Donetsk Lugansk News Dec 24 2017 – Special Christmas Edition

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Sunday, December 24, 2017
Special Christmas Edition
(Full Report)

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Baleriya Arlentina on Twitter
December 23, 2017

“This is christmas tree in the central square of Donetsk (Lenin’s square).
It was finally decorated at December 22.”

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Donbass Leaders Visit Patriarch Kirill in Moscow

Viktor Medvedchuk, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, DPR Leader Alexander Zakharchenko, LPR Leader Leonid Pasechnik, Moscow, December 25, 2017 (–OrthoChristian.com)

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Click for VIDEO.

Donbass, December 24th, 2017 – VIDEO / Anna News / December 24, 2017 / The newscaster: Victoria Rakhmanina / In the morning the Armed Forces of Ukraine have opened mortar fire on the village Veseloe in the northern suburbs of Donetsk. In violation of the New Year armistice, Kiev forces shelled the positions of the People’s Militia near villages Frunze and Kalinovka. The fire was opened from mortars, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers and small arms. The Ukrainian side, in spite of the agreements reached on the observance of the ceasefire regime, continues to strengthen the fire impact along the contact line. The Ukrainian fighters opened fire on the settlements Dokuchaevsk and Spartak from the infantry fighting vehicle, the representative of the command of the DPR said. Specialists from Germany and France are going to act as intermediaries for the return of Russian officers to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the ceasefire in Donbass, the representative of the German government, Georg Streiter said. Four civilians and one soldier were killed, 7 civilians and 4 soldiers were injured in the DPR for this week, a representative of the Ombudsman’s office of the DPR said. In order to Implement the decision of the Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk on a ceasefire from midnight on the 23rd of December, 2017, all divisions of the Donetsk People’s Republic have been informed of order of the head of the department of the Peoples’ Militia, “On observance of the ceasefire” during the “New Year” armistice”.

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Alexander Zakharchenko

Alexander Zakharchenko sets tasks before country’s cities and regions’ heads / DONi News / December 24, 2017 / The Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic held a working meeting with the heads of cities and districts on December 22. The meeting was devoted to the main results of field work in 2017. Alexander Zakharchenko also set tasks and determined the main directions of the municipal authorities’ work in the coming year. “The past year was not an easy one. To sum up, it should be noted that much has been accomplished. First of all, the main issues related to the improvement of cities have been solved. I believe that this work was carried out very good. A great many visitors coming to the DPR note the beauty of our cities, improvement of public services, the work of green buildings. However, there are moments that require more detailed work. Firstly, it is the organization of the work of public services. It is necessary to improve the efficiency of our utilities. Pay attention to the readiness of all bomb shelters. The war is ongoing, and we must be ready for anything. People should know . . . READ MORE>>

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DPR Head instructs mayors to check, prepare all bomb shelters in Republic / DONi Press / December 23, 2017 / Heads of cities and districts of the Donetsk People’s Republic in the near future should make an inventory of bomb shelters and provide them with everything necessary in case of shelling. This order was given today by the Head of the Republic Alexander Zakharchenko at a meeting with the heads of local administrations. “Each of you must take the bomb shelters that you have in the settlement under personal control. I am instructing that in the near future an inventory of all bomb shelters must be made. They must have round the clock free access and equipped with everything necessary so that people can sit there while shelling,” Zakharchenko said, addressing the heads of administrations. Notably, the meeting was attended by the heads of administrations of all cities and districts of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

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Click for VIDEO.

US-Backed Kiev Tanks Advance on Civilians in SE Ukraine (Donbass) – VIDEO / Marine1063 (YouTube) / Published December 23, 2017 / Yesterday morning (Dec 19, 2017) a large column of tanks moved to Donbass. According to witnesses, they stopped on the road and waited for an additional approach of the tanks. A witness said he managed to talk with drivers of tractors. They said that tanks were going to Donbass. At night, Ukrainian forces opened fire on the village Dolomitnoe in the north of Gorlovka from the Multiple launch rocket systems “Grad”, the deputy commander of the operational command of the DPR Eduard Basurin said. On the 19th of December, Kiev forces shelled Pervomaysk from artillery guns. As a result of the bombardment, the houses and infrastructure facilities were damaged. In violation of the Minsk agreements, the soldiers of the AFU placed self-propelled artillery guns near the contact line, 2 units in the settlement Katerinovka and 6 units in the village Krasny Pakhar, the official representative of the LPR Andrey Marochko reported. He said this weaponry is used to fire at the settlements of the Republic and positions of the People’s Militia during the night. As a result of artillery fire from the positions of the AFU, nearly 40 houses and infrastructure facilities in Stakhanov and Pervomaisk were damaged, 7394 subscribers remain without electricity. Representatives of the Special Monitoring Mission significantly reduced the number of patrols monitoring along the contact line, that does not allow to objectively assess compliance with the regime of ceasefire by the AFU,” Andrey Marochko reported. He said in today’s report there is no information about the destruction and casualties among the civilian population as a result of the shelling of the AFU in the settlements of the LPR.”

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Ukrainian military yet again violates ceasefire in the Donetsk Republic / By Paul Antonopoulos / Fort Russ / December 23, 2017 / DONETSK, Novorossia / The Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) operations command staff said on Saturday that Ukrainian military units have broken the ceasefire and continue to shell populated areas of the republic. “In spite of the agreements on observing ceasefire, Ukrainian army units delivered fire from firearms and automatic grenade-launchers at the areas adjoining the town of Yasinovataya as of midnight,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted a spokesman for the staff. “The use of mortars of different calibers by the enemy was recorded in the area of the township of Golmosvsky near Gorlovka,” it said. At the beginning of the new academic year, the ceasefire was established in Donbass. This became known as the “the school truce.”

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Yasinovataya, Donetsk Oblast, March 6, 2017: House damaged in shelling by Ukrainian Government troops. (–Alexander Kravchenko/TASS)

Donetsk republic reports violations of truce by Ukrainian army hours after its declaration / TASS / December 23, 2017 / Pro-Kiev armed units have ignored the agreements on a New Year truce and have continued the shelling of populated localities in the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR], the republic’s operations command staff said on Saturday. “In spite of the agreements on observing ceasefire, Ukrainian army units delivered fire from firearms and automatic grenade-launchers at the areas adjoining the town of Yasinovataya as of midnight,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted a spokesman for the staff. “The use of mortars of different calibers by the enemy was recorded in the area of the township of Golmosvsky near Gorlovka,” it said. Ceasefire established for the beginning of a new academic year was formally in effect in Donbass as of August 25. It was broadly called ‘the school truce’. The arrangement helped reduce tensions along the Line of Contact at first but the intensity of shelling increased again afterwards. On December 20, members of the Ukraine contact group in charge of defusing the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine reached a yet another agreement on declaring ceasefire. The latter took effect at 00:00 hours East European Time on December 23.

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Donetsk Defense: Situation Report, 12/24/2017 / DONi News / December 24, 2017 / Over the past 24 hours, in the Donetsk direction the enemy launched 10 mortar-shells of 82mm caliber and conducted fire at the areas of four localities with grenade launchers and small arms. As we can see, in the first 24 hours of the New Year ceasefire the Ukrainian side clearly showed that it hadn’t planned to comply with the ceasefire. At present, we are considering two versions explaining this behavior of our enemy: The first is that the platoon-company junior level commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who are on the front line, either are unable to control their units, or personally, persecuting their goals, give orders to use weapons in the direction of our Republic. And the second one is that those illegal armed groupings such as the Ukrainian Volunteer Army and Right Sector who are on the front line refused to comply with the orders of the “ATO” headquarters to comply with the ceasefire. Unfortunately, we have to state the fact that the officers of the Ukrainian side to the JCCC failed to fulfill their functional duties. Instead of objectively and impartially recording violations of the ceasefire by the AFU, these officials, not giving a damn about their conscience and officer’s honor, deny and turn . . . READ MORE>>

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Donetsk Defense: Situation Report, 12/23/2017 / DONi News / December 23, 2017 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense. In the Donetsk direction, eight artillery projectiles of 122-mm calibre, 140 mortar shells of 120-mm and 82-mm calibres were launched by the enemy on ten localities and the surrounding areas; the enemy also resorted to guided anti-tank rockets, various grenade launchers and small arms. In the Gorlovka direction, the areas of two localities – Verkhnetoretskoye and Zaitsevo – were targeted from armoured personnel carriers, small arms, grenade launchers. In the Mariupol direction, AFU units targeted the settlements of Sosnovskoye and Leninskoye with 21 mortar shells of 120-mm calibre.

In total, before the start of the New Year’s truce, 23 violations of the ceasefire regime by the Ukrainian Armed Forces were recorded. Taking advantage of the truce, the enemy continued carrying out measures to strengthen its units in the so-called ‘ATO’ zone. In particular, our reconnaissance noted the transfer to the responsibility zone of the 128 separate mountain infantry brigade of the three additional MRLS Grad units and up to 100 personnel from among the Ukrainian volunteer corps Right Sector. Also, a battalion of the 79 separate airborne assault brigade of the AFU arrived in the zone of responsibility of the 59 motorized brigade. After the start of the New Year armistice, the intensity of the shelling by the AFU units decreased. Without abandoning unsuccessful attempts to provoke us to reciprocal fire, the enemy fired at our positions, using mortars, small arms and automatic grenade launchers. I want to emphasize that all units of the People’s Militia have received the order on the inadmissibility of responding to this kind of provocation and unquestioningly follow the order of the Command. –Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia, Colonel Eduard Basurin, official translation by DONi News Agency

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Alexander Zakharchenko hands posthumous award to relatives of deceased power engineer / DONi News / December 23, 2017 / On December 22, the Head of the Republic posthumously awarded Pavel Gritsienko, the head of the Yasinovataya power distribution zone, who died this year at the workplace, the Order of the Republic. The honourable state award was presented to the parents and the son of the deceased. The Order was awarded for special services to the Donetsk People’s Republic, the courage shown in the performance of official duties. “Keep this award with honour!” the Head of State appealed to Gritsienko junior. “Many thanks to the parents for such a son. This is a huge loss, and there are no words to calm down. But the man who gave his life in the service of duty is a real hero. The state is proud of such citizens as Pavel. Despite the fact that the job of a power engineer is one of the most peaceful professions, unfortunately, in our wartime they risk lives, too” the Head of the Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said to the relatives of Pavel Gritsienko. Pavel Gritsenko was killed on October 4 in a ruprure of the ammunition while inspecting the site of restoration works damaged during the attack on the power lines. Source: Official web-site of the DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko; Official translation by DONi News Agency

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Maurice Schleepen on Twitter
December 23, 2017

“DPR/LPR intelligence: In late November early December Ukraine regime
transferred in the front-line direction about 430 armoured vehicles,
130 Rocket launchers & large armed formations. Also TOCHKA-U &
systems of Mass destruction DONCHAN moved closer to the gray zone. #Donbass.”

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Shelling in Donetsk has become routine: shattered windows, broken walls and roofs / Essence of Time / December 23, 2017 / The tension of the civil war in Donbass never de-escalates even for a day, despite the regularly announced ceasefires, a source in the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic told a correspondent of the Rossa Primavera Information Agency on 21 December. Daily summaries issued by the DPR’s mission to the Joint Control and Coordination Center for Ceasefire (JCCC) reporting up to 50 violations of the Minsk agreements committed by the Ukrainian side have long become routine. The Ukrainian side uses all available weapon types available to attack, from small arms to heavy artillery. The number of shells launched by the Ukrainian dogs of war against the residents of the Republic runs in the hundreds. In contrast to 2014, the frontline area receives the brunt of the shelling, while Grad MLRSs are used very rarely. Occasionally, Donetsk is also hit, mostly Kuybyshevsky district. The frontline towns and villages suffer badly; people have no electricity or gas for hours; more residential buildings are damaged every day: roofs are broken, windows are shattered, and walls are broken. Every day more civilians are wounded, often killed. From time to time, the Donetsk water filtration plant is damaged, which supplies water to Donetsk, Yasinovataya, and a number of settlements nearby, including Avdeevka, which is under Kiev’s control.

In late November, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Arsen Avakov, said that the Minsk agreements were dead; his assistant, Gerashchenko, went a step further. On the air of the Ukrainian Channel 5 he admitted that Kiev never intended to fulfil these agreements, and that Poroshenko, when he signed them, “simply deceived the Russian Federation”. Gerashchenko did not explain whether the Ukrainian President was doing this in collusion with the leaders of France and Germany. Noteworthy is also the strange relations between the Ukrainian side and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Oftentimes, the Ukrainian military does not allow the Mission’s patrols to enter objects of interest, as it happened in the settlements of Gladosovo and Travnevoe, which militants from the Aidar battalion occupied in the early hours of November 22. The very fact of deploying armed forces to these settlements was a gross violation of the agreements, because they are located in the “gray” zone (the area that separates the warring parties which must be clear of any armed people). According to witness reports, these settlements are now close to a humanitarian crisis. Aidar blocked not only the SMM’s patrol but also the Red Cross with humanitarian aid. It is telling that both the Red Cross and the SMM demonstrated inappropriate patience, and they did not make noise over this fact.

OSCE patrols have demonstrated a surprising ability to ignore Ukrainian heavy weapons in places where they must not be located, and to remain unaware of the direction of fire when towns and villages are shelled. The Russian and DPR missions to the JCCC have repeatedly forced the OSCE patrol to rewrite the expert findings on episodes of shelling to make them consistent with the actual situation. Editorial comment by Essence of Time: People who have become accustomed to regular shelling often just ignore the sounds of shells exploding. A situation when explosions and shooting sound afar while old ladies keep tattling at their door next to playing kids, which seems absolutely bizarre to anyone living in Russia, has become common in Donbass.

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The Silent War in the Donbas:
Frontline Accounts of Volunteers Fighting in the Trenches
VIDEO by Vesti News
Published December 23, 2017

Click for video. (27 minutes)
A special report by Alexander Rogatkin:
“Donbas frontline chords.” A silent war in the south-west of Ukraine.

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Vladimir Klitschko (–AFP/ Timothy A Clary//Getty Images)

Klitschko comes to his senses – calls to end Donbass conflict / Fort Russ / December 24, 2017 / Former world boxing champion Vladimir Klitschko said he was confident that relations between Russia and Ukraine would soon improve. “I am convinced that the relations between our countries will soon improve, and after that many will ask themselves how it could have reached such a point that fraternal peoples were at war,” he said. The athlete explained that currently Ukraine is in the phase of formation, and expressed the hope that the economy will begin to grow. “We just need to stop shooting in the east. They say very correctly: A bad peace is better than a good war,” Klitschko added. Klitschko, in his political capacity as Mayor of Kiev, has in the past called Donbass residents “separatists” and urged for conflict in the region.

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Heather Nauert (–AP /Alex Brandon)

US takes decision to supply lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine / TASS / December 23, 2017 / At the time of reporting, TASS did not have an answer from the Pentagon to a question on what specifically the U.S. was going to supply to Ukraine from now on, / WASHINGTON / The U.S. Administration has taken a decision to supply advanced defensive systems to Ukraine as part of Washington’s efforts to build up the long-term defense capability of the Ukrainian government, the Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Friday. “The United States has decided to provide Ukraine enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression,” Nauert said. “U.S. assistance is entirely defensive in nature, and as we have always said, Ukraine is a sovereign country and has a right to defend itself,” she claimed. “The United States remains committed to the Minsk agreements as the way forward in eastern Ukraine.”

At the time of reporting, TASS did not have an answer from the Pentagon to a question on what specifically the U.S. was going to supply to Ukraine from now on. ABC News said previously President Trump was expected to endorse a plan envisioning supplies of antitank equipment worth $47 million to the Ukrainian authorities. The list of weapons to be consigned to Ukraine might include the Javelin antitank complexes. If Trump approves the plan, it will then be submitted to Congress that will have thirty days to review it. U.S. Congressmen and Senators, republicans and democrats likewise, have persistently voted in recent years for inclusion of articles on lethal military aid to Ukraine in the U.S. defense budgets. In the light of it, the lawmakers will most likely have no objections to Trump’s latest defense initiative regarding Ukraine. QI Editor’s Note: Amin Dada tweeted in response to this article: “Considering LNR-DPR shall recuperate most of the weapons, US furnishing could be seen as a good opportunity to run Novorossia to the Transcarpathians ;)”

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Sergei S. on Twitter
(In response to AP article on US weapons to Ukraine)
“Trump is just making a political move.
It’s part of his game with Democrats.
This will change nothing on the ground in Donbass.”

(US soldiers march along main Khreshchatyk Street during a military parade to celebrate Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. –Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

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Malinka on Twitter
December 23, 2017
“US AtlanticCouncil useful idiots at BC, who spent 3 years & AC’s funds trying
to prove Donbass couldn’t recapture its weapons from Ukraine, now worried sick
that new US, Canada weapons could finish up in hands of LPR, DPR … and Russia!”

Click to enlarge.

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David Kaye (–Japan Times)

Media: UN official finds no freedom of speech in Ukraine / Essence of Time / December 23, 2017 / Kiev’s bans of television channels broadcasting in Russian violate the international human rights law on access to information, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye said in an interview on December 22, RIA Novosti reports. In particular, Kaye said that, generally speaking, this is of course a deprivation of freedom, because in terms of human rights law every person has the right to access any kind of ideas and information, either true or not. Giving an assessment to the situation with freedom of speech in Ukraine, he added that he was not familiar with the situation in Ukraine well enough to give a specific opinion; but generally, the authorities should not choose the path of banning or restricting media operations. Since 2014, over 70 Russian channels and about 600 Russian-made films and TV series were banned in Ukraine. In October 2017, the Verkhovnaya Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament) passed a law that raised the quota of the Ukrainian language on TV. According to the law, at least 75% of TV broadcasting must be in Ukrainian. Editor’s note: See source for editorial comment.

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U.S. general to soldiers: War against Russia is coming / Essence of Time / December 23, 2017 / The United States Marine Corps general Robert Neller on December 23 told Norway-based U.S. marines about the upcoming war against Russia, RT reports. “I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming. You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence”, he said. Neller noted that in the nearest future Russia and the Pacific theater could become military conflict zones. The general also said that the number of marines stationed in Norway could be increased “to 3000 overnight”. Russia and China were named the two world powers that “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity” in the new National Security Strategy that was published by Trump administration on December 18. The head of Pentagon Jim Mattis said that the power of the U.S. army enables American diplomats to always speak from a “position of strength”. These events are occurring against the backdrop of the increasing military presence of US and NATO troops in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders: in the Baltic states, in the Nordic countries, in Poland. Aside from that, US missile defense systems are deployed in Eastern Europe. Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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Protesters attend health care bill rally near Ukrainian Parliament, Kiev (–Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA)

A Tale of 2 Ukraines- Health Care in War-Torn Lugansk and Peaceful Kiev / By George Eliason / Washington’s Blog / December 21, 2017 / This is the story of two Ukraine’s, but it’s not the tired and typical before and after the coup tome. This is a side by side view of two Ukraine’s as they stand today in December 2017. Looking at it this way, you have to decide which Ukraine is the terrorist entity and which Ukraine works to save and better the lives of its people. You get to tell me which Ukraine would make a good partner for the US, Europe, Russia, and the rest of the world. Which Ukraine would you want for your neighbor or to come to that BBQ? For every story there has to be a backbone of facts it rides on, doesn’t there? And yet, despite a glut of facts, both you and the rest of the world are sometimes expected to ignore the grim realities and cozy up to the dysfunctional monsters of our time. And not just cuddle up but lean over and give em’ a big smooch too. Let’s look our Ukraine(s). One Ukraine is centered in Kiev. It has not been attacked by a foreign nation since WWII. It has received and squandered tens of billions of dollars in IMF loans and international support. More to the point, tens of billions in aid has been stolen and will never be repaid. The money will never be used for reforms or to rebuild the economy. Instead of starting the reforms that the aid was tied to, Poroshenko’s Ukraine has consistently and persistently lowered the standard of living for its own people. This Ukraine is a country that a failed state like Somalia can look down on today. This Ukraine led the world in some medical . . . READ MORE>>

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New Head of Board of Directors of Rosneft is former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder / Fort Russ / December 24, 2017 / Former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder told the Rheinische Post about his work at Rosneft, as well as his attitude towards Vladimir Putin. According to Schroeder, to chair the board of directors of a Russian oil firm is an “exciting task” and the money aspect here is not particularly important. “And what if I were on the board of directors of an American firm, not a Russian one – that criticism has some hypocrisy,” he said. Schroeder stressed that good relations with Rosneft and with Russia as a whole are in the interests of Europe, and Germany will eventually benefit from them. A journalist of Rheinische Post noted that Rosneft is under sanctions. Schroeder said in response that he was against them and that, in his opinion, they would eventually be lifted. The former chancellor also confirmed that he and Putin are friends. “Yes, we are, and will always be, I trust Vladimir Putin,” he said. Schroeder explained that the friendship implies the opportunity to share their opinions and express criticism, but only face to face. From the point of view of Schroeder, the rapprochement between Russia and Germany is impossible without Putin. “Managing Russia is not an easy task, rather you should proceed from the fact that after Putin – it will not be better.” One step to rapprochement could be the gradual lifting of sanctions” he explained. The fact that Schroeder will head the board of directors of Rosneft became known in September. The former Chancellor, in a conversation with journalists, stated that he was very pleased with this appointment.

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I Love Lugansk

December 25, 2017 – Luganskaya Novosti

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