataya were damaged by Ukrainian shelling, and pumping cannot be restarted without repairs and clearing of unexploded munitions. Videos: (1) media, the head of the administration and the representative of LPR militia came under UAF shelling; (2)shells hit residential buildings on the streets of 50 years of the USSR, Michurin and Voikov in the city of Kirovsk.

Ukrainian losses in the past day according to the official report: 2 killed and 11 wounded (including 1 killed and 8 wounded in Zhelobok, in Rusvesna reading of the official data).

Small IED explosion at the US Embassy in Kiev, no damage or injuries.

7 Jun. BREAKING: UAF attacked from two directions near Zhelobok, LPR, on the day of a scheduled meeting in Minsk-Rusvesna report. Opolchenie report: UAF is using heavy artillery and tanks to override first line of defense. When attacks started, LPR defenders were ordered to use light weapons only. Residential areas in Kirovsk city center were shelled, serious destruction is reported. LPR spokesman: 2-3 platoons UAF involved in the attack.

6 Jun. DPR. In the past day, 7 people were wounded, 11 houses damaged by Ukrainian shelling.

3 June. US program of junior leader military training in Ukraine, with photos, and more multimedia on recent US deployment to Eastern Europe -Cassad.

2 June. DPR MOD weekly update (Rus.), (Eng.) 389 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3632 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. DPR ombudsman: 2 DPR soldiers killed, 11 people (5 DPR soldiers, 3 civilian men, 3 civilian women) wounded (MOD gives lower numbers). 23 houses damaged. -All that in the background of announcements of new attempts of ceasefire.

LPR dismisses Kiev's reports on Ukrainian army advance (Eng). Anna news video report from Bakhmut road, near Zhelobok and Frunze, checkpoint 31, LPR--there have been no recent advances of Ukrainian forces. However, they occupy positions in grey zone for quite some time, in violation of Minsk agreements; LPR complained to OSCE many times.

1 Jun. Adam Osmaev, a Chechen accused in the past of preparing an attempt on Putin, was wounded in a shoot-out in Kiev with a man who presented himself as a French journalist. The attacker was also wounded by shots fired by Osmaev's wife. Ukrainian sources give different details, telling that Osmaev car was shot at.

Ukrainian media published a photo of the alleged attacker, who has Ukrainian internal and external passports. Gerashenko tries to make a case connecting the attacker to Russia. Ukrainian reports, photos suggest that he may be Arthur Denisultanov, who has a criminal past. It is said that he threatened Umar Israilov, former Kadyrov bodygauard, later killed in Vienna, Austria. He was questioned in Austria and testified against Kadyrov, but was not believed, sent back, and later claimed that his testimony was falsified by police.

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