31 Jul. Opolchenie report. From Donetsk now. Ukrs begin to ignore this truce as well. Last night they fired on the village Zaitsevo and Dolomitnyy, Golmovsky, Bayrak, Russky Krai, Shirokaya Balka, area of Mine No. 6/7, Yasinovataya checkpoint from 82 mm mortars and SPG. Large-caliber guns were fired on the village Trudovskie.
28 Jul. Poroshenko follows family members and leaves Ukraine towards Turkey, waiving the security detail he is entitled to as ex-President.
27 Jul. Oleg Tsarev: at present it appears that the course is towards piece, as it is too expensive for the West to maintain Ukraine. That would mean return of economic assets to the owners, aka 'transfer of Donbass to Ukraine'. Repeats that the problem with Kolomoiskii is his role in Odessa events, May 2014.
25 Jul. DPR PMH issued a warning after receiving information that despite the ceasefire Ukraine conducted large resupply of ammunition (10,000 120-mm mortar shells -250 tonnes of cargo transported in 150 trucks at night, 20 Jul.). There also has been training exercises and resupply of Ukrainian medical units in the conflict zone.
Ukrainian SBU captured a Russian tanker NIKA SPIRIT in Danube port city of Izmail. After a strong protest by the Russian FM, the sailors were released 1 , 2 after being questioned as 'witnesses', but the ship is not released at present. Is is said that the ship came to Ukrainian port for repairs (!), and that it was earlier used to block Kerch straight passage during the naval Ukrainian provocation, 25 Nov. 2018. Russian law enforcement conducted searches in the offices of the company which sent the ship to Ukraine.
22 Jul. Zelenski's party is the clear winner of the parliamentary elections with the chance to get enough seats to govern alone. Far second place is a pro-Russian/pro-peace "Opposition platform-for Life" (Boiko, Rabinovich, Medvedchuk) with over 10% -despite numerous and convincing appearances by Rabinovich and co. on a pro-peace and Zelesnkii-sceptical platform. The parties of Poroshenko and Timoshenko stay under 10% respectively but enter the Rada, as well as the Vakarchuk's "Voice". Other parties, including the eastern/'Russian' leaning "Opposition block" (Kernes, Trukhanov, Vilkul, Muraev, Novinskii, Kolesnikov) and Sharii party are preliminary not clearing the 5% threshold. Voter turnout is at a historical low of slightly under 50%.
20 Jul. DPR soldiers received strict hold-the-fire orders with approaching "time-indefinite" ceasefire, agreed at the contact group meeting in Minsk on July 17 and starting on July 21 (text; video report). Many previous ceasefires were short-lived, despite L/DPR doing all they can to observe those.
DPR PMH: Ukrainian shelling continues, 6 152-mm shells and 88 mortar shells fired in the past day. According to DPR, a civilian, 1958 DOB killed in Krasnogorovka a day earlier, was a result of Ukrainian nationalists shelling from the direction of a tech. college located on the same street, 500 m away, and used by UAF and nationalists as their base. However, according to DPR, Ukrainian JCCC and ATO command are preparing "fake photo and video materials" to accuse the DPR. Ukrainian media news reports are blaming DPR for this incident. Ukrainian 'Joint Forces Operation' also report that two fighters of the Ukrainian "king David" battalion have been killed by sniper fire.
Failed assassination attempt on one of DPR founders, communist leader Boris Litvinov is reported.
16 Jul. Award-winning Oliver Stone's documentary "Revealing Ukraine"(video, Rus/Ukr) is released in Ukraine, followed by release on 19 Jul. in Russia. It includes Ukraine-related part of the interview with Putin (Rus),(Eng); interview with Medvedchuk; bits with Kachanovskii telling that protesters are to blame for the Maidan; and some commentary by Lee Stranahan. A brief kneeling episode with Zelensky at the stadium debates is flashed, but no interview, or much said about him.
15 Jul. Italian State Police arrest a group of Nazis who have been fighting with Ukrainian Nazi battalions in Donbass against separatists. A cache of weapons and Nazi paraphernalia was confiscated, including a Matra Super 530 F, a short-to-medium range air to air missile. Western media falsely accused the Nazis of fighting alongside Russia-backed separatists.
12 Jul. Civilian woman, 1949 DOB, is killed by Ukrainian 120 mm mortar explosion near her flat, in Golmovskii settlement, near Gorlovka -report + video from the scene.
DPR ombudsman: in the past week (5-11 Jul) five people were killed (4 soldiers and a civilian woman killed in shelling of Gorlovka); 5 people were wounded (3 soldiers, a civilian man and a civilian woman).
11 Jul. Putin and Zelenskii talked on the phone for the first time- press releases by Kremlin and in Kiev. Also Putin called Zelenskii proposal on extended Normandy format "interesting", to continue that Ukrainian government needs to be formed, elections to Rada completed, and detail of any meetings worked out in advance, for this to be ' more or less' meaningful negotiations.
8 Jul. DPR PMH: Ukrainian shelling continues, including 152 mm artillery. One DPR soldier is killed in the past day. Civilian infrastructure is damaged.
Cassad reviews recent Zelenskii's proposal (=to have a meeting on ownership of Crimea and Donbass, attended by himself, Putin, Trump, May, Merkel, Makron, hosted in Minsk) as Rada elections ploy, not even expected to work. Grossly politically-incorrect response by Strelkov, who imagines himself waking up in Putin's shoes and responding as Putin, mentally "writes back" with a counter-proposal to discus stratus of places like Odessa, with attendees on his side are the likes of Kadyrov, Assad, Kim Jong-un, and with the meeting hosted by Kadyrov in Chechnya.
- Peskov declined to provide an immediate answer.
5 Jul. DPR ombudsman: in the past week (29 June-4 July) 7 DPR soldiers are killed, 7 people (6 soldiers and a civilian man) are wounded.
Zelenskii visited Donetsk region 'on the occasion of "liberation" of Slavynsk and Kramatorsk' and introduced (in Russian-video) Pavel/Pavlo Kirilenko, the new governor of the Ukrainian-held part of Donetsk region. Kirilenko parents and his brother live in DPR; he broke up with his brother due to 'political differences', according to Zelenskii. Zelenskii presented a position that there are same people on both sides and talked about stopping fire, but not with enough detail or strength to make it convincing (in the end of the day things on the ground is what matters, and they move towards getting worse, not better).
2 Jul. Security situation remains bad, no stopping to Ukrainian shelling all over the separation line, wounded civilians, houses destroyed.
Trudovskaya minepit area was shelled by Ukraine from Mar'inka, a civilian wounded, 3 homes damaged, a car of one of the residents destroyed. Journalists arriving to film the incident came under Ukrainian fire, apparently to prevent filming -video
1 Jul. Alexandr Kots: 'one Ukrainian channel' claims that Ukrainian special operation forces kidnapped "former head of air defense 1 of Slavyansk brigade Tsemah Vladimir Borisovich", who, they stress, was in Snezhnoe at the time of MH17 crash. It is said that he was drugged and transported in a handicapped trolley via Marinka checkpoint (variant: in his own car, presented as a 'paralized father'). It is feared that he will be further drugged/tortured to give 'evidence' on MH17, there are also fears for his safety and that without publicity he may be disappeared.
- Strelkov on social media confirms that kidnapping occurred; says that only ZU-23-2 and "Zu 'Utyos' have been under his command.
- On 4 Jul. , BBC Rus. publishes a story largely similar to the above, quoting attorney defending Tsemakh in Ukraine, who volunteers that Tsemakh was arrested on the Constitution day in Ukraine, but no other info, quoting 'confidentiality of investigation' (and this is the attorney supposedly on Tsemakh side, remember).
It appears that Ukraine staged an attack on its own ambulance vehicle(s) prior to another round of ceasefire and prisoners exchange negotiations. In the first incident, Ukraine published photos of a burnt Hummer vehicle which they (incl. Zelenskii) say is an ambulance hit by DPR anti-tank missile, killing two on board. Subsequently at DPR briefing it was pointed out (video/photos) that this Hummer has a machine gun platform seen on photos (machine gun itself is not); that it lacks (parts of) transmission and wheels, not consistent with anti-tank missile hit; and that the names of those allegedly killed is no in Ukrainian report on daily losses. DPR said it is a not road-worthy vehicle purposely destroyed by a mine explosion to blame DPR. On 2 Jul., another report came that another Ukrainian ambulance was fired on by a sniper, wounding those on board; DPR denied this report as well and called it a provocation. The contact group meeting (2 Jul.) failed to come to an agreement on ceasefire and POWs.