Donetsk Lugansk News Mar 12-30 2017

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Thursday, March 30, 2017
(Brief update)

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Donetsk Defense: Situation Report, 03/30/2017 / DONi News / March 30, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic has sharply escalated in anticipation of the ceasefire introduction agreements’ coming into force from April 1. 20 localities of the Republic were subjected to shellings by the AFU with heavy artillery (152-mm and 122-mm calibre), tanks and mortars (120 mm and 82 mm calibre), as well as armoured vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers, and small arms. As a result of the AFU fire, 18 residential buildings were damaged, among them: three in Mineralnoye on Komsomolskaya St., 7, 9 and 11; two in Sakhanka village on Sergeyev St.; one in Dokuchayevsk locality on Lenin St. 82; and 12 in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk on Sokolovsky St., 2 and 3, Revyakin St. 10 and 17, Mark Ozerny St., 35 and 59, Karbyshev St. 13, Zelyony Gai St., 14, Karnavalnaya St., 77, Petrovsky St., 167, School No. 87 on Revyakin St., 2 and Populyarnaya St., 4, where an elderly woman, born in 1928, received a shrapnel wound. Besides, Kiev terrorists continued shelling the Republic’s vital facilities. Their “diligence” again de-energized the Donetsk filtration station, temporarily Kiev-controlled Avdeyevka and a part of Sakhanka locality. In total, for the past day, there were registered 70 occasions of ceasefire violations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The following localities came under brutal fire with application of weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements: Yasinovataya, Mineralnoye, Dokuchayevsk, Yasnoye, Sosnovskoye, Leninskoye, Oktyabr, Kominternovo, Sakhanka, Spartak, the area of the Airport district and the Petrovsky district of Donetsk. As a result of the shelling, one DPR People’s Militia soldier got wounded. I would like to dwell upon Kiev’s treatment to the AFU army and nationalist units of the National Guard of Ukraine. It became known that, unlike the AFU, the National Guard units’ rotation is carried out in a timely manner and under suitable conditions. According to information obtained from local residents, city councils of Novomikhailovka, Slavnoye, Taramchuk, Sladkoye, Stepnoye, Beryozovoye and Novotroitsk are preparing lists of empty houses for accommodation of personnel of the 18th separate special purposes Azov regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard which getting ready to replace 24th air assault battalion Aidar within the rotation. This comes connected with the fact that the old accommodation of Aidar units were thoroughly looted and destroyed. Thus, the weakening Kiev’s fear of the tenuously controlled mercenaries, makes it please the nationalists to the detriment and at the expense of the regular army servicemen and Ukraine’s population. —Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia Colonel Eduard Basurin, official translation by DONi News Agency

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Pete John on Twitter
March 30, 2017 17:00 UTC

Situation Map – Click to enlarge.
“Ukie fights and shelling – Donetsk Airport, Spartak, Yasinovataya.”

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Lugansk Defense: Situation Report, 03/30/2017 / DONi News / March 30, 3017 / The situation in the responsibility zone of the LPR People’s Militia remains tense. Over the past 24 hours there were twenty two occasions of violations of the ceasefire regime by the enemy. The positions of our units in the areas of the localities of Kalinovo, Logvinovo, Frunze, Pervomaisk, Smeloye, Almaznoye, Veselyenkoye, Sokolniki, the area of the monument to Knyaz Igor, Kalinovka and Sanzharovka, as well as Lugansk suburb, were attacked. During shellings the enemy used artillery of 122-mm calibre, mortars of 120-mm and 82-mm calibre, IFV cannons, grenade launchers of various types and small arms. In total, over 400 projectiles, mortar rounds and grenades were fired at the Republic’s territory. The Ukrainian Command systematically violates the conditions for military weapons presence, envisaged by the Minsk Agreements, along the contact line, as well as continues to build up the combat potential of their units in the so-called ‘ATO’ zone. So, in the vicinity of the settlement of Krymskoye, at a distance of 3 km from the contact line, we identified the location of two batteries of self-propelled artillery units from the 24 brigade of the AFU. Temporary settlements of the units of 24 separate mechanized brigade were revealed by our reconnaissance: 1 battalion in the Kalinovo-Popasnaya area, 2 battalions in the area of Popsnaya locality, 3 battalions in the Kamyshevakha area. These units constantly fire at the positions of our units, which is also recorded by the JCCC and the SMM OSCE. According to the information available to us, the moral and psychological state of the servicemen of the 3rd separate mechanized brigade 24 is characterized as low, due to the continued bullying of officers against soldiers. So, it became known about the suicide committed by the servicemen of the above-mentioned unit on March 28 on the basis of constant money taxes from their commanders. A series of murders and mopping up of witnesses of military property’s embezzlement in the zone of the so-called ‘ATO’ continues. So, in Zaporozhye the body of the cameraman with traces of violent death was found, who worked on the front line. We became aware that he filmed and sent video material with facts of theft of weapons and ammunition to the Security Service. But instead of conducting the trial, the special services eliminated the witness. In turn, units of the LPR People’s Militia conduct combat training according to the plan: servicemen are engaged in servicing weapons and military equipment, improving the educational and material base. Training camps are continuing with reservists of artillery units. We do not succumb to the provocations of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and strictly comply with the Minsk agreements, but in case of gross violations from the Ukrainian side, we are ready to act decisively. —Official representative of the LPR People’s Militia Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko; official translation by DONi News Agency

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Elena Melnik (–Twitter.com/DPR People’s Council)

Official Commentary of Elena Melnik on Irina Gerashchenko’s words about integration of Donbass in Russia / By Elena Melnik / People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic Official Website / March 30, 2017 / Vice Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Irina Gerashchenko stated that the Donbass Republics are increasingly integrating into the Russian Federation, and the introduction of external management at the enterprises of Ukrainian oligarchs allowed the LDPR to actually switch to self-sufficiency. The Ukrainian politician blamed the fighters of ‘ATO’ – the organizers of the blockade of Donbass – on the incident. Inconsistency and contrariety of the Ukrainian authorities’ actions become inalienable and distinctive features of their policies. For three years, the Kiev authorities in various ways have been trying to inflict maximum damage on the Donbass Republics, and now it expresses concern about the integration processes of the DPR and the LPR in Russia. For three years, Ukraine has not been paying pensions and social benefits to residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and now it is unhappy that the Republics can make social payments on their own. For a long time, the Kiev regime has been blocking economic ties with the Donbass unofficially, and when Poroshenko approved the official status of the blockade, it turned out that this facilitates the integration of the DPR and the LPR into the Russian Federation. However, it is quite easy to explain such a sudden anxiety that Gerashchenko expressed right now. The financial and economic condition of Ukraine is close to catastrophic. Tranches from the IMF are postponed, and receipts from enterprises in the territories of the DPR and the LPR are completely stopped after the introduction of temporary administrations. Even Western partners pour oil on the fire – the court in London was lost with $ 3 billion in debt to Russia. For all this, someone will have to answer, so Ukrainian politicians are desperately trying to shift responsibility for what is happening to each other. —Elena Melnik, the DPR People’s Council deputy

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VIDEO: Woman killed in Donetsk as Ukraine destroys 2 homes in a artillery attack
By Patrick Lancaster – March 29, 2017

Click for video.
My full report: A woman has been killed when Ukraine shelling hit the same
neighbor hood in Kievsky district Donetsk that they bombarded in February.

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LPR People’s Militia ready to disengage forces and facilities near Stanitsa Luganskaya / DONi News / March 30, 2017 / The LPR People’s Militia is ready to implement the decision of the Contact Group on holding disengagement of forces and facilities near Stanitsa Luganskaya on April 6, the LPR People’s Militia Official Representative, Lieutenant colonel Andrei Marochko states. Following the results of the session of the Contact Group participants taking place in Minsk on March 29, the OSCE special envoy to the Contact Group Martin Saidik reported that the parties had agreed on ceasefire and disengagement of heavy arms on April 1 and also on disengagement of forces and facilities in the vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya on April 6. “The People’s Militia is always ready to disengage forces and facilities according to the Minsk agreements. We demonstrated it a few times,” pointed out Marochko.

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[Enemy report:] Poroshenko Instructs Army General Staff And Defense Ministry To Ensure Ceasefire In Donbas From April 1 / Ukranews.com / March 30, 2017 / President Petro Poroshenko has instructed the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense to ensure a ceasefire in the Donbas from April 1. Poroshenko’s spokesman Sviatoslav Tseholko announced this on Twitter, Ukrainian News Agency reports. “The president has issued all the necessary commands to the General Staff and the Defense Minister regarding a cease-fire regime from April 1,” he wrote. On March 29, the Trilateral Contact Group on resolution of the conflict in the Donbas (Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) reached agreement on a ceasefire and extension of the working hours of crossings points on the line of contact in the Donbas from April 1. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the headquarters of the antiterrorist operation (ATO) has said that ATO forces are ready for a unilateral ceasefire from April 1. [Source: ukranews.com/en/news/488606-poroshenko-instructs-army-general-staff-and-defense-ministry-to-ensure-ceasefire-in-donbas-from]

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Serious situation in Donbass makes Russia to worry / Novorossia Today / March 30, 2017 / Russia is concerned over the deteriorating situation in Donbass and calls on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to conduct unbiased monitoring in Donbass and other regions, Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters. “We are concerned over the deteriorating situation in Ukraine’s southeast,” Zakharova said on Thursday. “According to reports of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, in March the monitors registered up to 5,000 ceasefire violations every day,” she noted. Zakharova also said the OSCE SMM reports about military hardware spotted near the contact line in Donbass in violation of the agreement on withdrawing weapons. “We call on the mission to carry out impartial monitoring both in Donbass and other regions of Ukraine,” the diplomat said. [Photo: Maria Zakharova (–Kauilapele’s Blog)]

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Alexander Mercouris

BREAKING: Russia wins Judgment against Ukraine in London High Court / By Alexander Mercouris / The Duran / March 29, 2017 / High Court Judgment to expedite case clears way for Ukraine to be declared in default, legally requiring IMF funding of Ukraine to cease. / The High Court in London this morning granted Russia’s request for an expedited hearing (ie. summary Judgment) of its claim against Ukraine arising from Ukraine’s non-payment of the $3 billion loan Ukraine owes Russia. This is not the final Judgment in the case. That is however probably no more than a few weeks away. Reports say the High Court rejected all of Ukraine’s arguments that it should not be required to pay the loan for political reasons, and this together with the High Court’s decision to grant Russia an expedited hearing makes it now a virtual certainty that the High Court will shortly decide the case in Russia’s favour, and declare Ukraine in default on its loan. As those who have followed my writings on this question will know, this is what I have argued was likely to happen from the start. Indeed on strict legal principles it is difficult to see what other possible Judgment the High Court could have made. Ukraine is saying it will appeal today’s Judgment, presumably to the Court of Appeal and, if it loses there, presumably ultimately to the British Supreme Court. In English law an appeal does not however automatically delay implementation of a Judgment, and since today’s decision is procedural I cannot see what grounds for appeal there are, and I expect Ukraine’s appeal to be refused. This means that a final Judgment in the case may now be no more than weeks away. The big question therefore is what will happen when the High Court finally decides the case in Russia’s favour, and finds Ukraine in default of its $3 billion loan to Russia, as it is now almost certain to do. Will the IMF recognise that this is a legal declaration from the world’s most powerful commercial court that Ukraine is in default to . . . READ MORE>>

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Heroes of Donbass

Mozgovoy, Motorola, Givi
Ischenko, Dremov
Bednov, Anashenko

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“‘Normal’ is to treat your partners with respect, not to try to impose some of your ideas on others without taking into account their own views and their concerns, always to try to listen and to hear, and hopefully not to rely on a superiority complex, which was obviously the case with the Obama administration. They were obsessed with their exceptionality …” –Sergey Lavrov, March 29, 2017

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the National Interest Magazine, published on March 29, 2017 / Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation / March 29, 2017 / Question: I’d like to start by asking you about your forthcoming meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, we’ve read in the press that the two of you may be meeting soon. Sergey Lavrov: So they say. Question: Could you perhaps tell us about your expectations and goals in dealing with Secretary Tillerson? Sergey Lavrov: Well, after the American election, soon after Election Day President Putin and President-elect Trump talked over the phone. It was a good but very general discussion touching upon the key issues in our relations, and of course the key international issues. And they agreed that they would continue being in touch and after the inauguration they talked again, and they reconfirmed the need to look for ways which would be effective in handling international problems. And of course to see what could be done to bring the bilateral relations to normalcy. They also agreed that Mr. Rex Tillerson and I would look into the agenda in some more details, and would also discuss the preparation for the presidential meeting which should take place when both countries, both leaders feel comfortable. And we met with Rex in mid-February in Bonn on the margins of the G-20 ministerial meeting, and covered quite a lot of the bilateral agenda. I briefed him about the relationship on bilateral issues with the Obama administration, the problems which accumulated during that period. We did not go into the substance of this, I just briefed him so that his team, which is still being assembled, could take a look at these issues and determine what kind of attitude they would have on them. And we discussed Syria, Iran, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East in general, relations between Russia and the West, it was a very general, but rather substantive discussion, obviously it was the first contact and Mr.Rex Tillerson is just getting into the shoes of his new capacity. We discussed the possibility of personal meeting and have been continuing these discussions. As soon as we finalize them it will be announced. But my feeling is that from the point of view of personal relationship, we feel quite comfortable. I feel quite comfortable, I believe Rex had the same feeling, and our assistants should work . . . READ MORE>>

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Putin ready to meet Trump at upcoming Arctic summit in Finland / Rt.com / March 30, 2017 / Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would be ready to meet with US President Donald Trump at the upcoming summit of Arctic countries in Finland, if the talks are properly prepared. “I believe Finland suits this purpose well, and Helsinki is a very convenient platform to organize an event like this,” Putin said, when asked if he thought a meeting between him and Trump was possible in Finland. Putin was speaking at the International Arctic Forum in Russia’s northwestern city of Arkhangelsk. However, he added that any meeting between him and Trump should be well prepared “by both sides.” “If this happens, we – and I personally – would be glad to take part in such an event. If not, the meeting [with Trump] could take place in the framework of the G20 summit [set to take place in July],” Putin concluded. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said earlier that his country would “certainly be very happy to have the opportunity to hold such a summit.” The summit is set to take place at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on September 18-20, 2017, according to the event’s official website. Russia considers the US a great power, and would like to get its relationship with Washington back on track, and claims alleging anything else are lies and fiction, Putin said. The Russian president added that, while relations between Moscow and Washington are currently “at zero level,” he counts on the situation improving someday – and the sooner the better. The anti-Russian card is being played by various political forces in the US to reinforce . . . READ MORE>>

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Putin and Company is a Mafia Attached to a Pipeline / By Vladimir Suchan / Logos Politicos / March 27, 2017 / Turning Russia into a resource colonial, mono-(anti-culture) appendix of global capitalism under Putin and his cronies: Putin’s and the Kremlin’s non-existent “economic genius” and performance is almost entirely (by 95%) determined by the world prices of oil and gas and their fluctuations (besides the unsustainable levels of theft, plunder and graft for which they are fully responsible). In other words, world prices of oil and gas explain nearly all the overall dynamic (that is not the use or distribution) of the Russian economy under its regressive oligarchic rule: [See graphs at source.] The problem of capitalism in Russia is greatly exacerbated and even multiplied by the character of Russian post-Soviet . . . READ MORE>>

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Saturday, March 25, 2017
(Brief update)

Donetsk Defense: Weekly Situation Report 03/24/2017 / DONi News / March 24, 2017 / Good day! Ukraine’s special operations forces and the Security Service of Ukraine still attempt to destabilize the situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic by carrying out terrorist attacks and to spread panic among civilians. Today at 08:50 Ukraine’s sabotage-reconnaissance group consisting of three people conducted a shot with rocket anti-tank launchers, the fragments of which hit the residential house near the military base of the defense establishment in the downtown of Donetsk. As a result of the act of terrorism, the citizen Sukhova received shrapnel wounds, she was provided with medical treatment. Guard forces which immediately arrived at the scene repelled an attack. Search and blocking of the group of terrorists in Donetsk and other districts of the Republic are carried out. Due to continuing terrorism act threats, we are asking residents of the Republic to keep their vigilances and help security agencies and law-enforcements agencies reveal Ukrainian terrorists and warn about their attempts of sabotages and acts of terrorism. I’m calling on the OSCE Mission to record new Kiev’s act of terrorism and to draw international community’s attention to criminal activities of Ukrainian special services. Last week, from March 18 till 24, in formations and units of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic main efforts were focused on carrying out command post exercises and on summing up results and also on drilling military readiness of units. Tank and IVF crews passed driving trainings. And with other units there were carried out trainings on study subjects and on tactics on the defensive. Over the past 24 hours there were registered 85 occasions of violations of the ceasefire regime on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The enemy applied heavy artillery, tanks, mortars of various caliber, IFVs, anti-aircraft installations, grenade launchers and small arms. Altogether, over the past week there were registered 467 occasions of violations of the ceasefire regime on the part of the enemy. Ukraine’s military launched 4,950 projectiles and mortar-shells on the Republican territory with the weapons prohibited. The Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled 28 localities of the Republic. There were seriously damaged the following localities: ZAYTSEVO, GORLOVKA, YASINOVATAYA, KRUTAYA BALKA, SPARTAC, KOMINTERNOVO, DOKUCHAEVSK, YASNOE, OCTYABR, ELENOVKA, LUGANSK, the suburbs of the Volvo-Center and airport and also the Petrovsky, Kirovsky and Kiyevsky districts of Donetsk on the territories of which there were damaged and destroyed 41 houses. Eight residents of the Republic . . . READ MORE>>

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Click to enlarge.

Ukrainian sabotage-recon groups became highly active on DPR territory / Essence of Time / March 24, 2017 / The Ukrainian army intensified the shelling. The Ukrainian sabotage-recon groups became highly active on DPR territory, a source in the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia (DPR PM) informed a Rossa Primavera News Agency reporter on March 24th. / During the day, the Ukrainian military were shelling the residential areas of Gorlovka. The enemy was also provoking trench combat in the suburbs of the city. 2 houses on Marshal Peresypkin and Bogun streets were damaged. A 61-years old man was injured. The situation is tense in the area of Zaytsevo, the Gagarin (Glubokaya) coal mine, the villages of Shirokaya Balka and Zheleznaya Balka. Very intense fire is observed on the Donetsk part of the front. The Ukrainian military shelled the village of Spartak, where a house on Pobeda street burnt down as a result of the direct hit of the shell. Outbuilding on Mira street burnt down. Moreover, the village of Yakovlevka was shelled with 152mm mortars and tanks. A shell struck the roof of the building on Chernogorskaya street in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk. 2 houses on Andrusov street and one house on Lieutenant Nikolenko street in the village of Trudovskiye were damaged. The Ukrainian army is provoking trench combat in the area of Avdeevka industrial zone and in the area of “Volvo-Center”. Today, at 8.50 AM, the Ukrainian saboteurs opened fire on one of the buildings of DPR PM military unit in downtown Donetsk with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. The fragments of the rounds struck the house injuring a woman. The [sabotage-recon] group is being traced. In the south of DPR, 4 houses in the village of Zaichenko were damaged as a result of the night shelling conducted by the Ukrainian army. The village of Sosnovskoye also came under Ukrainian military’s fire. Electric power was lost in the village of Kominternovo. The bodies of 2 Ukrainian army soldiers, killed while attempting to seize the position of DPR People’s Militia on March 20th, were passed to the Ukrainian side today. According to recent information, during the past day, March 23rd, the Ukrainian army violated ceasefire 85 times. During the past week, the Ukrainian military intensified the shelling of DPR territory. —Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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Explosion at Balakleya munitions depot (–Daily Mail/YouTube/Oleksi Tamrazov)

Explosions continue going off at Ukraine ammo depot / TASS / March 25, 2017 / Special equipment, including two fire tanks and three fire vehicles, are used at the depot now. / KIEV / Detonations continue at the ammo depot in Ukraine’s Kharkov region, where the fire was extinguished, press service of the national emergencies service said on Saturday. “As of 07:25 on Saturday, occasional explosions of various intensity continue at the technical territory of the depot,” the press service said. Special equipment, including two fire tanks and three fire vehicles, are used at the depot now, the press service said, adding gas supplies had been cut, and railway communication at the local station was stopped. The air communication is closed in the area of 40 km. The now-infamous fire broke out at the military depot in near the city of Balakleya at around 3.00 a.m. local time (0100GMT) on Thursday. Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios said the fire and a series of blasts were recorded in several storage facilities for artillery shells and missiles. Until recently, the ammo depot in Balakleya, encompassing an area of 368 hectares, was considered to be Europe’s largest facility for storing weapons. The depot may house up to 150,000 tonnes of armaments. Media reports say currently there are some 125,000 tonnes of munitions there. Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman said that the blaze had engulfed nearly half of the entire territory of the military facility and extinguishing it “may take up to seven days.” Ukraine’s top military brass labeled the blasts at the ammo depot an ‘act of sabotage.’ Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Lugansk people’s militias said that Kiev’s military may have blown up the depot to cover up the mass shortage of munitions there.

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VIDEOs: Detonation of Ammunition Depot in Kharkov Region
March 24, 2017

Click for video.

Click for video.

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@OceanEchoes on Twitter
March 24, 2017 23:55 UTC

“I am thinking of all the Uragan & Tochka-U missiles that blew up in Ukraraine at that depot, that won’t be fired at Donbass civilians.”

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Explosions in Balakley began after a booze in the warehouse of Ukrainian generals – an eyewitness / Anti-Fashist.com / Autotranslated by Quemado Institute / March 24, 2017 / The fire in the ammunition depot of the Ministry of Defense in the Balakley of the Kharkov region began immediately after the drunken Ukrainian generals left it, who had a drinking party in this place. This statement was made on the air of the Ukrainian news channel NewsOne by a local resident of Balakleya. “I know that before the explosions there was a check: the generals came, drank at the base and after their departure explosions began, what they did there is unknown, I can say that the situation with the explosions testifies to the negligence of the generals,” he said. He also considers it doubtful that the fire in warehouses arose from the dumping of an explosive device from a drone. The man expressed the opinion that the cause was far more likely to be the negligence of servicemen who are often in a state of intoxication. “I do not think they were drones because there are a lot of soldiers on the base who drink all the time, all the local people know about it.” All Balakleya knows about this, they are plopping in. There (nearby) there is a Shinok cafe, they drink there Constantly,” said a local resident. At the same time, he described how the situation in the city was going from the very beginning of the explosions. “I woke up from the explosions around 3 am (on Thursday, March 23rd – ed.) From the base everything was blazing and the explosions were rumbling, I took out the children, there were a lot of cars on the way, people tried to leave the city on their own, the evacuation was organized by the authorities about 6 -7 am.” The man also complained that the city now has a difficult situation with food, in the shops huge queues, pharmacies are closed, and in homes have not yet turned on gas. Recall, the largest in Ukraine arsenal in the Balakley region caught fire on the night of March 23. The ignition of the subsequent detonation is recorded immediately on several sites. According to the LNR, the Ukrainian authorities hide the actual figures of the wounded as a result of a fire in the arsenal. “As a result of the explosions in Balaklee, injuries of varying severity were received by more than 70 servicemen of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel,” the representative of the People’s Militia of the People’s Democratic Republic of Belarus Andrei Marochko said today. He is convinced that Kiev is hiding this information, since there are no blood transfusion systems and blood donations in Ukraine’s military hospitals, and there are no “other necessary means to provide emergency medical care to the victims,” Marachko added.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017
(Brief update)

Ukraines biggest ammunition depot was blown up today in Balakleya, in the Kiev-controlled Kharkov region. Video shows denotations of Grad and Tochka U missiles. The warehouse can continue detonating for 4 days. No one can get in. The evacuation zone is up to 7 km. The Balakleya ammunition warehouse was one of the largest in Europe.

Watching this video is like watching the face of God. Every missile that fires is one that will not kill the women and children of Donbass.

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Ukrainian Ammo Dump Blown-Up Near Donbass Region: Balaklay Ammunition Warehouses Explode and Burn on March 23, 2017 / “Diversion of Poroshenko” near Kharkov: details / ThereAreNoSunglasses (translated from Nakanune.ru Russian State Media Supervision Service) / March 23, 2017 /A catastrophe at military depots near Kharkov is considered a diversion. The total area of ​​storage facilities of 122- and 152-mm howitzer shells, rockets to salvo fire systems and even, according to some information, ballistic missiles “Tochka U” is amazing – 368 hectares. According to official data, the total mass of ammunition in the warehouse was 138 thousand tons. Here is how the main military prosecutor of the Kiev regime Anatoly Matios describes what happened: “According to preliminary information (now as a result of investigative actions) of the investigative-prosecutorial group of the military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkov garrison and the investigation department of the SBU in the Kharkiv region (which are on the scene), due to the sabotage last night, at 2:45, at several storage sites (Tank and artillery shells 125 and 152 mm) near the city of Balakleya in the Kharkov region there was an explosion (a fire broke out), which caused detonation of ammunition.” The total area of the arsenal is 368 hectares and 138 thousand tons of ammunition. From the place of detonation through the establishment of the blockade, a conditional seven kilometer cordon of the zone of danger of the spread of ammunition is organized. There are no data on human casualties. On the site of events, a staff is working as part of the regional leadership and law enforcement agencies. On the instructions of the Ministry of Defense, a board with a commission headed by the deputy defense minister for armament of Pavlovsky flew from Kiev. Taking into account the possibility of increasing the area of detonation of ammunition and their dispersal, an evacuation of local population from the settlements of Verbovka and Yakovenkovo is organized . All necessary measures are taken to prevent the loss of human life, to establish eyewitnesses of sabotage and to examine the place of events. According to Matios, the heavy fire fighting equipment of the Defense Ministry arrived at the scene of the events. Prepares to take off the UAV to establish the actual volumes of the affected areas of the arsenal. The State Border Service has strengthened the border control regime in the north-eastern direction. It should be noted that there is a fire train in the warehouse itself, and fire tanks, at least, were in 2011, when the exercises were held there just for a similar case , therefore, probably, the prosecutor exaggerates the merits of the “emergency response” of the Defense Ministry. He does not have information on other items: No UAVs will allow to determine in the morning the area covered by fires and explosions – due to smoke and turbulent flows on the borders of the burning area, caused by the rising streams of hot air (more than 100 km / h). Because of the spread of not only the fragments of shells, but also missiles, no investigative actions “at the scene” can not be carried out. Maximum, investigators who arrived only a couple of hours ago from Kharkov, could find and interview those who are in a state of shock, but managed to escape, sentries from which nothing coherent and reliable can be achieved simply because witnesses can not determine at night where and how It all began. And for objective reasons – 368 hectares are simply not visible from one point and it is impossible to speak about “simultaneous” ignition (and diversion).

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Video of moment of detonation at Baslakleya warehouse, Kharkov Region

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[Enemy report:] Blasts at Balakliia ammo depot continue, people stay in shelters, evacuation underway / En.censor.net.ua / March 23, 2017 / Evacuation of civilians is underway in Balakliia, the Kharkiv region, where the local ammunition depot has been impacted by blasts since last night, Kharkiv journalist Yurii Borshch, whose relatives reside in Balakliia, told Censor.NET. “The blasts of the ammunition at the military unit A1352 started in Balakliia at around 2:30 a.m. The explosions were very powerful. People started panicking. Due to the Donbas events, city shelters and basements have been put in proper order, with sufficient markings of the locations in place. So the people were quite organized to move to the basements. They remain in shelters, sometimes getting up to the surface. Stationary phone lines do not operate in the city. Some houses’ windows were damaged by the shock wave, some balconies cracked. Some say the missiles are reaching neighboring Borshchivka village. The evacuation of civilians is underway in the city. It started really fast, during the first hour after the blasts. People are being taken to Krasnyi Lyman, Lozova, Shevelivka, Volokhiv Yar. An evacuation point has been set in the city downtown. The explosions continue,” the reporter said. He added that local radio station has announced a call to get into shelters and provided the addresses of the shelters. Borshch said the issue with the military base in the city has persisted over the years. Local residents and authorities have many times asked to solve the problem of storing ammunition this close to the city. Recently, the depot was allegedly full. It’s one of the biggest depots in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the reporter said. At the same time, it lacks modern surveillance cameras and IR sensors. It’s an old Soviet-time military base. “If someone wanted to commit an act of sabotage, it’s quite simple to do that. The military say it was an arson at several spots,” Borshch said. He said there was no information on casualties, as well as no information on the garrison town within the military unit. Railway connection has been halted due to proximity to the explosion site. [Source: en.censor.net.ua/n433108]

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Donetsk Defense: Situation Report, 03/23/2017 / DONi News / March 23, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense. Over the past 24 hours, there were registered 63 occasions of ceasefire violations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The following localities underwent the most intensive enemy shellings with application of weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements: Gorlovka, Yasinovataya, Krytaya Balka, Dokuchayevsk, Kominternovo, Spartak, the area of the Airport, the Petrovsky and the Kievsky districts of Donetsk. In total, 16 Republic’s localities were shelled with the AFU’s heavy artillery of 152mm and 122mm calibre, tanks, mortars of 120mm and 82mm calibre, as well as IFV and armoured personnel carriers’ arms, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers, and small arms. As a result of the fire from the AFU part, eight residential houses of Donetsk suffered. Among these: In the Petrovsky district: five houses at the addresses Andrusov Street, 7, 8, 12; Serafimovich Street, 8; centre for primary health care along the street Anachanko. – In the Kievsky district: three houses along the street Zhelyabova, 15, 16, 17. Multiple shrapnel wounds were received by a civilian, born in 1994, a young mother who was on the street with a three-month-old child during the shelling, and had to cover the child with her body from the spreading fragments of mortar shells of Kiev terrorists, and was wounded and taken to the hospital. A civilian woman, 1960, was wounded in the leg as a result of sniper fire in the locality of Krytaya Balka. *** The scale of weapons and ammunition’s embezzlement from the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ warehouses reached such a level that, in order to conceal these facts and avoid punishment, they carry out the destruction of their rocket and artillery arsenal. So, tonight, at one of the arsenals of the AFU, located in the Kharkov region, near the town of Balakleya, and which has about 140 thousand tons of ammunition stored, their ignition occurred. We note that to the warehouse’s blazing took place on the eve of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s inspection arrival, headed by Deputy Defense Minister for Armaments General Pavlovsky. One doesn’t need to be a prophet to say that this is not the first and not the last case of theft of state property by Ukrainian criminals. *** zone. In connection with the disastrous shortage of personnel, the Ukrainian military command goes to any measures to eliminate this problem. Military units of Kramatorsk spread allotments in the industrial enterprises to mobilize 50 men aged from 18 to 64 years. The personnel of enterprises that would refuse to serve the Ukrainian criminal regime must retire and hide from the draft. A shortage of personnel is also registered in nationalist battalions. So, in Krasnoarmeisk unit of the Ukrainian volunteer corps “Right Sector” there was established a camp, where they conduct the campaign activities among the population on the entry into their ranks. In turn, units of the Republic’s People’s Militia continue to improve combat training. Trainings with various kinds of units that are not occupied with the protection of the borders of our Republic are constantly undergoing training at the proving grounds. At the end of the week, all the subjects of combat training will be tested. We are ready to defend our interests and protect the integrity of the Republic from any aggression of the criminal regime of Ukraine. —Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia Colonel Eduard Basurin, official translation by DONi News Agency

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Probability of Kiev resuming full-fledged military operations extremely high / DONi News / March 23, 2017 / The probability of the resumption by the Ukrainian troops of full-scale military operations in Donbass is extremely high, stated DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko during the Q&A session with the residents of the Donetsk region under Ukrainian control. “In order to reset the situation that has now developed, Poroshenko has only one way out – to start military operations. Proceeding from this, I suspect that Ukraine has such plans, and it is very likely that these plans will be undertaken. Unfortunately, the chances are high for the development of the military situation that has developed,” Zakharchenko noted. However, he stressed that the forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk are ready to repel the attack on the part of Ukrainian units. Meanwhile, the military solution, according to Zakharchenko, will not stop the confrontation in Donbass.

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Self-proclaimed Donetsk republic opens unofficial mission in Greece / Indian Subcontinent (from TASS) / March 21, 2017 / ATHENS / The eastern Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) opened an unofficial mission in Greece Tuesday, a TASS correspondent reported. “On behalf of the DPR Foreign ministry and all of the country’s people, accept our words of sincere gratitude for your contribution into the DPR’s process of becoming an independent member of the international community,” reads a congratulation letter by the republic’s spokeswoman Natalya Nikonorova. ‘The opening of a DPR Representation center in Greece is an important step in strengthening information, cultural and economic ties between the Donetsk People’s Republic and your country,” says the letter, read out during the opening ceremony. “The center’s activities will become another link between our peoples that allows us to create a dialogue with residents of European countries,” Nikonorova said. “We are sincerely grateful for the support of the people of Donbass.” The head of the DPR Representation center in Greece and a co-organizer of Greece’s Safe Donbass society Andreas Zaferis said during the ceremony that it was the third such center opened in European Union states. “Soon, such centers will open in other European countries,” he added. Panagiotis Lafazanis, a Greek ex-minister who now heads the non-parliamentary Popular Unity party, wished good luck and victory to “the people of DPR, who strife for independence.” Greek government officials, however, stressed that the center has no official diplomatic status. “Greece has never recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic,” a Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “Any actions that undermine the territorial integrity of Ukraine are in stark contrast with the established stance of the Greek government.”

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Armed Donetsk miner (–© Rosiya na vsegda)

Donetsk coal is now rolling to Russia, Donbass blockade to cost Kiev 3.3 billion € in lost revenue and 75,000 jobs / Translated by Tom Winter / Sott.net (from Fort Russ; original source: Sputnik France) / March 22, 2017 / Shipments of coal to Russia have begun, Alexander Zakharchenko, President of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, told reporters. This, following on the heels of the commercial blockade of Donbass organized by Ukrainian radicals at the end of January. After the Ukrainian radicals imposed their rail blockade on Donbass, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) took up the delivery of this fuel to Russia Tuesday [March 14]. “Let us remember, where did this production used to go? It went to Russia,” said Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the republic. “Yes, it’s a tough process that will take up to three months. But today, the first 95 cars are gone. This is a test lot.” There are, however, some bureaucratic and marketing difficulties, but these problems are being resolved, Zakharchenko added. Meanwhile in Kiev, a demonstration to support the commercial blockade of the Donbass was held Tuesday night. Hundreds of people gathered in the Maidan Square to call for the continuation of the blockade and even to invite the volunteers to strengthen it. The Ukrainian radicals began the Donbass rail blockade at the end of January, disrupting coal deliveries from the region. The self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk responded by setting up external management of companies under Ukrainian jurisdiction. Further, on Friday March 3, the leader of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko announced a trade blockade against Kiev. The shortage of coal has forced Kiev to introduce extraordinary measures to conserve energy resources. According to Prime Minister Vladimir Groïsmann, the blockade of Donbass will cost Ukraine dearly: the country will lose 3.3 billion euros in revenue and 75,000 jobs. At the end of February the leaders of the People’s Republics adopted a joint declaration informing Kiev that coal deliveries would not resume, and that companies under Ukrainian jurisdiction would be placed under external management if the blockade was not lifted before 1st of March. Kiev did not react to this statement.

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Donbass, East Ukraine On Its Way To Becoming Own Country By Default / By Brandon Turbeville / Novorossiyaupdates (from Activist Post) / March 23, 2017 / After having fallen prey to Western machinations of destabilization and civil war, it is apparent that there may now be irreparable differences between the East and West portions of Ukraine. With the East of Ukraine more in line with Russia and the West more in line with Western Europe, all compounded by years of civil war and outright persecution and atrocities committed by the fascist Ukrainian forces, the DPR and LPR are showing signs of going their separate ways and breaking away from West Ukraine in a more final fashion. When Crimea voted to reunite with Russia after a long separation, many suspected the DPR and LPR would follow suit. In fact, there was a movement within both republics to do the same. However, geopolitical and diplomatic concerns on the part of Russia prevented such a vote from ever solidifying a “reunification” with Russia. A vote to reunify with Russia in the same fashion as Crimea would have no doubt caused a diplomatic emergency between Russia and the warmongering West. Indeed, it may have even caused military confrontation. However, after time passed and the impasse between East and West Ukraine has become more pronounced, it appears that East Ukraine is making moves toward becoming its own country even without formal recognition. East Ukraine – DPR and LPR (Donbass)– may very well become their own nation by default and by natural progression of events. Eastern Ukraine (Donbass) has, for at least a year, begun working on setting up the framework of a governmental system, complete with a political framework, the seizing of banks, and the operation of various industries. Greater centralized military structure, as necessitated by the current conflict, has also become a reality. Ironically, it appears Donbass is more so on its way to becoming its own independent country as a result of the actions of the fascists of East Ukraine than perhaps it would have been if simple neutrality and peace would have been observed by Kiev. Every act of force by Kiev has served to push Donbass further and further away from Ukraine and more toward independence. These acts of force are also pushing Donbass toward greater cooperation with Russia, whose involvement in Crimea, political opposition to Western destabilization, and involvement in East Ukraine (still vociferously denied by the Kremlin) is the only reason Western forces did not simply roll over separatists and establish NATO bases on Russia’s border in 2014. In February, in a possible message to the West and a probable step forward in supporting the independence if not the “reunification” with Russia, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would be recognizing all “administrative acts” coming from the. . . READ MORE>>  Quemado Institute comments: This lengthy analysis seems mostly right, except for the point that Russia’s “involvement” is far from “the only reason” Western forces did not roll over the separatists. In many ways, the Kremlin actually held the separatists back by discouraging them through strong-arm politics from fighting in their own defense. This was in order to appease the West and appear to be complying with Minsk, which of course Russia was not a party to. The DPR/LPR militias nevertheless held their own for over a year with almost no Russian political or diplomatic support, and certainly no military assistance. The militias are a powerful well-armed fighting force. They the primary reason the DPR/LPR are now nearing independence.

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Protest, Sberbank of Russia, Kiev (-EPA/Sergey Dolzhenko)

Russian banks willing to withdraw from Ukrainian market, Kremlin says / TASS / March 23, 2017 / The operations of the Russian banks in Ukraine are dangerous now, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. / MOSCOW / Russian lenders would like to withdraw from the Ukrainian market, as their operations there are in danger now, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. “(Russian) bankers have voiced their position, which is probably more important since they act in the best interest of their shareholders first of all,” he said, adding that they are willing to “minimize the potential damage in case of an attempt to withdraw from the Ukrainian market as soon as possible.” According to Peskov, “Ukraine is not a country with attractive investment climate at the moment.” “This is a country with quite a threatening investment environment and high risks for investors,” Kremlin spokesman said. He assumes that the sanctions Kiev levied against Russian lenders threaten not only subsidiaries of Russian banks but “Ukrainian economy, meaning Ukrainian taxpayers, common Ukrainians.” “Of course, now the operations of those (Russian) banks (in Ukraine) are in danger since further actions of the Ukrainian authorities are unpredictable,” Peskov said, adding that the country’s authorities “are often unable to restore order in terms of opposing extremists.” On March 16, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed sanctions against five banks with Russian state capital operating on the Ukrainian market. Restrictions were introduced against Sberbank, VS Bank, Prominvestbank, VTB Bank and BM Bank for one-year period. Sanctions include a ban on withdrawal of funds outside of Ukraine, as well as payment of dividends, interest, return of interbank deposits and loans, funds from correspondent accounts of subordinated debt. The ban also concerns distribution of profits and capital of these five banks. Ukraine’s National Bank said then that all lenders with Russian capital operating in the country negotiated potential sale transactions. Russian credit organizations later confirmed those plans.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017
(Full report)

Donetsk Defense: Situation Report, 03/21/2017 / DONi News / March 21, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense. Over the past day, there were registered 59 occasions of ceasefire violations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The following localities underwent the most intensive enemy shellings with application of weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements: Yasinovataya, Alexandrovka, Dokuchayevsk, Kommunarovka, Kominternovo, Bezymennoye, Leninskoye, Sakhanka, Spartak, the areas of the Airport and the Volvo Center of Donetsk. In total, 17 Republic’s localities were shelled with the AFU’s heavy artillery (152mm and 122mm calibre), tanks, mortars (120mm and 82mm calibre), as well as IFV and armoured personnel carriers’ arms, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers, and small arms. Nine houses sustained damage in the AFU fire. Thus, in Kommunarovka locality a kindergarten and school were damaged on Tsentralnaya St., 2b, 4, two houses on Oktyabrskaya St., 67, 68, one private house in Zaitsevo village on Yesenin St., 8. One house was damaged in Alexandrovka locality on Ordzhonikidze St., 29, and the AFU shells damaged two apartments in a five-story house in Dokuchayevsk locality on Lenin St., 100 and one private house on Bazarnaya St., 8. Due to the genocide of the Donbass people, one civilian, born in 1968, received shrapnel wounds. Losses among the People’s Militia personnel made three killed and two wounded. It is important to note that Ukrainian forces’ losses as a result of the March 20 failure near Kominternovo amounted to: 12 killed and 14 wounded fighters, among . . . READ MORE>>

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Situation sharply escalated on the southern part of the front in DPR / Essence of Time / March 20, 2017 / On the Gorlovka and Donetsk direction, the situation is unchanged. However, on the southern part of the front, the situation is sharply escalated, a source in the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia (DPR PM) informed a Rossa Primavera News Agency reporter on March 20th. On the Gorlovka and Donetsk directions, the situation remains tense. The Ukrainian army is provoking trench combat in the areas of Zaytsevo, of Avdeevka industrial zone, and in the western suburbs of the Petrovsky district in Donetsk. The tensest situation is observed on the Mariupol part of the front. In the morning, the Ukrainian army attempted to break through the DPR PM positions in the area of Kominternovo. The attack was backed by the artillery. According to DPR PM Command, the Ukrainian side lost 10 militaries killed and another 5 wounded. One BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle was destroyed. 3 DPR servicemen were wounded. Combat continues on this part of the front. DPR PM Command also informed that, during the day, another one serviceman was wounded as a result of the shelling conducted by the Ukrainian army. DPR PM intelligence presented new facts of the non-combat loses among the Ukrainian military. In the area of Dzerzhinsk, 4 soldiers of the 72nd independent mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian army were killed, and another 3 soldiers of the 3rd battalion of the 80th independent assault brigade were wounded as a result of the shootout with the militants of one of the Ukrainian nationalist battalion. According to recent information, during the past day, March 19th, the Ukrainian army violated ceasefire 39 times. 13 towns and villages of DPR came under Ukrainian artillery’s fire. —Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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Click for Video in Russian (no subtitles)

Donetsk Situation Report, 20.03.2017 / Novorossia Vision / March 20, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic, despite the decrease in the intensity of the shelling by the Ukrainian artillery, remains tense. Over the past day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine violated the ceasefire 39 times. The most intense fire impact of the enemy, with weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements, was applied to the following localities: Yasinovataya, Yakovlevka, Dokuchaevsk, Kominternovo, Bezymennoye, Leninskoye, Sakhanka, Spartak, the area of the airport and the Petrovsky district of Donetsk city. In total, the AFU shelled 13 localities of the Republic, with 122 and 152mm artillery, tanks, 82 and 120mm mortars, as well as infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft systems, grenade launchers and small arms. As a result of the AFU shelling, there were damaged two residential houses in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk city, N 41 in Lyotchikov St and N 1 in Lazo St. In the shelling of our positions one soldier of the People’s Militia was wounded. According to our intelligence, in the area of the locality of Dzerzhinsk arrived a group of officers from the troops command of radiation, chemical and biological protection of the Armed Forces, numbering up to 10 people. The purpose of the group’s work is to assess possible disruptions in the operation of the phenolic plant premises, since the Armed Forces units are located on its territory, together with equipment and ammunition. We continue to record non-combat losses among the AFU military. In particular, in the area of the locality of Dzerzhinsk, in the 72nd separate mechanized brigade, as a result of an armed conflict with nationalist battalions, there were killed four soldiers. In addition, in the 3rd battalion of the 80th separate assault brigade, located in the zone of responsibility of the 72nd brigade, there were wounded three soldiers. The reason for the shootings was the redistribution of control over zones of smuggling flows. These facts are hidden from the public, so as not to discredit the military command. Our units continue combat training. In particular, the training is conducted to bring them to the highest degrees of combat readiness, as well as training with special forces units to counter the enemy’s subversive groups. –-Vice-Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry operative command Donetsk,Colonel Eduard Basurin

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Ukrainian army shelled Gorlovka suburbs and DPR communities in south / Essence of Time / March 21, 2017 / As result of the shelling conducted by the Ukrainian army during the past night, one house was damaged in the village of Zaytsevo, and electric power was lost in 3 villages in the Novoazovsky district of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Donetsk News Agency informed on March 21st. “A house on Esenin str. 8 was completely destroyed by the direct hit of the shell,” the Acting Head of the Gorlovka city administration Ivan Prikhodko said commenting on the night shelling of Zaytsevo. “Trench combat were underway throughout the past day. Power lines were damaged yesterday in the evening. As a result, the residents Naberezhnoye, Kominternovo, and Sakhanka were left without electricity. There is no gas supply in Kominternovo,” the Acting Head of the Priazovsky district administration Anatoliy Yanovsky informed Donetsk News Agency. Rossa Primavera News Agency informed earlier that the tensest situation is observed on the Mariupol part of the front. In the morning, March 20th, the Ukrainian army attempted to break through the DPR positions in the area of the village of Kominternovo. —Sources: Rossa Primavera News Agency, “Essence of Time” unit in Donbass

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Pete John on Twitter
March 21, 2017 01:00 UTC
“APU used shells with parachutes to illuminate the night shelling
of the village of #Donetsk – YouTube.”

Click for video in Russian (no subtitles).

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Ukrainian army’s shelling causes blackout in several DPR villages / DONi News / March 20, 2017 / The Ukrainian army opened fire at the southern region of the DPR yesterday evening, the residents of Sakhanka and Kominternovo villages remained without electricity, Sakhanka administration’s head Igor Podgorny said today. “Last night, at approximately 6 pm, as a result of shelling by the AFU, the power transmission line was damaged, the boiler room doesn’t work. Now the inhabitants of the villages of Sakhanka and partially Kominternovo remain without light, and there is no gas in Kominternovo too. There are no suffered among the civilian population,” said the head. According to Podgorny, in this connection, a letter has been sent to the JCCC to ask for the presence of the OSCE monitors in the Novoazovsky district to monitor the situation and the possibility of carrying out restoration work.

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DPR Command Names Officers of Ukrainian Armed Forces Involved in Bombardment of Donetsk, Yasinovataya and Gorlovka in March / Voenkor.info / Autotranslated by Quemado Institute / March 21, 2017 / The operational command of the DNR published information about Ukrainian commanders, who in March issued orders for shelling villages near Donetsk and Yasinovata, as well as the outskirts of Gorlovka. The materials were received today by the DAN agency. The dossier includes data on the commander of the 92nd Independent Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Colonel Viktor Nikoliuk, who, in a drunken state, on March 6 ordered the shooting of artillery from the villages of Luganskoye and Signalnoye to the south-west of Donetsk. Then about 700 houses in two villages were left without light, and three houses were also damaged. It is established that the fire was fired from Novomikhailovka village, controlled by Kiev, using the Grad GRRS, 152-mm Howitz-B howitzers and 122-mm SAU Gvozdika. In addition, information is provided on the commander of the 72nd separate mechanized brigade, Colonel Andrei Sokolov, who ordered orders from March 14 to March to shell out the peaceful population of Yasinovatoy and Zaitsevo settlement. In Yasinovatoy there was a hit in the high-rise building and damage to the transmission line feeding the Donetsk filter station. In Zaitsevo, under the fire of the APU, a civilian died, another one was wounded and was hospitalized. The fire was fired from the districts of Avdeevka and the village of Zhovank. The commanders noted that the actions of Ukrainian commanders can be regarded as propaganda of war, torture, planning, preparation, unleashing and waging aggressive war, violation of laws and customs of war, genocide and violence against the population in the area of ​​military operations, as well as the use of weapons of mass destruction.

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Ukrainian artillery shelled people in Donetsk, March 19, 2017

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Published Mar 20, 2017
Village Donetsk-Severniy shelled by AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) again.

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Ukrainian saboteurs made a breakthrough attempt in south of DPR / Essence of Time / March 20, 2017 / The Armed forces of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) prevented a breakthrough attempt of the Ukrainian army’s sabotage-recon group in the area of Komintenovo. Combat continues, a source in the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia (DPR PM) informed a Rossa Primavera News Agency reporter on March 20th. At 12.40 PM, 2 Ukrainian platoons attempted to breakthrough along the Mariupol direction, in the area of Kominternovo. The breakthrough was backed by the artillery and armoured fighting vehicles. The attack against the DPR PM position was repulsed, the Ukrainian military retreated to their initial positions. “As a result of the attack, the Ukrainian army lost 10 soldiers killed and another 5 wounded. One BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle was destroyed,” the source informed. According to DPR PM Command, 3 DPR servicemen were wounded while repulsing the attack. At the moment, combat continues. Last night, the Ukrainian army’s shelling caused the interruption of electric power in the villages of Sakhanka and Kominternovo in the south of DPR. Moreover, the gas supply was lost in Kominternovo. —Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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Kiev redeploys NATO-equipped fighters to Donbass / DONi News / March 19, 2017 / The Kiev forces’ command has sent military wearing NATO-style uniform and armed with weapons used in the NATO countries to Svetlodarskoye, LPR, reported the official representative of the LPR People’s Militia Lieutenant-Colonel Andrei Marochko. “The AFU command continues to resort to the services of foreign mercenaries in the ‘ATO’ zone, disregarding subordinate personnel because of its low moral and psychological state,” he pointed out. “Thus, it was established that in the responsibility area of the 54th brigade, in the village of Svetlodarskoye, there arrived an 18-strong unit equipped with the NATO-style uniform and armed with sniper rifles BARRETT-M107A1,” said the defense official. Marochko added that the unit had arrived to carry out subversive and terrorist tasks.

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Poroshenko: “We’ve lost influence over Donbass due to the blockade” / Translated from RIA Novostie by J. Arnoldski for Fort Russ / March 20, 2017 / At a meeting of the Regional Security Council in Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that Ukraine has completely lost influence over Donbass due to radicals’ recent blockade of the region. “As a result of the blockade, Ukraine lost its last sphere of influence on this territory,” Poroshenko asserted. The president remarked: “At the same time, this dealt a blow to domestic energy, metallurgy, and the budget.” Continuing, Poroshenko explained: “The organizers of the blockade tricked society insofar as this was not a blockade of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions – what blockade can there be when there is a hole in the border, including one of hundreds of kilometers with the Russian Federation? In fact this turned out to be a special operation aimed . . . READ MORE>>

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Vekhovna Rada discusses blockade (–Nataliia Sharomova /Censor.net)

Ukraine’s economic growth indicators need revision in wake of Donbass blockade / TASS / March 21, 2017 / Members of the Verkhovna Rada national parliament representing the Samopomich party caucus said earlier they would not stop blockade of transport routes connecting Donbass with the rest of Ukraine. / KIEV / Ukraine’s economic growth indicators stand in need of a downward revision in the wake of the trade blockade of the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics, Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman told ICTV channel on Tuesday. “If we forecasted a 3% growth, this meant rehabilitation of our economy was beginning and we would be able to reinvest the products (of growth) in people’s lives,” he said. “And now it appears we have to make downward revisions when the chances (for economic improvement – TASS) have just cropped up.” “I have a question in the light of it, namely, why certain irresponsible politicians are acting this way,” Groysman said. “They render to zero the efforts we put exactly into economic growth.” “As for the revision, we are to watch the situation with foreign currency revenues and with employments,” he said. Members of the Verkhovna Rada national parliament representing the Samopomich party caucus said earlier they would not stop blockade of transport routes connecting Donbass with the rest of Ukraine in spite of the Prime Minister’s efforts to prove that the blockade was economically irrational.

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Russia: ‘The time for sanctions is over’
European political delegation visits Crimea

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Published on Mar 20, 2017
A delegation of European politicians attended a meeting with local government representatives in Simferopol on Monday, as part of a three-day visit to Crimea.

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Alexander Zakharchenko, Igor Plotnitsky (–UAWire)

[Enemy Report:] Separatist leaders attend ‘Donbas integration ceremony’ in the Crimea / UAWire / March 20, 2017 / In the annexed Crimea, a presentation regarding “the integration of the Donbas into the Russian Federation” was given at the first conference of the Russia-Donbas Integration Committee which was held on March 17th at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, as reported by Radio Liberty. The first meeting of the Committee was attended by Igor Carpenter[Plotnitsky -QI editor] and Alexander Zakharchenko, the leaders of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic), respectively. They arrived in the Crimea for the celebration of the third anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula. The committee chairman is a Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and the deputy chairman is a member of the Russian community in the Crimea, Andrey Kozenko. In January, Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky came to the Crimea to celebrate the anniversary of the Pereyaslav Rada. Kozenko indicated that he had created a group within the State Duma to maintain “parliamentary contacts” with the LDPR (Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics). At the same time, the idea of the Russia-Donbas Integration Committee was allegedly born. During a meeting of the committee, Kozenko announced that he had prepared a bill that would abolish the need for labor permits for “citizens of the DPR and LPR.” The chairman of the Parliament of the annexed Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, proposed the Rossregion Project and within its limits, the full cooperation of all factions will become possible. Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky claimed they have nothing to do with Ukraine anymore, and the leading partner for the so-called republics is the Russian Federation, in which they hope to enter. “The last step was the ascension of enterprises from Ukrainian jurisdiction to ORDLO (separatist-held territories of Ukraine) and the payment of wages there.” The guilty parties are not the groups that nationalized the enterprises and introduced external management, making it impossible to supply raw materials and ship products to the government-controlled territory. But rather the Ukrainian government, who initiated the blockade until the return of these enterprises back under the control of the owners,” Radio Liberty writes. Plotnitsky stated that coal supplies are coming from Luhansk to the annexed Crimea. Zakharchenko reported that over the past year, the export of goods from the territory controlled by the DPR faction to Russia “grew by $34 million.” And generally speaking, the Donbas, according to him, has something to offer Russian consumers. According to Zakharchenko, as a result of the transport blockade by the Ukrainians, the enterprises in the uncontrolled territories of the Donbas are already switching over to Russian components and raw materials. On the morning of March 15th, President Petro Poroshenko, during the opening of the meeting of the NSDC (National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine), proposed to make a decision on a full stop of transport with the occupied territories. The NSDC decided to stop the cargo movement across the contact line. Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine will abolish the ban on the movement of cargo across the line of demarcation if enterprises in the occupied territories of the Donbas are returned to Ukrainian owners and a ceasefire regime will begin. The closing of the transport routes into the separatist-held territories of Ukraine does not impact humanitarian supplies. [Source: uawire.org/news/in-annexed-crimea-zakharchenko-and-plotnitsky-integrated-separatist-held-territories-of-ukraine-into-russia#]

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Sevastopol Is Not Ukraine / Slavyangrad.org / March 20, 2017 / Preamble: March 16 was the third anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia. As the Ukraine continues to claim jurisdiction over the territory, and claims that the population has been forced into accepting Russian rule, we thought it would be instructive to see what was written about the Hero City of Sevastopol in 2009, by Mustafa Nayyem, one of the main proponents of Euromaidan, and now a People’s Deputy in the Supreme Rada in Kiev. / Original: Ukrainska Pravda’ / Translated by @TamrikoT / Edited (and pictures) by @GBabeuf / This is a very beautiful city, proud and genuine. There is little affectation here. Moreover—there’s an openness, that converts one from rudeness and bluntness into an admiring, sincere person. By the will of fate, of politicians, and of history, it is now a Ukrainian city. And yet. It’s a Ukrainian city, in which Ukrainians are called invaders. It’s a Ukrainian city, where if your business card isn’t in Russian as well as in Ukrainian and English, you’ll get a smirk…and your card returned. It’s a Ukrainian city, where people go to the cinema more readily when there’s a rough and clumsy Russian dubbing, on top of the already Ukrainian-dubbed film, added by local craftsmen. Because otherwise the little children wouldn’t understand. It’s a Ukrainian city, in which the Ukrainian flag is called a “dirty rag” while the Russian tricolour is proudly flown in windows. In this Ukrainian city one scarcely finds the Ukrainian coat of arms. It’s not even on the signs of many government institutions. In this Ukrainian city, the employees of the Ukrainian Navy do not understand why they . . . READ MORE>>

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Are the Russians of Novorossia the most betrayed people in modern times? / By Nicholas Nicholaides / Sott.net (from Katehon) / March 20, 2017 / With the possible exception of the Palestinian people, Russians are probably the most betrayed people in modern time. The “Russians” in a wider meaning are the people inhabiting Russia, Belarus, Novorossia, Malorossia, Transnistria, northern Kazakhstan and half of the Baltic region – this is the Russian World. They are artificially divided into Russians, Belorussians and something called “Ukrainians”, but they are all essentially Russians. A person from the Urals is not “Uralian” and a person from Kamchatka is not “Kamchatkian”, they are Russian. In the same way, a person from Belarus or from former Ukraine (except Galicia) is also Russian, whether they know it or not. This is a simple genetic and historical fact. During the Russian Empire (Tsarist times) and during the USSR (Soviet times), the people lived together in harmony, except for the westernmost parts of “Ukraine”, where the people are not really Russians. But all the way back, from the 1800’s and forward, this people has been betrayed by many of its leaders. Some Tsars were good, others were bad, and some were just incompetent. Then came the communists who started with great plans for the people but ended up betraying themselves (for reasons we will not explore here). Then came Yeltsin, who betrayed the people and country more than everyone else put together, so Russia became a third world nation, a colony of the West. And then came Putin. He slowly . . . READ MORE>>

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The Manifesto of Ukrainian Nationalism / By Anatoly Karlin / The Duran / March 20, 2017 / A Ukrainian nationalist movement which is politically increasingly in the ascendant has unveiled a manifesto which underscores its growing flight from reality. On March 16, representatives of the political party Svoboda, Right Sector, and the National Corpus (i.e. the Azov batallion’s political wing) gathered to sign a National Manifesto. The document affirms the ideological unity of the three main forces of Ukrainian nationalism, and conveniently summarizes its core vision. Considering the Poroshenko’s governments ever greater submissiveness before Ukrainian nationalist forces, and the specter of them assuming an even more central role in the regime that might well soon replace his, it is now all the more vital to understand their vision for Ukraine. Below, I provide a translation of this document, stressing readability over word-for-word accuracy. *** We, Ukrainian nationalists, understanding the catastrophic state of our country and with the goal of acquiring and developing a great national state, capable of securing the prosperous existence of Ukrainians and a future for Ukrainian children, are uniting our efforts on the basis of fundamental, unambiguous, and unchanging principles and goals, and thereby offer a concrete plan of action that we can embark upon straight away for the achievement of these goals. 1. Define as a priority of state policy the realization of Ukraine’s national interests. 2. New vector of Ukrainian geopolitics – orientation not to the West or the East, but the creation of a new European unity – that of the Balto-Black Sea Union. 3. Recognize the Russian Federation as an aggressor state… break diplomatic relations, blockade the occupied territories, end Russian business activities in Ukraine, sanction Russian capital, goods, and services. 4. Recognize [the LDNR] as occupied territories and develop a real plan to liberate Crimea and Donbass. Immediately embark upon economic, informational, and reconaissance-sabotage actions in furtherance of these goals. 5. Return the right to recreate a nuclear weapons capability as a foundation of national security in light of the violation of the Budapest Memorandum. 6. Create a high-tech professional contract army, and a reserve army, based on the . . . READ MORE>>

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Sunday, March 19, 2017
(Brief update)

Alexander Zakharchenko

Donetsk leader Zakharchenko tells Crimeans his republic will soon come home to Russia / By Adam Garrie / Sott.net (from The Duran) / March 18, 2017 / This is the clearest indication yet of where Zakharchenko sees his republic in the near future Donetsk People’s Republic leader, Alexander Zakharchenko has recently been in Crimea, celebrating the three year anniversary of Sevastopol and Crimea’s reunification with the rest of the Russian Federation. It was here that Zakharchenko gave his clearest indication yet of where he sees his Republic in the near future. Many have questioned whether the future of the Donbass republics would be as sovereign states engaged in fraternal relations with Russia or whether in time they too would re-unite with their historic motherland. Because of Donbass being on the current border of the Russia Federation, having a Russian speaking and ethnically Russian population, industries geared towards the Russian market and a desire of the population to be Russian not only in fact but in terms of national identity, anything less than Donetsk and Lugansk becoming a fully fledged part of the Russian Federation, would be illogical and counterproductive. Zakharchenko spoke of a common destiny between Donbass and Crimea in the following way, “March 16, 2014, is a big day for the people of Donbass. We rejoiced at your victory, watched with pride your returning home. We held a referendum as well. Yes, we did not have such legal relations with Ukraine as you did, but we also observed the people’s right to self-determination. In response, on May 26, 2014, the Kiev authorities delivered air strikes against the city of Donetsk. We have suffered huge losses among civilians. But, no matter how hard it was, we are still proud of you. We can see how the economy is being developed in the Crimea, the infrastructure is being restored. We are happy with your new TPP and energy independence, we are looking forward to fly to a new beautiful airport of yours. I am confident that cooperation between the Crimea and the DPR will be expanded only, as a number of mutually beneficial projects have been launched already.” Many theories have emerged as to why the Donbass republics were not afforded as easy a journey home as Crimea. The most convincing remains the geography argument, although this . . . READ MORE>>

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Summing up session of Integration Committee “Russia-Donbass” [TV VIDEO Report] / DONi News / March 19, 2017 / On March 17 in the Levadiysky Palace the session of the Integration Committee “Russia-Donbass” took place. The participants were talking frankly, in public, and managed to discuss several questions of the paramount importance. At the press scrum, devoted to the session’s summing up the key moments were explained to the public. “Today we were discussing cultural and educational spheres. Over 500 events devoted to the culture and sport were planned. Presently, the DPR economics is in the beginning of its way to growing. Thus, to find a marketing outlet for our products and get rough materials from the Russian Federation are our primary objectives. The process is ongoing and we will get the results of our work in the nearest future and, certainly we will inform the public about it,” Said Alexander Zakharchenko, the DPR Head. “Presently the goods produced in the DPR and LPR is imported to the Russian Federation, the agreements, achieved on the matter are working and DPR and LPR are fulfilling the contracts made. It should be underlined that it is just a start of the process and we hope it will develop promptly in future and quite soon will embrace more and more spheres of the Republics’ economics and the economics of the Russian Federation as well,” said Igor Plotnitsky, the LPR Head. “I would like to underline that the Integration Committee “Russia-Donbass” is a social union and its work consist of the work of every single organisation, that support the integration movement “Russia-Donbass”. So today, talking about the Integration Committee’s work, we can say that is in process already. I provided the concrete examples and visiting the internet site “Russia-Donbass” you can see what a great work is undertaken in frames of the Russia-Donbass integration. The concrete projects that will take place in frames of the Integration Committee are to be presented to the Media soon,” said Andrey Kozenko, the Deputy of the Russian Federation’s State Duma. “The Integration Committee “Russia-Donbass” was created as a constantly operating structure. Today, during the first session, the questions of cultural, social and humanitarian integration of Donbass and the Russian Federation were discussed. We will certainly be aware of the further events’ development,” said Alena Morozova, the special correspondent. —Video: UNION TV, 03/18/2017

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Ukrainian military again shelled towns and villages in DPR / Essence of Time / March 19, 2017 / The suburbs of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Dokuchaevsk, and the village of Kominternovo in the south of Donetsk People’s Republic again came under Ukrainian army’s fire, a source in the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia (DPR PM) informed a Rossa Primavera News Agency reporter on March 19th. On the Gorlovka direction, the Ukrainian army shelled the village of Zaytsevo, where one house was damaged. On the Donetsk direction, the Ukrainian military opened fire on the village of Lozovoye in the Yasinovatsky district of DPR with small arms. A local resident, a 67-years old woman, who sustained a bullet wound, was hospitalized. Moreover, the Ukrainian army shelled the village of Spartak and the suburbs of Donetsk. 2 apartment buildings were damaged in the Kirovsky and Petrovsky districts of the capital of DPR. The situation remains tense in the area of Avdeevka industrial zone. Dokuchaevsk, south of Donetsk, came under Ukrainian army’s fire. There is information that one house has been damaged. On the Mariupol direction, the situation remains tense. The Ukrainian military are provoking trench combat at this part of the front. The enemy also shelled the village of Kominternovo. DPR PM Command summarized information on the shelling conducted by the Ukrainian side during the previous day, March 18th. The Ukrainian army violated ceasefire 74 times and shelled 14 towns and villages. –Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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About 78 % of Ukrainian citizens support Donbass separation / DONi News / March 19, 2017 / The ombudsman of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Daria Morozova, told in the interview about recent poll in Ukraine, which has revealed, that majority of Ukrainians are willing “to let Donbass go”, so that the needless war can be ended. “Three years ago the Ukrainian side forgot about one of the most beautiful rights of the Ukrainian population – the freedom of speech. I would like to underline that for three years no one was punished on our part for expressing their support to the DPR, Ukraine, Russia or even America,” Morozova said. “It doesn’t matter! It is the right of every person – to have its own opinion, point of view etc. The Ukrainian side cannot control the influx of people,” she continued. “Recently, the social questioning was held in Ukraine, and the question was as follows: Are you ready to let Donbass go so the war was over? Do you know how many people responded that they are ready to let Donbass go? 78%,” said the ombudsman. “The Ukrainian citizens just want to let Donbass go in order to finish this needless war. Well, needless for everyone apart from the Ukrainian government, obviously,” she added. —Video: DPR Ministry of Information, 03/18/2017

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Kiev ‘on verge of losing Donetsk and Lugansk’ with Donbass blockade / News-Front.info / March 19, 2017 / Kiev’s cargo blockade of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics is putting their planned reintegration into a centralized Ukraine at risk. On March 16, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree officially severing the rail connection with the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine. The decree legitimized a makeshift blockade of the railway tracks between Ukraine and the breakaways, initiated by a few radical lawmakers and nationalist volunteer fighters, which had been in place since late January. The blockade led to irregularities in supplies of anthracite coal from Donbass, leading to power shortages in Ukraine and prompting Kiev to declare an energy emergency. In response to the blockade, the authorities in DPR and LPR nationalized companies in Donbass which had until that point been subject to Ukrainian jurisdiction and paid taxes into the Ukrainian budget. Poroshenko explained that his order legitimizing the blockade was intended to force these companies to return under the control of Kiev. His decision represented a U-turn on his earlier disapproval of the blockade and its financial costs. The controversial blockade has also been criticized by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and opposition MPs. Writing in Deutsche Welle, Ukraine analyst Bernd Johann notes that the decision will have grave consequences for the eventual integration of the territory into a decentralized Ukraine in line with the Minsk Accords agreed in February 2015. “The Ukrainian plans for a reintegration could become so much wasted paper with such action. Politicians in eastern Ukraine — along with many in Kyiv — have long pointed out that Ukraine is doing too little to win back the people of Donbass. Now those goalposts seem to be moving further and further away,” Johann wrote. Austria’s ORF news’ correspondent Christian Wehrschutz told viewers that Kiev’s blockade is harming the chances of Donbass returning under the authority of decentralized Ukraine. He pointed out that not only does the blockade deprive the rest of Ukraine of valuable energy supplies, it leaves companies in Donetsk and Lugansk no choice but to export their goods via Russia. “The economic blockade and nationalization of Ukrainian firms massively increases the influence of Moscow on Donetsk and Lugansk. Now, these areas can only export to or over Russia. Kiev is on the verge of losing the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk long-term,” Wehrschutz warned. On Sunday, ZN.au reported sources in the Ukrainian Finance Ministry who said that the government stands to lose around two billion hryvnia ($74.5 million) in direct tax revenue from around 40 companies in the DPR and the LPR. “The situation with payments to the pension fund and income taxes is much worse — after all, salaries at large companies with a lot of employees are paid officially, on the whole,” the source said. While the Finance Ministry says it stands to lose 1.3 percent of GDP from the blockade, opposition politicians have estimated it could cause a drop in GDP of up to ten percent.

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My Day as a Donetsk People’s Republic Tourist in London.
VIDEO By Graham Phillips

Click for video.
All filmed on Wednesday 15th March, 2017.

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Senator Says US National Guard Training Ukrainian Soldiers Fighting in Donbass / Sputnik / March 19, 2017 / US National Guard unit from the state of Oklahoma is training Ukrainian troops involved in the fighting in the eastern part of the country, Senator Jim Inhofe said in a press release. / WASHINGTON / Inhofe stated on Friday that the US mission builds the “trust and confidence” between Washington and Kiev. “The combat experience and expertise of the 45th [Infantry Brigade Combat Team] makes them the perfect unit to perform this critical mission of advising and training Ukrainian Army units who rotate in and out of the intense fighting in Eastern Ukraine,” he said. Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump said during a press conference that the United States would like to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Ukraine . . . [More background at source.] Quemado Institute comments: The peaceful solution Trump says he is looking for may be already at hand. Donetsk People’s Republic leader Alexander Zakharchenko has been in Crimea the past few days discussing with Russian officials various aspects of Russian-DPR/LPR integration, a sign the Donbass Republics may soon be incorporated into the Russian Federation. Also, Kiev regime leader Petro Por(k)oshenko has made the Donbass blockade official, thus cutting off virtually all transport and travel between Ukraine and the DPR/LPR. Meanwhile, the DPR has begun selling coal to Russia, and has plans to export wheat to Russia as well. This on top of Putin’s recent move to accept DPR/LPR identification in Russia, as well as Sverbank’s willingness to grant bank services to DPR/LPR citizens in Russia, means the two Donbass republics are becoming DE FACTO part of Russia. Whether the U.S. provides training or even lethal weapons to Ukraine is almost moot at this point. Not only is America a useless country with a completely out-of-date foreign policy, the U.S. is also growing virtually defenseless against the powerful forces of human will across the world—a world it has ravaged mercilessly—and against the determination of the Russian-speaking people.

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Alexander Danilyuk (–Twitter.com)

Kiev plans to swiftly finish talks with IMF on impacts of blockade of Donbass / TASS / March 19, 2017 / At a meeting of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council on March 15, President Pyotr Poroshenko suggested all transport links with Donbass be cut. / Ukraine plans to swiftly conduct consultations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the latter’s demand that Ukraine’s potential economic losses over the blockade of Donbass be calculated, Ukrainian Finance Minister Alexander Danilyuk said on Sunday. “These calculations are important for both sides to ensure the maximal efficiency of the program. Relevant consultations have already been kicked off. We plan to complete them as soon as possible,” the ministry’s press service quoted him as saying. Ukraine’s finance ministry has confirmed that the issue of an anti-crisis program for Ukraine was withdrawn from the agenda of an IMF Board of Directors’ meeting due to be held on Monday. According to the ministry, “the postponement of the meeting stems from the need to specify economic impacts of the measures Ukraine is taking in response to the blockade and seizure of Ukrainian companies in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions’ areas that are not controlled by the government and over Russia’s recognition of documents issued in these territories.” Earlier on Sunday, a well-informed source told TASS that the IMF Board of Directors had postponed discussion of the Ukrainian anti-crisis program originally planned for Monday. The meeting was expected to conclude the third review of the program and sanction another loan tranche to Ukraine worth one billion U.S. dollars. At a meeting of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council on March 15, President Pyotr Poroshenko suggested all transport links with Donbass be cut. A relevant decree was signed on the following day. According to Ukraine’s Finance Minister Alexander Danilyuk, Ukraine’s losses from the blockade of Donbass will amount to two percent of GDP.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The head of the DPR came to congratulate the Crimeans on the third anniversary of reunification with Russia / Mianews.ru / March 16, 2017 / The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko has arrived with three-day visit to the Crimea to take part in the events dedicated to the third anniversary of the reunification of the Republic of Crimea with Russia. About it was reported by a press-service of administration of the Head of the DPR. “On the 15th of March, the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko has arrived with official visit to the Republic of Crimea. In particular, he will participate in solemn events dedicated to the celebration of the third anniversary of the reunification of the Crimea with Russia,” stated in the message. In addition, Alexander Zakharchenko will participate in the meeting of the Integration Committee “Russia – Donbass”, where it is planned to discuss economic, humanitarian and cultural cooperation between the DPR and the Crimea.

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Breaking: DONi Press journalists under Ukrainian shelling in humanitarian mission, Kominternovo [Video] / DONi News / March 16, 2017 / While distributing diapers for physically challenged people, who are living in the South of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the DONi Press News team went under heavy shelling from the Ukrainian army on the locality of Kominternovo on Thursday. “Skirmishes began after 11:30 AM, first with some isolated shootings, becoming more and more loud and frequent as we were approaching Kominternovo,” said DONi Press correspondent Christelle Neant. “While there we heard many heavy shells flying over us or falling no too far from us. We had to interrupt the humanitarian help distribution, and give the remaining diapers to the social worker of Kominternovo,” she continued. “One of the shells hit the road on which we went to Kominternovo just 10 minutes after we passed there. When we came back we could see a big hole in the road, but it was too dangerous to stop”, stated Christelle Néant. In each civilian house that the DONi Press team visited, the journalists could see holes done by mortars or artillery shells, bullets of AK-74, remains of BMP-1 shells and shrapnels, which fell in the morning or the day before. “All these houses are far from the DPR army positions, thus nothing could justify their shelling by the Ukrainian army. Just more war crimes done by Ukrainian soldiers who do not mind about the people on which they send shells, but that they pretend to “liberate”,” Neant concluded. All the inhabitants told that these shellings are occurring daily, both during night and day time. The Ukrainian army lets no rest to the civilians who are living there since almost three years now. Reportage: Christelle Néant, DONi Press Center French Correspondent

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Lugansk Defense: Situation Report, 03/16/2017 / DONi News / March 16, 2017 / The situation in the responsibility zone of the LPR People’s Militia remains tense. Over the past 24 hours there were fourteen occasions of violations of the ceasefire regime by the enemy. The positions of our units in the areas of the localities of Frunze, Lozovoye, Kalinovo, Sokolniki, Kalinovka, Krytaya Gora, Zheltoye were attacked. During shellings the enemy used mortars of 120 and 82 mm calibre, IFV cannons, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers and small arms. As a result of the shelling of Irmino locality, the gas pipeline along the Stantsionnaya Street was damaged. Despite the lack of people wishing to participate in the war against their own people, the Ukrainian government continues to resort to the services of expensive foreign mercenaries. According to the available information, military instructors from the Baltic states and Poland are located in Borovskoye, the area of Severodonetsk, on the basis of one of the pioneer camps, where they train the servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in fighting tactics in urban setting, as well as conducting subversive activities. Also, military instructors from Canada were found in . . . READ MORE>>

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300,000 Petition Signatures By People Of Donetsk Republic To Stop The Madness, War Crimes, Genocide Committed By Ukraine Junta Regime / Novorossia Today / March 16, 2017 / About 300,000 Residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic have signed a petition to all world leaders asking them to make the Kiev Junta Regime stop the criminal war waged on the people of the Donbass Republics. “As of March 15th, the petition was signed by 298,639 DPR residents,” according to the press service. On the 31st of January, DPR and LPR People’s Council chairmen, Denis Pushilin and Vladimir Degtyarenko brought forward a joint petition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, asking them to make the Ukrainian Junta leadership to stop the war crimes and genocide waged on the Donbass People.

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Ukraine, unable to stop the vandals blockading banks and Donbass, suicidally supports them / By Christelle Neant, translated by Tom Winter for Fort Russ / March 15, 2017 / Following the declarations of several Russian banks, including Sberbank, that they would accept new accounts for people with a passport from the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) or the Lugansk Peoples Republic (LPR), the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and Nazis reacted with violence and called for the closure of these banks located in Ukraine. These groups (mainly Azov and Pravy Sektor) attacked several banks and damaged several ATMs, ranging up to the entrance of an Kiev branch of Sberbank, before barring the access with wire barbed wire and burning logs. They also put up posters urging people to withdraw their funds on the grounds that these banks were going to close. “Attention: The bank of the aggressor country will soon close. Withdraw your money as soon as possible.” These attacks also targeted the Russian Alfabank, which saw one of its branches in Kiev being stoned by Ukrainian radicals demonstrating in the square of Maidan to support the blockade of Donbass. Of course the Ukrainian police did not arrest anyone for all these acts of vandalism. Unable to do anything against these Nazi groups that hold the real power in Ukraine at the moment, the Ukrainian authorities decided to follow the movement so as not to be overthrown, and to impose sanctions on Russian state banks established in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Central Bank is currently working on this issue with the help of the SBU (Ukrainian Secret Service) to determine what type of sanctions will be applied against the subsidiaries of certain Russian banks (including Sberbank, VTB and Prominvestbank). The proposals of the Ukrainian central bank which have been published suggest that these banks should be forbidden to make international transfers. The Ukrainian subsidiary of Sberbank had already been obliged to lower the ceiling of withdrawal for its customers following pressure from the Kiev authorities. This kind of announcement and these actions will cause a monstrous “bank run” on . . . READ MORE>>

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Ukraine extends emergency in the country for another month / Mianews.ru / March 16, 2017 / The Kiev government has extended the period of emergency in the energy sector for another month. The decision was made during a meeting of the Cabinet. “These exceptional measures allow us to stabilize the system, which should not work for wear. We do everything to minimize the risks and negative consequences of distancing, and, yes, the situation here is very difficult,” said in the government meeting Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman. “There is a proposal to make — thank you – it is accepted”. Recall, February 15, Ukraine introduced a state of emergency in the power system of the country. Kiev also intends to abandon the purchase of Russian coal, which in turn will lead to rolling blackouts throughout Ukraine, as well as increase the burden on the country’s nuclear power. The load on a nuclear power plant will lead to further deterioration of the reactors and their subsequent exit from use.

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Viktor Yanukovych testifies via video. (–Sputnik)

Ukraine’s parliament passes law allowing ex-president’s conviction in absentia / TASS / March 16, 2017 / KIEV / The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in the second reading on Thursday allowing convicting Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovich and his close associates in absentia. The document was supported by 252 lawmakers. “The law has been passed,” Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrei Parubiy said. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko earlier urged lawmakers to support the bill making it possible to convict ex-President Yanukovich in absentia. Poroshenko stressed the importance of this move so that “Yanukovich is stripped of the president’s title precisely by a court ruling as the court establishes the guilt while the parliament only gives a political assessment.” Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko stated that “the current wording of the law on conviction in absentia gives loopholes to the counsel for the defense of these people to halt and delay the cases against them.” “This law will close a possibility for the defense of Yanukovich and [Ukrainian ex-Interior Minister Vitaly] Zakharchenko to avoid a possibility of being held responsible in an open Ukrainian court,” Lutsenko said. Also, the law renders “impossible the efforts by Yanukovich and his defense counsel in European courts,” Lutsenko added. Meanwhile, Yanukovich’s attorney Vitaly Serdyuk said in comments for TASS that such an initiative from the Ukrainian authorities confirmed the political nature of the persecution of the former Ukrainian leader. According to him, Poroshenko’s statement will be entered into the case files of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), transferred to Interpol, the European Court of Justice, and also to a number of international human rights organizations “as a direct sufficient and permissible proof of the political persecution of Viktor Yanukovich.” Ukraine’s parliament sent the law on conviction in absentia twice for finalization. On February 9, the parliamentarians refused to consider the bill that would allow starting the process of convicting the ex-president. The Verkhovna Rada adopted the bill in the first reading on February 23.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Republic’s leader: Donbass blockade not to reverse policy towards Ukrainian enterprises / The Indian Subcontinent (TASS) / March 15, 2017 / The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) will not reverse its policy towards Ukraine-run companies after a transport blockade on Donbass started by Ukraine, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Wednesday. “Since March 1 we have imposed retaliatory measures in response to the blockade imposed by Ukraine. They include not only external administration at those enterprises that had remained under Ukraine’s jurisdiction until then, but we also banned exports of our goods and raw materials into Ukraine,” the Donetsk news agency said citing Zakharchenko as saying. The unrecognized republic “has not abandoned its position and is not going to, until Kiev meets its commitments in line with the Minsk peace agreements, first of all their political part,” he said. The DPR leader believes that Wednesday’s decision of Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and Security Council to start a transport blockade against the Donbass areas, not controlled by Kiev, rooted “in the internal struggle for power in Kiev,” which Poroshenko seems to be losing. “It has already nothing to do with us,” Zakharchenko said in conclusion.

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Donetsk Defense TV News Report, 03/15/2017 / DONi News / March 15, 2017 / A civilian died and another one was wounded in Zaitsevo locality near Gorlovka in Donetsk People’s Republic as a result of morning shelling conducted by Ukrainian military. Ivan Prikhodko, the City Hall Acting Head reported on this. The wounded is in the local city hospital. Doctors are assessing his condition as serious. Besides, according to the Gorlovka Head, in Zaitsevo settlement there was damaged the residential house by the direct hit of a shell on Poletayeva Street. Ukraine’s military launched over 500 projectiles and mortar-shells onto 17 DPR front-line localities since the evening. Donetsk outskirts, the Volvo Center area in the north, the localities of Trudovskiye, Signalnoye, Luganskoye in the west outskirts of the capital, Elenovka southwest of the city and also Gorlovka locality of Zaitsevo, the towns of Yasinovataya and Dokuchayevsk were under Ukraine’s fire. Besides, the enemy again opened fire on the south of the DPR, where the villages of Bezimennoye, Sosnovskoye, Kominternovo, Okrtyabr of the Novoazovsk district and Novaya Tavriya of the Telmanovo district were shelled. —Video: UNION TV, 03/15/2017

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Click for video.

Lugansk Defense Video Report, 03/15/2017 / DONi News / March 15, 2017 / Frontline situation in the Lugansk People’s Republic over 24 hours on March 15. For the last 24 hours the contact line situation had aggravated. Altogether, 439 mortar-shells and projectiles were launched on the territory of the Republic. The Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire 22 occasions. While shelling the enemy applied artillery of 122 mm calibre, mortars of 120mm and 82 mm calibre, IFVs, recoilless guns, grenade machine guns, rocket anti-tank launchers and small arms. The following localities underwent shelling: Frunze, Sokolniky, Zheltoye, Kalinovka, Almaznoye, Kalinovo, Lozovoye, Nizhneye Lozovoye, Zhelobok, and Knyaz Igor monument’s area. From the Luganskoye locality’s direction, Ukrainian forces fired at the People’s Militia positions in Lozovoye and Kalinovka localities. The AFU shelled Lozovoye locality from Svetlodarskoye locality’s direction. The localities of Nizhnyee Lozovoye and Logvinovo underwent fire from Mironivsky locality’s direction. The People’s Militia positions in Almaznoye locality were shelled by the Ukrainian side from the Troitskoye locality’s direction. The Kalinovo locality’s area underwent shelling from Mironovsky locality’s direction. There was recorded the use of mortars of 120 mm and 82 mm calibre, artillery guns of 122mm calibre, recoilless guns and grenade machine guns by the Ukrainian side. Ukrainian forces shelled Frunze and Zhelobok localities from the Krymskoye locality direction. The People’s Militia positions in Zheltoye locality underwent the Ukrainian shelling from Lobachevo locality’s direction. Sokolniky locality was shelled from Kryakovka locality’s direction. The People’s Militia positions in Knyaz Igor monument’s area were shelled by the AFU from Valuiskoye locality’s direction. Over 100 explosion of 120 mm and 82 mm calibre mortar shells and 49 shots, conducted with grenade machine guns were recorded. No losses among the People’s Militia soldiers and civilians were reported.

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The news brief, 15 March 2017
Anna News

Click for video.

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Click for video.

VIDEO: Man injured 3 times by Ukraine artillery asks OSCE to help him. (English subtitles) / By Patrick Lancaster / March 14, 2017 / This is #3 in a 3 part series on last nights artillery attack on residential areas of Donetsk. Location #3: A man was injured when a shell hit next to his house. He has been injured 3 times from Ukraine shelling civilian areas. The OSCE investigated the damage and took his comments. Location #1: Found 3 impacts on residential streets of Spartak. Residents explain how they could have only be fired on by from Ukraine controlled territory. Location #2: A apartment building near a school & Donetsk train station took a direct hit on the roof and caused alot of damage.

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Click for video.

Ukrainian forces caught shelling their own citizens (VIDEO) / By Adam Garrie / The Duran / March 14, 2017 / The Donbass republics have not merely declared symbolic independence of the fascist junta in Kiev. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics functionally operate as independent states. They are rapidly ending all remaining economic ties with Ukraine and a recent Presidential decree by President Putin affords citizens of the Donbass republics with virtually all the rights of citizens of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) members. But there is an actual civil war going on in Ukraine. It is not over territory but over political influence. The fascist regime in Kiev is currently engaged in a wide array of battles with non-governmental ultra-fascist organisations, Right Sector being a notable one. As Petro Poroshenko’s power continues to wane and the poor economy now on the verge of total collapse, many are suspecting that elements even more radical than those who led the 2014 coup against Viktor Yanukovych, may stage a so-called ‘Maidan 2.0’. The civil war has thus far seen fascist radicals threaten to block transit of goods and people from Russia into their borders, burn down branches of Sberbank in their own cities and blockade the transit of essential coal from Donetsk into their own regions. Now though, a video has emerged of forces loyal to Kiev, shelling housing in areas under their own control. They are literally firing upon their own citizens. . . . READ MORE>>

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Ukrainian National Guard blocks all roads to Donbass / By J. Arnoldski / Fort Russ / March 15, 2017 / All roads and railway lines leading to the frontline in Donbass have been cut off by the Ukrainian National Guard, National Police, and State Border Guard Service. More than 800 troops have been deployed to checkpoints on the Ukrainian side of the frontline in Donbass. The blockade checkpoints are reportedly being reinforced with military vehicles. “Pursuant to the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, today all roads and railway lines leading to the demarcation line have been blocked by forces of the National Guard, National Police, and border guard services in order to ensure control over and prevent the illegal movement of goods,” the National Guard’s statement reads. This escalation comes on the heels of Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s ultimatum to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to reverse the nationalization of Ukrainian enterprises. This new Kiev-enforced blockade follows the recently dispersed blockade of Donbass railways by neo-Nazi . . . READ MORE>>

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Kiev suspends all transport links with Donbass / TASS / March 15, 2017 / Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has decided to suspend all transport services with the territories of Donbass not controlled by Kiev. / KIEV / Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has decided to suspend all transport services with the territories of Donbass not controlled by Kiev, the council’s head, Alexander Turchinov, said at the meeting of the presidential administration. “Taking into consideration that Ukraine’s enterprises have been seized and the security situation has worsened in the zone of the anti-terrorist operation, the National Security and Defense Council has made a decision to suspend movement of cargos through the contact line,” he said. “Following a decision by the National Security and Defense Council, all highways and railroads leading to the line of disengagement will be blocked today at 1pm (2pm Moscow Time) by the National Police and the National Guard,” he said. The ban will be in force until points 1 and 2 (ceasefire and withdrawal of weapons) of the February 2015 Minsk peace deal are implemented and the seized enterprises return to Ukraine’s jurisdiction, Turchinov said. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, National Police, National Guard and Security Service have been ordered to halt all movement of cargos through the contact line by rail links and vehicles. Speaking at the meeting earlier in the day, President Pyotr Poroshenko called to suspend all transport links with Donbass.

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Donetsk People’s Republic starts coal exports to Russia — leader / TASS / March 15, 2017 / The first 95 rail cars with coal have already set off for Russia. / DONETSK / The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has started exporting coal to Russia amid a rail blockade by Ukrainian radicals, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said. “Today the first 95 rail cars with coal have already departed to Russia,” he was quoted as saying by the Donetsk News Agency. Members of the so-called Ukrainian volunteer battalions, supported by a group of lawmakers, blocked cargo trains with coal from eastern Ukraine’s Lugansk Region on January 25. The right-wingers insisted that one of the objectives of their effort is to stop the inflow of contraband allegedly getting into Ukrainian territory from the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics. They later demanded that all trade ties with the areas outside the Kiev government’s control be cut. The Security Service of Ukraine condemned the move, describing it as “populist” and “unlawful.” A criminal case was opened. However, following little reaction from the Kiev officials, the radicals also blocked several roads. The move forced the leadership of the self-proclaimed republics to make a joint statement on February 27 that they were ending coal supplies to Ukraine and will instead re-direct their exports for Russia.

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[Editor: More interesting links below for March 15, 2017:]

Sputnik: Poroshenko calls for adoption of law ensuring regaining control over Donbass
https://sputniknews.com/europe/201703161051625885-poroshenko-law-control-donbass/

Fannews.info: As blockade of Donbass was hit on the Empire of Rinat Akhmetov
https://fannews.info/as-blockade-of-donbass-was-hit-on-the-empire-of-rinat-akhmetov/

Global Security (from Sputnik): Full Transport Blockade of East Ukraine ‘Pushing Donbass Away’ From Kiev
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/ukraine/2017/ukraine-170315-sputnik01.htm

Novorossia Vision: Donbass Reunification Program – Radicals’ Declaration of Creating ‘Unbearable Conditions’ in Republic.
https://novorossia.vision/en/opinion/programma-vossoedineniia-donbassa-zaiavlenie-radikalov-o-sozdanii-v-respublikakh-priznanie-zapadnym/

Sott.net (The Duran): As for the Donbass, the Ukrainian blockade will undoubtedly cause short-term hardship. However it also will speed …
https://www.sott.net/article/345307-Ukraine-shoots-itself-in-the-foot-again-caves-into-self-defeating-neo-Nazi-demands

Sputnik: OSCE Ukraine Mission Officials to Hold Talks in Moscow on March 16.
https://sputniknews.com/europe/201703151051623783-osce-ukraine-mission-talks-moscow/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Consortium News: The Kagans Are Back, Wars to Follow
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

http://russia-insider.com/en/ukrainian-soldiers-caught-planting-bombs-donbass-say-they-were-trained-americans/ri19203

https://novorossia.vision/en/bulletins/zaiavlenie-ofitcial-nogo-predstavitelia-mo-dnr-14.03.2017-g/
Situation report,.

http://eu.eot.su/2017/03/14/ukrainian-army-continues-to-shell-the-dpr-territory/
Essence of Time, war news.

http://uawire.org/news/akhmetov-loses-control-over-his-hotels-in-the-donbas#
An interesting enemy report about impact of nationalization on oligarchs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMy2O89DIg4&feature=youtu.be
Video about aid to the militias by Texas Bentley.

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Monday, March 13, 2017
(Brief update)

Donetsk Defense: Situation Report March 13 2017 / Translated by DNI News Agency for Russkaya Vesna / March 13, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense. The enemy continues shelling districts of the Republic’s localities: Zaitsevo, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya, Spartak, Krutaya Balka, Styla, Luganskoye, Dokuchayevsk, Yasnoye, Yelenovka, Ozeryanovka, Sakhanka, Bezymennoye, Oktyabr, Kominternovo, Staromikhailovka, the area of the Airport, and the Petrovsky district of Donetsk. Over the past day there were registered 81 occasions of ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The total of ammunition launched onto the Republic’s territory by the AFU with weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements made: heavy artillery was applied 83 times, including 49 projectiles of 152mm calibre, tanks – 33 times, mortars of various calibre – 627 times, including 549 shells of 120mm calibre, infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers were applied 106 times, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers and small arms – 1008 times. Today, repair works began on the power lines in the area of Krutaya Balka locality which had been damaged as a result of a mortar shelling by the AFU. Representatives of the OSCE Mission and JCCC are present at the site. Besides, there were launched engineering works on demining the area adjacent to the damaged power lines. *** According to our reconnaissance, the enemy continues regrouping heavy artillery near the line contact of troops: – Near Pobeda (6 km to the contact line) there were detected three units of self-propelled artillery mounts Gvozdika from the 92nd separate mechanized AFU brigade; – Near Novomikhailovka (6 km to the contact line) there was detected the self-propelled artillery mount which was used previously for shelling of the Petrovsky district of Donetsk; – Near Primorskoye (7 km to the contact line) there were detected two units of MLRS BM-21 Grad from the 36th separate marine brigade; – Near Chornenko (8 km to the contact line) there was detected an up-to-a-platoon-strong unit of self-propelled artillery mounts. Also, in Nikolayevka (8 km to the contact line) there was detected the arrival of eight tanks from the 54th separate mechanized AFU brigade. *** There is being detected a growing confrontation between the AFU and the radicals, who have introduced an economic blockade. The developed situation was caused by the undisclosed instruction of the Ukrainian leadership to lift the blockade due to the multibillion losses of Ukraine, as well as the additional sources of the Ukrainian authorities’ income which appeared to be blocked. This confrontation has already passed into open fighting skirmishes which result in losses on both sides. According to our data, medical institutions in the front-line zone being overcrowded, the wounded are now sent to hospitals in Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, and Odessa. In addition, land-mines having been planted by radicals on the approaches to their check-points, several military vehicles carrying the AFU personnel have tripped a wire in recent days. The latest case occurred yesterday in the Mariupol direction, where an Ural vehicle exploded on such a mine near the blockade-followers’ checkpoint. As a result, two soldiers got killed, nine were wounded. This and other cases are still being concealed from the public by the military leadership of Ukraine. According to information from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, in the period from March 1 to March 12, the AFU losses made eight killed and 87 wounded personnel. According to data obtained from Ukrainian media and AFU soldiers’ pages in social networks, during the same period the losses amounted to at least 27 killed and 96 wounded personnel. Thus, the Ukrainian military and political leadership continues misinforming the public, accusing the DPR Armed Forces of causing human losses, instead of recognizing their real causes. The political redistribution of power and internal contradictions between the AFU and nationalist units led to a new round of the secret civil war in Ukraine. In turn, our units continue participating in combat training activities in order to improve their combat skills; and they strictly observe the Minsk Agreements aiming at creation of proper conditions for the existing contradictions to be settled peacefully. –Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia Colonel Eduard Basurin.

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Zakharchenko declares Donbass frontline state border / Translated by J. Arnoldski from RIA Novosti for Fort Russ / March 13, 2017 / According to a decree by Donetsk People’s Republic leader Alexander Zakharchenko, the contact line between the DPR and Kiev-controlled territory from now on has the status of a state border. The text of the decree has been published on the website of the Ministry of State Security of the DPR. According to the document, the contact line can only be crossed through border control points and with the necessary registration processes. Authority over executing the decree has been assigned to the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Incomes and Fees, as well as the republic’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. “The Ministry of State Security of the Donetsk People’s Republic hereby warns that, according to point four of the decree, activities associated with the illegal crossing of the contact line or organizing of illegal crossing in or out of the Donetsk People’s Republics will be qualified in accordance with the Criminal Code of the DPR, specifically Article 378 ‘Illegal Crossing of the State Border,'” the ministry’s statement reads.

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US providing Ukraine with ships to continue attacks on the coast of DPR / DONi News / March 13, 2017 / The Ukrainian Navy has recently in March attacked twice the coast of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Yesterday, on Sunday, the DPR military command told that Ukraine lost 5 marines in latest navy attack in the Azov sea near Mariupol. On Monday, Sputnik news reports Ukrainian navy statement, that United States is willing to deliver for Ukrainians Island-class patrol boats. The Ukrainian Navy started military escalation in the coast of the DPR on 4th of March: “For the first time in a long period, Ukrainian navy has used gunboats at the coast of the Donetsk People’s Republic near Mariupol. Gunboat attack on the south of the Donetsk Republic was reported by the DPR Command.” “Marine units applied military boats (motor-boats) moored in Mariupol, for the first time in a long period,” said the Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia, Eduard Basurin. On Saturday, 11th of March, attacks continue: “Ukrainian forces tried to attack the DPR army’s positions on the shore of the Azov sea with two combatant crafts, reports the DPR Operational Command on Sunday. “Yesterday, following the order of the Ukrainian 73rd naval special warfare centre’s Commander, the 1st rank captain, Eduard Shevchenko, two combatant crafts entered the DPR territorial waters in Bezymennoye locality’s area, to undertake . . . READ MORE>>

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Physician of Ukrainian Armed Forces admits Donbass supports militia / Pravda.ru / March 13, 2017 / The population of Kiev-controlled regions of the Donbass still remains supportive of the militia, while their attitude to the Armed Forces of Ukraine worsens further, Ukrainian physician Ivan Kurilets said. Kurilets, who was living in the area of the so-called anti-terrorist operation (ATO) for over a year, admitted that he was “disappointed in his ideals.” Ukrainian volunteer battalions, he said, consist of marginalised and simply inadequate individuals. “Nurses believed that the Ukrainian military would make the locals become slaves. I was surprised, why such savagery. It turned out that guys from Western Ukraine were joking like that,” Kurilets said. Earlier, Kiev officials admitted that they needed only land, but not people from the Donbass. Ukraine’s ex-President Leonid Kravchuk told 112-Ukraine TV channel, when commenting on Russia’s move to recognise passports of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics that Russia had thus seized all residents of the breakaway republics. “Personally, I do not mind, but this is our territory, this is our land, and we are not going to give this land to anyone,” Kravchuk said.

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My Reportage from Donetsk – 12th March, 2014 / Graham Phillips / The Truth Speaker / March 12, 2017 / Exactly 3 years ago, I was in Donetsk, albeit not for the first time: Yet this time, 3 years ago, of course, things were a bit different. It was March 2014, (former) president Yanukovych had recently been ousted, Euromaidan had declared victory and installed an unelected, far-right government in power. In Donbass, a region which had notabily either not supported Maidan, or been in direct opposition to it, no one quite knew what to expect next. At the time, I was living in Odessa, and, feeling a time of history, and a moment to be seized, I wrapped up things there (I had a teaching business, to supplement my journalism) and in my car, headed east, simply for myself, to see for myself what was happening. So, this is my reportage from Donetsk, 3 years ago today. At the time, I was trying to do every piece in English, so (in almost all) where someone speaks Russian, I then translate, or attempt to, my Russian of the time was not the best! These videos are all unedited, the mood from the streets, and more, things just how they were at that moment in time, which turned out . . . READ MORE>> [Many on-scene videos at source.]

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Sunday, March 12, 2017
(Brief update)

SBU was preparing a terrorist attack on DPR Head – saboteur detained in LPR / DONi News / March 12, 2017 / The AFU special forces’ Major Sergey Ivanchuk has told about preparation by the Security Service of Ukraine of an act of terrorism against the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zaharchenko, Ivanchuk said during an interrogation in the LPR MGB. Ivanchuk was a member of the network of sabotage and reconnaissance groups, neutralized by the LPR law enforcement officers. The saboteur has already confessed to involvement in the murder of Colonel Oleg Anashchenko, the head of the LPR People’s Militia Office. “I was offered missions in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The conversation took place in the building of SBU in Sambutsky. We were tasked with the ‘Specialist’ (the Head of the LPR People’s Militia Colonel Oleg Anashchenko, (besides) SBU officer, a bald one, I do not know him, I asked if we could accomplish tasks in the Donetsk People’s Republic – that is to blast the car of the DPR Head on the route to the Uspenka checkpoint.” He also noted that one of the saboteurs’ tasks was to screw into favour of Mikhail Tolstykh, commander of the Somali battalion with the call sign ‘Givi’. Earlier the LPR MGB reported that personnel of the 8th regiment of the AFU Special Operations Forces had been involved in Tolstykh’s murder, and Ivanchuk served in that regiment.

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Five Ukrainian marines killed in attempt of attack on DPR positions on Azov seashore / DONi News / March 12, 2017 / Ukrainian forces tried to attack the DPR army’s positions on the shore of the Azov sea with two combatant crafts, reports the DPR Operational Command’s Vice-Commander, Eduard Basurin. “Yesterday, following the order of the Ukrainian 73rd naval special warfare centre’s Commander, the 1st rank captain, Eduard Shevchenko, two combatant crafts entered the DPR territorial waters in Bezymennoye locality’s area, to undertake the reconnaissance and provocations firing at our positions, thus conducting the fighting reconnaissance. We had to open the return fire with small arms and antitank guided weapons, which resulted in serious damage of one of the combatant crafts which was dragged away today,” said Basurin. According to the Vice-Commander, the failed attack resulted in the death of two soldiers and three soldiers being wounded. “It is sad that the Ukrainian Command’s unreasonable actions caused the Ukrainian soldiers’ death for nothing,” underlined the Vice-Commander.

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Horrific And Sad, The Once Flourishing Village Of Kominternovo May Disappear Off The Map Due To The Constant Bombing By Nazi Ukraine Forces. Photo February 20, 2017 (VIDEO at Novorossia Today).

Gas supplies to DPR’s village of Kominternovo cut following shelling by Ukrainian troops / TASS / March 12, 2017 / Earlier on Sunday, the DPR’s operations command said that about 1,200 mines and shells had been fired by Ukrainian troops at DPR’s settlement in the past day. / DONETSK / The village of Kominternovo in the south of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has been left without gas supplies as the local gas pipeline was damaged in shelling by Ukrainian troops, the chief of the local administration, Igor Podgorny, said on Sunday. “Today in the afternoon, the village of Kominternovo came under shelling. As a result, the gas pipeline was damaged and people have been left without gas supplies. No information is available about casualties,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying. Meanwhile, according to the local administration, gas supplies to Kominternovo were resumed on Saturday after Friday’s shelling by Ukrainian troops. Earlier on Sunday, the DPR’s operations command said that about 1,200 mines and shells had been fired by Ukrainian troops at DPR’s settlement in the past day. Four houses in Gorlovka’s, Yasinovataya’s and Dokuchayevsk’s suburbs had been damaged. Since autumn 2014, the Contact Group on the settlement in Donbass has agreed more than ten ceasefires but none lasted for long, with Ukrainian troops repeatedly breaking them down and opening fire at the DPR’s territories from heavy weapons that are to have been withdrawn from the line of engagement in line with the Minsk agreements. The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

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Ukrainian forces launch 1,2 thousand projectiles and mortar shells onto DPR territory over 24 hours / DONi News / March 12, 2017 / The DPR situation remains tense, reports the DPR Operational Command’s Vice-Commander, Eduard Basurin. “The total of the ammunition, launched by the Ukrainian forces onto the DPR territory with the weaponry, prohibited by the Minsk Agreements is as follows: heavy artillery was applied 406 times, including 17 shells of 152mm calibre; tanks were used 23 times; mortars of various calibres – 794 times, including 432 mortar rounds of 120 mm. Also IFVs and armoured vehicles were applied 50 times, anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers and small arms – 171 times,” said the Vice-Commander. He underlined that the following localities underwent the Ukrainian shelling on the Donetsk Direction: Yasinovataya, Krutaya Balka locality, the locality of Spartak to the north from the capital, the Petrovsky district, Luganskoye and Staromikhailovka localities in the west of Donetsk and Yelenovka locality to the south-west from the city. Zaitsevo locality in the northern outskirt of Gorlovka was also shelled. According to the reconnaissance data, in the Gorlovka’s direction in occupied Kalinovo locality (18 km from the contact line), the enemy settled four tanks. The shelling were also recorded on the southern direction. Thus, Dokuchayevsk, Yasnoye locality, the locality of Styla in the Starobeshevsky district, Sakhanka, Kominternovo, Byezymennoye and Oktyabr localities of the Novoazovsky district underwent the Ukrainian shelling. In the same direction in Yasnoye locality’s area (2 km away from the contact line), the Republic’s reconnaissance detected two enemy’s self-propelled artillery platforms Akatsiya. According to the specified Command’s data, over the past 24 hours four houses in the outskirts of Gorlovka, Yasinovataya and Dokuchaevsk were damaged during the AFU shellings. In total, according to the new DPR Command’s methodology, the AFU violated the ceasefire 65 times over the 24 hours.

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Donbass with Texas. Episode 31: DPR special forces increase their professionalism / Essence of Time Deutschland / March 6, 2017 / Special forces units of various defense and law enforcement agencies of Donetsk People’s Republic regularly increase their level of professionalism by participating in tactical shooting competitions. One of such competitions recently took place at the training grounds of the Republican Tactical Shooters Federation near Donetsk. Teams of Legion special risk unit of DPR Ministry of Emergency Situations, Financial and Economic Police Special Operations Department, Vostok DPR Interior Ministry’s, and the Republican Guard competed for the “DPR Republican Guard Commander’s Cup”. The competition included obstacle course running, team Cooper test, pushing an APC, hand-to-hand combat, and tactical shooting exercises. All teams demonstrated good results. “Our comrades in the Republican Guard took the championship for the whole competition. Vostok did pretty good too, they won the shooting competition. But all these guys here have so much to be proud for. Not only are they defending their own land and their own families. These are the best of the best, these are experts. This is spetsnaz Donbass,” war correspondent Russell Bentley, also known as Texas, said. According to the organizers, the main goal of holding such competitions is to increase the level of professionalism and coordination of the warriors, as well as the exchange of experience between different special forces units. We have earlier reported that special forces units from DPR and LPR participated in a competition on February 25 near Donetsk. 13 teams participated in the championship – 8 from Donetsk and 5 from Lugansk. The participants honed their skills in shooting from various positions and shooting on the move. In these days of another escalation at the front, such competitions are of extreme importance as they allow to identify the gaps in the combat training of the servicemen and in the coordination between the units.

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Vladimir Makovich

In Donetsk, died and one of the founders of the DND Vladimir Makovecz / Translated from rbc.ru by FreeNews English / March 12, 2017 / In Donetsk died Vladimir Makovich, who is considered one of the founders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk national Republic (DND). About this on his page in Facebook said the ex-Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of the Republic Boris Borisov. The same information is reported “Interfax” the head of the Agency News Front Konstantin Knyrik. He pointed out that None died due to heart problems. “Preliminarily, the cause of death was a heart attack,” said Knarik. Borisov did not specify what caused the death of the former leader of the DNI. In April 2014 Vladimir Makovich read out the Declaration of state of independent self-proclaimed Republic. In July of that year performed the duties of speaker of the Supreme Council of the DNI. But was later arrested. He was suspected of involvement in the death of the operator “First channel” Anatoly Clan. [Original source: http://www.rbc.ru/%5D Editor’s note: Video of Makovich reading the DPR Declaration of Sovereignty is available at https://youtu.be/ntZ20i0T-Y0 (in Russian).

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