Ukraine news/Archive/2017-11

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30 Nov. Press conference of the Patriarch Filaret of Kiev is scheduled on Dec. 1, A letter sent by Filaret to the Russian Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Orthodox Church on 16 November, 2017 is published (calling to overcome divisions and split between respective followers and achieve reconciliation and peace)

In 1991, a split of the Ukrainian Christian orthodox church occurred, with Filaret founding Kiev Patriarchate, separate from Autocephalous Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate; only the latter is recognized internationally; more history here.

LPR. Surkov in a fresh push for the Russian version of the UN resolution on peacekeepers.

Disappeared and feared dead after his arrest Vitaly Kiselev ('Communist') is alive, moved to a hospital, hopes for justice. MOI LPR video states that there is evidence that the case against him was fabricated.

29 Nov. DPR: 'Georgian Legion' (fighting on the side of Ukraine and recently highlighted in the Italian documentary on Maidan snipers) came under Ukrainian fire, and DPR have a theory why. Same 'Georgian Legion' is said to fire on residential areas in Zaitsevo, DPR-controlled (Eng) ; (Rus.)

28 Nov. Arsen Avakov: Minsk agreements are dead. They were needed only as a tool for a ceasefire. Their implementation will not contribute to the achievement of security throughout Ukraine

User Zhitomyrianin: ви чьо ахєрє таке заявляти? (in Ukr.)

27 Nov. Interview of Kurt Volker to Politico shows him of-track; the article spends more time arguing for arms supply to Ukraine than on even trying for any sensible and acceptable to the other side solution. It does not exhibit any appreciation of the important to the other side issues: he sees only the territorial integrity but not self-determination and protecting pro-Russian population rights parts.

  • Full transcript, same author and journal, is less insane, yet clearly chooses to miss the above points, presenting it all as a Russian aggression which USA needs to help defend against, not as essentially a civil war, in which USA is backing the more pro-Western side, while -at most- pretending to care for the other side well-being.
  • Different flavored Volker presented by TASS (Rus)., Ukraine must 'take difficult steps' --those required by Minsk agreements. Yet, a positive role of Volker here is at best uncertain.

26 Nov. In the past day, one DPR soldier was killed

25 Nov. DPR ombudsman: In the past week, 2 DPR soldiers were killed, 8 people (7 soldiers and a civilian woman) were wounded.

UAF confirmed capture of Gladosovo and Travnevoe settlements (map) in a grey zone near Gorlovka, Zaitsevo (DPR); issues a propaganda video (Ukrainian military TV) of 'happy locals' (elderly and women shown, some on-camera food and medical help, with UAF telling us how happy locals are). Earlier, an open letter appeared in Russian media appealing to OSCE's Hug for help and expressing wish to be in DPR.

Plotinsky became LPR representative for fulfilling Minsk agreements.

24 Nov. Plotniskiy resigned security services chief Leonid Pasechnik (bio) becomes acting head of LPR till next elections. LPR People's Council approved Plotnisky resignation.

23 Nov. Plotinsky landed in Moscow-report quoting Zakhar Prilepin, with photo and video.

According to Rusvesna sources, Plotinsky cortege left Lugansk without interference, heading East (video). 'Novaya Gazeta' reported the same, independently. (Several prior reports of Plotinsky leaving were false).

'Joint counter-intelligence and anti-sabotage operation of LPR and DPR security services is reported (likely indicating that DPR forces were dispatched to Lugansk, as was widely assumed)

Frunze/Sentianovka (map), LPR: Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group came under fire, 3 UAF soldiers were killed (report, photos), (videos 1,2)at least one, called Roman (video) was wounded, rescued by LPR soldiers, and received medical help. Bodies were left on the battlefield, recovered by DPR +veteran volunteers and given back to Ukraine, with OSCE present (video).

22 Nov. DPR MOD(Eng.): overnight, Ukraine captured a settlement Gladosovo, in the grey area near Zaitsevo, Gorlovka. Cassad: Ukrainian volunteer confirmed capture of Gladosovo, ATO command denied (as of the afternoon).

An open letter of locals to OSCE's Alexander Hug appeared in media, asking Hug 'as a guarantor of Minsk agreements' to visit the village and 'record Ukrainian authorities outrage' (implicitly, to protect them); and also to 'mark their territory as part of DPR, according to the vote of the residents'. Mixed reaction, with some calls (Cassad) for DPR forces to be the protector; other comments express concern for signatories safety; some doubters too.

Kornet keeps blaming Ukrainian agents and that Plotnisky was 'misinformed', as a way to resolve the standoff; but Plotnisky keeps insisting that Kornet is legally fired

  • Kornet meeting with MOI staff (text and video). (No turning back with arrests; arrested testified about falsified coup of 2016; Kornet claimed that 3rd Regiment of Special Forces , GUR MOD of Ukraine, was about to enter the republic once he is removed from his post).
  • Plotinsky press conference, with appointed by him acting MOI chief by his side - video( a legal system court decisions are final; Kornet was fired)
  • Khodakovsky and Strelkov both view the conflict as the one between backers & centers of power, less so about the individuals involved.

LPR MOI announced that they have evidence that a 'coup' in Fall, 2016 (see Sept 20-24, 2016) was staged, and have a witness. Gennady Tsypkalov was arrested back then, and committed suicide, according to the official version. Vladimir Borchuk stated on video that he and 2 others were involved in first preparing an assassination, then he prepared a hidden weapons storage which was blamed on Tsypkalov; it is said that another participant, Aleksey Dorushin, also testified. More videos appeared, with investigators testifying that Tsypkalov and Kiselev ('Communist') cases were fabricated (both died after interrogation; Tsypkalov had broken ribs-not reflected on coroner's report- and asphyxia, suicide was reported; Kiselev fell ill during interrogation and apparently did not receive medical treatment). Kornet press conference -here.

According to Rusvesna source, Plotinsky is in Lugansk, barricaded in the basement of his administration building with his wife and head of his administration Irina Teitsman, accused by Kornet of 'treason'. 'De-blocking' is being prepared according to the source.

Commander of LPR battalion 'Bryanka' appealed to Zakharchenko to lead/unify both republics

At about 12.00 the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of LPR occupied the building of the General Prosecutor's Office. According to Rusvesna source, about 200 armed people entered the building. At the moment, the head of the department in the military sphere S. Rakhno and the acting Prosecutor General V.Podobry were detained and taken under escort.

Video of Plotnisky meeting with LPR minister of emergency situations Sergey Ivanushkin, and acting minister of internal affairs Vladimir Cherkov. Plotnisky instructs Cherkov to sort out the situation of attempted coup by Kornet ("..this is even more serious crime", ..."the law should prevail", etc). According to sources of "Rusvesna", a "stalemate" situation remains in Lugansk: the city is controlled by the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but the administration and the prosecutor's office remain in the hands of Plotnisky loyalists.

21 Nov. Some clashes on Maidan, on Maidan anniversary.

Quite large military convoy was videoed entering Lugansk in the evening (said to be DPR forces; denied). OSCE confirmed convoy arrival and published some photos (Rusvesna).

More signs of power struggle in LPR. Kornet announced that his ministry apprehended Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group, accused some LPR officials, including broadcasting chief, of working for Ukraine. LPR TV went off-air. Plotniskiy team and Kornet team issued competing announcements on state of affairs in the republic, with Kornet claiming that Plotnisky was 'misinformed'. Russian opolchenie Zhuchkovskiy believes that Plotnisky will be removed; he is cheerfully quoted by Ukrainian sources.

Media report: RBK, quoting 'its sources close to Surkov': Kremlin supported Kornet in the power struggle, Plotnisky is given 'a last chance' and retains his job
Kremlin: Mikhail Artiunov, chief of the department of near-abroad affairs of the Russian president, denied RBK report.

Kornet: 'a number of LPR officials are arrested for their link with Ukrainian special services' (full text, video)

In the afternoon, center of Lugansk is patrolled by armed men (video). No official comment on the matter so far.

20 Nov. Plotnisky removed LPR minister of interior Igor Kornet from his job, and appointed an acting MOI chief. MOI staff wrote a letter to Plotinsky in support of Kornet

17 Nov. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 1 DPR soldier was killed, 4 soldiers were wounded. DPR MOD: in the past week, 313 ceasefire violations by Ukraine (263 for the past week), 2019 artillery, tank and mortar shells and 80 'Grad' missiles fired on DPR.

US Army delegation headed by Defense Attaché Wofford visits Ukraine troops’ outposts in Donbas -

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).

OSCE video-camera recorded ceasefire violations at the Donetsk Water Filtration Station

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.

Kornet is forced out of a big house he occupied since the midst of Donbass fighting, 2014. The house was empty at the time but belongs to a granny who now returns. Plotinsky is on the scene and plays an active well covered by media role.

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).