Ukraine news/Archive/2019-08

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31 Aug. DPR PMH: A DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shelling.

DPR PMH briefing (via Rusvesna) Ukraine violated ceasefire in numerous areas, including Spartak, Mariupol, Gorlovka. Increased use of drones is mentioned, and linked with reports of Ukraine offering monetary rewards for destruction of opponent's personnel and hardware (despite the ceasefire), with documented evidence. DPR protests those moves and asks for international observers assistance

30 Aug. Viktor Medvedchuk and Vadim Rabinovich are in Moscow to meet with Ukrainian prisoners, in the background of prisoners exchange negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian states -video interview.

Next round of Normandy format consultations with diplomatic advisers is scheduled on September 2 in Berlin. Russia is represented by Surkov.

29 Aug. DPR PMH: One DPR soldier was killed, one seriously wounded, and 3 captured in a firefight with "Azov" battalion near Gorlovka. According to earlier DPR report, Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group made an intrusion on their position. (Ukrainian sources claim that it was the other way around). An account provided by an opolchenie source and published by Strelkov on social media makes it very clear that it was the result of Ukrainian attack on DPR positions from the rear (not DPR incursion which went wrong). It also indicates heavier losses, without providing an exact number. In the opolchenie version of events by Zhuchkovskiy, Ukrainian group attacked using silenced guns and then fired "Shmel"s. Five DPR soldiers were killed (one of those died in hospital), and one was captured; the next day, he claims, DPR staged a revenge attack on UAF barracks near Mayorsk, allegedly killing 14 UAF soldiers; around 1 Sep., Ukrainian media is said to show "staged attacks on the Mayorsk checkpoint, to justify high losses".

DPR PMH: "Instructions to the Ukrainian units in the Donbass were sent on August 19 and 20 by the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak (appointed by Zelesnkii), offering 7,000 hryvnas for the murder of one defender of the DPR"

27 Aug. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. A home on Brusilova, 15 is on fire after a direct hit. Note that the address indicates that the home is close to homes hit on 23 Aug., which was widely reported. It is incomprehensible how it continues despite declared ceasefire, Minsk agreements, announced new Normandy format meeting, etc.

25 Aug. Ukraine reports that 4 of their soldiers are wounded, one of them has died from his wounds. (Rusvesna suggests that this in fact may be misrepresented report on death of Tikhon Kurbatov, below).

At DPR PMQ press conference, it is claimed that on 24 Aug. SBU conducted an anti-drug raid; in 8 cases, that met armed resistance, and in two cases law enforcement had to use weapons. During arrest of Tikhon Kurbatov (call name Tikhii), 24th assault platoon commander of the Aidar battalion of the 53 mechanized brigade of UAF, he and another person (called his assistant) were wounded, and Kurbatov later died. In another case, two militants from the 53 brigade were wounded. 53 brigade zone of operation includes Gorlovka.

23 Aug. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. As a result of Ukrainian shelling, two homes burned down completely (Brusilova 4 and 21) , another had roof damaged (Brusilova 14).

22 Aug. Dutch journalist and academic Kees van der Pijl publishes notes from a MH17 conference in Malaysia, to which he was invited, where the JIT conclusions were rejected and a new investigation demanded.

19 Aug After 5 year behind bars, Russian citizens Sergey Dolzenko and Evgenni Mefedov were released on bail (posted by Ukrainian "Opposition block-for life" party) from a "preliminary detention" facility (СИЗО) in Nikolaev city , Ukraine. They were arrested and placed in preliminary detention after the Odessa Massacre(talk) of May 2, 2014, and found not guilty in September 2017. But immediately after they were re-arrested by SBU on different nonsensical charges.

For the first time anybody could remember, Ukrainian military admitted losses due to careless handling of weapons, 1 soldier died and 3 were wounded.

Putin meets Macron in southern France, with Ukraine as part of agenda.

18 Aug. Ukrainian forces opened mortar fire on Golmovskii and Russkii krai settlements (map) according to Mayor of Gorlovka Ivan Prihodko. Roof damage is reported.

Footage of Israeli "drug lord" Amos Dov Silver escape (1, longer 2) from the Borispol airport, from under the nose of the SBU. He ran to Uman' (known for Hasidic roots, and, some say, drug use among secular pilgrims) but was eventually caught and deported to Israel.

17 Aug. Residential homes are damaged by Ukrainian fire in Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka (169 Rybalko St. and 1 Brusilova St.)

Former Ukrainian Rada MP Alexey Zhuravko published some internal UAF documents detailing major crimes committed by Ukrainian military against civilian population of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, including murder, rape, grand theft. (Noted, one of the documents, report of Krishtun to Poltorak, covers statistics of all crimes, in ATO area and elsewhere in Ukraine)

Netanyahu is to visit Zelenskii tomorrow in Kiev, with an aspiration expressed to contribute to peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass, and Knesset elections approaching on September 17 (and with Russian-speaking voters quite important).

15 Aug. A civilian man working on his plot of land, 212 Rybalko St., Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka sustained shrapnel wounds as a result of Ukrainian fire (report, photo, video).

14 DPR PMH briefing: a DPR soldier is wounded by Ukrainian sniper fire. Ukrainian drone armed with VOG-17 grenade is shot down over civilian area of Petrovskii region of Donetsk.

It is reported that DPR authorities prevented the gathering of a constituent congress of the pro-Russian public movement "Popular Front of Donbass", which was supposed to bring together people who uphold the principles of sovereignty of the DPR and further integration of the DPR in the Russian Federation. DPR official stated that the official DPR course is a special status as part of Ukraine.

11 Aug. DPR says they shot down Ukrainian drone armed with VOG-17 grenade (ammo for AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher). They say it happened deep in their territory near Leninskoe settlement, and they accused Ukraine of planning a provocation targeting civilians

10 Aug. John Solomon's dig on Soros's EasyAccess to Democratic State Department on Ukraine/Russia matters.

9 Aug. DPR soldier who was unarmed as he performed engineering work is killed by Ukrainian large caliber machine gun and small firearms fire near Kominternovo, despite the ceasefire

7 Aug. Putin-Zelenskii phone call. Readouts: Kremlin; Kiev. Both presidents stated that (the latest) ceasefire and separation of forces must be observed (nearly identical top paragraph) Putin said that Ukrainian shelling must stop, and stressed 'exceptional importance' that Minsk agreements are fulfilled following the agreed sequence of steps, and including special status for L/DPR. In Kiev readout, Minsk never mentioned, and the need for constitutional amendments is denied. Prisoners exchange, negotiations format, and blame for some recent episodes (see Aug. 6) were also discussed.

Poroshenko returns to Ukraine, where he is facing multiple criminal investigations, including those targeting his business interests and other charges. It is reported that Poroshenko and Kolomoiskii met in early June, and that Kolomoiskii softened his criticism ("he coped with the main task - he saved the country from you").

6 Aug. Ukraine claims that 4 of their marines were killed near Mariupol by RPG fire. According to DPR source, this happened in the area of settlement Orlovskoe, near Pavlopol', Ukrainian-controlled, due to serious safety violations while unloading anti-personnel landmines. According to DPR source, this occurred some 4 km deep into Ukrainian-controlled territory, well outside RPG range.

5 Aug. Lieutenant-general Vladimir Kravhcenko appointed new head of Ukrainian "united operation forces" (ООС, =ATO-2) fighting in Donbass. Little is known about him; overseeing celebration and reconstruction of historic Konotop battle, 1659 (Wikipedia) where Moscovites were "defeated", and collaboration with Vladinir Vyakovich of the "institute of national memory" are described here. Opponents' commentary on Knotopb battle is here; in 2008, Russian FM characterized it as "a bloody battle due to yet another treason of yet another Hetman", pointing out that this Hetman ultimately failed and was executed by the Poles. Some previous participation in Donbass war, "coordinated withdrawal from Debaltsevo cauldron."

4 Aug. It is reported that Bogdan Yaremenko will be nominated for the head of Rada's committee on foreign affairs. In the opinion of Lev Vershinin, Yaremenko has high professional qualities but is a committed opponent, adherent to Ukrainian nationalism causes, and, in view of Vershinin, is US-backed. He is credited with preventing a deal of exchanging Donbass for recognition of Crimea, by publishing allegations of such a deal between Poroshenko and Putin, subsequently denied.

1 Aug. DPR PMH: Ukrainian shelling near Mariupol aimed to disrupt the ceasefire is reported. It is said that DPR did not respond, but demands that provocation are stopped, and asks for assistance of international observers