Donetsk Lugansk News Feb 14-28 2017

[For latest reports March 1-5 2017, click HOME PAGE.]

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
(Brief update)

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Lugansk Defense: Situation Report, 28.02.2017 / DONi News / February 28, 2017 / The situation in the responsibility zone of the LPR People’s Militia still remains tense. Over the past day the Ukrainian army violated ceasefire thirteen times. Our positions nearby the localities of Khorosheye, Logvinovo, Kalinovka, Kalinovo, and Lozovoye came under fire. The enemy applied 122-mm artillery, 120-mm and 82-mm mortars, grenade launchers of various caliber and small arms. In total, four hundred thirteen missiles and shells were fired at the Republic’s territory. Ukrainian junta is still considering a solution to the conflict in Donbass through force, and for this continues to regroup forces, reinforcing the AFU units on the contact line. So, we have identified the movement of artillery equipment from the 44th artillery brigade in the responsibility zone of the 14th AFU brigade in the area of Novoaydar locality to further move to the contact line for the implementation of criminal provocations. All of this suggests that the Ukrainian government does not care about all the peace agreements, and is taking measures to escalate the . . . READ MORE>>

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Donbass countdown to no more #Ukraine, bye bye terrorist Ukie scum (--Pete John)

Donbass countdown to no more #Ukraine, bye bye terrorist Ukie scum (–Pete John on Twitter)

Twitter Talk: Donbass Countdown / Quemado Institute / February 28, 2017 / The following tweet exhange was seen today at about 20:00 UTC:
Enrico Ivanov [@Russ_warrior]: “All assets of the oligarch Akhmetov (industries, coal mines and organisations) have been seized by #DNR authorities today.”
KingKot [@Tsarkot]: “@Russ_Warrior This is something that should have been done in early 2014. And why give coal to a country who wants to kill you?”
Enrico Ivanov [@Russ_Warrior]: “@TsarKot Better late than never.”
Litle Spark [@LitleSpark] “@Russ_Warrior @TsarKot Finally they have the weapons to build the country, pay pensions and provide social care.”
Enrico Ivanov [@Russ_Warrior]: “@LitleSpark @TsarKot Situation in LDNR generally improved a lot before the resumption of hostilities and blockade.”
Anadian [@Anadian29]: “@Russ_Warrior @LitleSpark @TsarKot Well, in one hour, Donbass will be economically independent from Ukraine waiting for it to fall.”
KingKot [@TsarKot]: “@Anadian29 @Russ_Warrior @LitleSpark Hopefully, But knowing Zakharchenko and Basurin, they can pussy out any second. Hate being negative.”
Anadian [@Anadian29]: “@TsarKot @Russ_Warrior @LitleSpark Well we just have to wait, either way Ukraine will face a dilemma: support nationalists block or economy.”
Litle Spark [@LitleSpark]: “@Anadian29 @TsarKot @Russ_Warrior Calm lads, the 5th still very strong there.”

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Donbass blockade continue: DPR and LPR ultimatum to Ukraine – TV Report / DONi News / February 28, 2017 / Ukrainian nationalists continue Donbass blockade and time is running today out to lift the blockade. Because of the enterprises’ transition from the Ukrainian jurisdiction into the receivership, special headquarters to control the process is to be created in the DPR. The DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko signed the corresponding decree. Such decision is explained by the necessity of the Republic economic situation’s saving, connected with the Donbass blockade, announced by Ukrainian nationalists. At the and of January, 2017 the Ukrainian nationalists blocked the coal supply from the DPR and LPR to Ukraine. The Ukrainian nationalist’s action was immediately called “The Donbass railway blockade” . The ATO ex-fighters’ demands were quite simple – no trade with the Republics. “A lot of goods were exported from the Republics, over ten trains per day, and every train is their income,” said Semen Semenchenko, the deputy of the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada. As a result the so-called patriotic action turned into the nationalists’ riot and fights with the local police representatives. The blockade also resulted in the Ukrainian energy security destabilisation. “I believe there are some reasonable people who are good at technic and engineering and who understand that in such conditions the country will not just freeze but it’s economy will fall apart. It is merely a question of time. I believe it will take month or month and a half until many processes become irreversible,” said Alexander Tymofeev, the DPR income and taxes Minister. The negative consequences took place at the DPR and LPR territories too. The plants which were under the Ukrainian jurisdiction had to suspend their work and there is serious threat of unemployment to the considerable number of Donbass working men. In order to prevent it, the DPR and LPR governments delivered ultimatum to Kiev. “You are perfectly aware of the Yenakievsky Metallurgical complex’ work suspending, and you know that several others enterprises had to stop operating, and understanding that we have to bring this enterprises back to work, we have to think people, so we decided that if they don’t register as the Republic’s enterprises till Wednesday, they will come under the Republic’s receivership. All the enterprises. It is fair for all the companies under the Ukrainian jurisdiction,” said Alexander Zakharchenko, the DPR Head. The law on the taxes’ system law change was adopted in the DPR. According to that draft bill, those who are not the Republics residents obliged to make a contract presupposes the payments in the Republic’s budget with the DPR taxes agents till March, 31, 2017. But it was the railway blockade, what made the Republic’s authorities to gather the DPR People’s Council’s urgent session and make an amendment to the draft bill. “It is not just a threat to the Ukrainian energy system, it threatens thousands of those citizens’ lives, who work on the companies under the Ukrainian jurisdiction, thousands of employees and their families. We can’t just watch it, standing aside, so we decided to make an amendment to the DPR law, and if Ukraine doesn’t care about those enterprises, those families so we are to take it under our control. Now it’s Ukrainian turn to respond,” said Olga Makeyeva, the DPR People’s Council deputy chairman. If till the midnight of March 31st the railway blockade isn’t over, and the enterprises operating in the Ukrainian legal terrain are not reregistered, there will be no Donbass anthracite supply to Ukraine, and all the enterprises will be passed under the Republic’s receivership. –Video: UNION TV, 28.2.2017

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slavfeb28-17wMoscow warns Kiev of ‘countermeasures’ as Donbass Republics prepare nationalisation decree / By Alexander Mercouris / The Duran / February 28, 2017 / Russia warns Ukraine of action unless coal blockade is lifted whilst Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics prepare to nationalise Ukrainian businesses. / The Russian Interfax news agency is reporting that Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s point man in the Ukrainian conflict, has today issued a warning to Kiev that Russia will take unspecified action unless the coal blockade is lifted. This follows warnings from Moscow that Russia will not allow a humanitarian catastrophe in the Donbass and from the authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics that they will enact a wholesale nationalisation of all Ukrainian owned plants and businesses within the Republics’ territories on 1st March 2017 unless the blockade is lifted. The major loser from such a nationalisation decree would be the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov whose steel plant in Ukrainian controlled Mariupol is now said to be in crisis because of lack of the necessary supplies of coal. Possibly in response to these warnings from Moscow the Ukrainian government is convening a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue of the transportation of goods from the Donbass. Whether in light of the Ukrainian government’s inability to take any action against those behind the blockade up to now the meeting will change anything is another matter. The coal blockade looks like an attempt to provoke the Russians into accelerating the integration of the two People’s Republics into the Russian economy. The idea seems to be to use this as an excuse to talk up once again the claims of “Russian aggression” and to demand on the strength of that that the sanctions against Russia be continued or even increased. It is a typically over-complicated strategy of the sort sections of the Maidan leadership have repeatedly come up with, which in the meantime is further devastating Ukraine’s economy, and which – like the previous fighting in Avdeevka – will fail to achieve the objective those behind it have set themselves.

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http://photo.unian.net[Enemy report:] Trade blockade forcing steelmakers to buy coal from Russia – Groysman / Unian / February 28, 2017 / Trade blockade in Donbas set up in late January is forcing Ukrainian companies to spend their currency earnings for coal imports from Russia, the country that launched military and economic aggression against Ukraine, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said during a special meeting with steelmakers. The prime minister reminded that in the case when coal is delivered from Ukrainian mines to metallurgical enterprises registered in Ukraine, the production process remains uninterrupted, whereas sales revenue remains in the Ukrainian budget and the enterprises as reinvestment. However, if the Ukrainian coal is not supplied to these companies, they are forced to buy fuel in order not to halt production, which is often very difficult to recover. There are few sources of coal imports, including from the U.S. and Russia. “That is, the trade blockade is forcing us to buy coal from Russia. There is patriotism and there is pseudo-patriotism. The latter is now being imposed on us. Last year, we were all engaged in restoring economic growth and welfare of Ukrainians. But now someone is trying to drop us back,” said Groysman. Earlier, Head of Ukrmetalurhprom association Oleksandr Kalenkov said that the blockade of coal supplies from Donbas might result in at least a $3.5 billion loss. As UNIAN reported earlier, fighting in the eastern regions of Ukraine has caused a significant shortage of coal, primarily that of thermal anthracite produced in militant-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Thus, the deficit of coal affects the operation of power plants, which have to reduce their capacity. In order to provide the smooth operation of the power grids, anthracite was imported from South Africa. However, the issue of coal shipments to thermal power plants critically arose after the launch of a blockade of trade with the occupied areas in late January 2017. A group of Donbas war veterans and several members of Parliament initiated a blockade of rail tracks used to transport anthracite coal from the temporarily uncontrolled areas to Ukraine’s thermal power stations. The Ukrainian government reported the supplies stalled on February 10, 2017, posing a threat to smooth energy supplies to certain industries, including metallurgy, as well as to consumers in at least nine regions in Ukraine, where anthracite is used to generate heat and electricity for households. [Source: unian.info/economics/1800102-trade-blockade-forcing-steelmakers-to-buy-coal-from-russia-groysman.html ]

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slavfeb28-17vDonbass and Russia are on the road back home / By Adam Garrie / The Duran / February 28, 2017 / After years of neglect, Russia and the Donbass republics are making important steps in the right direction, that of unity. Since September of 2015, a floating Russian rouble has been the official currency of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Today, the other republic of Donbass, the Lugansk People’s Republic made the same move. Even prior to today, the rouble was generally the most common currency used in Lugansk in the daily lives of ordinary people. This is yet another symbolic step towards Russia effectively recognising the Donbass republics and broadly integrating them into Russian society, whether or not they become constituent members of the Russian Federation in the immediate future. All of this comes as the Donetsk People’s Republic officially nationalises Ukrainian owned factories in the republic. This is one of the results of neo-Nazi groups blockading shipments of coal from Donetsk to Ukraine. The Donbass republics have said they will look to trade with other regions and countries in the future, first and foremost, with Russia. This month, Russia took an important step in fully normalising relations with the republics including accepting passports, car registration and other important documents issued in the republics. Citizens of Donetsk and Lugansk can now travel . . . READ MORE>>

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[We post this as a service to Yulia Zhukova, whose grandmother
is missing from Shirokino near the southern Ukraine-DPR contact line.]
Yulia Zhukova on Twitter
March 1, 2017 01:30 UTC
“PLEASE READ, I NEED YOUR HELP! #donbass”
slavfeb28-17q
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Monday, February 27, 2017
(Brief update)

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Alexander Zakharchenko: “March 1 to be called ‘Farewell to Ukraine Day’!” / DONi News / February 27, 2017 / The Head of the DPR commented on the statement on the ultimatum regarding the blockade executed by Ukrainian radicals. “Our joint statement with the LPR Head, containing the requirement to lift the blockade, was published earlier. I would like to stress that it is not only about unblocking transport connections, but also about re-registration of all the Ukrainian enterprises functioning in our territory in the legal framework of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The deadline is given till midnight of March 1. If it is not done by the owners, then all these enterprises will pass under our control,” stated Alexander Zakharchenko. The Head of State emphasized that suspension of Yenakiyevo steel works and some other enterprises had stirred the Republic into such a step. The blockade of railway connection introduced by Ukrainian radicals compelled enterprises to curtail productions. “We cannot leave thousands of people without working places and means of existence, plants should be relaunched. Therefore, this decision was made. It concerns all the business facilities which have not been registered in the DPR legal framework: from stadiums to hotels,” emphasized the Head of State. Besides, Alexander Zakharchenko informed that on February 27 deputies of the DPR People’s Council would gather for an emergency plenary . . . READ MORE>>

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slavfeb27-17qThe Donbass has put forward an ultimatum to Kiev / WeaponsNews.com / February 27, 2017 / The DNI and LC threatened to impose external management on all Ukrainian enterprises located on the territory of the republics, if in the near future will not lift the blockade of Donbass, reports RIA Novosti.We are forced to announce that if to 00.00 Wednesday (1 March 2017) the embargo is not lifted, we will introduce external management at all enterprises of the Ukrainian jurisdiction, working in DND and LNR. For the supply of coal there is neither the capacity nor the payment scheme, said in a joint statement the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky.They added that they intend to “restructure all production processes and target companies in the Russian market”, as well as to other countries.The heads of the DNI and the LC recalled that it was “one of the first software promises” during the proclamation of the people’s republics.Ukrainian nationalists have blocked trucks and rail links with uncontrolled Kiev territories in January of this year. The blockade provoked the first interruption, and then complete termination of the supply of coal from the Donbass. Then the Ukrainian authorities were forced to resort to emergency measures in the energy sector.

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Lugansk Defense Video Report, 27.2.2017 / DONi News / February 27, 2017 / For the last 24 hours the Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire 17 times, using the artillery of 122mm calibre, rocket launchers, IFV, grenade machine guns, mortars of 120mm and 80 mm calibres and small arms. The following locations underwent shelling: Logvinove, Lozovoe, Kalinovka, Kalinovo, Molodezhnoye and Sokolniky. From Krimskoye locality’s direction the Ukrainian soldiers fired Sokolniky village. About 60 shots with the grenade machine guns were recorded. Ukrainian forces shelled the People’s Militia positions in Molodezhnoye locality from the direction of Katerinovka locality. 39 explosions of 120 mm and 80 mm calibre mortar rounds were recorded. At 5:30 pm and 6:45 pm from Novozvanovka locality’s direction Ukrainian forces conducted fire on Kalinovo locality, applying the artillery of 120 mm and 80 mm calibre and rocket launchers. From 8:30 am to 11:00, from Luganskoye and Svetlodarskoye localitys’ direction Ukrainian forces shelled People’s Militia positions in Kalinovka, Lozovoe and Logvinovo. The Ukrainian forces conducted over 200 shots with grenade machine guns, rocket launchers and IFV. 55 explosions of the mortar rounds of 120mm and 82 mm calibre were recorded. No casualties among the soldiers and civilians were reported. –Video: LPR Ministry of Defense, 27.2.2017

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Donetsk civilian district under Ukrainian mortar shelling – Video Report / DONi News / February 27, 2017 / “We are in the Donetsk Severny locality, it’s in the Donetsk outskirts. On February 26, at 5 pm three mortar rounds of 120mm calibre targeted this very place,” said Mikhail Adronik, the war correspondent of the DPR People’s Militia Office press service. The part of one of the mortar rounds is still here, we can see it. One of the mortar rounds hit here and two others targeted the territory in front of those houses. The windows were fractured, luckily no wounded were reported. Now we can hear that the artillery shelling is ongoing. According to the direction of the mortar round’s hit we can conclude that it came from the direction of the Old Avdeyevka. In Privokzalnaya street, 14 – Leonid Radishkevich, the affected citizen of the Donetsk Severniy locality told: “It happened at about 5.30 pm yesterday, the mortar round hit. Two of them hit the field, one of them hit the yard near the house and one more targeted the wooded area. One mortar round hit the territory right near the house. My garage was damaged. I came out on the street to look how bad it was, and I saw that in the house across the road all the windows were blown out and in our house on the first and second floors too,” he said. –Video: DPR Ministry of Defense, 27.2.2017

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slavfeb27-17sNATO instructors appeared near Yasinovataya / News Front / February 27, 2017 / Over the past day, the Ukrainian military 761 times opened fire on the frontline areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic. This was reported by the deputy commander of the operational command of the DPR, Eduard Basurin. ‘Over the past day, the Ukrainian Armed Forces 761 times shelled on the territory of the Republic, having used heavy artillery 17 times, mortars of various calibers 282 times, infantry fighting vehicles 47 times, and anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers and small arms 415 times,’ listed the representative of the command. According to him, in the Donetsk direction, under the AFU fire came the territory of the Donetsk airport, the localities Trudovskiye, Alexandrovka in the west of the capital, Krasny Partisan, Vasilyevka, Yakovlevka, Krutaya Balka, Spartak, Zhabichevo, and Vesyoloye near Yasinovataya. In the area of the occupied locality of Ocheretino, Kiev delivered a group of NATO instructors to train the military of the Ukrainian intelligence units to carry out special tasks. In the Gorlovka direction, came under the shelling the localities Ozeryanovka, Zaytsevo, Mikhaylovka and Dolomitnoye. In the vicinity of the locality of Verhnetoretskoe, 4 km away from the front line, the DPR intelligentce detected six Ukrainian tanks. The insecure situation also persists in the south of the Republic, in particular, the enemy units shelled the localities Sakhanka, Kominternovo, Octyabr, Leninskoye and Dzerzhinskoye.

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slavfeb27-17wAccording to Nazi Ukraine military, Donetsk Filtration Plant was not taken over / Novorossia Today / February 27, 2017 / Operations ATO headquarters: Nazi Ukraine Units (AFU) did not occupy Donetsk Filtration Plant / The «ATO» headquarters stated that the information about the seizure of the Donetsk Filtration Plant by the Ukrainian military, was incorrect. It was stated by the press service of the headquarters. «In connection with the information, spread by certain Internet resources, about the alleged seizure by the Ukrainian side of objects of the Donetsk Filtration Plant for the shelling of uncontrolled territories of Ukraine, the press center of the headquarters of the ATO states that this information does not correspond to reality and is distributed in order to implement another provocation by the Russian occupation forces,’ says the statement. The headquarters also claim that the Ukrainian side does not violate its obligations under the Minsk Agreements.

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slavfeb27-17uKremlin urges US to study attack on OSCE mission in Ukraine / TASS / February 27, 2017 / The Kremlin spokesman stresses “the OSCE monitors have repeatedly stated that the Ukrainian forces are a source of provocative actions”. / DUSHANBE / Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has urged Washington to closely study the situation in Ukraine before making any comments following the attack on the OSCE monitoring mission. “We believe it is essential to be more attentive in judging the situation, in particular when we identify the source of provocative actions,” Peskov said in the wake of the US call addressed to Russia for ensuring the proper operation of the OSCE mission in the southeast of Ukraine. “The OSCE monitors have repeatedly stated that the Ukrainian forces are a source of provocative actions.” “We can say for a hundredth time that Russia is by no means a party to that conflict,” Peskov said. Transport blockade The Kremlin is puzzled by Kiev’s unwillingness to end the transport blockade of Donbass, he went on. “Moscow has been repeatedly pointing out that the transport blockade has been seriously destabilizing the situation and hampering attempts to find a solution to the crisis and stabilize the situation,” he said. “On top of all, it prevents us from getting anywhere near the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” the Kremlin spokesman said. Kiev’s inability or unwillingness to put an end to this transport blockade is just puzzling,” Peskov noted.

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Arsen Avakov (--Alchetron)

Arsen Avakov (–Alchetron)

Ukrainian interior minster states there is a “quick release plan for Donbass” (VIDEO at source) / Translated by James Harmon for Fort Russ / February 27, 2017 / Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that there was “quick release plan for Donbass”. “We have a very specific plan for Donbass, that, if the will of the Putin regime to reach a real settlement shall take place under pressure from the West, we have a plan that will be implemented,” – he assured. “I am familiar with the real plans of our diplomats who are working on this situation. I, as one who has spent too much time in the zone and understand what is happening there, also take an active part”, – said the head of the Interior Ministry. In addition, he added that, in his opinion, Ukraine is “in a period of time when this issue can be resolved quickly and solved by diplomatic means, not [necessarily] by military means.” [Video available at source.]

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slavfeb27-17nAlly Lyashko offered to build a wall on the border of the DPR, LPR and Crimea / TVzvezda.ru / Autotranslated by Quemado Institute / February 27, 2017 / Ukrainian MP, previously represented the faction “Radical Party”, Andrey Artemenko offered to Ukraine to build a wall on the border with DPR and LPR, as well as the Crimea, reports Ukrainian portal “Dialogue”. This offer Artemenko put forward today during the presentation of the plan for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the east of the country. Andrey Artemenko previously offered to “give” in Crimea Russian rent for a period of 50 to 100 years, if such a decision would be taken in a referendum Ukrainians. In response, the government of the Republic of Crimea Ukraine offered to lease the moon. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, has called the proposed Artemenko absurd plan, stressing that Russia can not “their region to hire.”

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(--tribunal-today.ru)

Preparing the petition (–tribunal-today.ru)

230,000 DPR residents sign Donbass peace petition to world leaders / DONi News / February 27, 2017 / Nearly 230,000 DPR residents have signed the petition to world leaders asking them to force Kiev to stop genocide of Donbass residents, the Republic’s parliament press service reported on Wednesday. “As of the evening of Feb.27, the petition to the Russian, US and German leaders was signed by 229,778 DPR residents,” said the representative of the press-service. On 31 January, Denis Pushilin and Vladimir Degtyarenko, the DPR and LPR People’s Councils Chairmen brought forward a joint petition to Vladimir Putin, Russian President, Donald Trump, the U.S. President and to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor asking them to make Ukraine’s leadership stop the genocide of Donbass residents. The campaign to collect signatures in support of the document began in the Republic on the same day. The petition with signature lists will be handed over to the OSCE special representative to the Contact Group Martin Sajdik and then to Western and Russian leaders.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017
(Brief update)

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Intensity of the fire along contact line on DPR significantly decreased / Essence of Time / February 26, 2017 21:20 UTC / Ukrainian military left the territory of Donetsk water filtration plant; the intensity of the fire along the contact line decreased, a source in the DPR People’s Militia (DPR PM) informed a Rossa Primavera News Agency reporter on February 26th. Ukrainian army shelled the village of Zaytsevo in the north of Gorlovka as well as the western suburbs of the city today. The Ukrainian side is using recon drones to adjust artillery fire. The village of Krasny Partizan south of Gorlovka was shelled with 120mm mortars; a woman was wounded to the head by shrapnel. On the Donetsk direction, the number of the shelling of the front-line territories decreased. Ukrainian military has left the area of Donetsk water filtration plant, but the Ukrainian side continues to fortify their positions in the vicinity of the plant. The Ukrainian army is shelling the DPR PM positions in the area of Avdeevka industrial zone and the “Yasinovataya” checkpoint with artillery and mortars. Ukrainian military is shelling the western suburbs of the Petrovsky district of the capital with heavy artillery and mortars from the direction of Mariinka. DPR PM intelligence uncovered the location of 2 Ukrainian army’s tank platoons near the village of Verkhnetortskoye. There is information on the presence the NATO military trainers not far from Ocheretino, in the zone of responsibility of the 72nd Independent Mechanized Brigade. According to updated information, during the past day, February 25th, the Ukrainian army shelled the front-line territory of DPR 761 times that is three times less than the number of the shelling conducted during the past day.

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Situation at the Donetsk Water Plant, 26.2.2017 – DPR Command (VIDEO) / DONi News / February 26, 2017 / “We’re journalists from the RIA Novosti and we have a clarification question. You said Ukrainian radicals had left the Donetsk Filtration Plant territory. Can we say Ukrainian military’s units completely left the territory?” – Look, they’re absent on the territory. However, we have data on the fact that they’re strengthening their positions near the territory. As we said earlier that blindage about which even the OSCE representatives had spoken and where up to 6 servicemen of Ukraine’s army had been recorded, it had been located 100 meters away. According to the agreement, there must be no serviceman at the distance no closer than 1,5 km, then the distance’s decreased to 1km. Therefore they’re absent at the plant itself but present around it. “We’re journalists from the 1st Channel. Could you tell us please what the long-period suspension of this object leads to, in particular for Donetsk and Avdeyevka?” – For Avdeyevka – to drinking quality water absence. For Donetsk, Yasinovataya and Makeyavka – to water supply capacity decrease. There will be water supply shortage to the concrete districts of both Donetsk and Yasinovataya. “And as for chlorine reserve?” – We’re going to repair what’s destroyed there and to bring this plant into operation. If we don’t succeed in this process, we’ll try to remove these containers with chlorine from there, so that no ghastly accident could emerge there. —Statement by Eduard Basurin, the Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia, 26.2.2017

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Donetsk Filtering Station Feb 7, 2017 (--DONi News)

Donetsk Filtering Station Feb 7, 2017 (–DONi News)

Donetsk water purification station recaptured from Ukrainian radicals / TASS / February 26, 2017 / The water purification plant is located between Avdeyevka and Yasinovataya. / DONETSK / Militants of the Ukrainian radical nationalistic units retreated from territory of the Donetsk water purification plant, which they captured a day earlier to correct fire on territories of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the republic’s spokesman Eduard Basurin told the Donetsk News Agency on Sunday. “Ukraine’s military authorities did manage to push out the radical nationalists from territory of the Donetsk water purification station, however, the enemy continued enforcing the dugouts near the plant,” he said. The Ukrainian side, he continued, has not given any security guarantees for repairing of the electric lines near the plant. On Saturday, the Donetsk water purification plant stopped operating and its personnel was evacuated after shelling from positions of the Ukrainian military, the Donetsk News Agency said. On February 23, the plant also reported shelling from positions of the Ukrainian military. The water purification plant is located between Avdeyevka and Yasinovataya. The plant supplies water to settlements on either side of the front line, including Donetsk, Yasinovataya, Vasilyevka and Spartak controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and Avdeyevka, Krasnogorovka and Verkhnetoretskoye controlled by Kiev. In the course of the continuing armed conflict, the plant has been under shelling many times already. MORE BACKGROUND AT SOURCE>>

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slavfeb26-17xUkrainian Nazis shell DPR 760 times past day, NATO instructors detected near Yasinovataya / DONi News / February 26, 2017 / Over the past day Ukrainian military opened fire at the near-front territories of the Republic 761 times, reported the Vice-Commander of the DPR Operational Command Eduard Basurin. “Over the past 24 hours the Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled the Republic 761 times. Among this shelling number heavy artillery was applied 17 times, mortars of various calibre – 282 times (including 91 shells of 120mm calibre), IFV arms – 147 times, anti-aircraft mounts, grenade launchers and small arms – 415 times,” enumerated the Command Representative. According to him, in the Donetsk direction under the AFU fire there came the territory of the Donetsk airport, the localities of Trudovskiye, Alexandrovka in the west of the capital, Krasny Partizan, Vasilievka, Yakovlevka, Krutaya Balka, Spartak, Zhabichevo, Vesyoloye near Yasinovataya. Kiev redeployed a group of NATO instructors to the same area, near the occupied Ocheretino locality, to train military personnel of Ukrainian prospecting units to execute special tasks. In the Gorlovka direction the localities of Ozeryanovka, Zaitsevo, Mikhailovka and Dolomitnoye underwent shellings. In the vicinities Verkhnetoretskoye locality, 4 km away from the front-line, the DPR reconnaissance detected six Ukrainian tanks. The situation remained unstable in the Republic’s south as well, in particular, enemy units fired at the villages of Sakhanka, Kominternovo, Oktyabr, Leninskoye and Dzerzhinskoye. Earlier it was reported that as a female civilian had got wounded as a result of the Ukrainian shelling of Yasinovataya.

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slavfeb26-17tChronology of Events of the War in Donbass 26-27.02.2017 (Updated!) / Novoros News / Autotranslated by Quemado Institute / February 26, 2017 /
Donetsk, Makiyivka, Yasinovataya: 23:45 – There is information on arrivals in the immediate vicinity of the residential community to Yasinovataya. Heavy shelling by the APU lasted until until VSN not kerf otvetku. 22:45 – aeropota-Spartak warheads strong arrivals, the front-line areas to take precautions! Shelling! 22:20 – After a lull, the battle again intensified in the area of YaBL 22:00 – From the direction of Marinka ukronatsisty continue their attacks on the western outskirts of the Petrovsky district (Trudovskoy, Zepeniy Gai, Aleksandrovka) – q / q small, BMP weapons, mortars, RPGs. 21:00 – YaBL battle continues 20:00 – At YaBL all unchanged. The intensity is not high. Mortars, artillery 19:55 – Marinka – Zepeniy Gai, TSW “Shevchenko”: shooting battle (q / guns), at least RPGs. 18:40 – The battle near the industrial zone Avdiivka – Yasinovatskiy post continues with the use of heavy artillery and mortars. 17:55 – Strong arrivals went lived near arrays. Makiyivka good to hear. The Nazis operate heavy artillery. 16:50 – The fighting in the area of YaBL WCT are moving in the evening course. Increasingly used heavy artillery, the intensity is not high, but increases. While not critical but we will be vigilant. 13:20 – continues to rattle the YaBL, artillery sometimes slips 11:30 – lasted no intense shelling and infantry fighting in the north 7:50 – Back in the beating of the YaBL, not intensively mortars 07:00 – The night was not quiet, but not very strong and heavy shelling Gorlovka: 21:10 – South-west of the city, for Ozeryanovkoy, near the Red guerrillas fight – mortars, to / to small, LNG, RPG. 21:00 – In the southwest began a tight infantry combat, artillery APU works on the area south of Shirokoi, Balki. The city Arrivals none. 16:55 – Zaitseva, mortar, BMP. Lugansk People’s Republic: 12:36 – Kalinowo neighborhood Pervomaisk – the battle continues, mortars, heavy. active ukry with Popasnaya

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Pete John on Twitter
Battle Maps – February 26, 2017
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Shirokino area – Southern DPR (Click to enlarge)
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Gorlovka area – Northern DPR (Click to enlarge.)
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Debaltsevo area – Northern DPR (Click to enlarge)

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slavfeb26-17uFighting in Donbass, coal blockade, and infighting in Kiev, as Ukraine’s crisis deepens / By Alexander Mercouris / The Duran / February 26, 2017 / Crisis deepens in Ukraine as far right militants seize and are then driven out of water filtration plant and mount coal blockade threatening country with energy emergency. The last few weeks have witnessed an acceleration of Ukraine’s downward slide. Following the bitter fighting in and around Avdeevka and the angry telephone exchange between Russian President Putin and German Chancellor Merkel, an attempt was made to bring the fighting in the area around Avdeevka to an end and to arrange for a mutual pullback of forces to the starting lines. As always the Ukrainians proved unwilling to comply with their commitments to do so, and yesterday the whole process was thrown into chaos when militants from the far right Azov Brigade stormed and took over a water filtration plant from the local Ukrainian authorities, seeking to cut off the water supply to Donetsk without apparently realising that large areas of Ukrainian controlled territory also depend for their water on the plant. Latest reports say that they have been forced to withdraw from the plant, but the episode once again shows how little control the Ukrainian authorities have over those who are supposedly their most fervid supporters. If the situation on the front line in the Donbass remains catastrophic, elsewhere in Ukraine it is becoming disastrous. Far right groups and people who the Ukrainian and Western media euphemistically call “activists” have initiated a blockade of coal imports from the Donbass, claiming that such imports are “treasonous”. Since the Ukrainian energy system depends heavily on Donbass coal the result is to cause an energy emergency in Ukraine, risking another downward spiral in Ukraine’s economy. The government however appears too weak to do anything about it. Meanwhile fresh from her meeting with Donald Trump in Washington, Ukraine’s perennial political challenger Yulia Tymoshenko sought to present to the Ukrainian parliament a no confidence vote against the Ukrainian government. The government however used procedural methods to prevent the motion from being debated, whilst Ukraine’s Prime Minister, President Poroshenko’s long serving henchman Volodymyr Groysman, let rip at . . . READ MORE>>

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Givi, as I Knew Him
VIDEO by Graham Phillips – February 21, 2017
(with English subtitles)
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Click for video.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017
(Full Report)

slavfeb25-17qZakharchenko: federalisation question no longer considered / DONi News / February 25, 2017 / In 2014, Donbass was ready for the Ukrainian federalisation, but after the Donbass citizens’ genocide in 2015-2016, this question is no longer considered, states the DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko in the “Rossia 24” broadcast. “In 2014 we were ready to discuss the Ukrainian federalisation, but in 2015-2016 and 2017 too much blood was spilt for us even just to think of coming back in Ukraine. We can discuss the common living in frames of two independent states. Good-neighbours relations and so on. But neither my compatriots nor I want to enter Ukraine. We have too many complains. We fight for independence,” he said. According to the Republic’s leader, Donbass citizens couldn’t agree with the Maidan propaganda in 2014. “If we didn’t resist, we would break our characters, betray our ancestors’ memory and the most important is that the result would have been the same: they would slaughter us as the population of the territory, that has a strong faith in Russia. We connect ourselves with the Russian world, we are the Russian world,” said Zakharchenko. Earlier Zakharchenko promised to consider the idea of naming the Donetsk airport after the late commanders of the “Sparta” and “Somaly” battalions Arsen Pavlov “Motorola” and Mikhail Tolstikh “Givi” and settle the monuments in their memory.

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slavfeb3-17sDonetsk Situation Report, 25.02.2017 / Novorossia Vision / February 25, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic has dramatically deteriorated. Last night, the Ukrainian side, in violation of all the agreements and commitments, seized objects of the Donetsk filtration plant (DFP), to conduct from its territory the provocative shelling on our positions. From this area, the enemy used mortars and heavy machine guns. At the same time, the fire was carried out from the plant premises not only on our positions, but also on residential areas of the localities Yasinovataya and Spartak. Knowing that our units observe the Minsk Agreements and do not open fire on objects of life support, the enemy feels its full impunity. It was found that the DFP had been seized by the radical nationalist units of Ukraine, which, after yesterday’s statement by the former commander of the regiment «Azov», A.Biletsky, have completely got out of control of the weak Ukrainian President, and are unleashing a new round of fighting in Donbass. It can be concluded that the Ukrainian authorities do not currently control the situation, and are unable to ensure the safety of the citizens of Ukraine. In this regard, we urge the world leaders to strongly condemn Poroshenko’s regime and make the Ukrainian president bring order to his army, namely take the nationalist units out of the «ATO» area, thus completing written guarantees of March 15, 2016. At the same time, we record the inactivity of the AFU command and its inability to change this situation, thus providing more opportunities for mayhem to radical nationalists. Since 2014, they have been acting to the detriment of the country’s territorial integrity. In addition, at the moment, after a significant weakening of the authority of Poroshenko, there have sharply intensified contradictions between radical Ukrainian groups, each of which is eager for power. Just over the past night, our intelligence recorded two clashes between Ukrainian units, in which there were killed over a dozen soldiers. In addition, there is a fact of undermining two AFU trucks by . . . READ MORE>>

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Eduard Basurin VIDEO on Donetsk Filtration Plant
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Click for video. (English subtitles)
DPR: Ukraine attacks & takes control of water filtration plant Donetsk.
By Patrick Lancaster – February 25, 2017

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slavfeb25-17xKiev forces invade Donetsk water plant at night – DPR Command / DONi News / February 25, 2017 / Ukrainian nationalist fighters seized the objects of the Donetsk filtration plant last night. This was stated today by Vice-Commander of the DPR Operational Command, Eduard Basurin. “Tonight the Ukrainian side, in violation of all the agreements and obligations taken on, captured the Donetsk water filtration plant facilities to conduct fire from its territory at our positions,” he said. “Knowing that our units follow the Minsk Agreements, and do not open fire at objects of life support, the enemy felt its full impunity.” According to information, during the shelling Ukrainian security forces applied mortars and heavy machine guns. At the same time the fire was also carried from the station’s premises, not only at the positions of the DPR forces, but also at the residential areas of Yasinovataya and Spartak locality. According to Basurin, the station’s seizure was carried out by fighters of the Ukrainian radical nationalist divisions. “It can be concluded that the Ukrainian authorities do not control the situation at the moment and cannot ensure the security of Ukrainian citizens,” Vice-Commander omphasized. “In this regard, we urge world leaders… to withdraw nationalists units from ‘ATO’ zone, completing written guarantees of 15 March 2016.”

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slavfeb25-17mAPU transferred commandos, ready to attack and correct fire with UAVs / Novoros-news / Autotranslation by Quemado Institute / February 25, 2017 / APU [Ukrainian Armed Forces], breaking the Minsk agreement, continue to intelligence operations at the line of contact, including using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). “It was revealed that on the night and the morning of 23 February 24 launch of the UAV has been committed from the zone of responsibility of the 14th Brigade APU. Exploration was conducted in order to adjust artillery fire and tanks,” said the official representative of the People’s Militia Colonel Andrew LC Marochko. “In the area of the village Popasnaya marked the arrival in the area of responsibility of the 24th Brigade reconnaissance unit APU 73rd Special Operations Center for reconnaissance and sabotage organization,” said a lieutenant colonel. He also noted that in the area of the village Novoluganskoe, which is in the zone of responsibility of the 54th Brigade APU, confirmed the presence of units of the 46th separate battalion of special purpose. “The task unit – conducting sabotage and intelligence activities in the settlements that are in the line of contact of troops,” said the representative of the Defense Ministry of the Republic. “It appears that Kiev is not going to stop there, and continues to further escalation of the conflict in the Donbass. Ukrainian authorities do not care about peace agreements adopted in Minsk. She only wants the bloodshed in order to make amends for all his ill-considered decision on the collapse of the country,” summed Marochko. He added that the people’s militia LNR [Lugansk People’s Republic], despite repeated provocation from the Ukrainian military, observes its obligations for the return of peace in the Donbass. “Our units are constantly alert, constantly conduct classes for combat training in order to maintain high alert to counter any aggression from the Ukrainian side,” assured the Colonel. “Next week, in the units scheduled classes on tactical and fire training and live firing of tank and mechanized infantry platoons. Particular attention will be focused on honing skills of sniper pairs and improving training facilities,” he added.

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Storm Bringer on Twitter
February 25, 2017 16:00 UTC
“BREAKING SitRep: Donetsk filtering station/DFS.
Closest militia positions are 400m away. Rightsector militants inside DFS.”
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Map of DFS. Click to enlarge.
“Hoholmaps show DFS area as captured by Ukraine.
Major problem for Donbas with water to be poisoned &
chlorine to be released into air.”
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“The situation at the front In Donbas deteriorated sharply.
UAF shelled the DPR territory 2K+ times over the past day – Basurin.
The trilateral contact group on peaceful settlement of the situation in
Donbas is holding an emergency video conference.”

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Russel "Texas" Bentley (--Essence of Time)

Russel “Texas” Bentley (–Essence of Time)

BREAKING : Ukrainian forces capture water filtration plant in Donetsk / By James Harmon / Fort Russ / February 25, 2017 / Ukrainian forces have seized the water filtration plant in Donetsk. Russell Bonner Bentley, the famed soldier known as “Texac” (Texas in Russian) who traveled to the DPR to fight on behalf of DPR military, has stated that the Ukrainian forces are in all probability wiring the water filtration plant for demolition, as water is still flowing in Donetsk currently. This development follows days of numerous amounts of bombardments and other disturbing events in recent months that have hinted at possible war, such as mysterious deaths of Russian diplomats abroad, totaling 4 within 3 months. Texac stated ominously, “So, ready for war…” WATER SITUATION UPDATE – “Water still running, but doesn’t seem to be clean. It is not and cannot be trusted. There are many wells, and filtered water is still available. The situation is serious. People, especially more vulnerable like elderly and mothers are concerned, but we continue with our business and our lives. This is a serious provocation and complete breach of Minsk. As of now, there is NO ceasefire. I will post updates as they occur.” – “Texac” Bentley.

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Shinobi on Twitter
February 25, 2017 13:30 UTC
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Click for video.
“BREAKING! This is Donetsk 1 hour ago.
ukraine shelling Donbass city blocks.
#RUSSIA PLEASE ACT.”

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slavfeb25-17wUkrainian military capture Donetsk water purification plant — spokesman / TASS / February 25, 2017 / The water purification plant is located between Avdeyevka and Yasinovataya. The plant supplies water to settlements on either side of the front line. / DONETSK / At night to Saturday the Ukrainian military captured facilities of the Donetsk water purification plant, spokesman of DPR’s defense authority Eduard Basurin said on Saturday. “Last night, the Ukrainian side in violation of all agreements and undertaken obligations captured facilities of the Donetsk water purification plant to use the territory for launching fire on our positions,” he said. “Being aware of the fact our units observe the Minsk agreements and do not open fire on vitally important facilities, the enemy was sure of absolute impunity.” The Ukrainian military from the plant’s territory used mortars and high-caliber automatic guns, the spokesman told the Donetsk News Agency. The military targeted not only at positions of the republic’s forces, but also at residential areas in Yasinovataya and Spartak. The water purification plant was captured by militants of the Ukrainian nationalistic groups. “The conclusion is that the Ukrainian authorities now do not have control of the situation, and they are unable to provide security to the Ukrainian citizens,” he continued. “This is why we are calling on foreign leaders to have units of nationalists out from the force operation in Donbass, thus fulfilling the written guarantees of March 15, 2016.” Earlier on Saturday, Lugansk’s envoy to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego said the Contact Group on Ukraine plans to have a video conference later in the day to discuss the aggravated situation in Donbass. The water purification plant is located between Avdeyevka and Yasinovataya. The plant supplies water to settlements on either side of the front line, including Donetsk, Yasinovataya, Vasilyevka and Spartak controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and Avdeyevka, Krasnogorovka and Verkhnetoretskoye controlled by Kiev. In the course of the continuing armed conflict, the plant has been under shelling many times already. On February 1, members the Contact Group on settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine held a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, demanding that hostilities in Donbass be stopped, weapons and military hardware be withdrawn from the line of contact area by February 5. However, the Ukrainian military has not implemented the decisions of the Contact Group. On February 15, the Contact Group made a decision that all weapons banned by the Minsk agreements should be withdrawn from the line of contact by February 20. Foreign ministers of the four member states of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) upheld this initiative at a meeting held on February 18. However, on February 21, Kiev disrupted the weapons withdrawal process.

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Pete John Battle Report on Twitter
February 25, 2017 13:30 UTC
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Click to enlarge.

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slavfeb25-17t[Enemy Report:] OSCE calls for ceasefire at Donetsk water filtration plant / Uawire / February 25, 2017 / The Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE in Ukraine (OSCE SMM) insists on the cessation of shelling of the Donetsk filtration plant by all sides of the conflict in the Donbas. This position was announced in a statement by the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Ertugrul Apakan, which was published on Facebook on Friday, February 24. “The shelling of the filtration plant, as well as the fact that, contrary to their promises, these parties have still not taken away all weapons, demonstrates a complete disregard for human life and the interests of the civilian population,” stated the document. Apakan demanded that both sides “quickly call a cease-fire, withdraw weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreement, and carry out withdrawal of military personnel and armor away from regions where the most important civilian infrastructure is located.” Given the fact that the plant supply clean drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the line, who are dependent on the plant as a water source, the consequences of the strikes go beyond just security risks to plant workers, the statement noted. The members of the monitoring mission did not rule out the possibility of environmental catastrophe. Because of the presence of station tanks with chlorine in the area, there is a risk of poison gas emission to the atmosphere. The Letter of the Chairman of the OSCE SMM came after shells fell on the Donetsk filtration plant located in Yasynuvata overnight on February 24. As a result, the station was shut down and its staff had to be evacuated. Apakan also condemned the shelling of OSCE observers, as well as the capture a mini-drone owned by the SMM, by separatists from the so-called DPR (Donestk People’s Republic). The incident occurred in the middle of the day on February 24, when the mission staff tried to launch an unmanned aerial vehicle to monitor the area around the filtration plant. While brandishing weapons at the observers, the attackers captured drone; then, one of the men opened fire in the vicinity of the OSCE patrol. “Shooting at unarmed civilian observers is a direct challenge to the collective will of 57 countries – both members of the OSCE and the Minsk agreements,” said Apakan. [Source: uawire.org/news/osce-smm-seeks-ceasefire-at-donetsk-filtration-plant#]

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slavfeb25-17jZakharchenko: “Now we play by our rules…” (VIDEO) / By G. Babeuf, Video by Patrick Lancaster / Slavyangrad / February 20, 2017 / Zakharchenko interrupted OSCE’s Hug when the latter claimed Zakharchenko was responsible for implementing Minsk to tell him that his first responsibility was to defend the people of the DPR. Zakharchenko also point blank refused to remove any heavy or light weapons from the front line until Ukraine does so. Plotnitsky, meanwhile, had interrupted Hug to ask him if he had ever had to live his life under constant shelling. All in all, the two have clearly been told they can harden their line in relation both to OSCE & to Ukraine. There have been other signs of a hardening of positions too. In addition to Putin signing the decree on temporary recognition of official documents issued by the DPR and LPR authorities, there has also been the highly publicised appointment of a prominent Russian writer, Zakhar Prilepin, to a position of some military significance in the DPR hierarchy. There have been public rallies staged in Sevastopol in the Crimea in support of formal, official recognition of the Donbass republics, as well as an attempt to organise a petition calling for the same. Further rallies are planned for St. Petersburg, and one for Moscow (although the city authorities actually turned down the application for one in front of the State Duma in Moscow. Organizers have said they will attempt to apply again). Presumably other cities will follow suit. In Rostov-on-Don the city’s Liberation Day was celebrated with large numbers of citizens waving DPR . . . READ MORE>> [Video available at source.]

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slavdec9-16wCelebrating February 23, the Russian Day of the Motherland’s Defender–the Putin’s Way … Three Years Ago and What It Meant for Ukraine and Donbass / By Vladimir Suchan / Logos Politicos / February 22, 2017 / The write-up below is based (here) largely on the insightful analysis provided by Evgeniy Shabaev: Three years ago the Kremlin delivered a key blow to and one of the first treasonous coups against the anti-Maidan, anti-fascist, national liberation uprising in Ukraine by making sure that the Kharkov congress of the deputies of the whole South East of Ukraine with 90% of the Ukrainian military command and security present was dispersed without adopting any decision. Moreover, this happened on the anniversary of the Russian holiday, the Day of the Motherland’s Defender, February 23 (the schemers have a knack for using and appreciating the symbolism of their actions and the power of the symbols used, misused and subverted). This significantly weakened the legitimacy, organization, power and effectiveness of the resistance to the Maidan coup. Anyone who knew about the strange, aborted Kharkov congress and how it was squashed by the Kremlin–with Surkov and other Kremlin’s high officials being either in Rostov nearby and advising the power brokers directly (Surkov) or at the congress itself, may see that the above said is true. Furthermore: Before that the Kremlin pushed Yanukovich to sign off the effective surrender to the Banderites together with Germany, France, Poland and the EU. The leaked or hacked correspondence of the Kremlin (Surkov) moreover also showed that prior to that there had been an intensive consultation and coordination of the steps and agreements between Russia and the US on Ukraine, including the Crimea, in the Fall of 2013. [Video available at source.]

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slavdec9-16wPutin affirms that for him there are no citizens of the DPR and the LPR: only Ukrainian citizens or people without a state, while the usual spinners are now claiming that a lightening came and Putin has “recognized the documents of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics” / By Vladimir Suchan / Logos Politicos / February 18, 2017 / Putin’s executive order on letting Donbass people into Russia has been immediately spun as “recognition of (documents) of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.” Well it is not. Putin has not recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as such to begin with. The order calls these entities with their Minsk Agreements names right in the first lines as “territories of the particular regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.” And the people living in these regions of regions of Ukraine are, according to Putin’s order, either citizens of Ukraine or stateless persons (foreigners). Moreover, the executive order notably avoids even calling the passports of the DPR and the LPR “passports.” Instead, it calls them “documents that confirm identity, issued by local [otherwise unnamed] authorities,” which, theoretically, could also be driving licenses, university cards or other identity papers. Thus, Moscow took the pain to avoid recognizing even passports as passports and these are branded as documents issued locally that only testify to the given identity of the given person. It is understandable that Moscow itself would like to see this order mistaken by . . . READ MORE>>

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slavfeb25-17kCIA Freezes Rebel Aid in ‘Recognition of How Inept’ Syrian Opposition Has Been / Sputnik / February 25, 2017 / The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is said to have put on hold its assistance program for the Free Syrian Army. Retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official Larry Johnson told Radio Sputnik that the move could be linked to the fact that this umbrella organization has not been an efficient military force. “I think what we are really seeing is the recognition of how inept these opposition forces have been,” he said. Johnson referred to the FSA as a virtually “non-existent organization,” saying that it has never really been “an effective military force in the battlefield” and has largely served as “a propaganda tool” to justify the agenda the United States and its allies pursued in Syria. “Hardly any fight has been carried out by them,” he added, referring to the FSA. These comments came in response to reports that the CIA decided to withhold military assistance, including training and ammunition, after al-Nusra Front fighters attacked rebels affiliated with the FSA, prompting them to join forces with Ahrar al-Sham. Russia, Syria, Iran, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates consider Ahrar al-Sham to be a terrorist organization. Johnson said that the CIA was supposed to be providing support to “non-sectarian forces.” “But the reality has been for over four years the forces actually doing the fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad and his army have been radical Islamists. So the United States in a de facto manner has actually been supplying weapons and training to individuals that are at a minimum aligned with radical Islam if not fighting alongside or being members of radical Islamic groups,” he said. Johnson further described Washington’s policy in Syria as “chaotic.” “The United States has really been pursuing a fool’s mission” in the war-torn Arab country, he said. “We ended up supporting terrorists.”

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slavfeb25-17sTulsi Gabbard speaks out against the regime change war in Syria (VIDEO) / By Tulsi Gabbard / Published February 18, 2017 / There is no denying that interventionist wars that were propagated as necessary to relieve human suffering, have actually increased human suffering in those countries — many times over. We must understand the consequences of this destructive policy, end our counterproductive regime change wars, and end our direct and indirect support for militant groups who are allied with/under the command of terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda. We must pass the #StopArmingTerrorists Act. –From Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s speech at The People’s Summit June 2016. [Click image for video.]

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Friday, February 24, 2017
(Brief Update)

slavfeb24-17qDonetsk Defense: Weekly Situation Report, 24.02.2017 / DONi News / February 24, 2017 / Last week, from 18 to 24 February, there were carried out intensive trainings with the crews of tanks and IFV to implement qualifying practices on driving, shooting from combat vehicles weapons and small arms in the formations and military units of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic in accordance with the plan. Control practices with experts were conducted on artillery, intelligence, engineering, training, as well as with experts in communications and air defense. In addition, we conducted trainings with the staff of special units to counter the enemy DRG. We have repeatedly stated about the plans of the Ukrainian command and radical nationalists to create a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe on the territory of the DPR. As a result of deliberate and systematic artillery and mortar attacks on the DFS, the enemy achieved their goals. Today at 5:45 the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s units shelled the Donetsk filter station, which was severely damaged, from the territory they control, having applied weapons banned by the Minsk Agreements. There registered eight hits of presumably 122-mm artillery shells of the station’s objects: one hit into the roof of chlorine building; two hits into the clean water reservoir building; one hit into the chemicals, filters and components for water treatment storage building; two hits close to the DFS; and the most insidious – two hits in a bomb shelter, where the station’s staff was. Fortunately, no casualties among the plant workers. Due to significant damage to the chlorine storage building and chemicals storage building, the DFS management decided to conduct an emergency . . . READ MORE>>

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Click for video. (For English subtitles, click settings and select English.)

Lugansk Defense: Weekly Situation Report, 24.02.2017 / DONi News / February 24, 2017 / Today, I will traditionally sum up the activities of the Lugansk People’s Republic’s People’s Militia units over the past week, and provide information about the situation on the contact line. People’s Militia continues tirelessly to raise the level of professionalism and readiness to carry out tasks for the protection and safety of republican residents. In the period from 18 to 24 February in the subordinate units and subunits there were conducted combat trainings and trainings for coordination of units, as well as trainings to place the units in different operational readiness. On the trying ground “Uspensky” armored and motorized divisions conducted fire trainings, artillery divisions – artillery fire management trainings, air defenses passed firing exercises. In addition, despite the blockade of the railway communication by Ukrainian activists, this week, the forces of engineer units carried out demining activities in the area. In the course of clearing the area of explosive ordnance there were cleared eleven kilometers of the railway line nearby the localities of Frunze, Donetsky and Sifonnaya station. The People’s Militia does not forget its soldiers, who due to ill health were forced to resign, and continues to assist them. This week we carried out the transfer of humanitarian aid in the form of food set to Rayevka locality resident, ex-servicewoman of the 4th separate unit of the LPR People’s Militia. The situation on the frontline remains tense. Over the week Ukrainian law enforcers sixty five times violated the ceasefire. The fire was conducted from all types of weapons, including those banned by the Minsk Agreements 120 and 82-mm mortars. At the same time, one thousand five hundred five shells and mortar rounds were launched onto the Republic. As a result of another mortar attack committed by the security forces of Kiev, on February 21, one soldier of the LPR People’s Militia, who is currently hospitalized, was wounded. Positions of the People’s Militia units came under fire from . . . READ MORE>>

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slavjan25-17mHard fighting on outskirts of Donetsk / Novorossia Vision / February 24, 2017 / There is a hard fighting on the outskirts of Donetsk, in the area of the locality of Spartak, wrote the war correspondent Sergey Belous in his blog, posting a video from the city center, where shots are clearly audible. ‘The fight near Spartak has been going on for three hours, and just now, it seems the «response» has come. It was filmed three minutes ago. The thunder is heard in the center, windows are shaking,’ says Belous. His colleague, Roman Saponkov reports, in his turn, the fighting in Zaytsevo, which began in the morning. ‘Serious aggravation. At 6 am the heavy shelling started. As of 18:00, there are eight dead and the number of the wounded is unknown. If in the morning the men were wounded and killed only by artillery, in the afternoon they received bullet wounds. The fight was intense, not all the killed have been taken from the positions. I do not know whether the DPR artillery can answer. For Zaytsevo, unfortunately, it is a normal situation. This is how the AFU congratulated the militia on February 23,’ wrote Saponkov in his blog. ‘That is the price of the holiday of the Defender of the Motherland Day. This is not like drinking alcohol with an appetizer in a company,’ says Belous.

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Ukrainian army does not cease the shelling of DPR communities / Essence of Time / February 23, 2017 / The situation remains tense along the Gorlovka direction. In the morning, the Ukrainian army opened fire on the villages of Shirokaya Balka and Ozeryanovka. Intensive shelling and trench combat were underway in the area of the village of Zaytsevo. Today, the Ukrainian artillery again shelled the Donetsk water filtration plant. The shells broke the roof of the building, but the equipment itself was not damaged. The plant continues to work. The Ukrainian army, by using the heavy artillery, is provoking combat in the area of Avdeevka industrial zone and near the villages of Spartak and Krasny Partizan. In the evening, the fire was significantly intensified. Trench combat continues along the Mariupol direction. Ukrainian military is shelling the DPR PM position from the village of Starognatovka. During the past day, February 22nd, the Ukrainian army shelled the front-line territory of DPR 706 times. Ukrainian military utilized heavy artillery, mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers, and small arms of different calibers were utilized 383 times. Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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slavjan25-17mDonbass: No decrease in AFU attacks / Novorossia Vision / February 24, 2017 / The phase of military aggravation in Donbas has not passed. It was stated by the Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, on the air of the TV channel «Russia 24». ‘It has just moved to the forefront. They have stopped shelling residential areas, kindergartens and hospitals, the infrastructure. Now, they are shelling the forefront line. Frankly, I do not see any decrease in the number of their attacks. The fights are every night and every day,’ said Zakharchenko. He believes that the Ukrainian side is preparing for a provocation or attack. ‘The enemy is trying to probe our defenses in this or that way. The enemy is grouping. All the actions it takes indicate the preparation for a provocation or the offensive,’ said Zakharchenko.

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slavfeb24-17yKiev steps up heavy artillery on contact line / DONi News / February 24, 2017 / The DPR reconnaissance detected the enemy’s weaponry on all directions of the contact line, instead of the weaponry withdrawal, Ukrainian forces concentrate tanks, mortars and heavy artillery on the front line, reports the DPR Operational Command’s Vice-Commander, Eduard Basurin. “Due to nonfulfillment of the weaponry withdrawal demands on the Ukrainian, part we continued to record the Ukrainian violations of the Minsk Agreements. Our reconnaissance detected the prohibited Ukrainian weaponry in the ‘ATO’ zone,” said Vice-Commander. Basurin specified that Republic’s reconnaissance had detected the tank battery and the battery of self-propelled artillery platforms Gvozdika of 122 mm calibre on the Gorlovka direction. On the Donetsk direction, the self-propelled guns’ battalion, the battery of MRLS Grad and two tank batteries were detected, in the Mariupol’s area two troops of howitzers D-30, battalion of the self-propelled artillery platforms Gvozdika and the battery of mortars of 120 mm calibre were detected.

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slavfeb24-17tDPR says Ukraine has bombarded 14 Donbass towns 706 times in 24 hours / Translated by J. Arnoldski / Sott.net (from Fort Russ/RusVesna) / February 23, 2017 / Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have opened fire from heavy artillery, mortars, and anti-aircraft guns more than 700 times on the frontline territories of the Donetsk People’s Republics. This has been reported by the deputy commander of the DPR’s operative command, Eduard Basurin. “The Ukrainian side has ‘congratulated’ our republic by shelling with the use of prohibited weapons. Over the past 24 hours, the armed forces of Ukraine have shelled the territory of the DPR 706 times,” Basurin announced. The DPR commander continued: “Six times they used heavy artillery of 152mm caliber, mortars of various calibers 185 times, infantry fighting vehicles 78 times, anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers, and small arms 437 times.” Basurin specified that the UAF has subjected 14 residential areas to fire, in particular the Gorlovka villages of Zaytsevo, Golmovsky, and Ozeryanovka, Yasinovataya and its outskirts, Zhabichevo and Spartak on Donetsk’s outskirts, the former airport area, as well as residential areas on the western edge of the capital, and the villages of Leninskoy, Kominternovo, Sakhanka, and Oktyabr in the south of the republic. “They are firing mainly at the positions of our troops and life-supporting infrastructure,” the commander emphasized. Earlier today it was reported that Donetsk’s water filtration system came under fire. Damage to some of the building’s filters was confirmed. However, according to the director of Donbass Water Company, Oleg Mokry, the water supply to the region has not been affected and the station still continues to operate normally.

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slavfeb24-17wDonetsk water plant shelled at night, chlorine storage damaged / DONi News / February 24, 2017 / Donetsk water treatment plant (DFS) came under Ukrainian forces fire on Thursday night. Damage was recorded to several structures on company premises, including chlorine storage, said water plant company director general Oleg Mokriy to Donetsk News Agency (DAN). “DFS buildings, including the chlorine storage, administrative quarters and reservoirs received six hits; the shelling is ongoing,” Mokriy said. DFS personnel hid in the bomb shelter throughout the night. “We cannot bear it longer. If we don’t evacuate the people now, lives will be lost, so we’re suspending DFS operation to proceed with evacuation,” Mokiy said. On Thursday, the facility’s filters building was damaged by Ukrainian forces shelling. Donetsk water treatment plant, located between Yasinovataya and Kiev-controlled Avdeyevka has long been a trouble spot on the contact line in Donbass. It supplies water to both sides of the contact line, DPR-controlled Donetsk and Yasinovataya and Vasilyevka and Spartak villages, and Kiev-controlled Avdeyevka, Krasnogorovka and Verkhnetoretskoye village. DFS repeatedly came under fire and suspended operation.

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Zakhar Prilipen, Alexander Zakharchenko

Zakhar Prilipen, Alexander Zakharchenko

What makes a popular Russian writer go to fight in Donbass? / Russia Beyond the Headlines / February 23, 2017 / During the presentation of his new book, “Officers and Militias of Russian Literature,” Zakhar Prilepin admitted that literature does not really interest him at the moment. / On Feb. 13, the popular Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin announced that he had taken charge of a battalion in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Russian media covered the event and the public split into two camps: those who support Prilepin for his courage, and those who think that a writer should not take up arms. Prilepin as outcast: Prilepin’s decision to head the battalion has divided the literary community, with some supporting him, while others have condemned him. Writer Leonid Yuzefovich, for example, wrote on his Facebook page that, “Zakhar Prilepin, who is perhaps the most significant of all living Russian writers, has gone to war. He became a political instructor with a DPR special forces battalion that he created himself or that was created with his participation. I don’t like many things that he says in relation to this, but I perfectly understand that he couldn’t have acted otherwise.” Many wrote that they approve of his decision, which is that of a real warrior. Literary scholar Oleg Lekmanov took another position. “If it wasn’t for the blood of innocent people, I wouldn’t care if he strutted around with a holster on his side until he was blue in the face,” wrote Lekmanov on his Facebook page. Poetess Vera Polozkova made a harsh comment on a post supporting Prilepin by saying that she would “open the best bottle of champagne” if Prilepin dies. The harsh statements, however, did not surprise the writer. “I’ve known the position on Ukraine of many writers since 2014. They stick with it,” said Prilepin. Wiedling, the literary agency that represents Prilepin in Germany, ended its collaboration with him after news emerged of his DPR battalion. The writer complained that this is an illustration of false European democracy, and said that from the moment the Donbass fighting began his books were translated less into European languages, and he has received fewer invitations to speak at Western literary fairs. Prilepin as soldier: Prilepin does not hide the fact that war interests him most of all. In various interviews he said that he believes war – the protection of children and the homeland – to be man’s most important pursuit. In his new book, Officers and Militias of Russian Literature, which Prilepin presented in Moscow a week after taking charge of the DPR battalion, he tries to prove that war and service are absolutely natural occupations for a writer. He uses 11 examples from the 18th century, showing how these two activities were successfully combined. “I’m amazed that the news of me heading a battalion has raised so much amazement because since the very beginning of the war in Donbass I’ve been Zakharchenko’s advisor (Zakharchenko is the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic – RBTH), and he has publically said on many occasions . . . READ MORE>>

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Click for video.

Heads of DPR, LPR, & OSCE-SMM Ukraine give their 1st press conference (VIDEO) / By Patrick Lancaster / February 18, 2017 / OSCEs A. Hug: “You are correct Mr. Zakharchenko this is your land.” The Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE-SMM to Ukraine Alexander Hug,, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko & head of the Lugansk People’s Republic Igor Plotnitsky have given there first ever press conference together. BREAKING: DPR will not withdraw military vehicles from contact line until Ukrainian guerilla do it. “As a Head of the Donetsk Peoples Republic I tell with all responsibility that I will not give an order to withdraw any single tank, any single mortar until we ensure that Ukrainian troops withdraw their vehicles”, said Zaharchenko on the briefing at Luhansk. “I value life of every of my soldiers”, he added. Alexander Zaharchenko emphasized: “I won’t sign it until we ensure in this fact. Such right was given to us due to Ukrainian offensive operation near Avdeevka. First they should withdraw, as we did it many times before. Today everything will be other way,” said Zaharchenko during discussion with the first deputy head of OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine. “Sadly I didn’t manage to convey my position to colleagues in Minsk but I’m voicing it to You,” said DPR’s head. PLEASE READ & SHARE: This week there has been a huge increase in the fighting and shelling of civilian areas in Donetsk, With this increase in activity comes a huge increase in my reporting, and intern a huge increase in my expenses both on the job and the cost of living. I pledge to bring you breaking news as it happens, uncensored near daily throughout this escalation and beyond . Please help me make my goal. This will help me with day to day expenses, updating my equipment and my family and I staying safe. Indiegogo no longer takes Paypal so to Donate via paypal please send to Chomane1982@gmail.com. Together we will show the world the truth of what is happening in Donbass.

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slavfeb24-17vHow Ukraine Shot Itself in the Foot With Its Own Blockade of Donbass / Sputnik / February 24, 2017 / By the third anniversary of the coup in Kiev, it has become all the more evident that the “color revolution” virus did something worse than ousting Ukraine’s elected president and ensanguining Donbass. The virus spawned a reality where the left hand doesn’t know what the right one is doing, and the energy blockade is another symptom of it. / Jack Scherr — On February 15, Ukraine’s cabinet convened an extraordinary meeting and introduced a state of emergency in the country’s energy sector due to the blockade of coal supplies from Donbass. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman warned that the energy crisis could lead to rolling blackouts and bring the country’s metallurgical industry to a halt. “We can’t call it by any other name than the erosion of the economy,” he warned. Home Minister Arsen Avakov said that in 16 days, plants in the cities of Mariupol and Kryvyi Rih would stop working. This is the exact point where discrepancies come to light, as the government actually has to wrestle with itself. It is crucial to emphasize that the so-called Ukrainian volunteer fighters who declared a trade and economic blockade of breakaway parts in late December 2016 are reportedly controlled by Prime Minister Avakov. They include some lawmakers, such as Verkhovna Rada member Semen Semenchenko, the founder of the Donbass volunteer battalion, who has been reasonably accused of atrocities. A day after the introduction of the state of emergency, President Petro Poroshenko condemned the blockade; however, no real action has been taken to resolve the problem. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics used to supply Ukraine with indispensable anthracite coal for producing heat and energy. Donbass had provided 70 percent of the nation’s coal before the war erupted. Almost all anthracite supplies originated in the zone of conflict, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported, citing Ukraine’s Energy Minister. The energy blockade has already yielded dismal results: the Industrial Union of Donbass Corporation (Ukraine’s largest metallurgical company) has stopped producing cast iron, steel, furnace coke, and rolled steel in LPR-controlled Alchevsk, and ceased generating electricity for the town. The corporation said its metallurgical plant in the Dnepr Region will stop working in the near future because it cannot function without coke from Alchevsk. “In February 2017 the situation reached rock bottom, and our city-forming plants in Alchevsk just stopped… The unique industrial complex, unparalleled in Europe, simply froze,” the corporation explained in a statement, as quoted by Vestifinance.ru. OSCE noted that the closure of the plant in the Dnepr Region and the coke plant in Alchevsk will leave 10,000 people without a job, and the same development at the Ynakiyevo metallurgical plant could suspend . . . READ MORE>>

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
(Brief Update)

slavfeb22-17xUkrainian punishers open fire at Kominternovo in DPR south, shelling ongoing / DONi News / February 22, 2017 / Ukrainian military opened fire at Kominternovo village of the Novoazovsk region in the DPR south today morning. The shelling keeps going on, District Administration Acting Head Anatoly Yanovsky states. “The shelling has been coming since 07:30 a.m. As a result of which on Akhmatovo Street there is no gas supply. Besides, the house Num.14 on the same street was damaged and the gas pipe line was broken as well,” said Anatoly Yanovsky. According to him, fortunately, there is no information on casualties among civilians.

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Click for video.

Lugansk Defense: Situation Report, 22.02.2017 (VIDEO) / DONi News / February 22, 2017 / The situation in the zone of the LPR People’s Militia’s responsibility remains tense. For the past day Ukrainian punishers five times violated the ceasefire. Our positions in the directions of Molodyozhnoye, Kalinovka and Logvinovo localities came under fire. The fire was carried out from mortars of 82-mm calibre, IFV-1, rocket-propelled anti-tank grenade launchers, automatic launchers rocket launchers, and small arms. In total, onto the territory of the Republic there were launched one hundred forty seven shells and grenades. In the area of the so-called ATO there continues the railway blockade. Moreover, participants of the action of Donbass blockade amongst nationalistic battalions, as well as veterans of the so-called ATO, continue to create new checkpoints. It is confirmed that in the responsibility zone of the AFU 24th brigade in Zovoloye locality participants of actions on the “blockade of Donbass” created a new checkpoint. It was revealed that the AFU 24th brigade’s servicemen assist in the event. According to our information, for providing support to the participants of Donbass blockade, the AFU Command suspended from the post the . . . READ MORE>>

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Click to enlarge.

Ex-Ukrainian President Yanukovich calls upon EU, US to investigate Maidan crimes / Rt.com / February 22, 2017 / Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has written to world leaders calling to investigate protesters’ deaths and crimes against police during the Maidan protests. He also asked Donald Trump to assess US officials’ actions during the Ukraine crisis. “I would like to emphasize that all bloodshed that ensued further in Ukraine originated from the violence on Maidan [Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square]. Never before did Ukraine see bloodshed on such a scale until the mass shooting of people in Maidan,” Yanukovich said in a letter to French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as to the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. He called upon EU leaders to demand that Ukrainian authorities launch a genuine probe into the killings and other grave crimes committed on Maidan against the police who were on duty “to maintain public order and protect the constitutional order of Ukraine.” The Council of Europe should create a special commission to monitor the progress of such a probe, the ex-president said. This commission, together with Ukrainian opposition should be allowed by Kiev to monitor the probe of crimes committed in Ukraine between 2014 and present day. “If we are to bring back peace and rule of law to Ukraine, there should be an honest and open investigation of the tragic events of February 14 [2014] that provoked further escalation of the conflict that resulted in a civil war in Ukraine.” A letter to Donald Trump differed from others. Apart from calls to investigate Maidan crimes, Yanukovich called on the US president to . . . READ MORE>>

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Viktor Yanukovich (--Novorossia Today)

Viktor Yanukovich (–Novorossia Today)

Yanukovich proposes holding referendum on Donbass status / Novorossia Today / February 22, 2017 / Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich proposes hold a referendum on the status of Donbass for peaceful settlement of the conflict in the region. This proposal is included in his address to the leaders of Germany, France, Poland, the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Parliament, as well as the letters to the presidents of Russia and the United States. The address was made public during the interview that Yanukovich gave to a group of Russian and Ukrainian journalists in connection with the third anniversary of the coup in Ukraine. “In case the current Ukrainian authorities do not comply with the Minsk agreements, it is necessary to initiate a referendum on the status of Donbass,” the statement said. Yanukovich also considers it necessary to “include representatives of the protesting party, representing the people of Donbass republics, in the Normandy format negotiations.” Yanukovich is confident that the majority of citizens of Ukraine will support any peace initiative. “I know the sentiment of the people in Ukraine,” he said during the interview. “The country’s population will support any steps for the peaceful settlement, only a small part of the radicals enjoys the fact that blood is shed. I think the authorities will still be forced to put them in their place, otherwise they will overthrow them,” he said. Commenting on the actions of radicals, who in recent weeks blocked rail transportation of coal from Donbass, the ex-president noted that any blockade of Donbas is not good for the country and further pushes away the people of the region. “Well, then let them say openly that they do not need Donbass,” Yanukovich said, adding that if the authorities need this region, it is necessary to begin negotiations. “Without participation of representatives of Donbass in the talks it will be very difficult to solve this problem,” he said.

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DPR President Alexander Zakharchenko

DPR President Alexander Zakharchenko

Alexander Zakharchenko Harshly Responds to the Proposal of Yanukovych on New Referendum / Novorosinform.org / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / February 22, 2017 / The government and the residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic have absolutely no concern for the statements of the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych about the possibility of a new referendum on the status of Donbass. This was stated by head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko during a dialogue with journalists, according to the correspondent of IA “New Russia”. “Our referendum was held in 2014 and if a referendum will be going on in Ukraine, we do not care [whether it’s] about the status of Donbass, or even about something else. The only legitimate referendum, which took place on our territory, was held in 2014. Everyone knows the results of the referendum and we will not retreat. And the fact that he [Yanukovych] says there are likely to want to remind myself [sic]. But in fact, as the then current (in early 2014) President of Ukraine, he could have at that time held one, but he did not. Therefore, it does not matter what he says today,” said Zakharchenko. Recall, the former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych appealed to the presidents of Russia, US, Germany and France, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Francois Hollande, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President of Poland Andrzej Dude, the head of PACE Pedro Agramunt, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland and Chairman of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani with a letter, the text of which is available to RIA “Novosti”. “In case of default by the current Ukrainian authorities on the Minsk agreements, it is necessary to initiate a referendum on the status of Donbass,” wrote Yanukovych. Quemado Institute comments: We’re encouraged by Yanukovych’s efforts to reach out to and inform leaders of the West, and hope he continues in this constructive campaign. One reason such communication is needed is that Donald Trump’s news sources may be unreliable. There are rumors the US President gets most of his information from Cable TV and Fox News. Even more worrying, Poroshenko has now had personal talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Vice President Mike Pence, causing fear that the Kiev regime leader’s fabrications will influence Trump’s policy. We also urge Alexander Zakharchenko to seek direct contact with Tillerson and/or Trump. As an equal partner in the Minsk Agreements, he has as much right as Poroshenko to speak directly with Western officials.

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Sergei Lavrov (--Uhuruspirit.org)

Sergei Lavrov (–Uhuruspirit.org)

Reality Check: Lavrov reminds OSCE that Minsk Agreements recognized Donbass republics / Translated by J. Arnoldski for Fort Russ / February 21, 2017 / The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, expressed bewilderment at OSCE General Secretary Lamberto Zannier’s complaint that the Russian president recognized the leadership of the Donbass republics on February 18th by signing the decree on temporarily recognizing DPR/LPR documents. According to Sergey Lavrov, the leadership of the Donbass republics was recognized much earlier. At a press conference following talks with his Swedish counterpart, Margot Wallstrom, Lavrov explained: “I want to explain to Mr. Zannier and everyone who is complaining of alleged violations of international law that the recognition of the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics was done with the signing of the Minsk Agreements, which were unanimously approved by UN Security Council resolutions. They were recognized as one side of the conflict, and as such they are working on implementing the Minsk Agreements.” Furthermore, Lavrov stressed that in the absence of progress with the Minsk Agreements on the fault of the Ukrainian authorities, the republics’ authorities have the right to not have to worry about surviving on their own territory. “And we will help them with this in every way,” Lavrov said.

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slavfeb22-17rVladimir Putin and FSB make an offer to Donald Trump / By Alexander Mercouris / The Duran / February 21, 2017 / n meeting with the senior staff of the FSB Russian President Vladimir Putin outlines the threats facing Russia and the contours of a deal that might be done with President Donald Trump. Whilst US President Donald Trump battles the US intelligence community and the US elite, the foreign leader he most wants to deal with – Russia’s President Putin – has been addressing the senior staff of the organisation he once headed, Russia’s counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence agency, the FSB. Whilst it is all too tempting to contrast President Putin’s complete control of his government and intelligence services with President Trump’s struggle to achieve mastery over his own, that temptation should be resisted. President Putin did not always have the undisputed mastery of his government and intelligence services that he has now. Only in 2003, following the arrest of the once all-powerful oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the subsequent expulsion from the government of individuals like former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov who were beholden to Khodorkovsky and the other oligarchs, did President Putin achieve the undisputed control of the Russian government and intelligence services that he has now. The US and Russian political systems differ profoundly from each other, and the parallel between President Putin’s struggle with the oligarchs and President Trump’s current struggle with the US elite should not be pressed too far. Nonetheless it does show one important fact which those frustrated by some of President Trump’s recent actions need to bear in mind: mere possession of the office of President in any political system does not automatically translate . . . READ MORE>>

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Pavel Klimkin (--un.org)

Pavel Klimkin (–un.org)

Kiev urges to deprive Russia of veto right in UN Security Council / DONi News / February 22, 2017 / Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister, Pavel Klimkin suggested to deprive Russia of the veto right in the UN Security Council. “The Security Council is to be able to react to the ‘bloody conflicts’, despite possible presence of the aggressive party at the same table as the constant Council’s member,” stated Klimkin at the Council’s meeting on the unsolved European conflicts. The Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Policy agency reminded about the article 27, paragraph 3 of the United Nations Charter according to which “the party involved in controversial issue should abstain from voting during the decision making.” According to him, the article has been so far ignored, which he assumes to be unacceptable. Klimkin also claimed that the permanent Russian membership in the UN Security Council was a “fundamental problem” and again accused Moscow of European conflicts’ incitement.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
(Brief Update)

Click for video.

Click for video.

Donetsk Defense: Situation Report, 21.02.2017 / DONi News / February 21, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense. Shellings on the AFU part won’t stop. The enemy continued shelling districts of the Republic’s localities: Zaitsevo, Mikhailovka, Shirokaya Balka, Spartak, Yasinovataya, Zhabichevo, Krytaya Balka, Dokuchaevsk, Elenovka, Sakhanka, Leninskoye, Kominternovo, Oktyabr, the area of the Airport and the Petrovsky district of Donetsk. Over the past 24 hours the Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled the DPR territory 1,115 times. Among this shelling number mortars of various calibre were applied 78 times, IFV arms – 84 times, anti-aircraft mounts, grenade launchers and small arms – 953 times. Due to AFU shelling, there were damaged five housing constructions in Elenovka locality down Pereyezdnaya St., 82, 94 and 96, and at Depovskaya St. 4 and 7; the power supply is also partly broken. Currently under reconstruction. As a result of Dokuchaevsk’s shelling, there were partially damaged three housings: Telmanovo St., 25/12, 10, Lenina St., 112a, and Tsentralyana St., 16b, 32. Our reconnaissance continues detecting the presence near the contact line of forbidden arms that have to be withdrawn: – Near Novomokhailovka (5,5 km to the contact line) – there were detected three 122-mm howitzers D-30; – Near Starognatovka (4 km to the contact line) – there were . . . READ MORE>>

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Zakharchenko’s response to assassination threats by Ukrainian regime
Vox Populi Evo – February 10, 2017
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slavfeb21-17uKiev disrupts withdrawal of weapons in Donbass agreed by Contact Group / News-front.info / February 21, 2017 / Ukraine has disrupted the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement agreed by members of the Contact Group on the settlement in the Donbass region, Russian envoy to the Minsk talks, Boris Gryzlov, said on Tuesday. “We have to state that the withdrawal of heavy weapons agreed by the Contact Group has been disrupted by Kiev,” he noted. “The current Ukrainian authorities do not seek to solve the problems that have piled up in the region.” The Russian envoy recalled that an agreement on withdrawing heavy weapons in accordance with the Minsk agreements was reached at the last meeting of the group on February 15. According to Gryzlov, “at the moment, heavy weapons are still deployed inside the security zone along the entire line of disengagement.” “That creates a threat of further escalation of the armed conflict putting at risk lives and health of civilians living in these districts,” he emphasized. “It is noteworthy that after the withdrawal of weapons scheduled for February 20 did not take place, LPR representatives proposed to hold a video conference to urgently tackle this issue. However, their inquiry was actually ignored by the authorities in Kiev. Much to our regret, OSCE representatives were unable to insist on holding such a video conference either,” Gryzlov said. The operational command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said earlier in the day weapons withdrawal had been disrupted, adding that the process has been postponed at least until February 22.

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Poroshenko at earlier Bild inverview in 2016 (--En.censor.net)

Petro Porkoshenko at earlier Bild inverview in March, 2016 (–En.censor.net)

Enemy Report: Poroshenko: Putin is creating an ‘Aleppo’ in the Donbas / Uawire / February 21, 2017 / In an interview with the newspaper Bild, President Petro Poroshenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of creating of a Ukrainian ‘Aleppo’ in the Donbas, where Poroshenko claims separatists are deliberately attacking civilians. “The situation in some parts of eastern Ukraine is dramatic. We have clear evidence that civilians are deliberately being attacked. Putin is creating a Ukrainian Aleppo there,” he said. According to him, Ukraine has tried many agreements, but Moscow does not comply with them. “In recent years I have tried many agreements, but Russia at the same time has never complied with them. Actually it’s very simple. If Putin abides by the Minsk agreement; if, finally, troops are withdrawn from our country; there will be peace. But unfortunately, this is not the case at the moment,” he said. Poroshenko also accused Putin of violating the Minsk agreements. “The reason that the Minsk peace agreement has not worked has a name – Putin. We in Ukraine have done all we can to bring peace – we changed laws and abided by the agreement, but Russia continues to kill. The promises given by the Russian government, they violate on a daily basis,” said the president. He noted that sanctions against Moscow should be expanded, and that the Russian recognition of separatist-issued passports and documents is the main proof of Russia’s influence in the Donbas. “It is unthinkable that Russia now officially recognizes passports from the occupied territories. This is the greatest proof of Russian influence,” he added. At the Munich conference, the Ukrainian president said that Putin has a deep hatred for Ukraine. [Source: uawire.org/news/poroshenko-putin-is-creating-aleppo-in-the-donbas] Quemado Institute comments: Poroshenko is fabricating. He follows the strategy of accusing your opponent of what you yourself are guilty of. The truth is, there are no Russian official troops in Donbass. It is the Ukrainian forces, not the Russians, who are killing civilians in the region. Russia, moreover, is not a party to Minsk Agreements, therefore Russia cannot logically abide by them. The parties to the Minsk Agreements are Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. It is Poroshenko who continues to violate the Minsk Agreements by attacking villages along the contact line. The Donetsk and Lugansk militias, defenders of their homeland, have no cause to fight unless first attacked.

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Konstantin Kosachev (--progressoweekly.us)

Konstantin Kosachev (–progressoweekly.us)

Russian senator says sanctions should be imposed on Kiev responsible for people’s deaths / TASS / February 21, 2017 / Earlier in the day, Ukrainian president urged the EU to toughen sanctions against Russia because of Moscow’s recognition of passports issued by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics. / MOSCOW / Sanctions should be put in place against Ukraine, which is trying to derail the Minsk agreements and which is responsible for people’s deaths rather than against Russia, Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) International Affairs Committee, told TASS on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko urged the EU to toughen sanctions against Russia because of Moscow’s recognition of passports issued by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR, LPR). “The Russian side’s decision is a response to the unilateral and deliberate sabotage of the Minsk agreements by the Ukrainian side,” Kosachev emphasized. He noted that “three years after the beginning of the conflict and two years after the development of sequence and modalities of its resolution, Kiev has done nothing at all except for pushing ahead with the policy of provocations along the line of engagement.” “Sanctions should be imposed, first and foremost, on Kiev, which is responsible for people’s deaths and suffering,” he said. “Russia’s decision is aimed solely at alleviating the plight of these people amid legal confusion in southeastern Ukraine and is as conscious as military provocations by the Ukrainian party to the conflict.” In light of this, Kosachev voiced regret over the fact that Kiev’s policy is “actually covered up by the West whose inactivity is becoming an increasingly more worrisome factor against the backdrop of tensions persisting in the conflict zone.” [More background at source.]

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Storm Bringer on Twitter
February 21, 2017 18:00 UTC
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“Breaking! Ukraine did not manage to advance to
Kalynove, Debaltseve area. –LPR militia”
slavfeb21-17p
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“BREAKING! Possible directions of the next Ukrainian onset in Donbass.
Repeat of Ukrainian Army’s Disasters in 2014?”

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Churkin, Lavrov (--Rt.com)

Churkin, Lavrov (–Rt.com)

Lavrov on Churkin’s death: We walked through life side by side / Rt.com / February 21, 2017 / Remembering their decades of friendship and shared diplomatic service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has spoken of how he “walked through life side by side” with the late Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, who died on Monday. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official Facebook account shared Lavrov’s emotional post dedicated to his “colleague and friend.” Saying that Churkin “passed away in the line of duty, just several hours before his 65th birthday, Moscow time,” Lavrov remembered how Churkin had celebrated his 42nd birthday in the early 1990s. It was in Sarajevo, “where snipers did their work on a daily basis,” Lavrov wrote. The two diplomats were appointed as deputy foreign ministers “simultaneously” in the spring of 1992, Lavrov wrote, explaining that he was in charge of work at the UN back then, while Churkin was serving in the Balkans. Praising the late diplomat’s efforts to settle the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, Lavrov shared a poem he wrote for Churkin in 1994. Two decades later, the best way to pay respects to the Russian diplomat would be to continue with his efforts to achieve a “safer and more democratic world,” the foreign minister said during an official meeting on Tuesday. Speaking at a briefing following the meeting with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom, Lavrov . . . READ MORE>>

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Vitali Churkin (--Sputnik)

Vitali Churkin (–Sputnik)

8 Times Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin Wowed the World / Sputnik / February 21, 2017 / Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin passed away on Monday, a day before his 65th birthday. President Putin called the diplomat a true patriot whose achievements in defense of Russia in the world could not be overestimated. Sputnik offers some of the most vivid highlights from Churkin’s life and work as UN ambassador. Churkin died in New York City on Monday. He served as Russia’s permanent UN representative and represented Russia in the UN Security Council for over a decade, beginning in April 2006. He joined the diplomatic service in 1974, and devoted virtually his entire life to his work. The envoy’s unexpected passing has led to a flood of condolences, from Syrian UN Envoy Bashar Jaafari to US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and former UN Chief Ban Ki-moon, among many others. In his home country, where Churkin was a media celebrity in his own right for his sharp, witty and stalwart style, news of his death was marked with shock and sadness. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova summed up the diplomatic community’s feelings, saying that they have “lost a person very dear to us,” and calling Churkin a great diplomat, an extraordinary personality and a brilliant man. In his message of condolences to Churkin’s family, President Vladimir Putin said that “for more than 10 years, sometimes in extremely stressful circumstances, [the ambassador had] firmly and consistently defended Russia’s position on major international issues, which required tremendous effort and dedication.” Churkin, Putin said, was “without exaggeration” one of Russia’s “most prominent diplomats,” a “professional of the highest level, a man of profound intellect and extraordinary energy, charisma and a rare sense of humor…” Throughout his time at the UN, Churkin was known for his fearless engagement of Russia’s diplomatic opponents in verbal jousting matches. Armed with a war chest of English-language slang and able to . . . READ MORE>>

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Vitaly Churking (--Washington Times)

Vitaly Churking (–Washington Times)

BREAKING: Ukraine blocks commemorative resolution for Vitaly Churkin at the UN / By Sergei Gladysh / The Duran / February 21, 2017 / Ukraine’s decision to block the adoption of a commemorative resolution by the UN Security Council dedicated to late Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin is “beyond good and evil”, says Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. / “I know how the UN works. I believe that [Ukraine’s] permanent representative would not do this on his own. This means that he was ordered to do it,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is quoted as saying in a Sputnik report. “This goes against Christian values. It’s beyond good and evil. Thanks to the current Ukrainian authorities, however, we are accustomed to the fact that someone in their country treats Russians, and anyone who refuses to dance to the pipe of neo-Nazis, precisely like that,” Lavrov added. Ukraine, which is chairing the UN Security Council this month, has cited “lack of precedent” as the reason for blocking a commemorative UN Security Council resolution for Vitaly Churkin. As a result, only a press statement was released and published. If in explaining its decision, the Ukranian Foreign Ministry meant to imply that former UNSC ambassadors didn’t have . . . READ MORE>>

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slavfeb21-17y4 dead Russian Diplomats in 3 months / By Adam Garrie / The Duran / February 21, 2017 / Russia’s long time ambassador to the UN has died suddenly in New York – this is the fourth Russian diplomat who has died in the last 3 months. / Vitaly Churkin was one of the wisest voices in international diplomacy. His voice will no longer echo in the halls of the United Nations. Articulate, polite yet commanding, wise yet affable, he oversaw some of Russia’s and the world’s most important events in a position he occupied since 2006. Churkin had to face a great deal of hostile criticism from both the Bush and Obama administrations during his time at the UN, but he always did so with grace. He never failed to explain the Russian position with the utmost clarity. Standing next to some of his colleagues, he often looked like a titan in a room full of school children. His death, a day before his 65th birthday, is a tragedy first and foremost for his family, friends and colleagues. It is also a deeply sad day for the cause of justice, international law and all of the principles of the UN Charter which Churkin admirably upheld in the face of great obstacles. His death however raises many uncomfortable questions… Here are 5 things that must be considered: 1. A Macabre Pattern Has Emerged – Beginning in 2015, there were several deaths within the Russian Diplomatic corps and a special Russian Presidential adviser. First there was Russia’s RT founder and special adviser to President Putin, Mikhail Lesin. He died in November of 2015 in his hotel room. Reports said that he appeared discombobulated during his last . . . READ MORE>>

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Gianmatteo Ferrari (--Twitter)

Gianmatteo Ferrari (–Twitter)

Mission to Donbass: Why Italian Entrepreneurs Are Heading to Donetsk / Sputnik / February 21, 2017 / From February 21 to 23, five representatives of the Italian business and investment community are visiting the Donetsk People’s Republic to see the situation on the ground and develop contacts within the local business circles. Ahead of their visit, Sputnik Italia has met with the head of the delegation to learn what they expect from their trip. Five Italian entrepreneurs and investors are visiting the Donetsk People’s Republic from February 21 to 23, to see for themselves what is happening on the ground. According to local media, they are “set to meet with representatives of several ministries and departments of the Republic to discuss possible ways of cooperation.” Ahead of their visit, Sputnik Italia has met with the head of the delegation, Gianmatteo Ferrari from the Association Lombardia — Russia (Associazione Lombardia-Russia) to discover where they got the idea from and what they expect from their trip. “Last November me and the Secretary of our Association, Luca Bertoni were part of the delegation which was organized by Association Veneto – Russia (Associazione Veneto-Russia) for the entrepreneurs of the northeastern region of Italy. We wanted to repeat the initiative of the businessmen of the region to help the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk to restore the enterprises which they no longer have,” he told Sputnik. Gianmatteo Ferrari further said that even though both self-proclaimed republics of Ukrainian Donbass have coal mines, steel plants and electric power plants on their territories, they do not have enough expertise in, for example, agriculture. Hence the association wants to help them and bring in experts in this sphere so that they could invest in their enterprises and help local people to open their business. He said, investment could happen in cheese factories where local people could re-process milk and make cheese. Or greenhouses where they could grow vegetables and plants. He stresses that it will be separate production facilities and not the branches of the companies of the visiting entrepreneurs as the products produced at the factories of the two republics will stay within the republics and won’t . . . READ MORE>>

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Monday, February 20, 2017
(Brief Update)

Vitaly Churkin (--Sputnik)

Vitaly Churkin (–Sputnik)

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin Dies / Sputnik / February 20, 2017 / Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin died at the age of 64, just a day before his 65th birthday, in New York on Monday. “A prominent Russian diplomat has passed away while at work. We’d like to express our sincere condolences to Vitaly Churkin’s family,” Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement available on its official website. Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev said about Churkin that he kept working “till the very end.” “The loss that Russia has suffered is irreplaceable. Ambassador Churkin kept working till the very last moment. He dedicated all his life to protecting Russia’s interests abroad. He was [always] at the front line, taking the most challenging appointments,” Iliichev said. The representative of the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said that the UN was shocked by the news, extending their condolences to Moscow: “We mourn ambassador Churkin, he’s been such a regular presence here that I’m actually quite stunned and our thoughts go to his family and his government.” Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, took to Facebook to express her grief: “A great diplomat. An extraordinary personality. A brilliant man. We’ve lost a person very dear to us.” Putin expressed his condolences to the family of late diplomat, as well as to his colleagues in the Foreign Ministry. “It is with deep sorrow that Russian President Vladimir Putin learned about the death of Vitaly Churkin,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday. He added that Putin held Churkin’s professionalism and diplomatic talent in high regard. . . . READ MORE>>

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Memorable Quotes from Vitaly Churkin
slavfeb20-17y
Click image for quotes and photo gallery at Rt.com.
On many occasions over the decade that he served as Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin has countered attacks by Western diplomats with a pointed turn of phrase. RT looks at six such moments from Churkin’s distinguished career.

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slavfeb20-17xUN Security Council Deeply Saddened by Death of Russian Ambassador Churkin / Sputnik / February 20, 2017 / UN Security Council members grieve the sudden death of the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin. UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — UN Security Council members grieve the sudden death of the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin, UN Security Council said in a statement. “The members of the Security Council were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, prominent Russian diplomat and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, on February 20, 2017,” statement said on Monday. The members of the Security Council also “expressed their deep condolences to the family of the Ambassador, the Government and the people of the Russian Federation.” Churkin, 64, who has served as Russia’s Permanent Representative to UN since April, 2006, died in New York on Monday.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017
(Full report)

slavfeb19-17zUkrainian forces open­ fire at DPR territor­y 6,000 times over we­ek – Basurin / Donetsk News Agency (DAN) / February 19, 2017 / Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk People­’s Republic frontline­ areas more than 6,00­0 times over the past­ week, DPR Operations­ Command deputy comma­nder Eduard Basurin s­aid on Friday. “Over the past week,­ the enemy fired 6,24­9 times at the republ­ic’s territory, using­ artillery, tank guns­ and mortars 2,517 ti­mes,” Basurin said. Donetsk, Gorlovka an­d Yasinovataya outski­rts and villages in D­PR south came under h­eavy Ukrainian forces­ shelling. Ukrainian ­strikes caused damage­ to 18 houses in Krut­aya Balka village out­side Yasinovataya, St­aromikhailovka villag­e in Donetsk’s Kirovs­kiy district, as well­ as in Kuibyshevskiy ­and Petrovskiy distri­cts of the DPR capita­l. The enemy violated­ the ceasefire 1,373 ­times over the past 2­4 hours, Basurin said­. DPR intelligence con­tinues to reveal the ­strengthening of Ukra­inian army positions ­on three axes. It spo­tted two tank platoon­s, two Gvozdika 122mm­ howitzer batteries a­nd one Grad MLRS batt­ery on Gorlovka axis,­ one Gvozdika 122mm s­elf-propelled howitze­r squadron, a Pion 20­3mm howitzer, one Gia­tsint-B 152mm howitze­r battery, one Grad M­LRS battery and two t­ank platoons on Donet­sk axis and one tank ­platoon, two 122mm mo­rtar firing sections,­ a Gvozdika self-prop­elled howitzer batter­y and one Grad MLRS b­attery on Mariupol ax­is. Earlier, DPR Operati­ons Command announced­ a plan to stabilize ­the contact line situ­ation. The document w­as approved by the OS­CE mission. The key p­oints are immediate a­nd comprehensive ceas­efire, withdrawal of ­all weapons banned by­ the Minsk agreements­, unhindered access t­o storage sites for O­SCE Special Monitorin­g Mission, a one-kilo­metre security zone a­round the Donetsk Wat­er Treatment Plant fr­ee of any weapons or ­military units and a ­ban on any offensive ­moves. Ukraine refuse­d to discuss the plan.

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Click for Video.

Click for Video.

News Brief Donbass, 19 February 2017 (VIDEO) / Anna News / February 19, 2017 / The Ukrainian Army attacked the positions of the DPR near the village Spartak last night. 3 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, the Deputy Commander of the operational command of the DPR Eduard Basurin reported today. Ukrainian fighters have opened fire at a group of electricians that is repairing damaged power lines near the Donetsk filtering station today. The situation in the DPR has become aggravated. The Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic 2.500 times for the last 24 hours. They used tanks, mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, heavy artillery, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers and small arms. Ukrainian fighters shelled 30 localities. 1 soldier of the DPR was wounded. There is no electricity in the village Kominternovo. 1 house was damaged in Yasinovataya. The Donetsk filtering station remains without electricity. Donetsk authorities are forced to reduce the supply of water. 2 Ukrainian self-propelled guns and 3 tanks were detected in Maryinka, Eduard Basurin reported today. Kiev fighters shelled the positions of the LPR People’s Militia in the villages Kalinovka, Logvinovo, Kalinovo, Almaznoe and Sokolnoki. They used mortars, grenade launchers, infantry fighting vehicles and small arms; it has been reported by the Ministry of Defense. There were no casualties.

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slavfeb19-17uDonetsk Decries Massive Attack of Ukrainian Troops / Prensa Latina / February 19, 2017 / The self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic denounced today  the bombardment at least 30 localities by Ukrainian troops, while a four-hour truce was agreed in the city of Avdeevka. In addition, the Ukrainian armed forces tried, with two squads supported by mortars, to make their way in the villages of Opitni and Peski, where they were rejected by the self-defense detachments, noted his deputy chief, Eduard Basurin. Donetsk officials asserted that among the Ukrainian troops there are three dead and five wounded, but Kiev only recognizes nine wounded in their ranks and one missing. Meanwhile, in the town of Avdeevka, both sides reached a four-hour ceasefire agreement to allow the area get rid of mines around a high-voltage line, which was damaged by artillery fire, and its repair. The operation involved 128 workers from a Ukrainian power company and 32 specialized teams. Massive attacks by Ukrainian forces totally ignored what was agreed the day before, during a meeting of the quarters of Normandy (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) in Munich to put into effect a new truce in Donbass tomorrow. The arrangement for a cessation of hostilities also includes a withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of confrontation. The local press, however, echoed the concerns expressed by the US embassy about the broadcasting yesterday of a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize in his country documents issued in Donbass. Washington considered that Russia thus violated the Minsk agreements of February 2015, but no comments on the constant violation of the conditions of truce contained in the protocols of that agreement.

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Avdiivka, Feb 4, 2017 (--AP/ Evgeniy Maloletka)

Avdiivka, February 4, 2017 (–AP/ Evgeniy Maloletka)

Temporary Ceasefire Established in Avdiivka / Sputnik / February 19, 2017 / An agreement was reached on a ceasefire by conflicting parties in Donbass, lasting from 09:00 to 13:00 GMT, to repair power lines in Avdiivka, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said on Sunday. / KIEV / On Saturday, Avdiivka, and the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant were again de-energized as a result of a shelling. Avdiivka was left without electricity in late January and early February because of damage to power lines as a result of the shelling, with repair crews unable to make repairs because of continued attacks. Heat and water are supplied to the city with disruptions from the Avdiivka Coke Plant, which was forced to stop production and work on heating city. “As of 12:00 (10:00 GMT) February 19 there is an agreement on a ceasefire on both sides from 11.00 to 15.00 February. At 12.00, for the conducting of demining activities and then for repairs of high-voltage lines, a pyrotechnic unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and a repair team… have been directed,” a State Emergency Service of Ukraine statement reads. The service said 128 people and 32 units of equipment, including 67 people and 24 units of equipment were involved in the emergency repair efforts. Since late January, the conflict in eastern Ukraine between local militia and Kiev authorities has escalated in Avdiivka and Yasynuvata towns near Donetsk, with Kiev forces and Donbass militia accusing each other of being responsible for the escalation of fighting.

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slavfeb19-17nKiev troops fire at electricians’ brigade near Yasinovataya / DONi News / February 19, 2017 / Ukrainian military opened fire at the brigade of electricians who were working on restoration of the damaged power lines near Yasinovataya, reported the DPR Operational Command. “Today, at about 2 p.m. the AFU fired at the repair crew on their way from Yasinovataya for recovery works on DFS. There were no casualties, only working equipment sustained damage,” said the defense official. According to the Command, earlier representatives of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination of ceasefire (JCCC) have coordinated ‘silence regime’ on both sides to ensure security of repair crews. It was added that at the moment “the issue of termination of the AFU shellings during recovery works on DFS was being resolved with mediation of the OSCE.” Before the accident the Donetsk filtration plant was de-energized presumably as a result of shellings.

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Alexander Zakharchenko (--SouthFront)

Alexander Zakharchenko (–SouthFront)

Zakharchenko’s statement on Putin’s Decree on recognition of DPR documents / DONi News / February 19, 2017 / Official statement of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, 18.2.2017: The Decree of the President of Russia on recognition of the documents issued by the Donetsk People’s Republic is another point evidencing that Russia has been supporting and will continue to support the right of its compatriots to struggle for life, culture, language and, eventually, for their honour and dignity. If the Motherland is supporting our struggle openly and safely, it means that this struggle is righteous. It means, our losses aren’t vain. It means, our hopes are justified. But, actually, in this noble act of the Russian President I see not only the will of Russia to help Donbass. This is both recognition of merits and efforts of our people and our Militia who have toughed it out on the battlefields and accomplished an incredible feat in state construction and economic recovery. This is the recognition of merits of each resident of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Therefore, I would like to once again extend gratitude and appreciation to Russia, to the Russian people and its President, and at that I would like to bow low to my fellow countrymen for their courage, firmness, diligence and patriotism. Source: Official web-site of the DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko; Official translation by DONi News Agency

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Merkel, Putin (--Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

Merkel, Putin (–Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

A warning to Merkel: Russia recognises documents issued by Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics / By Alexander Mercouris / The Duran / February 19, 2017 / Russia’s recognition of documents issued to their citizens by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics stops well short of diplomatic recognition, but as well as having humanitarian considerations it appears intended as a warning to Merkel and the Europeans to take the settlement process of the Ukrainian conflict more seriously. / The Russian authorities have taken another step towards granting de facto recognition to the authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine by formally recognising the legal validity of the documents they issue to their citizens. The documents in question are things like driving licences, birth and marriage certificates, travel documents and the like. The Ukrainian authorities are already complaining that Russian recognition of these documents amounts to Russia’s de jure recognition of the two People’s Republics. The carefully worded Executive Order signed by President Putin however shows that this is not the case: “Being guided by universally recognised principles and standards of the international humanitarian law and in order to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals, the President has resolved that temporarily, during the political settlement period of the crisis in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions pursuant to the Minsk Agreements, personal identification documents, education and (or) qualification certificates, birth certificates, marriage, divorce, name change and death certificates, vehicle registration certificates, and vehicle registration plates issued by the corresponding authorities (organisations), valid in the specified district, will be recognised in the Russian Federation as valid for Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in those areas. Pursuant to the Executive Order, Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions can enter and leave the Russian Federation without applying for visas upon showing identification documents (birth certificates for children under the age of 16), issued by the corresponding authorities which are valid in the said districts. The Government of the Russian Federation has been instructed…” . . . READ MORE>>

 

slavfeb19-17wLavrov Explains What’s Behind Putin’s Decision on Donbass Residents’ Passports / Sputnik / February 19, 2017 / Russia decided to validate Donbass residents’ documents for humanitarian reasons and the presidential decree will remain in force until the Minsk peace deal is implemented, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday. / MUNICH / Kremlin’s press office has released a statement saying Putin had signed a decree that validated IDs, birth certificates and vehicle registration plates, among other documents issued by eastern Ukrainian authorities to permanent residents, on Russian territory. Lavrov said this issue had not been brought up during foreign ministers’ talks in the so-called Normandy Four format in Munich. “The decree stated clearly this was made out of humanitarian concerns…until Minsk agreements have been fulfilled. The presidential decree validated IDs of Donbass residents so that they could enter Russia legally and use Russian rail transport and air carriers,” he explained. After the eruption of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, over a million of Donbass residents applied for a refugee status and temporary shelter in Russia. According to Russia’s Federal Migration Service, more than 1 million people fled to Russia following the outbreak of the civil war in Ukraine, of whom approximately 600,000 decided to settle there permanently. Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.

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slavfeb19-17vIs Putin’s Decision on Donbass Residents’ Passports a ‘Message to the West’? / Sputnik / February 19, 2017 / Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree validating identification documents issued by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine. US national, who spent 2 years in eastern Ukraine and currently works at Novorossiya Today Press Center Zak Novak, spoke to Radio Sputnik about this decision. / “The recognition of all documents was a message to the West, to McCain, to Ukraine that these are now our people and we have every right to defend them with this signature of Vladimir Putin,” Novak said. However the decree does not give the citizens living in Donetsk and Lugansk Russian citizenship, they are just given an opportunity to cross into Russian territory if they want to. Talking about that, Novak said that this gives the people an opportunity to find protection in Russia. In response to this decree, Kiev reacted with a decree of its own saying that this is “a violation of international law” but is it really? “We all know very well what it means and that is Poroshenko now fears Russia is here to protect us. This will put pressure on the EU and Poroshenko to stop the bombing, stop the terrorism, stop killing our children and implement the Minsk agreement that you all have signed,” Novak said. He further talked about whether he thinks the . . . READ MORE>> Quemado Institute comments: It’s an atrocity that Putin did not take this step in the spring of 2014. Failure to do so is one of many ways in which the Russian President, apparently to appease the West, has betrayed Donbass. And no, this is not a “message to John McCain,” as such a message would have been appropriate at any point in time, so why now? As we’ve noted in the last few weeks, Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, and DPR President Alexander Zakharchenko have all shown greater courage in standing up to the West, having issued long-overdue diplomatic statements and actions in defense of  Russia and the Donbass Republics. The timing makes it clear Russian and Donbass officials have been emboldened by the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, an event that has promoted uncertainty about US policy, but that has also opened up the possibility of reasonable relations between the American and Russian spheres.

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slavfeb19-17qUkraine’s war-torn Donetsk commemorates 2nd ‘anniversary’ of Minsk agreements / Sott.net / February 19, 2017 / Thousands of people have rallied in Donetsk to remind the world about the second anniversary of the Minsk II Protocols, urging Kiev to deliver on its long-overdue obligations and put an end to the bloodshed in the east of Ukraine. The rally took place at the central square of Donetsk on Saturday to commemorate the second anniversary of the Minsk agreements and to protest Ukrainian aggression. Despite the wintery weather, thousands of people, including representatives of the self-proclaimed republic’s authorities, took part in the anti-war march and demonstration, according to local media. The protest started with a moment of silence for all the civilians who had been killed during the conflict. “During the Minsk talks the world has heard us, and they know the truth. They talk more and more that it’s Ukraine who’s guilty in deaths of innocent people there,” deputy chairwoman of the Donetsk People’s Republic Council, Olga Makeeva, told the rally. The protesters carried flags of the unrecognized Donetsk Republic and placards, which read “Ukraine, stop ignoring the ‘Minsk’ terms,” “Poroshenko, you’ve signed ‘Minsk,’ now implement it,” “Ukraine, implement the agreement” and others. The Minsk Protocol is a roadmap to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Ukrainian authorities and rebellious regions. Minsk II was endorsed on February 11, 2015, by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany and further backed by a unanimous UNSC resolution on February 17. The document is aimed at achieving a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine and providing constitutional reforms to grant Donetsk and Lugansk special status and autonomy. However, Kiev has thus far failed to grasp the . . . READ MORE>> [See videos at source.]

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slavfeb19-17tSupporters of Donbass Blockade Clash With Police in Kiev / Sputnik / February 19, 2017 / Scuffles broke out on Sunday in central Kiev after a mob tried to pitch tents outside the presidential office, demanding a freeze on trade with self-proclaimed Donbass republics, local media reported. / KIEV / Veterans of the Ukrainian military operation to reclaim eastern territories cut off railway connection with parts of Lugansk and Donetsk regions last month, calling coal deliveries from these areas illegal. This led to electricity shortages. Dozens of Ukrainian nationalists, including two lawmakers from the Self-Reliance party, marched on the presidential administration today to demand an end of what they perceive as coal smuggling, the Hromadske TV reported. The angry mob, some of them wearing masks and carrying bats, ran into hundreds of riot police officers who blocked off government buildings. Clashes erupted when protesters hurled a firecracker at the police and sprayed them with a fire extinguisher. One police officer and ten protesters were hurt in the scuffles. The officer suffered serious injuries, according to Kiev Police Department chief Andriy Hryshchenko. A medical worker said at least one demonstrator received a head injury. Hryshchenko told the local television channel that five people had been detained. Police sources told Sputnik that violence had stopped and calm had returned to central Kiev. Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said Thursday that Donbass would cope with the blockade organized by Ukrainian radicals, whereas for Kiev, the consequences would be serious, as in two weeks Kiev “can forget about heating and energy industry.” President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday condemned the blocking by Ukrainian radicals of coal deliveries from Donbass. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday, after meeting his counterparts from Germany, France and Ukraine in Munich, that the blockade of Donbas was unacceptable. German foreign policy chief Sigmar Gabriel echoed this statement, saying on behalf of the “Normandy Four” ministers that curbs on coal traffic in Ukraine hurt both sides.

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slavfeb19-17gDonbass blockade supporters put up tent in front of presidential administration building / TASS / February 19, 2017 / The blockade was imposed on January 25 by former militants from the so-called ‘volunteer battalions’ with support from the right-wing radical members of the Verkhovna Rada national parliament. / KIEV / Participants in a rally in front of the building of the Ukrainian president’s administration in central Kiev, who demand the authorities support the blockade of coal supplies from Donbass areas that are not controlled by Kiev, are putting up tents saying they are staying there for the night. “One tent has already been put. One more tent is to be pitched. They are planning to stay here and insist on their terms,” a correspondent of the 112.Ukraina television channel reported from the site. Initially, about a thousand of people gathered in Kiev’s central Independence Square, known as Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or simply Maidan, to honor the memory of those killed here in riots three years ago. Among those who came to the Maidan on Sunday were activists of the so-called volunteer battalions, or paramilitary groups, that organized blockade of coal supllies from Donbass on January 25. The protesters are holding yellow-and-blue and red-and-black flags. The police have reported no serious violations of public order. The blockade was imposed on January 25 by former militants from the so-called ‘volunteer battalions’ with support from the right-wing radical members of the Verkhovna Rada national parliament. Specifically, the radicals are blocking railway lines, by which anthracite coal is hauled to the thermal and thermos-electric plants from the mighty coalmines located in the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The radicals claim that the blockade is necessary to plug the channels for an inflow of contraband commodities allegedly trickling into Ukraine alongside with coal. Ukraine’s Security Service opened a criminal case over the blockade, saying the radicals’ actions are illegal. Meanwhile, coal shortages forced the Ukrainian government to impose a state of emergency in the country’s energy sector for a month starting from February 16. A number of major industrial enterprises in Donbass have suspended operation, some are about to be completely halted.

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slavfeb19-17r‘Deadlock’: Donbass Blockade Risks Plunging Ukraine into Energy Collapse / Sputnik / February 19, 2017 / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed an order on neutralizing threats to the country’s energy sector. According to Russian journalist and expert Leonid Khazanov, Ukraine risks plunging into an energy collapse. / On Friday, Poroshenko enacted a decree earlier adopted by the National Security and Defense Council on diversification of coal supplies sources and creating reserves of power generating coal. In addition, the Council also decided to tighten control over the products’ movement in the region of Donbass. It also tasked the government with developing measures to neutralize threats to Ukraine’s energy security and imposing a ban on anthracite exports from Ukraine. The government is also in charge of rebuilding transportation infrastructure damaged during a military operation in Donbass. In late December 2016, a so-called Ukrainian volunteer fighters group declared a trade and economic blockade of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). According to the group, any trade operations with the self-proclaimed republics are illegal. The blockade resulted in disruptions in anthracite shipments from Donbass territories which are not controlled by Kiev and forced the government to introduce a state of . . . READ MORE>>

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slavfeb19-17pLosing Control: Poroshenko on the Horns of a Dilemma Over Blockade in Donbass / Sputnik / February 18, 2017 / Kiev has got only itself to blame for escalating tensions with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Russian political analyst Oleg Ignatov told Radio Sputnik commenting on the Donbass blockade. It seems that the situation is spinning out of Poroshenko’s control. / Ukraine has shot itself in the foot by imposing a trade and economic blockade on the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Russian political analyst Oleg Ignatov of Center for Current Policy (CCP) told Radio Sputnik. What is worse, it seems the political situation in Ukraine is spinning out of Petro Poroshenko’s control. In late December 2016, the so-called Ukrainian volunteer fighters group exerted a trade and economic blockade of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. However, the controversial initiative on the part of nationalist battalions has backfired on Kiev: the breakaway Donbass regions used to supply anthracite coal used to produce heat and energy in Ukraine. On Monday the Petro Poroshenko Bloc party called upon the Ukrainian leader to urgently convene a session of the National Security Council to “discuss the halt of the unlawful blocking of railways in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.” The party’s press release said that “the economic blockade undermines the military efficiency of our state [Ukraine] and has disastrous consequences for the . . . READ MORE>>

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slavfeb19-17fGracchus Babeuf on Twitter: Donbass Hardens Line Toward OSCE and Ukraine / By Gracchus Babeuf / Twitter (@gbabeuf) / February 19, 2017 / In a series of tweets today, Gracchus Babeuf, also an editor at Slavyangrad, gives the following analysis of events: Zakharchenko: “Now we play by our rules…” Zakharchenko also interrupted Hug of OSCE when told he was responsible for implementing Minsk to tell him that his first responsibility was to defend the people of the DPR. Also point blank refused to remove any heavy or light weapons from the front line until Ukraine does so. Plotnitsky meanwhile had interrupted Hug to ask him if he’d ever had to live his life under constant shelling. All in all, the two have clearly been told they can harden their line in relation both to OSCE & to Ukraine. If anybody believes this is because of the “total blockade” of Donbass by Ukraine “radicals”, then I’ve got some magic beans I’ll happily sell you for £1,000 a piece. My best guess would be that two things have pushed the harder line: 1) A realisation (hopefully) that the Trump admin is not a “friendly” one and isn’t prepared to relinquish the enormous asset they’ve inherited in Ukraine (a realisation in Moscow, I should say). 2) The Donbass has been under near total blockade for 3 yrs now. The only difference this time is that coal shipments have been blocked. That is a direct threat to the interests of Ukraine’s biggest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov. Akhmetov has very good friends in Moscow. It was largely in order to save his (business) skin that Moscow prevented the Donbass Army from seizing an empty Mariupol (and also to save Poroshenko in Kiev). Usual caveats apply: not claiming privileged access to truth etc., just voicing what appears to me to make sense. Quemado Institute comments: Notably greater courage during the past few weeks on the part of the Donetsk and Lugansk leadership, as well as of Russian officials, is due not to a realization that the Trump administration is unfriendly, but rather to the fact that Trump’s own boldness has emboldened many leaders worldwide. Blunt honesty is now an accepted mode of operation. It is also probable that Trump does not consider the failed state of Ukraine to be an “asset”, and that he will in time establish better relations with both Russia and Donbass.

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slavfeb19-17mWill Poroshenko Begin a New War in Donbass? HOW WILL PUTIN, TRUMP REACT? LadaRayWebinar1 Q4 / By Lada Ray / Futurist Trendcast / February 19, 2017 / I have been busy with many other topics; Novorossia/Donbass and Ukraine, have been put on a back burner in the past month or two. Meanwhile, Ukraine and Donbass are about to again become headline news. Last year I wrote about the heating up events in Donbass and about my prediction that Trump is preparing to dump Poroshenko and Ukraine. As many of you know, my articles/ videos, Earth Shift Reports, Webinars and Predictions often preempt the real events by months, or even years. Those who are smart will follow me and listen carefully to what I say today, in order to be prepared for tomorrow. All others – feel free to listen and support sensationalist and fake news, after the events have already occurred and you are too late to the party. Your choice! Since then, a number of new developments took place. Huge news on Donbass/DPR/LPR and Ukraine are coming in! Latest news number 1: Putin issued new law officially recognizing Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics passports! This is the first step – much more to follow! News 2: Ukraine is down to just a few weeks of coal reserves and the country is going . . . READ MORE>> [See videos at source.]

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slavfeb19-17hPoroshenko and Tillerson discuss Donbass crisis / DONi News / February 18, 2017 / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have discussed the situation in Donbass in a telephone conversation, Poroshenko’s press secretary Svyatoslav Tsegolko said. “Poroshenko and Tillerson discussed the deteriorating situation in Donbass,” he wrote on Facebook. Besides, according to Tsegolko, the parties “mapped out steps aimed at strengthening strategic partnership between Kiev and Washington.” Tsegolko added that US Secretary of State had briefed Poroshenko on the results of the G20 ministerial meeting and emphasized the importance of implementing the Minsk Agreements, reports TASS. Poroshenko, in turn, invited Tillerson to visit Ukraine.

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Friday, February 17, 2017
(Brief update)

Click for video.

Click for video.

Zakharchenko in Lugansk: ‘We Remember Our Duty’ [Video] / DONi News / February 17, 2017 / On Friday, February 17, the joint briefing of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko and the Head of the Lugansk People’s Republic Igor Plotnitsky took place in Lugansk. The Heads of the DPR and LPR made the joint statement on the beginning of the program on provision of humanitarian aid to the occupied Donbass. The main objectives of the humanitarian aid program are: firstly, rendering services in the medical and education spheres, secondly, payments to veterans and, thirdly, assistance to disunited families. Besides, there is a large ecological part envisaging control of the ecologically dangerous industry units by the republican commissions in the Kiev-controlled territories. Humanitarian foundations were established to support fellow countrymen, the aid program includes joint cultural, educational, sport events involving residents of cities and villages on both sides of the contact line. According to Alexander Zakharchenko, the program is directed, above all, to the prospect of the temporarily occupied territories’ return under the Republics’ control. “Liberation of the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics is our priority task. I was always saying that it would be preferable to have this done in a political way. But if Ukraine doesn’t get this, we will remind that we can do it in a military way as well. Our brothers and sisters remained in that territory. And this statement is chiefly addressed to them. We haven’t forgotten about you. We remember our duty to Kramatorsk, Lisichansk. We remember our friends and brothers who were killed in battles for these cities. We remember hundreds and thousands of citizens accused of separatism and terrorism, and tortured in prisons. These were our fellow countrymen, compatriots, family. The people whom we are obliged to remember. We will do for them everything we can. We remember our duty. We are obliged to discharge this duty,” said Alexander Zakharchenko. The Head of the DPR also noted that in the nearest future on the contact line there would be established special centres for implementation of the joint program. “The discussion touched establishment of centres on the contact line which would render legal services, offer advice on obtaining our (DPR) passports, treatment, studying at our institutions etc.,” said Alexander Zakharchenko. When answering journalists’ questions, Zakharchenko emphasized that the present program would be a denial of the lies about the feud between the Republics spread by the Ukrainian propaganda. “No matter what our enemies tell about our relations, believe: people who have been shedding blood together, sharing the last can of stewed meat, freezing near Debaltsevo, risking life – are brothers already,” said the DPR Head. The event culminated with an awards ceremony for the military personnel who had been participating in liberation of Debaltsevo. —Source: Official web-site of the DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko; Official translation by DONi News Agency

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Click for video (in Russian)

Click for video (in Russian)

Ukraine: ‘Occupied territories’ are not lost for us, says LPR leader Plotnitsky (VIDEO) / Ruptly TV / February 17, 2017 / The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR) held a press conference in Lugansk on Friday in a display of unity against Kiev and to discuss areas of Donbass that are under the control of Ukrainian forces. SOT, Igor Plotnitsky, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (Russian): “I want to say that we have never considered and will not consider temporarily occupied territories as lost for us. Those [areas] are our homeland, they are our native people, and they are temporarily under the occupation of fascist Ukraine, because today that is the regime that exists in Ukraine, as they decided, and by right, is called fascism.” SOT, Igor Plotnitsky, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (Russian): “We invite all our citizens, we have not forgotten about you. You do not have the February 23 holiday; you do not have the May 9 holiday. Come to us, you will have an opportunity to celebrate those old holidays with us that were historically formed in our land, on our territory, in the Russian world.” SOT, Alexander Zakharchenko, Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (Russian): “Our brothers and sisters are there on that territory, and this message is to them, first of all. We have not forgotten about them, we remember our debt to Kramatorsk, Lisichansk. We remember our friends and brothers that were killed on the battlefields in those years. We remember hundreds, thousands of tortured people that were accused of separatism and terrorism.” SOT, Igor Plotnitsky, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (Russian): “There are no contradictions between the LPR and DPR. We do not have any of the problems they put on us. And actually, you should trust official sources, not gossip that goes around.” SOT, Alexander Zakharchenko, Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (Russian): “I think that world leaders, and especially in Europe, will start thinking about this, and I think that in the next few hours a big brain-storming session is going to start there, that will allow us to decide on something in four days.”

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Dmitry Peskov (--Alchetron)

Dmitry Peskov (–Alchetron)

Enemy Report: The Kremlin has criticized the statement Zakharchenko / Z-News.link / February 17, 2017 / The Kremlin said that the threat Zakharchenko contradict the Minsk agreements. The Kremlin has not supported the statements of the leader of terrorists “DNR” Alexander Zakharchenko, Ukraine threatening the violent seizure of the Donbas. In particular, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov said that the loud statements of the Russian protege contradict the Minsk agreements. “Of course, such statements are not in line with the Minsk agreements”, – said the speaker Putin. According to him, Zakharchenko is simply too heavily influenced by “emotional”, the spillover of tensions at the line of demarcation. Earlier the leader of terrorists “DNR” declared that their goal is the seizure of the Donbas. [Source: z-news.link/the-kremlin-has-criticized-the-statement-zakharchenko/ ]

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slavfeb17-17xWhy Kiev’s Shelling Raids on Donbass Coincide With Poroshenko’s Foreign Tours / Sputnik / February 17, 2017 / Kiev deliberately has protracted the talks over the Minsk agreements, according to Natalia Nikonorova, Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Speaking to RT Russian political analyst Alexei Chesnakov, she assumed that Kiev wants international security forces brought in to eastern Ukraine to gain the upper hand. Kiev used pauses in the negotiations of the Normandy Four and the Trilateral Contact group to sabotage the Minsk accords, Natalia Nikonorova, Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), told a press conference Thursday. “Of all 13 paragraphs, which describe the whole set of measures necessary for the implementation of the Minsk accords, only one has been implemented [by Kiev] — to create subgroups,” Nikonorova said as quoted by RIA Novosti. She emphasized that although these political subgroups have really been created by Kiev, they are negotiators in name only, because very often Ukrainian representatives use various pretexts to block decision-making. Furthermore, Nikonorova called attention to the fact that Kiev continues to sabotage the implementation of the so-called “Steinmeier formula” proposed by former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier back in 2015. Under this formula the special status to Donbass will be assigned to the breakaway republics on the day of local elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. She stressed that Kiev keeps protracting the talks. The Ukrainian leadership refuses to discuss the Steinmeier formula by referring to the necessity of receiving “additional signals” from the Normandy Four. It appears that it is in the interest of Kiev to stall the . . . READ MORE>>

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Rex Tillerson, Sergei Lavrov (--The Duran)

Rex Tillerson, Sergei Lavrov (–The Duran)

Tillerson and Lavrov meet in Bonn / By Alexander Mercouris / The Duran / February 17, 2017 / Whilst the meeting between the leaders of the US and Russian militaries – Dunford and Gerasimov – took place away from the spotlight in Baku, Azerbaijan, the world media’s attention was focused on the meeting between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Bonn. This is despite the fact that it was the Dunford-Gerasimov meeting which at this stage was the more important. That point has not just been made by me. It has also been made by one of Russia’s leading international affairs analysts, Dmitry Suslov, Program Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s foundation. In an interview with the Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta he is reported to have said the following: “De facto, the thawing of Russian-US relations is already underway, and the primarily indication of this is the meeting between the Russian and US chiefs of general staff. But it is also important to have a thaw in relations at the level of department and division chiefs in the Foreign Ministries. It is also important to restore dialogue in a whole range of relations.” Suslov’s comment highlights an issue which even some in the Western media have touched on. At this early stage in the Trump administration – with a comprehensive clear out of Obama administration holdovers from the State Department still underway – Tillerson still does not have a full . . . READ MORE>>

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Konstantin Knyrik

Konstantin Knyrik

Konstantin Knyrik: Idea of an international administration in Donbass is a Western provocation / Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard / News Front / February 17, 2017 / The head of News Front information agency Konstantin Knyrik, in an interview to Svobodnaya Pressa, spoke about his vision of the information war, which is also being conducted in Donbass. Also he touched on the subject of “an exit of Ukraine from crisis”. “Many people representing international funds and different organizations — even such like the OSCE and the UN — now carry out the function of instruments of the information war. They stopped being persons capable of independent thinking, and are engaged especially in propaganda. I.e, earlier we thought that newspapers are instruments of information war, and now — it is the people. Moreover, people of different statuses and levels,” considers the head of News Front. Knyrik reminded about a recent protest action in Donetsk. Citizens held a meeting under the headquarters of observers [OSCE – ed], demanding unbiased interpretation of events in Donbass. “Inhabitants of Donbass at a protest action showed their real attitude towards the OSCE mission, in the form in which it is now. On February 15th, in Donetsk a mass meeting took place with the demand that the so-called “observers” from this organization open, at last, their eyes. After all members of the OSCE mission, in reality, repeatedly gave the impression that they acted not simply as real intermediaries in the military operations of Ukraine. They were aim-correctors and leaked confidential information to the UAF— i.e. they played the role of a spy, actually. If, in addition, they are armed, in the near future they will destroy the Russian population of Donbass on the side of the Ukrainian army,” noted the head of News Front. In addition, Knyrik commented on the confessions of the former adviser of the UN concerning mediation in the resolution of conflicts Antje Herrberg. According to her, the West, perhaps, will try to play its own scenario, which has nothing in common with the implementation of the Minsk Agreements on Donbass. She, for example, considers that the situation in Donbass can be regulated by creating there an international administration — neither a Ukrainian one, nor a Russian one. “There is nothing new to me in the statement of Mrs Herrberg. Because in Ukraine during the last year also the idea of a Croatian scenario is also systemically and methodically untwisted, in which thousands and thousands of Serbians were exterminated for belonging to a certain ethnos. That’s why this is a vector of general information agenda, which today is regulated by the European Union. And, in fact, by ‘the collective gang of Soros’, who doesn’t want at all to exit out of the conflict situation in Ukraine. Because for them it is both a rather profitable business and an attractive element of blackmail, like of Russia, and of the new administration of Trump, with which they will hardly ever find understanding,” said Knyrik. One journalist asked a question about Minsk-2: “Does it mean that the Minsk Agreements are pushed aside? Does Brussels start its own game?” to which Knyrik answered: “I think that this statement testifies also about the fact that at the official level, the European Union refuses the absence of an alternative of the Minsk Agreements. The Ukrainian side, in principle, refused it a long time ago. But there was still some hope that the European guarantors somehow will force Kiev to fulfil their obligations. Now, the EU and Ukraine already openly gave every appearance that they initially didn’t plan to fulfil these agreements. And that they will try to interpret them, or to invent something new. So it is this ‘New’ that we heard”.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
(Brief update)

slavfeb15-17zCrimea is ‘our land’ – Russia firmly tells US that it will not be ‘given back’ to Ukraine / By Vladimir Rodzianko / The Duran / February 15, 2017 / Moscow is adamant that Crimea will not be returned to Ukraine. A day after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that Crimea should be “returned” to Ukraine – Russia lashed back saying in no way will Crimea be “given back” to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in response. “We don’t return our territories. Crimea is a territory of the Russian Federation,” Zakharova said at a weekly news briefing, referring to the Black Sea peninsula that voted in a referendum to join Russia in early 2014. Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire back in the 18th century, but was reassigned to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 by the Soviet Union’s ruling presidium under Nikita Khrushchev. Crimea rejoined Russia after a 2014 referendum, when almost 97 percent of the region’s population voted for reunification, while the city of Sevastopol supported the move by 95.6 percent of votes. The majority of those living in Crimea today are ethnic Russians – almost 1,200,000 or about 58 percent of the population, according to the last national census conducted back in 2001. Some 24 percent are Ukrainians (around 500,000) and 12 percent are Crimean Tatars. “The issue of Crimea return is absolutely clear — it is part of Russia and it cannot be subject of bargaining between Russia and the United States, no matter what is at stake,” Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, told Sputnik International on Tuesday. During the election campaign Trump claimed he would “consider” recognizing Crimea as part of Russia following the referendum in the peninsula, adding that the Crimeans wanted to live in Russia. With the recent resignation of Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, over alleged discussions he had with the Russian Ambassador, and the current rhetoric coming out of Washington, puts the proposed US-Russia detente in limbo. The next few hours and days will be very telling.

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Donald Trump, Michael Flynn

Donald Trump, Michael Flynn

Trump May Be Bad News for Donbass / By Karl Pomeroy / Quemado Institute / February 15, 2017 / In the last two days the Rothschild-backed Deep-State factions have forced the resignation of Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor. Flynn was a strong voice for friendship and reason toward Russia. He was ousted due to a friendly phone call to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, following Obama’s new sanctions on Russia several weeks before Trump’s inauguration. Flynn apparently suggested to Kislyak that Russia delay any response to the sanctions until Trump took office, which in a gesture of trust, Putin famously did. Trump, in a reciprocal gesture, tweeted praise for Putin, commending the delay and saying, “I always knew he was smart.” This shows Trump and Putin agreed on a policy of friendship. But now since Flynn’s resignation, Trump has surrendered to the deep state—the political machinery of the Rothschilds. Trump’s ominous tweet today is uncharacteristically anti-Russian: “Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?” Too soft?? If Obama was too soft, what hellish provocations against Russia are we to expect now? Trump had never expressed hostility to Russia before.  Flynn was attacked and removed by Rothschild-backed factions, and Donald Trump has apparently caved in. What these events prove is that Trump, Putin, and many of the American people wanted the U.S. and Russia to be friends. It is the Rothschilds who want them to be enemies. Let’s never forget who is dividing and conquering us: the Rothschilds. I urge DPR President Alexander Zakharchenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and all supporters of the Donbass Republics to be ever on their guard, to work and fight harder for DPR/LPR independence, to overturn the subversive and oppressive Minsk Agreements, and to seek freedom and sovereignty for Donbass. [See Flynn Resignation: Is Trump a Figurehead? / Quemado Institute / February 14, 2017.]

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slavfeb15-17yUkraine: Donetsk protesters denounce ‘ineffective’ OSCE (VIDEO) / Watsup / February 15, 2017 / More than 1,000 local residents gathered in the centre of Donetsk, Wednesday, to denounce the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for their ‘ineffective work’ in war-torn Donbass. The locals marched to the OSCE office in Donetsk, carrying placards and banners calling for the organisation to ‘tell the truth’ or ‘go home’. SOT, Roman Trushin, activist (Russian): “Two years have passed after signing the Minsk agreements. We allowed the OSCE to enter our land, they do not do anything for two years already. We hoped that they told the world about terrible crimes from the side of Ukraine that is killing our children, killing our grandfathers, destroying our business and does not abide by the ceasefire. We want to show not only to Russia but to the whole world that these assassins kill us.” SOT, Olga Skripovskaya, Head of the Donetsk regional office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe observers SMM (Russian): “Thank you for coming, it’s not our first communication with you. Thank you for coming and expressing your opinion. You have your right for that. We will report to our administration that you want the OSCE to leave Donbass.” [Click image for video.]

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slavfeb15-17xDonbass residents: OSCE observers in Donbass not objective, conceal Kiev’s crimes (VIDEO) / DONi News / February 15, 2017 / Over 1,000 DPR people gathered today in the center of the republican capital to protest against the inefficient work of the OSCE monitoring mission in Donbass. Donbass residents gathered in order to protest against the inefficient work of the observers, in particular, Alexander Hug, in Donbass. Participants brought banners reading “OSCE, open your eyes”, “Hug – Kiev agent”, “Hug, tell the truth.” After some time, the representatives of the mission came to the protesters and told them they will hand their leadership all the wishes of the resident. Protesters shared the view that the OSCE representatives do not record in their reports the obvious facts of crimes commited by Ukrainian security forces and purposely turn a blind eye to what is happening in order “not to blacken the Kiev authorities in the eyes of Western countries.” Donetsk residents believe that such observers are not needed in Donbass and must immediately leave the region. “This mission is here for more than two years, and still there is no the progress in resolving the conflict. I do not understand why they are here if they constantly cover the terrible actions of the Ukrainian law enforcers and do not write about it, accusing us that we shell ourselves. All this is very strange, and it is against this bias I came out today, I can no longer tolerate it, let them go if they don’t do their job,” a resident of Donetsk said. After that, the protesters persuaded the observers go to the Trudovskiye locality of Donetsk’s Petrovsky district, where on the night of 25-26 January Ukrainian shelling had damaged twenty houses, a fact which was not included in the OSCE report. [Video: Ministry of Information, 15.2.2017] See VIDEO at source.

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slavfeb15-17w28 Russian citizens were convicted for war crimes in Donbas – Lutsenko / 1492News / February 15, 2017 / 28 Russian citizens were sentenced for war crimes. This was reported during press conference by Yuriy Lutsenko, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. “National courts in Ukraine brought 41 people to justice, among them 28 Russian citizens, 13 citizens-members of “DPR” and “LPR” terrorist groups. High-level suspects in military crimes include 20 high-ranking Russian officials,” Lutsenko said. He reminded that suspects list consist of Sergey Glazyev, the Russian presidential adviser, Sergey Shoygu, the Russian Minister of Defence and his deputies, Nicolai Pankov, the head of the Russian General Staff, and other officers of the Armed Forces of Russia. [Source: 1492news.com/news/37975_1487173906 ]

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017
(Brief update)

Click for video.

Click for video.

Destruction at the Donetsk Chemical Plant Shelled by Ukraine on Tuesday / DONi News Agency / February 14, 2017 / Total destruction caused by Ukrainian shelling on Tuesday morning at the Donetsk People’s Republic state chemical plant in the Kuibyshevsky district, which is located in the outskirt of the DPR capital, is seen in this video report, provided by the DPR People’s Militia press service. “The AFU fired at the territory of the Donetsk state chemical manufacture plant with 152mm artillery. Casualties were registered. According to preliminary data, one civilian perished,” noted the Command representative earlier today. It was emphasized that the fire was launched from the Ukrainian army’s positions near the locality of Nevelskoye, that is between the Kiev-occupied Avdeyevka and Karlovka. The shelling occurred at about 10 a.m. A heavy explosion was heard in all districts of the city. “We are at the territory of Donetsk State Chemical Production plant. I would like to underline that there is no military positions here and there never were. Two hours ago, the artillery hit conducted from the Ukrainian positions’ side took place,” said Danil Bezsonov, the Head of the DPR People’s Militia Press service. “The hit was conducted with the large-calibre artillery, we can see it by the funnel,” he continued. “We’ve checked the explosion on the plant and there is no chemical contamination in the air. We’ve committed the analysis on the contamination with sulphur mustard, and now we will check the radiation level in this area,” said one of the soldiers measuring possible chemical fallout. —Video: DPR Ministry of Defense

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slavfeb14-17uWhy did Ukrainian military attack Donetsk chemical plant? / By Ilya Murom (Excerpts) / Translated by Greg Butterfield / Red Star Over Donbass / February 14, 2017 / The spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic accused the Armed Forces of Ukraine of shelling the Donetsk chemical factory, and as a result one civilian was killed and another wounded. The correspondent of the Federal News Agency talked with experts about the situation on the contact line in the territory of Donbass. According to the representative of the military department of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ukrainian army shelled the Donetsk state factory of chemical products with 152-mm artillery, and there are victims. The Ukrainian Army was shelling from the direction of the village of Nevelsk. At the same time, the representative of the Emergency Ministry of the DPR said that the plant is not on fire. In addition, there is no threat of chemical emissions into the atmosphere, and emergency units were not involved. Earlier it was reported that on the territory of Donetsk there was a powerful explosion at the chemical plant. In the northwestern part of the city, a column of black smoke was seen. In turn, glass was shattered in several buildings near the plant. … According to the expert of the Institute of Innovative Development Alexey Albu, the shelling of the Donetsk chemical plant is an attack on the military-industrial complex of the young Donetsk People’s Republic. The Donetsk state factory of chemical products is used in the manufacture of ammunition and explosives, and before the independence of the DPR was part of the “Ukroboronprom” group. “The shelling of the enterprise is not accidental, because it is one of the tactical goals of the Ukrainian military. According to them, to stop this enterprise would hurt the defense capabilities of the DPR. This and other attacks are the result of Ukrainian troops preparing a full-scale assault on the young people’s republics. Ukraine is on the verge of great social upheaval associated with the catastrophic situation in the economy, and renewing the armed conflict is the only way to distract the public from the problems associated with the mass impoverishment of the citizens of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the ‘party of war’ remains very strong in Ukrainian politics and is ready to drown its own people in blood for immediate benefits. “It is also necessary to pay attention to a strange pattern observed since the beginning of the civil war: of all the industrial and infrastructure facilities affected by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the majority are not owned by the oligarchs, but controlled by the republics. This fact suggests collusion by the owners of several large enterprises in the LPR and DPR with the Ukrainian authorities,” concluded Alexey Albu.

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Ksenia Sokolova (--Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS)

Ksenia Sokolova (–Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS)

Dr. Liza Foundation’s newly-elected leader intends to visit Donbass soon / TASS / February 14, 2017 / The Dr. Liza Foundation’s new leader has promised to go ahead with the Foundation’s traditional activities – help for the homeless and needy and patients in palliative care at home. / MOSCOW / The newly-elected president of the Fair Aid Foundation (also known as Dr. Liza Foundation) Ksenia Sokolova is going to visit Donbass soon. “Donbass and Syria were the two key aspects of the Fund’s activity. I will certainly go Donbass myself soon. As for Syria, it remains to be seen if my personal presence is required there,” Sokolova said. The forthcoming evacuation of sick and injured children from Donbass is due on March 3. Medical supplies for local hospitals will be dispatched there shortly. The Dr. Liza Foundation’s new leader has promised to go ahead with the Foundation’s traditional activities – help for the homeless and needy and patients in palliative care at home. Earlier, the general meeting of the Fair Aid Foundation unanimously voted for Sokolova as the organization’s new president. Before she was the organization’s trustee. The Fair Aid Foundation was established by medical doctor Yelizaveta Glinka, whose charity activity in Donbass promptly earned her an informal nickname: Dr. Liza. During the conflict in Donbass she has managed to evacuate nearly 500 seriously ill children from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics to Russia. Her life came to an abrupt and tragic ending on December 25, 2016, when a Tupolev-154 liner heading for Syria crashed into the Black Sea near Sochi. All passengers, including Yelizaveta Glinka, and crew – 92 in all, died in the disaster.

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slavfeb14-17r5 reasons Ukraine will soon cease to exist / By Adam Garrie / The Duran / February 14, 2017 / With no historic basis as a state, an economy in tatters and political crises at every corner, it won’t be long till Ukraine becomes unrecognisable, if it exists at all. As the fascist forces escalate their aggression against the Donbass Republics, many are questioning what the future of the Republic of Ukraine will look like in the medium and long term. The state as presently compromised will not survive but a few more years at the very most. History is full of states coming and going/changing their borders. The idea that this state will evaporate into the annals of history is not novel. It will be one of many. Here’s why. 1. There is no historical precedent for such a state: The majority of the territory that is currently Ukraine has at various times been ruled by Russia, The Golden Horde (Mongolia), The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ottoman Turkey, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Second Polish Republic and the Soviet Union. The regions corresponding to post-1991 Ukraine had never been unified as a legitimate state. This is one of the reasons that current state has no cohesive identity, it is merely a mishmash of regions that for most of modern history were Russian. This poor political geography is owed in great part to the foolish . .. READ MORE>>

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slavfeb14-17xThree years after Maidan Kiev fails to implement reforms, says think tank / TASS / February 14, 2017 / The Ukrainian state institutions “were never a match for the powerful domestic elites consisting of oligarchs and their political allies”, the report states / BRUSSELS / The Ukrainian leadership “has fallen woefully short” in living up to its promises to fight corruption and carry out European reforms, says a report of the Brussels Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). [Editor: see original in article below.] Researchers fear this may wreck Ukraine’s EU bid and the Moldovan scenario may be repeated in Ukraine. With this in view, they advise the EU leadership to be ready to stop financing Kiev if it fails to engage in genuine reforms. “Almost three years after the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine’s leadership has fallen woefully short in delivering on its promises to fight against corruption within the judiciary, clean up political party financing and decentralise government functions,” the report said. “The customs service has yet to be reformed, property rights are far from being ensured and state-owned enterprises have not been privatised. Major reforms aimed at combating corruption have consistently been resisted, delayed, manipulated or appear on paper only,” it added. Reforms on paper: Commenting on statements by Ukrainian leaders about the already carried out reforms, analysts note that over the last decade (which includes the presidency of Viktor Yanukovich) “Ukraine has rarely had a problem with accepting and institutionalising European norms and rules, in theory, but successive governments have been selective in implementing them”. They mark that the Ukrainian state institutions “were never a match for the powerful domestic elites consisting of oligarchs and their political allies”. “Safeguarding one’s personal business interests takes priority over the demand to strengthen the Ukrainian state and the confidence of its . . . READ MORE>>

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slavfeb14-17wUkraine’s unimplemented anti-corruption reform / Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) / February 10, 2017 / Almost three years after the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine’s leadership has fallen woefully short in delivering on its promises to fight against corruption within the judiciary, clean up political party financing and decentralise government functions. The customs service has yet to be reformed, property rights are far from being ensured and state-owned enterprises have not been privatised. Major reforms aimed at combating corruption have consistently been resisted, delayed, manipulated or appear on paper only. The country’s elite must produce more tangible results in order to earn the trust of the citizens and ease the growing fatigue among Ukraine’s international partners. Over the last decade, Ukraine has rarely had a problem with accepting and institutionalising European norms and rules, in theory, but successive governments have been selective in implementing them. In the post-Euromaidan period, Ukraine has introduced several institutional modifications in the name of combating corruption, the most important being the adoption of an Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2014-2017, covering the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judiciary). Other institutional modifications include the launch of an open competition for the new Supreme Court, setting up the Public Integrity Council, the Asset Recovery and Management Agency, the National Agency on the Prevention of Corruption, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and establishing an electronic system for the disclosure of assets. A little progress has been made in the fight against corruption through the setting up of a public e-procurement system. For example, the procurement of medicine via international organisations reduced corruption in the field. The raising of energy prices and cleaning up the banking sector have also indirectly . . . READ MORE>>

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