Ukraine news/Archive/2019-12

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On Ukraine to LPR bus, 29 Dec.
Mehti Logunov Mayorskoe chp. Ukraine Dec. 29
Dolzhenkov, Mastikasheva

29 Dec. It is reported that prisoners exchange is completed. 25 prisoners from LPR traveled on a bus to the Ukrainian side of Mayorskoe checkpoint and those released to LPR by Ukraine traveled on a bus back, some of those pictured, and more photos/profiles here. Exchange with DPR is supposed to occur on the 'rebel' side.

Office of president Zelenskii posted some exchange photos and livestreams here.

Ukraine published full list of prisoners returned to Ukraine.

Ukraine released 5 'Berkut' men, Gadziev, Denisultanov.

27 Dec. Ukrainian attorney D. Tikhonenkov on the prisoners' exchange with Russia expected to occur at 11 am at "Mayorskoe" checkpoint on 29 Dec. 2019: "Prosecutor, help the President (Zelenskii) keep his word - drop the charge!" (Rus. Прокурор, помоги Президенту сдержать слово – сними обвинение! Адвокат Д. Тихоненков об обмене).

On 29 Dec, nine of his firm's clients have been exchanged.

DPR ombudsman: From January 1 to December 26, 2019 in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic as a result of armed aggression from Ukraine, 166 people were killed, of which 157 were military personnel of the Republic, 6 civilian women and 3 civilian men. 223 people received injuries of varying severity, of which 149 military personnel of the Republic, 24 civilian women, 45 civilian men and 5 minors.

25 Dec. Prihodko: in Gorlovka, Vladimir Sorokin, a 59-year old civilian, had his head and shoulder wounded

23 Dec. Putin opens Crimea Bridge to rail traffic

22 Dec. LPR. Ukraine cuts water supply (targeting civilian water supply is a war crime in international law). From 2:00 "Popasnyansk regional water utility" completely stopped supplying water from the pump station ZFS-3, located on the territory of Ukraine, through the water duct "ZFS-3 - ZFS-4". The cities of Pervomaisk, Stakhanov, Kirovsk, partially Bryanka and other adjacent settlements remained without water supply. Specialists of the Alchevsk Directorate immediately started switching over at the water supply facilities to redistribute the volumes of water to the above cities. Because of that, the existing water supply in the cities of Alchevsk, Perevalsk, Anthracite and Krasnyi Luch had to be reduced by 50%."

21 Dec. JCCC: Ukraine fired mortars on the Volvo center area (the northern suburb of Donetsk). 8 ceasefire violations in the past day, 134 munitions fired (including mortars, BMP and BTR guns, grenade launchers and firearms including large caliber machine guns).

Video of an ambulance car (barely) crossing over restored bridge in Stanitsa Luganskaya. LPR complains that the bridge is narrower than the agreed 3m+.

20 Dec. Basurin, DPR: 46 ceasefire violations in the past week, 456 shells fired (including mortar, BMP gun shells, 122-mm artillery, and grenades).

The Swiss company Allseas suspends work on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after the US Senate approves sanctions on the company. Spending bill including sanctions is signed by Trump (CNN; TASS).

It is said that Russia and Ukraine reached a compromise on continuation of gas transfer at a closed-door meeting in Minsk. Details of the agreement so far are not public. Previously it was reported that Ukrainian unpaid sovereign debt of $3 bln and some fine on Gazprom of net total of about $2.56 bln (the latter of uncertain merit but with both charges confirmed in Western courts) are being discussed.

TASS quoting Miller: Gazprom and Naftogas agreed a protocol according to which they will sign a contract on gas deliveries for 5 years, with Gazprom paying $2.9 bln. following Stockholm court decision, and the parties will withdraw all other mutual claims. There is no update on the sovereign debt of Ukraine. TASS: Since 2009, two contracts have been in force between Gazprom and Naftogaz - on gas supplies to Ukraine and on its transit through the country to Europe. Both expire at the end of 2019. Since 2012, Naftogaz has ceased to pump in the contracted volume, and since November 2015, Kiev has not purchased Russian gas at all, replacing it with reverse gas from Europe. Gazprom, in turn, did not pump the agreed volume of gas through Ukraine. In 2014, companies began litigation on both contracts.

Unverified protocol copy is published on a social media site

16 Dec. Ukrainian military fired 42 122-mm artillery shells on the area of Naberezhnoe settlment, south of Donetsk (amid unending reports of Ukrainian mortar and small arms shelling).

14 Dec. DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shelling of Gorlovka

10 Dec. Putin comments that if Ukraine gets control of the border, it may result in 'another Srebrenitsa ' (massacre) committed by Ukrainian nationalists, as it is not clear 'who is stronger', Zelensky or them (Rus; Eng-but presently QA part not translated). While at a press conference after the Normandy meeting, Putin's answer on border control was based on Minsk agreement as written.

Russian journo report on some small details observed at the Normandy-4 meeting is not particularly encouraging.

9 Dec. Putin-Zelenskiy two way meeting is confirmed after the Normandy 4-way meeting today. (TASS,

Unending Ukrainian provocations in Donbass are reported in the run-up to the summit. This includes death of two SBU 'Alpha' colonels who were part of a 4 men RSG, trying to penetrate DPR positions and killed by landmine explosion (details to be linked later).

1 Dec. Strelkov published on social media a list of 14 men killed defending L/DPR in November.

Two DPR soldiers were killed by "Azov" sniper fire, trying to evacuate a wounded comrade. It is said that 3 "Azov" men were killed and 2 wounded by return fire.