Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Kiev Security Forces Bombard Kominternovo with Approximately 120 Shells – Eduard Basurin / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 20, 2016 / The Ukrainian Armed Forces fired about 120 shells this morning on the village of Kominternovo in the south of Donbass. This was reported today to DAN by Vice Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin. “Ukrainian security forces opened fire on the village of Kominternovo at about 8:50 AM using mortars of caliber 82 and 120 ,mm and BMP. At this moment it is known that in all the Ukrainian side released about 120 shells. The bombardment continues,” a spokesman said. He added that the enemy is firing from positions in the village of Vodyanoye. Earlier it was reported that the Ukrainian security forces fired during the night on the surrounding villages of Sakhanka, Kominternovo and Shirokino in the south of Donbass.
Contact Group Commences Full Negotiations in Minsk / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 20, 2016 / The Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass region is commencing full negotiations in Minsk. This was reported today by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. Recall that the current round of talks, the second in 2016, includes meetings of groups and subgroups relevant for political, humanitarian and security issues. The economic subgroup is not involved at this stage of the negotiation process. Negotiators began work in the Belarusian capital on the eve of January 19 with talks held by the political subgroup, which plays a key role in the peace process.
Elections in East Ukraine Impossible Until Border Control Restored / Sputnik / January 20, 2016 / KIEV / Changing Ukraine’s constitution and holding elections in the country’s troubled Donbass region is impossible until ceasefire is upheld and Kiev has regained control over the border with Russia, Ukraine’s envoy at the Trilateral Contact Group and former President Leonid Kuchma said Wednesday. “Without a ceasefire and adherence to the silence regime, without full withdrawal of heavy weapons and the OSCE confirming this withdrawal, without us resuming control over the Ukrainian-Russian border, it is impossible to talk about elections or constitutional changes, not to mention humanitarian and economic issues, mine clearance,” Kuchma said. Kiev has been conducting a military operation in Ukraine’s eastern regions since April 2014. In February, Kiev and Donbass militia signed a deal on Ukrainian reconciliation in Minsk, which stipulated a ceasefire and the withdrawal of weapons from the line of contact. Under the deal, constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and the initiation of local elections in Donbas must have been concluded before the end of 2015. The country’s regions of Donetsk and Lugansk agreed to postpone their local elections until 2016. Before elections in those regions can take place, Ukraine authorities must fulfill all the Minsk agreement obligations. On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the Minsk agreement on the Ukrainian crisis cannot be realized because there is no law on the country’s elections. Editor’s Note: Sputnik fails to mention that the Minsk Agreements specify a certain order of events: step one is constitutional reform, step two is Donbass elections, step three is Ukrainian control of the Russian border. Kuchma has the process backwards.
Kiev Delivers to Front 130 Pieces of Artillery, Tanks and BMP – DPR Intelligence / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 20, 2016 / DPR intelligence has discovered the whereabouts of more than 130 units of Ukrainian military equipment in the Donetsk, Mariupol and Gorlovka areas. This was stated today by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic. “DPR intelligence continues to record the movement of military equipment and personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the line of contact. In the village Tarasovka (40 km west of Gorlovka) 20 tanks have been detected,” said the Ministry of Defense. They added that in the area of the village of Zaitsevo, 20 km north of Gorlovka, the arrival was noted of up to 60 militants of the “Right Sector” to strengthen the nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries. In the village of Maksimilyanovka (10 km west of Donetsk) they found two self-propelled guns, seven tanks and six BMP. Three more self-propelled artillery systems were discovered in Marinka and Georgievka. In the last settlement, two MLRS “Grad” have been deployed. “In Novomihaylovke (30 km south-west of Donetsk), four tanks, two BMP, and two units of engineering equipment for mines were recorded,” reported in the Defense Ministry. According to the survey, in the village of Granitnoye (10 km west of Telmanovo) there were seen MLRS “Grad”, two 120-mm mortars, 13 vehicles with ammunition, and up to 100 personnel. In Vinogradnoye and Pionerskoye near Mariupol there are 10 tanks. In Mariupol were recorded 18 howitzers “Hyacinth” of caliber 152 mm. Recall that according to the set of measures to implement the Minsk Agreement, which was signed by the Contact Group February 12, 2015, artillery of caliber over 100 mm should be withdrawn from each side of the contact line out to 50 km, MLRS to 70 km, MLRS “Tornado”, “Hurricane”, “Smerch”, as well as the rocket “Point” to 140 km. In accordance with the September supplement to the package of measures, the parties were to remove guns to 100 mm caliber, as well as tanks and mortars.
Donbas Militia Report Ukrainian Marines, Nationalist Battalions Clashes / TASS / January 20, 2016 / Marines of Ukraine’s Armed Forces have engaged in a shootout with volunteer battalions near the city of Mariupol which left 26 soldiers wounded, the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic (DPR) reported Wednesday. “According to our data, the inhabited locality of Shirokino saw a regular firefight between nationalistic battalions and marine units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which left people wounded on both sides,” the ministry said. “Up to 26 seriously wounded servicemen were delivered to the Dnipropetrovsk hospital,” the Donetsk News Agency cited a ministry spokesman as saying. The ministry said the possible reason for the shootout could have been “unwillingness of marines to take part in shelling of DPR localities conducted by nationalists from the buffer zone.” DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin on January 12 reported on a conflict between the Right Sector extremist organization with marines near Mariupol. He said the armed clashes were caused by the fight for control of cargo transportation in the area. The ministry has repeatedly reported on similar clashes in Donbas. In particular, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and various volunteer formations allegedly clashed on the Gorlovka and Donetsk directions.
French Will Be Back in Donbass: “Next we will come with big delegation, politicians” (Video) / DONi News / January 18, 2016 / French top political lawyers’ delegation, which visited the Donetsk People’s Republic last week and gathered the first hand information, has stayed very active after their visit and return to France. Experience from the situation, truth in Donbass, has opened more eyes and a large amount of documents about Ukrainian war crimes is making affect, which was passed forward to the international lawyers’ community directly from Donetsk and Lugansk officials. The Leader of the delegation, Jacques Clostermann, promised in DONi interview last week that “French will be soon back” – and next time they will come with big delegation, including French politicians. So, a bridge has been built and connections are now working, and what we have already heard and seen in just the past few days, is exactly what Clostermann promised in DONi News Agency interview. Look also: French Donbass volunteer Erwan Castell has gathered full information package to his blog from past week, including all international links to media publications and video releases. [Video available at source.]
Next, Possibly Final, Stage of Liberating Russia from the West / DONi News / January 18, 2016 / Finally it has started. Vladimir Putin has launched the next and quite possibly the final stage of liberating Russia from the West. The Russian President has sent to the State Duma one of the most dangerous laws the modern Russia has ever known. Russia is throwing away the last deadwood and picking up speed in gaining the leading position. Putin’s new laws are intended to fully compensate for the losses of the Russian Federation due to a falling dollar and other Western sanctions. The essence of this legislative initiative strangely reminds of a story of a group of borrowers who refused to pay on loans taken in foreign banks, due to the fact that these banks were a part of the economic system of the countries exhibiting aggression towards Russia. They said that they were unwilling to break the law by sponsoring states hostile to their country. The idea appeared very simple and, at the same time, brilliant. How long should Russia bow politely and pay those who are driving it into a corner, without any hesitations bypassing laws written by themselves or even rewriting these laws altogether? Not it seems that the time has come to stop it. According to the new legislation, all state and private Russian companies will stop paying on loans to banks of the countries participating in the sanctions against Russia. At the moment it is about only relatively large . . . MORE>> Click here.
Saakashvili “Accidentally” Reveals Secret UAF Plans in Donbass (VIDEO) / Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ / January 18, 2016 / Mikheil Saakashvili posted a video taken in Donbass a few days ago. The Governor of the Odessa region was with the soldiers of the battalion “Storm”. This was reported by RIA Novosti with reference to local media. However, Saakashvili has made one unforgivable mistake: in his video he showed too much stuff. For example, the footage turned out to be a secret observation post, the faces of many security forces and even an operational map with annotations of the commander. After the publication of the video, the combat units who were visited by Saakashvili were asked to write an official report for their dismissal. The soldiers were outraged by the stupid act by the head of Odessa region. “It’s not fair, because the Governor has not done anything for the battalion. Videotaping all the roadblocks that we protect with our fighters and putting it on the Internet is just “unprofessionalism” of the highest degree. After this our guys via the Internet have received threats,” said one of the fighters. Ukrainian media have also reported that the general staff of the country has regarded the actions of Saakashvili as “political PR, which borders on sabotage”. [Video available at tvzvezda.]
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
DPR Does Not Exclude Mutual Compromise with Kiev on Issue of Election at Meeting in Minsk January 20 / DAN / January 19, 2016 / In Minsk on January 20, Donetsk expects an effective discussion of the problem of elections in Donbass does not exclude mutual compromises. This was said today to DAN by the head of the DPR delegation to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin. “Tomorrow, the issues will remain unchanged. We hope to achieve in the discussion [an effective approach to] the elections. Tomorrow we hope to reach any compromise with regards the subgroup on political issues,” he said. According to him, it is “too early to talk about any concrete results.” “Our position is radically different from Kiev’s, but in order to achieve the implementation of measures on this item, we need to make certain concessions. Not only us, but also to Kiev,” said Pushilin. “Then perhaps something will turn out,” concluded the head of the DPR delegation to the Contact Group. Recall that on January 20, Minsk will host the next meeting of the Contact Group for the peaceful settlement in Donbass, as well as meetings of its four specialized subgroups on humanitarian issues, security, politics and economics. The political subgroup will start discussions in the capital of Belarus today. Quemado Institute comments: The DPR has compromised far too much already, having signed away control of the Donbass-Russia border, removed its defenses from the contact line, and allowed Kiev to seize nine DPR buffer-zone settlements. Further compromise on elections would spell the end of any remnants of autonomy that remain. What did the DPR fight for? What did the militiamen die for? And for whom is Denis Pushilin speaking? Has Zakharchenko agreed to this? The DPR could demand much more and get it, were its leaders willing to defy the Kremlin oligarchs.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Kiev Moves 70 Units of Heavy Equipment to the Contact Line / Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ / January 18, 2016 / Almost 70 units of heavy armaments and armored vehicles, as well as a few hundred militants of the UAF have been moved this week to the line of contact. Today, the representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic Eduard Basurin confirmed this, reports Donetsk News Agency. According to Basurin, intelligence of the DPR continues to detect the concentration of military equipment and personnel of the APU in three areas: Gorlovka, Donetsk and Mariupol. Six howitzers “Pion” and “Hyacinth” caliber 152 mm, seven MLRS “Grad”, BMP 12, up to 20 vehicles with ammunition and personnel and up to 10 buses with fighters of the 54th mechanized brigade and two platoons of the battalion “Aidar” were found by reconnaissance in the Gorlovka direction. In Donetsk, intel identified two ACS, four 122-mm howitzers D-30, three tanks, three APCS, two vehicles with ammunition, and up to 150 personnel. In the Mariupol direction, Kiev moved 10 tanks, seven ACS, two 152-mm howitzers “Hyacinth-B”, one MLRS BM-21 “Grad”, BMP 12, 31 cars with ammunition and personnel. Basurin also said that in this direction the intelligence was able to detect up to 200 personnel of the armed forces. In addition, security forces have built two pontoon crossings to move military equipment and units across the river.
TWITTER Situation Report / Quemado Institute / January 18, 2016 / Twitter source StormBringer tweets at approximately 18:00 UTC: “BREAKING Kominternovo is under heavy UAF fire: Mariupol direction. SitRep Donbas 1. UAF sabotage & recon unit of nazi Aidar battalion was eliminated (6 men) near Trekhizbenka. SitRep Donbas 2. UAF military convoy consisting of several trucks was destroyed. SitRep Donbas 3. UAF sabotage & recon unit attempted to infiltrate into Kominternovo. Repelled after a firefight.”
Ukrainian government forces reportedly shell Kominternovo village in Donbas / TASS / January 18, 2016, 07:37 UTC / The Ukrainian military again shelled the Kominternovo settlement in south Donbas, where one civilian was injured, head of the local administration Oleg Morgun told the Donetsk News Agency on Monday. “Yesterday in the afternoon, once again they shelled Kominternovo,” he said. “One civilian was injured with a fragment and was taken to hospital. He is fine now.” Further information is under way, he said. Ten residential houses were damaged in the shelling of the Kominternovo settlement the night to Friday. One residential house was completely destroyed, the agency added. Commander of 9th regiment of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) defense ministry Colonel Andrey Oprischenko said that “five houses have been damaged only over the last three hours.” Oprischenko noted that Ukrainian forces shelled Kominternovo from mortars of 82mm and 120mm calibre and anti-tank guided missiles. DPR defense ministry reported earlier that Ukrainian forces shelled Kominternovo at night firing at least 10 mines at the settlements. Kominternovo was visited on Friday by delegations of representatives of OSCE led by Deputy Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) Alexander Hug, of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) and of DPR defense ministry. The delegations registered evidence of ceasefire violations. On Sunday, Donbas’s state-run gas company, Donbasgaz, restored gas supplies to Kominternovo in the buffer zone in south Donbass, which were interrupted after the shelling. The local militia and representatives of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) provided security for the workers. “There, the distance between the damaged pipe and the Ukrainian checkpoint is only 700 metres,” the local administration’s head said. On Wednesday the Contact Group on settling the situation in south-east Ukraine agreed that it is necessary to observe the ceasefire regime in Donbas. “We fully support the proposal (of Russian envoy to the Contact Group) to make a new attempt to ensure full ceasefire observance on the occasion of the Old New Year,” the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) envoy Martin Sajdik said. This is the seventh attempt since autumn 2014 to fully observe the ceasefire in Donbas. [… More general background at source.]
Peace will come to Donbass only after overthrow of Kiev regime: ‘Ghost’ militia woman / By Alexey Albu, translated by Greg Butterfield for Red Star Over Donbass / January 18, 2016 / January 9: Tatiana Rybalko, a native of Mariupol, did not throw up her hands after escaping Kiev’s torture chambers; she went to volunteer in the Ghost Brigade. Alexey Albu: Tell us about yourself. Who were you before the war, what did you do? Tatiana Rybalko: Before the war, I worked in the Mariupol steel plant, up to the very moment I was captured. Since 2010 I’d been a member of the Communist Party [of Ukraine, KPU], and was repeatedly re-elected to the post of Secretary of the Party cell, member of the District Committee, Assistant Secretary of the District Committee. In February 2014, I became a leader of the city’s Anti-Fascist Committe. I took part in rallies and protests. Also from April 2014, I was a member of the initiative group of deputies of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in Mariupol. I became a member of the city commission after the referendum of May 11, 2014. From June until the day of my kidnapping, I collected humanitarian aid (food, clothing, medicines) for our guys who fought in the militia. However, people brought only a little – in the Ukrainian-occupied city, doing this was dangerous. In other words, even under the pressure of Ukrainian nationalists, we continued to fight for people’s power against the Nazis and . . . MORE>> Click here.
Why Should Dutch MH17 Investigators Look Closer at Russian Evidence? / Sputnik / January 18, 2016 / MOSCOW / Dutch investigators probing the MH17 crash in Ukraine should take into account research data provided by Russians that challenges some conclusions made in their last year’s report, experts told Sputnik on Thursday. In July 2014, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine while en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch citizens. The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) has been in charge of an international investigation. Russian flight safety watchdog Rosaviatsia released a document on Thursday, compelling DSB’s October report over the type of a missile that allegedly downed the Malaysian plane and the positioning of the missile launcher. “In the interests of transparency this latest research must also be fully evaluated by the Dutch team and their advisors, and if needed an additional investigation and report needs to be,” said Julian Bray, UK’s leading aviation security and operations expert. He emphasized the difficulty of obtaining accurate data from a war zone, which is eastern Ukraine, and commended the effort of Dutch investigators, but said more solid evidence would not hurt. It is known that both Russia and the United States have time-coded high-resolution images from the scene taken at the time of the crash, which can pinpoint the exact location of missile launchers that downed the plane, Bray stressed. “I call on all sides to open their data banks and release the metadata computer information and images that will finally support and provide a definitive answer to the fate of MH17,” he said. Frederic Engdahl, a geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant, cited an interview by a Spanish professional controller [Carlos @Spainbuca; see link below] working at the Kiev air traffic control facility who said it had been stormed at the time of the MH17 air disaster. The man validated the evidence given in the Thursday statement by Rosaviatsia deputy head Oleg Storchevoy. He disappeared shortly after talking in public, Engdahl said, adding that Ukrainian authorities were “criminally negligent at the least.” Mark Rosenker, the former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent US agency investigating civil transportation accidents, said that Dutch investigators appeared to be satisfied with their report as it was. “It appears that evidences were solid enough that the Dutch are very comfortable with their determination,” Rosenker said, adding he believed the DSB’s conclusions on the probable cause of the plane crash were “right on target.” In October, DSB published a final report on its investigation, in which it found that MH17 crashed as a result of being hit by a 9N314M-model warhead, carried on the 9M38-series of surface-to-air Buk missiles. It was fired from anywhere within a 123-square-mile area of eastern Ukraine, the report said, without specifying who was responsible for the launch. Editor’s note: For more on the weaknesses of the Dutch Safety Board investigation see Quemado Institute Rebuttal: MH17 Dutch Investigation Weak, Inconclusive. See also the translated transcript of air traffic controller Carlos @Spainbuca’s twitter feed as posted in realtime during the MH17 shootdown.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Action Needed to Restore Status Quo in Buffer Zone – Pushilin / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 17, 2016 / DEBALTSEVO / The Donetsk People’s Republic intends to seek the restoration of the status quo in the buffer zone, where the Ukrainian security forces have seized and held a number of settlements. This was stated by the head of DPR delegation at the talks in Minsk, Chairman of the National Council Denis Pushilin, responding to a question of Trend DAN. “We intend to restore the status quo for those settlements that are in the ‘gray zone’ and should remain as such,” said the Speaker of parliament. “The OSCE observers were there, they documented the [presence of the] UAF units, and we will pursue further action. Declarations are not enough.” Commenting on the words of Deputy Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission that the Minsk agreements do not provide for the “gray” or “buffer” zone, Pushilin responded that the package of measures signed on 12 February 2015 referred to the establishment of a security zone in Donbass. “We have established an area in which direct clashes are to be prevented,” said the representative of the DPR. “And the advance of Ukrainian law enforcers forward to our positions will not come to anything good, and could lead to a full resumption of hostilities.” As previously reported, toward the end of 2015, the Ukrainian military took over eight settlements in the buffer zone, including Shirokino, Pishevik, Pavlopol, Vinogradnoye, Gnutova, Zhovanku, Troitskoye, and Bahmutovku. The DPR has repeatedly pointed out that such acts of Ukraine lead to an escalation of the conflict in Donbass.
One year ago today was a tough day. / by Graham Phillips / Facebook / January 17, 2016 / Three men I’d gotten to know through time Patrick and myself spent with them while filming them training, were killed while defending Donetsk airport from a Ukrainian counter-attack on the site, their having just been expelled from there. Igor Yudin from Donetsk (callsign ‘Bulgarian’), Eugene Belyaeva from Slavyansk (callsign ‘Squirrel’), Eugene Krasnosheinu from St Petersburg (callsign ‘Friday’). They were really wonderful guys. Igor was so kind, decent, helpful, intelligent. Eugene K so positive, funny, yet a committed, determined commander, trainer. Eugene B, always friendly, good company, ever ready to give his time and support when it was needed. All of them were fighting for the same reason – to protect Donbass against an illegitimate invasion by forces sent by a ‘government’ which was the result of a violent coup on Maidan, in Kiev, of which Donbass played no part, and one which had the destruction of the essence, history, way of life of Donbass at its very core. They each died in open battle, fighting for hours against tanks, artillery, heavily outnumbered but never relinquishing their duty. Incredible bravery.They died a true hero’s death. There’s a sadness in the heart to lose such great people. But their deaths were not in vain. In remembrance – Eugene, Igor, Eugene. [Photos available at source.]
Interview with Fighter from Donetsk (VIDEO) / Liveleak.com / Posted January 17, 2016 / VPE interviews DPR fighter with call sign “Accurate” in Sakhanka on January 13, 2016. For video with English subtitles, click here.
DPR: ICC to Examine Data on Kiev’s War Crimes in Donbass / RIA Novosti / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 17, 2016 / DONETSK / The International Criminal Court began to study the initial materials on war crimes committed by Kiev in Donbass, which include 21 episodes of Ukrainian security forces’ use of torture against civilian and militia prisoners, chairman of the DPR Bar Council Alex Zhigulin told RIA Novosti. “I received a reply from the office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the material that we sent in the fall. The Prosecutor of the ICC has taken it into consideration,” said Zhigulin. According to him, the case materials include 21 episodes of violence and torture of civilian and militia detainees by the UAF. “The Prosecutor of the ICC has taken up the study of this material. He will now perform a variety of actions in accordance with Article 53 of the Rome Statute. This is the first such response on the administration of our material concerning war crimes by Kiev. It is a real opportunity to bring the perpetrators to international criminal responsibility,” said Zhigulin. He added that today it is known that 700 complaints have been received by the European Court of Human Rights. Also he noted that DPR lawyers continue to collect and transfer data to the ICC. “We are guided by the principle of inevitability of punishment,” said the chairman of the DPR Bar Council. Earlier it was reported that on Thursday, DPR lawyers passed on to their French colleagues, who had come to Donetsk, a package of documents on war crimes by Kiev in Donbass to be transferred to the ICC. These materials include evidence of abuse and torture of prisoners of war by the Ukrainian security forces. ….
Kiev Junta At Risk Sliding Into War And Plunge It’s Nation Into Abyss – Opposition Bloc / Novorossia Today / January 17, 2016 Ukraine’s plans to carry out the seventh wave of drafting to the Army is a sign that Kiev has no plans to implement the Minsk accords, the country’s Opposition Bloc political party said on Saturday. “Statements about a next wave of drafting testify to the fact that the authorities have no plans to implement the Minsk agreements but on the contrary, intend to put Ukraine at risk of sliding into the war again,” the oppositional political party said. Kiev “needs to cut short all attempts to draft more soldiers and should focus on implementation of the Minsk deal, that is amend the constitution, adopt laws on local elections in the areas not controlled by the government and on amnesty,” they said. “Such statements (about the seventh wave of drafting) are playing into the hands of those who wish to defeat a compromise plan on Donbass and to plunge Ukraine into renewed full-scale hostilities that have already claimed dozens of thousands of our citizens’ lives,” the Opposition Bloc said. On Friday, Ukrainian Junta Armed Forces’ General Staff announced the seventh wave of drafting to the Army, promising to get both conscripts and contract servicemen. Partial drafting to the Armed Forces has taken place six times over the past two years. Ukrainian Junta defence sources say the numeric strength of the Army grew almost twofold over the period to 280,000 servicemen. Almost 70,000 Ukrainian Junta military are deployed at present along the Line of Contact in Donbass, a territory in eastern Ukraine where the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics are located. At the moment, the Army is staffed with soldiers drafted during the fourth, fifth and sixth waves of drafting.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Ukrainian Executioners Fire 24 Mortar Shells at Buffer Zone Village of Kominternovo in South of Donbass / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 16, 2016 / The Ukrainian armed forces subjected the village of Kominternovo in the buffer zone in the south of the Donets Basin to another assault using mortar fire. This was reported to DAN at a briefing in the press center today by Vice Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin. “In the village of Vodyanoye, there arrived a unit consisting of four infantry fighting vehicles and eighteen cars with personnel and ammunition. After the arrival of the enemy, massive artillery bombardment on the locality Kominternovo began, with 24 shells of caliber 82-mm fired,” said the Corps commander. Earlier today we reported from the Ministry of Defense, that during the last day there were recorded 14 violations of the ceasefire by Ukrainian troops along the contact line with DPR forces. According to certain data, Kominternovo was among the populated areas that were shelled, and the village had 35 mortar shells fired on the territory of the Republic by the punitive forces. Recall that the previous Kominternovo shelling occurred on the night of January 15th. According to the Defense Ministry, the shelling was conducted from 82 and 120 mm mortars. Anti-tank guided missiles were also used. The shelling damaged 10 houses, one of which burned down, and interrupted the gas supply to the village.
Ukrainian Saboteurs Shelled OSCE Mission in Marinka – Defense Ministry / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 16, 2016 / Ukrainian saboteurs fired today at observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the area of the city of Marinka to the west of Donetsk. This was reported to DAN by the DPR Ministry of Defence. “Today, Ukrainian saboteurs shelled OSCE observers in Marinka using small arms during the repair of the gas pipeline from Donetsk to Marinka. It was a carefully planned operation by Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage groups,” a spokesman said. The Defense Ministry said that yesterday the Ukrainian side insisted on carrying out operations in the presence of SMM observers. The representative of the Ministry of Defense said that the scene is so removed from positions of the DPR forces that the possibility they carried out the attack with small-arms fire is completely ruled out. Recall that DPR reconnaissance, in the second half of December, received information that the Ukrainian law enforcers planned to conduct armed provocations involving saboteurs to disrupt the work of international observers in Donbass. Editor’s note: Another report from DAN says the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE confirmed the shelling of the vehicle during a patrol by observers in Marinka west of Donetsk. Relevant comments were provided today from the press service of the mission. “The Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE in Ukraine confirms the incident, in which one of the SMM cars came under fire during a patrol in Marinka near the demarcation line,” said a statement received by DAN. A third report from DAN states that the authorities of the DPR have started an investigation into the shelling of the OSCE observer mission in the area of the occupied town of Marinka. “Our side is taking investigative measures, but it all depends on the mission of the OSCE,” said Basurin. “If they are interested in finding the truth, they will help us,” adding, “I have no other explanation than that it was specifically planned action to undermine the authority of the DPR in the eyes of the OSCE mission and the world community.”
Enrico Ivanov tweets on January 16 at 21:00 UTC: “Ukrops took control of the 9th neutral settlement: Vodyanoye. Kominternovo under attack! Via @StormBringer15.” Update: January 17, 17:30 UTC: “Offensive on Kominternovo underway since Ukrops took Vodyanoye. If Kremlin doesn’t allow NAF to respond, it will fall.”
Members of Czech Parliament Regard Actions of Kiev in Donbass as War Crimes / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 16, 2016 / Kiev is guilty of war crimes against the people of Donbass, as well as of gross violations of human rights. This was stated today to journalists by members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia Zdenek Ondrachek and Stanislav Matskovik. “We think what happened here constitutes war crimes against the people of Donbass,” said Ondrachek, who visited the Donetsk People’s Republic along with a colleague. “We did not expect that at the beginning of the twenty-first century it would be possible to meet such consequences of war in Europe, but it happened. So far I have not seen this anywhere else,” said Matskovik. “What we have seen shows that human rights are abandoned.” During their stay, the Czech parliamentarians visited the frontline in the Kuibyshev and Kiev districts of the DPR capital. They also visited the former Donetsk airport, where they saw the destroyed houses, talked to civilians who could not leave their homes during the attacks, and those who for several months have been hiding in basements. The MPs themselves heard the sounds of shelling. Also, representatives of the Czech Republic visited the Metropolitan Museum of World War II, where they could see the remains of shells that flew into the territory of Donetsk.
Kiev Cannot Hide from World Truth About Events in Donbass – Czech MP / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 16, 2016 / Kiev authorities cannot prohibit the dissemination of the truth about the events in Donbass. This was announced today at a press conference by the deputy of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Stanislav Matskovik, commenting on the statement of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about the “illegality” of his stay in Donetsk. “This is true for everyone, and they cannot prohibit it. And you cannot stop us from coming here,” he said, answering a question from Trend. Matskovik was representing the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. “As for the statements by Ukraine that our trip to Donetsk is a provocation, then, in my opinion, that is a provocation, just like the word.” Matskovik added that his party fellow and colleague Zdenek Ondrachek, with whom he visited the DPR, is already faced with attempts by Kiev to prevent the spread of objective information. “He was an observer at the elections in Ukraine, and when he tried to enter the country later, he was not allowed,” said the parliamentarian. “I cannot agree with the allegations of illegal border crossing and even ‘invasion’,” added Matskovik. “We arrived here in the normal way, through the checkpoint. ” Earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed “strong protest” in connection with the visit of the Czech deputies to the Donetsk People’s Republic, as the journey has not been approved by Kiev. Matskovik Ondrachek, on January 14 in Donetsk, met with representatives of authorities and residents of the DPR to visit a prisoner of the Ukrainian security services. The DPR Commissioner for Human Rights Daria Morozova told them about the crimes committed by the KIev regime in Donbass. On January 15, the Czech deputies visited the Kiev and Kuibyshev neighborhoods of Donetsk, which were regularly shelled Ukrainian security forces, as well as the vicinity of the airport.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry to take measures on two Czech parliamentarians for visiting Donetsk / Interfax-Ukraine / January 15, 2016 / The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said the visit by two Communist parliamentarians from the Czech Republic to Donetsk was not authorized by Ukraine, and took place in breach of the Ukrainian legislation. “The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protests the illegal entry of the territory of Ukraine and visit to the temporarily occupied Donetsk by Zdenek Ondracek and Stanislav Mackovik, members of the Czech Communist Party faction of the lower chamber of the parliament of the Czech Republic. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry points out that this visit was not authorized by Ukraine and breached the norms of the Ukrainian legislation governing the procedures for entering Ukraine. Restrictions envisaged by the law will be imposed on the violators,” the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary released on Friday. The Foreign Ministry called on the government, parliamentary and public circles of the Czech republic to “publicly distance themselves from such provocations, which Kyiv sees as a manifestation of disrespect of Ukraine’s sovereignty and contempt of the official position of the Czech Republic and the EU on the condemnation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.” Two Communist parliamentarians from the Czech Republic, Zdenek Ondracek and Stanislav Mackovik, arrived in Donetsk from the territory of Russia on January 14. According to Interfax-Ukraine, the purpose of their three-day visit to the DPR was to become familiar with the consequences of the military action, the humanitarian situation, and meetings with civilians.
The Surkov-Nuland Meeting and the End of the Junta / SouthFront / January 15, 2016 / translated from Russian by J.Hawk / The first paper to report the rumored meeting between Vladislav Surkov and Victoria Nuland was the Alisher Usmanov group-owned Kommersant newspaper which cited “informed sources.” This news was instantly picked up by Kiev-controlled media. The main question being: what does that mean? In the second half of the day it became known that the working meeting between Presidential Assistant Vladislav Surkov and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland took place in a presidential administration building in the city of Pionerskiy near Kaliningrad. These details were made known by Russian MFA representative in Kaliningrad, Pavel Mamontov. “We can confirm the meeting had begun,” TASS cites Mamontov. We know that last year Nuland met several times with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigoriy Karasin who is responsible for Ukrainian affairs. We also know that Surkov is the main coordinator of Russian policy toward the unrecognized republics. The meeting took place behind closed doors and no announcement as to why the meeting took place and, especially, about its results, will not be made. There will be only generic phrases on future implementation of Minsk Agreements and “normalizing the situation in Ukraine.” Expectations: The goal here is clear enough. Kiev junta’s media panic is wholly appropriate. As well as junta’s panic. The Poroshenko regime is gravely concerned that Washington and Moscow come . . . MORE>> Click here.
Finnish Journalist: The Outcome of Donbass Affects the Whole World (VIDEO) / Translated for Fort Russ by Ollie Richardson / Fort Russ / January 16, 2016 / European media coverage of the conflict in Donbass is not objective enough, said Finnish journalist Janus Putkonen. According to him, foreign journalists need to “collect the truth” and bring it to the people. The outcome of the conflict in the Donbass region affects the developments around the world, said Finnish journalist, Director of agencies News DONi and DONi Press Janus Putkonen on Friday at a press conference in Lugansk. Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, Vasily Nikitin, told RIA Novosti that to break through the information blockade in LPR they plan to hold a “round table” with participation of foreign journalists on the topic of information war, waged against republics. “After I wrote many articles on the topic of Donbass, and when I came to Donbass and saw everything with my own eyes, I realized that very little is being done and there is so much more to do. I believe that here, in Donbass, the future is laid not only across Europe, but also across mankind as a whole. I realized how events will develop in Donbass, as they will develop throughout the world,” said Putkonen. According to him, in Europe, the conflict in Donbass is not quite clear, as European media do not report it objectively enough. “Unfortunately, the sad truth is that Europe actually doesn’t quite understand this conflict, and he is covered… As was shown by last summer, Donbass is almost non-existent in the eyes of the international community. The freezing of the conflict means that everyone has forgotten about it”, said the journalist. Putkonen said that foreign journalists must “develop the truth”, to bring it to people and “support the movement of peace for Donbass”. The authorities of Ukraine in April 2014 began a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR. According to the United Nations, victims of the conflict are more than 9 thousand people. The settlement of the situation in the Donbass region is being discussed, including during meetings in Minsk the contact group, which since September 2014, has already produced three documents governing the steps to de-escalate the conflict, including a ceasefire. However, after the armistice agreements between the parties to the conflict, military exchanges continue. [Video available at source.] Editor’s note: for more on Janus Putkonen see Janus Putkonen: Finnish Journalist Returns to Donbass.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Ukrainian Security Forces Shell Village of Kominternovo in South of Donbass Overnight / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 15, 2016 / The UAF shelled the village of Kominternovo in the buffer zone in the south of the Donets Basin. This was announced today to DAN by the commander of the Ninth Regiment of the Ministry of DPR Defense Corps Colonel Andrei Oprischenko. “Tonight the UAF subjected the village of Kominternovov to mortar fire,” he said, adding that it was of caliber 82 mm. “Last night, the settlement was hit with at least ten shells.” Now, a group composed of a delegation of representatives of the OSCE Mission under the leadership of the deputy head Alexander Hug, the staff of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination [JCCC] of the ceasefire in Donbass, and the DPR Defense Ministry has arrived. The purpose is to record violations of the ceasefire. According Oprischenko, shortly before their arrival, mortar rounds were again heard from the Ukrainian side. The information has been documented.
Fighting Broke Out Today Near Donetsk / Quemado Institute / January 15, 2016 / Donbass expert Enrico Ivanov reported on Twitter at about 18:30 UTC that fighting broke out earlier today near Staromikaylovka on the outskirts of Donetsk, with the use of rifles and grenade launchers. The Ukrainians are shelling Trudovskaya from positions in Marinka. There is combat near Trudovskaya on the road to Marinka, and the Petrovskyi district is under heavy shelling.
Pete John on Twitter
Donbass War News – January 15, 2016 21:00 UTC
UAF Plan Attack on Mariupol Area Under Pretext of Combat Readiness – DPR Intelligence / Novosti Novorossiyi / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 15, 2016 / The command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine plans to conduct offensive operations in the south under the pretext of checking the combat readiness of units of the two teams. This was announced today at a press conference with DAN by deputy corps commander Eduard Basurin of the Defense Ministry. “In the near future, the commander of the Task Force” in Mariupol “Lieutenant General Sirotenko plans to check the combat readiness of the 56th Mechanized Brigade and 34th Brigade Marines who are stationed in the city of Mariupol,” said Basurin. This gives reason to believe that the Kiev authorities are planning offensive operations in the Mariupol-Novoazovskiy direction. The deputy commander stressed that “any UAF provocations will be strictly suppressed by the DPR. In recent days, in the south of the DPR, the situation escalated in the village of Kominternovo. Just in the last day, UAF shelling in the village damaged ten houses, one of which burned.
Breaking news from Eduard Basurin (VIDEO) / DONi News / January 15, 2016 / In recent days the military command of the DPR’s Armed Forces has been through all the types of intelligence registering concentration of military equipment and personnel in the Mariupol-Novoazovsk direction. Furthermore, in the coming days the lieutenant general Sirotenko, the commander of the operational and tactical group ‘Mariupol’, plans to check the combat readiness of the 56th mechanized brigade and 34th marine brigade deployed in Mariupol. In this regard, tendencies to whipping up the tension by the AFU command on the contact line in the area of Kominternovo give the grounds to believe that the Kiev authorities plan a grand military provocation in this direction. We warn that any provocations by the Kiev junta will be harshly suppressed by the Armed Forces of the DPR and will make for heavy death toll of the Ukrainian troops. The blame for it will lay only with the Ukrainian party. [Video with English subtitles available at source.]
DPR Insists on Liberation of UAF-Occupied Locations in Buffer Zone – Pushilin / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 15, 2016 / DPR authorities will seek the release of eight UAF-occupied settlements in the buffer zone. This was told to DAN today by the head of the DPR delegation to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin. “This kind of provocation failed. It did not succeed in provoking us (into resumption of hostilities in the region),” he said. “Nevertheless, we will continue to seek a peaceful means of the return and the release of these settlements.” Pushilin added that the UAF-occupied settlements must be demilitarized. “In the future, that will allow us to avoid direct clashes,” he said. At the same time, the Donetsk politician expressed the view that the OSCE response to changes in the situation in the buffer zone was “insufficient.” As previously reported, at the end of 2015, the Ukrainian military captured eight villages in the buffer zone. These were Shirokino, Pishevik, Pavlopol, Vinogradnoey, Gnutova, Zhovanka, Troitskoye, and Bahmutovka. The DPR has repeatedly pointed out that such acts by Ukraine lead to escalation of the conflict in Donbass.
Nuland-Surkov consultations on Donbas settlement end in Kaliningrad / TASS / January 15, 2016 / KALININGRAD / Russian president’s aide Vladislav Surkov and Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, have finished consultations on the Minsk agreements for the Ukraine settlement after more than 4 hours of discussion, Pavel Mamontov, the Russian Foreign Ministry representative in the Kaliningrad region, told TASS on Friday. The meeting took place at a state residence belonging to the Russian president’s property management department in the town of Pionersky near the city of Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost exclave bordering on Lithuania and Poland. “The consultations are over. They took place behind the closed doors,” Mamontov said adding that after the talks Nuland had left for the Lithuanian border. “She is going to leave Russia today,” Mamontov stressed. According to US State Department Spokesman John Kirby, the Surkov-Nuland meeting continued the contacts, which had started during negotiations of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with US Secretary of State John Kerry who visited Moscow on December 15, 2015. Kirby believes that the Surkov-Nuland consultations should be regarded as part of US efforts to work together with Russia with an aim to guarantee full implementation of the Minsk agreements in close cooperation with the “Normandy Four” states, including Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. Nuland arrived in Kaliningrad from neighbouring Lithuania earlier on Friday. Vladislav Surkov arrived in the Kaliningrad region a day earlier on January 14. Quemado Institute comments: It is hard to imagine a more dangerous pair discussing the fate of Donbass than Victoria Nuland and Vladislav Surkov. Nuland supported the coup that toppled Ukraine’s stable democratic government, leading to the secession of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics and the subsequent war. Surkov, some observers believe, is largely responsible for Kremlin sabotage tactics that have undermined the Novorossiya vision and placed in jeopardy the sovereign status of the DPR and LPR. Since neither figure is a party to the Donbass conflict, their “negotiations” should be considered symbolic rather than operable. Hopefully the results of their meeting will be ignored by the Donbass leadership.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Kiev Preparing for Offensive in Donets Basin – Zakharchenko / Russkaya Vesna / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 14, 2016 / The Ukrainian authorities have long been preparing for an offensive in the Donets Basin, but are waiting for the command from abroad, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko stated on Wednesday. As previously reported by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in 2016 the Kiev authorities intend to spend almost $500 million on the development of arms and military equipment. Overall, the budget of the Ministry for the year increased by 16% and amounts to 2.45% of GDP. “In my opinion, Kiev has been long and consistently preparing for an attack on our Republic,” said Zakharchenko. “They just had no command from abroad. I hope this does not happen. After all, the United States should learn something and change its position if it is wrong.” According to the source, the DPR is ready for any development of the situation. “With regard to the real circumstances, Kiev has organized at our borders more offensive strike forces, which at any time, subject to weather—physical and political—can go forward. We know this, and are ready for this. I can say that this opponent will fight back which comes to life in the region of Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv [sic]. If no further. So I do not advise this,” said Zakharchenko. The head of the DPR said that even if Kiev does not go on the offensive, the defense budget of Ukraine once again will simply be plundered. “If Kiev does not start a full-scale offensive and thus bombards our cities, the increased military budget is not in vain. Ukrainian military and politicians have long shown how effectively they have stolen from the budgets. To me, it’s better stolen; this will save a large number of human lives. So it’s better to have it stolen than to have war,” said the head of the DPR.
Defense Ministry Reports Sharp Aggravation of Situation in Region, UAF Violates Ceasefire 39 Times in Past Day / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 14, 2016 / Over the past day, Ukrainian security officials bombarded DPR territory 39 times. The situation has deteriorated. This was reported to DAN today by the DPR Defense Ministry. “In violation of all agreements, the enemy fired 39 times on the territory of the Republic,” the source said. “The situation at the contact line has deteriorated over the day.” According to defense officials, villages that came under fire from Ukrainian units include Shirokaya Balka west of Gorlovka, Zhabichevo, Spartak, and the territory of the Donetsk airport on the northern outskirts of Donetsk. The Defense Ministry added that 33 shells of caliber 82 mm, eight shells of caliber 120 mm, 13 rounds from infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 204 shot from an RPG, LNG, storage and AGS, were released on the Republic. As a result, in the south of the DPR, in the area where the village Shirokino is located, one militiaman was wounded [see note]. The Defense Ministry expressed hope for a timely and adequate response by the OSCE, “unless the web cams established in Shirokino by the representatives of the monitoring mission were not intended to shoot any scenery.” It was added that on Wednesday in Minsk, at a meeting of the Contact Group, the parties agreed on the seventh ceasefire in Donbass. “The introduction of the” regime of silence “begins today at midnight (00:00 MSK January 14),” the special representative of the OSCE chairman Martin Sajdik said after the meeting. Editor’s note; the militiaman was wounded in the village of Sakanka by Ukrainian fire from nearby Shirokino, where the enemy released eight shells from 82mm mortars,
“DPR Children Will Write the Best Books” – Concert by Gifted Children of the DPR: “Christmas Chimes” / Zakharchenko official website / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 13, 2016 / / DONETSK / On January 13 in the capital of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, at the Donetsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre, A.Solovjanenko, under the patronage of the Head of the Republic Alexander Zakharchenko, [produced] a concert by gifted children of Donbass, called “Christmas Chimes”. The artists were also young talents. On this day at the theater, teams from Donetsk, Gorlovvka, Starobeshevo, Makeyevka and other cities of the DPR performed. The repertoire was diverse. The children sang and played various musical instruments, and delighted the audience wonderful choreographics. In his welcoming remarks to the participants and spectators of the concert, the Head of the People’s Republic of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko congratulated the children with the holiday and wished them great success. “We are really proud of you,” said Zakharchenko. “You’re very talented, you still have a lot of victories ahead, and a great future, but we adults are doing everything to ensure that this future will be bright and joyful. After the concert, all participants received gifts from the Head of the Republic. In response, people thanked Alexander Vladimirovich for assistance in the gifted children of Donbass attending various creative competitions and festivals in the Russian Federation. They also gave a big “thank you” for the fact that, through the efforts of the Head of State, the children were able to visit the Donbass Yolka Patriarch in Moscow and gave a picture painted by young artists of Donetsk. After the concert, while talking to journalists, the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic said: “Our children have absolute value to us. We have fought and are fighting for them. And our children for Kiev are trash and debris. This is the official ideology of Kiev. Kiev wants our children to sit in cellars and have no future. ‘Children Underground’—that’s where Kiev wants to see our children. And we believe that our children deserve the best future. And we, the parents, are willing to fight for it. The ifted children whom we award today are a moral defeat for Kiev. Our children will not sit in the cellars. They will study in the best schools with normal programs and in the best universities. And then they will write the best books, live in the best built houses, and create a new scientific theories. This isthe alpha and omega of our struggle. Moreover, we are ready to help Ukraine, and children who are themselves at risk of becoming “children of the dungeon”, considering what economic policy the is stated by the dictation of the leaders in Kiev.
Gryzlov in Kiev: Details of Talks with Putin’s Envoy / by Anatolii Oktisyuk / Apostroph / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 13, 2016 / The foreign guest advocated the Russian recipe for ending the war, which Urkaine did not accept. / A senior source at the European observation mission in Ukraine told “Apostroph” why plenipotentiary representative of Russia to the Trilateral contact group to resolve the situation in Donbass Boris Gryzlov travelled to Kiev. One of the central issues of the visit was the topic of elections in certain regions of Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts, after which the Russian side expressed readiness to transfer control of the Ukrainian state border. Gryzlov proposed the “road map” of Vladimir Putin, which did not work for Kiev, so the Minsk process, apparently, again reached an impasse…. Boris Gryzlov, flew to Kiev on January 11. The Russian guests met with the second President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma to discuss the preparation for the next meeting of the Tripartite Liaison Group in Minsk, scheduled for January 13. Other details of the visit were not disclosed, but a senior source … told “Apostroph” what Gryzlov suggested to the Ukrainian side. According to available information, a central issue was the topic of elections in some regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Gryzlov assured them that the Russian side does not care under what electoral system and whose protectorate they will be held, who will administer and how thye vote, nor what subjects will take part in them. It is important that Ukraine complies in this process according to the following sequence: Poroshenko signs an amnesty law for the so-called “militias”, and then, no later than March 2016, holds elections for the Ukrainian legislation and completes constitutional reform, which will assign special status to Donbass. Only after these items are finished will the Ukrainian party have full control over the state border. The holding of elections no later than March is needed by Moscow so that in June, 2016, negotiations can be opened with the European Union concerning the weakening of sanctions pressure, followed by their cancellation. This cannot be achieved without the implementation of the Minsk Agreement. Meanwhile, for the Russian side, it is vital to normalize relations with the European Union, which significantly deteriorated after the annexation of Crimea and aggression [sic] in Donbass. Gryzlov’s visit was not successful because the Ukrainian side insists on a different sequence of events. Thus, Poroshenko is ready to sign an amnesty law, to accept and even to reconcile with the separatists on a new election law in Donbass, and complete constitutional reform under international control. However, elections in certain regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions should take place not before, but after, Ukraine takes control of the state border. Obviously, this scenario does not suit Moscow, and Kiev to g compromise. This puts Russia in a difficult situation, which is compounded by adverse economic and foreign policy factors. Due to the sharp decline in oil prices, the Russian government has been forced to reduce budget expenditures. In addition, the Kremlin needs to focus its resources on other important areas—on the situation in Syria (the development of which is fraught with conflict with Turkey), the maturing of the Nagorno Karabakh problem, supply issues in … Crimea and Transnistria, as well as the threat of the spread of ISIS in the countries of Central Asia. Against this background, Moscow has an urgent need to close the issue of Donbass, but the intransigence of the Ukrainian side confounds all plans. The only one who can get things off the ground is the West, which is not cooperating with this effort. In Europe, they are so full of their own problems. Quemado Institute comments: As a result of Moscow’s urgent need to end sanctions, it is likely the Kremlin will step up pressure on the DPR/LPR to weaken their stance on autonomy. Beginning in July, 2015, pressure from Moscow has caused the DPR/LPR to unilaterally withdraw NAF troops from the contact line, leaving the area undefended. Kiev has consequently captured 8 villages, from which punitive forces now stage attacks against Novorossiya territory. Some pro-Donbass observers believe the Kremlin has even instigated assassinations of certain prominent LPR figures who opposed the Minsk agreements, In any event, Kremlin oligarchs are an ever-present threat to the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. In particular, since Kiev will never agree to the terms of Minsk in time for March elections, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko may face a choice of either surrendering Donbass or defying the Russian government. As Vladimir Suchan says on Facebook: “Putin never hid the fact that for him Minsk is the only way. And Minsk means giving the rest of Donbass back to the fascist, anti-Russian regime. Russia let go 95% of Ukraine as its buffer zone. In fact,Ukraine is not exactly Russia’s buffer zone, but much of Russia’s own historical heart, making Moscow an exposed frontier town.”
Poroshenko admits to coordinating actions of radicals maintaining Crimea blockade / rt.com / January 14, 2016 / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko admitted that he coordinates actions aimed against the Crimean Peninsula, including the ongoing “energy blockade,” which have been carried out by an unrecognized Crimean Tatar nationalist organization called Mejlis. “I regularly meet with the representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, with Mustafa Dzhemilev [a Ukrainian parliament MP and a long-time leader of the so-called Mejlis] and Refat Chubarov [the current leader of Mejlis] as well as other activists in order not only to support, but also to coordinate their actions,” Poroshenko said during a press-conference on Thursday, Ukrainian media report. The Ukrainian leader also called for intensifying efforts aimed at returning Crimea to Ukraine, although he refused to “assume any irresponsible . . . MORE>> Click here.
Crimea Declares Full Refusal of Ukrainian Electricity / Translated for Fort Russ by Ollie Richardson / Fort Russ / January 14, 2016 / Crimea has completely abandoned the supply of electricity from Ukraine, said the first Vice-Premier of the Crimean government Mikhail Sheremet. “We refused electricity from Ukraine once and for all, we don’t need them, we never expect it. Lately we have not included them in the overall energy scheme of the Peninsula,” said Sheremet. According to him, Crimea is able to cover the demand for energy by increasing its own generation and supply from the Krasnodar region via an energy bridge. “We are not serious about the Ukrainian authorities, because no there practically never was a Treaty to be maintained,” said Sheremet. Earlier the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that Kiev is ready to sign a contract on electricity supplies to Crimea, if the Peninsula in the contract is indicated as being a part of Ukraine. Thus, according to the poll conducted by VTSIOM, 93.1% of the polled Crimeans did not agree on a contract with Kiev on the supply of electricity being tied to the wording about the ownership of the region of Ukraine. According to the Prosecutor of Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya, the damage from the detonation of the transmission lines to Crimea has exceeded 360 million rubles. As was announced on 10 January the head of Crimea Sergey Aksenov, there is a shortage of electricity in Crimea of 30-35%. According to him, the Crimean authorities in emergency mode managed “good”, but not “excellent”. He also said that the state of emergency associated with the energy deficit will continue in Crimea until at least May. In early December, an energy bridge was launched from mainland Russia to Crimea, resulting in the power system of the Republic being all-Russian. On December 15th the second leg had increased its capacity to 400 MW. Two more strands of the power bridge totalling the same capacity are to be commissioned in the spring, which would make Crimea independent from Ukrainian electricity. On the evening of December 30th, the flow of electricity to Crimea from Ukraine was once again interrupted on the 220 kV Kakhovka-Titan line. After that, Sevastopol newly created a schedule for the blackout of lights. “Ukrenergo” first said that the “Kakhovka-Titan” line was disabled as a result of the triggering of relay protection systems. Then they said that the reliable power transmission line “Kakhovka-Titan” had collapsed for unknown reasons. Before 22nd November, the Ukrainian extremists with the connivance of the authorities staged an energy blockade on Crimea, blowing up power transmission towers supplying electricity to the Peninsula. Crimea remained without electricity for a week and a half.
Putin and Obama Discuss Settlement of Conflicts in Donbass, Syria / Novorossiya Information Agency / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 13, 2016 / The presidents of Russia and the United States held a telephone conversation in which they discussed the settlement of the conflict in Donbass and how to resolve the Syrian crisis. The conversation was initiated by Barack Obama, it was reported this evening, January 13, by the press service of the Kremlin. “On January 13, at the initiative of the American side, a telephone conversation took place between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama. The heads of state discussed in detail the issues of the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East problems, with emphasis on the search for ways to resolve the Syrian crisis and the situation on the Korean peninsula,” said the press service.