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Ukraine Liveblog Day 185: Russian Airborne Forces Reportedly Captured In Ukraine

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

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View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.


Ukraine Liveblog Day 184: Fighting Continues in Ilovaisk and Lugansk

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.


Ukraine Liveblog Day 183: Ukraine Fights to Retake Ilovaisk

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

‘Novorossiya’ and the ‘Fifth Column’ Around the Kremlin: Novaya Gazeta Interview with Boroday

Pavel Kanygin, special correspondent for the independent Russian online newspaper Novaya Gazeta has been interviewing a number of the pro-Russian separatists and other political figures in Ukraine for some time. [See our translation of his interview with former Yanukovych Aide Anna German--The Interpreter).

Kanygin himself was once kidnapped by the Russian-backed separatists and freed on 11 May after a day-long ordeal in Artemovsk in Donetsk Region where he was beaten and threatened with murder.

On 13 August, he interviewed in Donetsk Aleksandr Boroday, the former "prime minister" of the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" who had just resigned from his post.

The Interpreter has provided a translation of most of the interview, with some annotation.

Boroday was furious about another interview (which we translated) given the previous week on 7 August by Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, who revealed that some prominent Moscow media executives had told him that Boroday called them to admit that he knew the rebels had downed a civilian airplane on 17 July.

What was most sensational about this interview for Moscow bloggers was Boroday's remarks about a "fifth column" of betrayers of the "Novorossiya" idea within the Putin Administration. This captures the way in which the separatist movement both embodies Putin's aspirations as well as constitutes a force challenging the corrupt nature of his regime. While Boroday didn't name names, opposition leader Aleksandr Navalny was quick to draw the dotted lines in a tweet:

Translation: Oh-ho, in an interview with Novaya, Boroday reported that the 'fifth column' is Timchenko, the Rotenbergs, Yakunin's children and Zheleznyak.

Navalny attached to his tweet a clip of the interview with Boroday where he has underlined in red certain phrases about "accumulating large material means," "living abroad," "yachts, wives" "accounts in Switzerland, townhouses in London or Cote d'Azure" -- all references to particular oligarchs and their relatives.

Gennady Timchenko is the former co-owner of Gunvor Group, where Putin is rumored to have investments (Timchenko divested himself right before being put in the US sanctions list); Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, Putin's childhood friends are owners of subsidiaries of Gazprom such as Stroygazmontazh; Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways, has been the target of investigative reporting on corruption by both Navalny and Reuters; and Sergei Zheleznyak is the vice speaker of the Russian State Duma or parliament. All of these officials have been put in the US sanctions list in connection with participation in Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

In Donetsk, Kanygin described how Boroday chain-smoked, paced around his office with a portrait of Putin on the wall, and kept taking his pistol out of his holster during the interview -- as artillery shells from the Ukrainian army fell a few kilometers away. He describes how Boroday wraps his iPhone in tin foil to keep spies from geolocating him yet is curiously upbeat about the prospects of the separatists’ cause, despite recent disruptions in their leadership and loss of territory.

Boroday believes that the Ukrainian army is technically outfitted by Western allies. This doesn't actually square with the truth – the aid giving to Ukraine by the US and other Western nations is largely humanitarian, or consists of items like bullet-proof vests, not weapon systems.

But the belief that NATO is going to invade the Donbass any minute is prevalent among the separatists. "All the equipment of the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. From Bulgaria, from Poland have been put into motion, I think," he says. He denied that the Ukrainians were managing to surround the city of Donetsk, and denied that he had anything to worry about either from Ukraine or Moscow.

On Whether Putin Will Dump the Separatists

Kanygin: It just strikes me that there's so little security at a time like this. Most likely you're aware of the latest rumors that the Russian intelligence agencies intend to remove the leaders of the DPR and LPR.

Boroday: I will remind you that I am a citizen of Russia, and I surely don't imagine that Russian intelligence agencies have plotted some kind of operations against me. Or against any other leader of the Lugansk or Donetsk republics. That's sheer nonsense. My security guards me from the enemy, from the Kiev junta, from their mercenaries. And completely doesn't guard me from Russian intelligence agencies, because I don't need it.

He has a point. One of the most persistent received wisdoms of Western commentary is that the rebels are going to be dumped once Putin doesn't need them to keep Ukraine unstable anymore. This is curiously at odds with that other obsession of Western commentary -- and rightly so -- that these people are themselves all GRU or FSB agents pulling the strings on the "people's" struggle – and therefore decidedly agents of Kremlin-run institutions.

The fact is, in the 15 years of Putin's rule, and well before that, these very people were deployed in multiple armed conflicts and ideological battles in the former Soviet Union, in Chechnya, Abkhazia, Transdniestria, even Bosnia. What seems to be happening now as they resign, one by one, is, like any agents, they are being extracted. Why waste trained, seasoned, employees? They can live to cause mayhem another day on another front.

On the “Russian World” Concept Including Belarusian, Moldovan and Ukrainian Territory

Kanygin tries to delve into the issue of the "non-indigenous" nature of the separatist struggle -- which of course is now in the process of being changed with the appointment of Aleksandr Zakharchenko, a Donbass native, to replace Boroday as “prime minister.” This method is similar to the Soviet-era custom of appointing an official from the "titular nationality" as the head of a non-Russian republic, and putting a Russian deputy underneath him to keep an eye on him. Now it works in reverse - Boroday has been made "vice premier" of the DPR.

Kanygin: You are a citizen of Russia, I wonder how you communicate and find a common language with the residents of the region, citizens of Ukraine?

Boroday: Why would I have to find a common language?

Kanygin: I mean you're a leader of the DPR, a citizen of Russia...

Boroday: But we're all Russian people! Why would I have to find a common language with them? If in their day the internal administrative borders of the Soviet Union, which were already demarcated rather strangely, suddenly became state borders, why would the resident of Donetsk be fundamentally different from the resident of Rostov? I'll explain it to you: they aren't different, they're from one big country. And you should understand a fundamental thing. I'm often called a separatist, but I'm not a separatist, I'm against separatism in general!

Who are the separatists?

The Kiev junta are separatists. Because there is a gigantic Russian world which was formed for a thousand years. This is a common civilization -- it is Russia, Belarussian and Little Russian (Malorossiyskaya, a term Ukrainians have always found offensive--The Interpreter). For hundreds of years we had a common state which was forged in sweat and blood.

Kanygin: Alright. But where are the borders of this state?

Boroday: They are well known. Where the Russian language is heard, where Russian culture is on the move, where Russian blood has been shed...

This new feature of DPR propaganda -- that we're not the separatists, they are -- was echoed in Vostok Battalion leader Aleksandr Khodakovsky's recent interview, where he insists that he is for a "united Ukraine" -- because he means a united Russian Ukraine that is part of the "Russian World."

Kanygin persists, asking what it would mean if Russian blood was shed in Estonia.

“Let me finish, if you are making an interview, then you yourself shouldn't orate," says Boroday irritably.

Boroday: Here are the borders of the Russian world, they are obvious, and we are fighting against the Kiev junta which for us is separatist. They want to take Ukraine away from our Russian world. Ukraine, which was always part of this world. Kiev, the mother of Russian cities. And the Pereyaslavskaya Rada is not an accidently phenomenon in history which united the Muscovy Rus' of the time with Ukraine. So we are fighting with separatism, taking part in the latest historical process. It's they [in Kiev--PK] who took part of the Russian world, grabbed it out from under, and organized a fratricidal mess, where a dozen and a half oligarchs rule which have nothing to do with Ukraine itself. And we are fighting for a global Russian idea. And the center as before is the city of Moscow, and for us, the capital is Donetsk and Lugansk and Rostov and St. Petersburg and other places where they speak Russian and Russians live. It’s very simple.

Boroday conceded that Latvia — even with its high percentage of Russian speakers — wouldn’t want to join Russia and had a different culture. So Novorossiya goes as far as it goes…

On Reports of Disarray in DPR Leadership and Strelkin’s Future

Kanygin then probed on the Strelkov resignation and the reports of disarray among the commanders of the DPR — and we see Boroday’s sanitized remarks are at odds with the frank remarks he was heard to say in a call intercepted by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), in which he called Strelkov “a f**king mad colonel.”

Kanygin: Aleksandr Yuryevich, how do you coordinate all these armed groups. There are these partisan detachments, there is Strelkov-Girkin and his people, there’s Bes (Igor Bezler), there’s [Aleksandr] Khodakovsky. There’s the impression that they operate independently of each other and sometimes war among themselves. There is the famous case of the shoot out of Khodakovsky’s fighters and Bes’ fighters at a police headquarters.

Boroday: It’s total nonsense. Total nonsense! We have managed to establish, to put it mildly, mutual understanding with all the commanders. I have just come from a staff meeting where Zakharchenko and Girkin, that is Strelkov were present, and a representative of Khodakovsky’s (he himself is now fulfilling a special mission, but I talked with him on the telephone, what can you do.)

Kanygin: But who is the commander-in-chief?

Boroday: Today, a system has been built, I won’t say it’s my accomplishment, although it is a subject of efforts, in which the chief commander is Zakharchenko. and the fact that he is a local is important from the political and external political perspective. Since the Donetsk People’s Republic is a place of bifurcation on the map, its external contacts will only increase. And my position remains unchanged: the leader of the republic must be a native Donetsk resident. Now he has been forged. He has proved his ability to manage people and has been in battle. But Igor Strelkov is my old comrade and friend. And it is awkward to speak of some kind of contradictions between me and Igor since we have been friends for many years. Khodakovsky and I also maintain close relations.

Kanygin: How did you meet Girkin?

Boroday: We fought together in Transdniestria, but in various parts of the front, therefore we didn’t cross paths. But we became acquainted already after the war, in the 1990s, I don’t remember how.

Kanygin: You don’t take part in historical re-enactments?

Boroday: No, I don’t. Igor and I often joke about this topic by virtue of our old friendship…I myself regard them with skepticism. In Moscow, I was always a very busy person, therefore his attempts to invite me to re-enactment were fruitless. And he kept inviting me repeatedly — to Borodino, and somewhere else.

Kanygin: Was this a hobby or was he training seriously?

Boroday: Don’t be silly, please. Igor Ivanovich Strelkov is a completely trained military man with us. He’s had more than enough of these trainings. It is a hobby, and no more; some people collect stamps, some people collect butterflies, and Igor Ivanovich took part in re-enactments, a rather fun activity. I hope he’ll go on doing that if he survives after all these events.

Kanygin: But he may not survive.

Boroday: I’m not prepared to discuss that question.

Kanygin: Do you concede the thought that many in Moscow likely don’t need you to return? Neither you or Girkin.

Boroday: Wait. Which forces? The liberal-progressive community?

Kanygin: Oh, no, I mean those around…

Boroday: …who support your newspaper? Now I see the only force that doesn’t need for Igor Ivanovich and me to return!

On the ‘Fifth Column’ of Russian Opposition

Kanygin: Our newspaper is for peace, so that you and Igor Ivanovich would get involved not with war but your favorite re-enactments and media consulting. Write books, you’ve written them after all, take up gardening…

Boroday: Well, let’s write them! Your editor-in-chief, Mr. Muratov, clearly represents that force, and he categorically doesn’t like my return in particular, or that of Igor Ivanovich’s to Moscow. And I understand all that. But I don’t fear Dmitry Muratov and don’t fear the personages of his ilk. Just like I don’t fear Mr. [Sergei] Kurginyan [head of the leftist ultranationalist movement Essence of Time who denounced Strelkov after the rebel retreat from Slavyansk 5 July—The Interpreter] and they are the same type of fruit.

Kanygin: How?

Boroday: Despite their seeming difference in world views, they all represent the liberal wing and work on instructions of the West, on direct instruction. In particular, your editor-in-chief — I won’t say that he works for the SBU but he works for their masters. And his claims [7 August on Ekho Moskvy—PK] that I supposedly called some media manager in Moscow on the day of the airplane crash and reported that we shot down some military plane – now there is a lie and a provocation. That is why I’m giving you an interview so that you have the opportunity to show yourselves as honest people and print what I am saying now. And I want to see what you print. I have such an internal task.

Kanygin: You’re looking for the wrong enemies, I think.

Boroday: None of us want war. Neither I, nor Igor. As for gardening, I’m not inclined. Regarding Mr. Muratov or now Bykov (I read his article “Why Aleksandr Boroday is Dangerous” with interest, so to say) – they are from the group of people who are a fifth column in the Russian Federation and work for the West. For our geopolitical enemy, which does not want the renaissance of our country…

On Rumors of Strelkov’s Ambitions for Leadership of Russia

Kanygin – But I’m not talking about your fifth column, Aleksandr Yuryevich. So surprisingly, it turns out that you and Igor Ivanovich became heroes in Russia. Potentially serious political figures. There is an opinion that the current elite simply doesn’t needs such rivals.

Boroday: I will comment for you on these conjectures. And I will also answer for Igor Ivanovich, as they say here in Donetsk. Igor Ivanovich has zero political ambitions. He is absolutely uninterested in politics in any form. He is a normal, ordinary Russian patriot. And all that Igor Ivanovich wants after the war is one thing: to sit by the lake with a fishing pole and make it so that no one bothers him. Well, maybe he’ll go to a re-enactment with the Romans. No more serious actions from him, no matter how much they are imposed on him, are worth expecting. As for me, I also do not intend to engage in political activity besides possibly consulting which I did earlier. And I know that people know that in Moscow. You see I have a portrait of Putin hanging behind me. I don’t see a better politician for the Russian Federation for the foreseeable future.

While it’s distinctly possible that Boroday is prevaricating, it does seem that most of the discussion about the alleged political ambitions of Strelkov to replace Putin — and then the ensuing drama of expectations that he will be killed or removed as a result of Putin’s anger — seem to come not from Strelkov himself, but various ultranationalist figures using his image as a projection for their own ambitions for how they want Russia to be led.

Kanygin proceeds to ask Boroday about where he gets support, and gets the stock answer that this is from “the enormous Russian people” and “various sources” and “even Australia” and that much of it is “purely humanitarian.”

On Relationship with Russian Orthodox Businessman Konstantin Malofeyev

Kanygin: Do Russian businessmen also help?

Boroday: Most likely. I just don’t know their names and last names.

Kanygin: Konstantin Malofeyev is often mentioned. Does he sponsor you?

Boroday: He is a philanthropist. But I haven’t talked to him about the subject of the Donetsk Republic, to be honest. I am acquainted with this man, I can say honestly he is my friend. He’s a good person. Yes, I worked with him. But again, refuting all kinds of nasty rumors, I didn’t work for him or in his company. I was never in Marshall Capital. I had my own company which worked with 20 clients, including Konstantin Malofeyev, and I provided consulting services for him. And what of it? I also worked with dozens of companies whose names I will not cite. Many of them are well-known and even international Western companies. Yes, yes, and you are surprised? There are such.

Kanygin: And now what? You are after all involved in consulting.

On Denials Regarding MH17

Boroday: I don’t know. I don’t know…Here, I’ll show you (takes a small object covered in foil out of his bag–PK). This is my Moscow telephone, an iPhone, it is covered in many layers of foil, it’s a security measure.

Kanygin: For what?

Boroday: So that GPS satellites are confused and can’t determine my location.

Kanygin: But you turn it on when you come into Russia?

Boroday: That’s completely true. I turn it on when I come into the Russian Federation. But when I’m here, not a single call from Moscow reaches me here in the Donetsk Republic. That’s it. I have also a local telephone with a local phone (shows an ordinary Nokio push-button phone–PK).

Kanygin: I don’t understand. But people can also use it to call from Moscow?

Boroday: They can, too, but they don’t phone. That is why I am showing this to you — I was really angered by the statement of your editor-in-chief about the phone call to the media manager. In fact I learned about the plane not within 40 minutes, as he stated, but much later, when there was a meeting of the Supreme Soviet at the time. It was still continuing after the disaster for two hours, here in this building, on the second floor. Accordingly, as soon as I learned about it, I immediately moved out from here with my security, it was already night, a terrible darkness.

Kanygin spends time trying to get Boroday to explain why the DPR wouldn’t allow the experts in from ICAO, who were reported to have been blocked by DPR fighters. We covered Boroday’s thin excuses at the time, which didn’t track with OSCE monitors’ reports of gun-waving DPR fighters, and his distractions from the issues by blaming the Ukrainians — because they were the ones who ostensibly most benefited. He also denied that the separatists had anti-aircraft systems that could reach to the elevation of MH17, also easily refuted by looking at Russian state and pro-Kremlin media itself, where separatists bragged about their possession of Buks on 14 and 17 July.

Then Kanygin asks Boroday whether the DPR is advantageous to Russia, and Boroday says he is not sure that it is — because it led to Western sanctions. It also wasn’t even good for his own career that he became prime minister, he says, but he did it “because “it was correct from the moral perspective.” Meanwhile, the “fifth column” says that for rossiyane [Russian citizens] (“russkiye [ethnic Russians] don’t exist for them, but only rossiyane,” he adds), it isn’t profitable to support Donetsk and Lugansk.

On the “Fifth Column” Around the Kremlin

Kanygin: But what’s this you’re making up about a fifth column? You yourself said that this is an insignificant minority, that they cannot interfere with your grandiose plans?

Boroday: I’ll explain why. These people, these 14%, unfortunately, have a fairly high degree of social activity. Plus they have accumulated large material means. And along with them, they have acquired substantial influence. Although essentially, this fifth column in general has no relationship to Russia, it even lives somewhere beyond its borders. They have their accounts there, their favorite stores, their yachts, their wives…

Kanygin: So now you don’t mean our ministries and deputies, do you?

Boroday: Yes. As I’ve been saying, the fifth column in our country is great and abundant. Bank accounts in Switzerland, town houses in London or somewhere in Cote d’Azure, that is indeed the fifth column. But there are those in its ranks that sit and cause harm on social networks. By the way, I will note that I do not have an account on social networks. That I’m mentioning because surprisingly, when I come to Moscow I find that it turns out that I have some representatives in Facebook, Twitter. But I state officially: this is not I, this is a fake. I have a negative attitude toward social networks. Because these social networks are a possibility of manipulating public opinion.

Denials of Personal Twitter, Facebook Accounts

Kanygin: Who, if not you, a professional media consultant, would not be involved in them?

Boroday: Yes, I know all this technology but I don’t use it. What don’t I know in general as a professional? The main thing is that this is repulsive to me. I know of the venality of the media, and I’m alluding to you. What of it?

Here we’ll say this reply strains credulity. While it may be true that Boroday personally has nothing to do with the Twitter account under his name (although it sounds quite like him), for reasons of plausible deniability, as a long-time PR person and manager of the “media government” (as the fictional DPR has been called) he surely understands the value of social media precisely for the reason he says — that it manipulates public opinion — and surely is involved in some of the accounts with huge followers and influence. If they didn’t represent his views and his agenda, he would have loudly denounced them and disassociated himself from them long ago. If nothing else, he understands their value in fund-raising.

Asked again about the “fifth column” and what he planned to do about it, Boroday said “nothing,” as a “law-abiding citizen of the Russian Federation,” adding, “I’d really like to punch your editor-in-chief and Sergei Kurginyan in the mugs. I realize that punching people in the mugs perhaps isn’t entirely lawful, but I can’t restrain myself.” [Kanygin later noted that Muratov had no comment on Boroday’s interview—The Interpreter]

Boroday claimed that no one wanted to let him go at the DPR, batting away Kanygin’s question as to why he was putting on the show of leaving then. He remains with an office in Donetsk but expects to be in Moscow more where he is “in demand more,” adding disingenuously, “I hope that there will be more serious movements from Moscow in order to stop this essentially senseless civil war of Slavs against Slavs.”

On Prospects for a Peace Settlement with Ukraine

Kanygin: Are you prepared to make a certain long-term ceasefire with Kiev?

Boroday: For now, all conversations with the consultative group [set up between Russian and Ukraine to discuss a settlement—The Interpreter] are vague. But we are not at all prepared to conclude peace on conditions of capitulation. Although one of the members of the consultative group — Leonid Kuchma — spouts that baby talk to us. Yesterday, we learned that he celebrated his birthday, but today we were supposed to have a television bridge with him. But most likely the wild partying dragged on, because he couldn’t get on the line.

Kanygin: So he proposes that you surrender?

Boroday: Essentially, yes. We surrender, and Ukraine is a unitary state. After that, all the members of the group began to chuckle, including representatives from the Ukrainians.

Kanygin: [Viktor] Medvedchuk? [Ukrainian oligarch and close associate of Vladimir Putin who was appointed by Putin to the consultative group--The Interpreter].

Boroday: Yes, and [Nestor] Shufrych and [Mikhail] Zurabov, they all held back a smile. [Shufrych is a Ukrainian parliamentarian, Zurabov is Russian ambassador to Ukraine--The Interpreter.]

Kanygin: So this consultative group is no longer relevant?

Boroday: Why not? Recently our representatives went to the meeting with the group in Minsk, where they spoke about the exchange of POWs. Plus, we are always ready to speak about establishing humanitarian corridors. But there are no serious negotiations yet. And the Ukrainian government is doing everything so that they do not begin, to cut us off from the world in every way. They didn’t allow in the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). And the Malaysian experts finally got to us barely alive. They went from Kharkov through back roads in a private car, snuck through all the checkpoints of the Ukrainian army and then Grads and aviation began firing at them. And under fire, they miraculously finally reached us.

Kanygin: Under what conditions, in your view, are peace talks possible?

Boroday: Really, we can start talks only when the troops and the bandit formations of the Kiev junta are already withdrawn beyond the borders of the DPR and LPR. Negotiations mean bargaining and compromises. And I don’t see that Kiev is prepared for them. Kiev demonstrates total lunacy.

Kanygin: Well, then what is your goal? To create two autonomies inside Ukraine?

Boroday: But there is no Ukraine. It does not exist, since the state fell apart essentially. There is no government and there is no longer a country.

Kanygin: But the country elected its president by a majority.

Boroday: How could it elect, when neither Crimea, nor Donetsk nor Lugansk took part in it? Three enormous regions have fallen away from Ukraine. That means the country no longer exists. And the government that has become entrenched now in Kiev came about as a result of an armed coup.

The people eligible to vote in the Donbass, i.e. Donetsk and Lugansk regions and environs, make up about 11 percent of the electorate. Crimea was already forcibly annexed by Russia by the time of the elections for Ukrainian president.

Kanygin: The same may be said about you: that there was a seizure of power in Donetsk, you organized a junta. You have looters and bandits here. That is, between you there is this non-constructive mutual recrimination and no more.

Boroday: There is nothing constructive now. They consider me a terrorist, and I, them. But that is on the level of individual personalities. But in fact, some Slavs are destroying others. And in fact the Slavs on that side are using the tactics of open terror and genocide. And their Western advisors continue to insist that Donetsk and Lugansk republics remain within Ukraine.

Kanygin: But you yourself just recently spoke about federalization. And so did your comrade-at-arms, [Denis] Pushilin [who also recently resignedThe Interpreter]:

Boroday: Nonsense-ilin (smiles) [Literally "Chepushilin" -- he is making a play on the name of Pushilin--The Interpreter]. You simply have to understand, that’s it, the times have changed. Yes, not long ago, it seemed that some sort of agreements were possible. But when a bloody war began, the time for such decisions passed irrevocably.

On Prospects for Meeting with Putin

Kanygin: Do you think Putin personally supports you?

Boroday: (Thinks)…You know, I sincerely hope so. I personally have not talked with Vladimir Vladimirovich yet.

Kanygin: But would you like to?

Boroday: Oh, I’m afraid this is a man who is seriously busy.

Kanygin: But you are no less seriously busy.

Boroday: That doesn’t give him a reason to meet with me right away.

Kanygin: For the sake of the cause, which, I think, you very much believe in, you can overlook subordination.

Boroday: I believe in the cause, but to be honest, I don’t dare to impose my person on him.

Kanygin: That is, it is better if you not see him now?

Boroday: No, that’s not it! As I said: I don’t dare impose myself. If he wishes, then I will, of course, be glad to.

On Kidnappings and Executions by the DPR

The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights has reported on 812 kidnappings of civilians by separatists in separatist-controlled areas, and as Slavyansk and other towns have been liberated, more testimonies have come out.

Kanygin: Aleksandr Yuryevich, what to do about the kidnappings of civilians and activists by DPR and LPR representatives?

Boroday: Well, tell me, where have we kidnapped civilians?

Kanygin: There is a well-known case of the kidnapping of the journalists from Ukrainian Public Television in Lugansk. There have been numerous kidnappings of volunteers and activists in Slavyansk and Donetsk. There are masses of cases.

Boroday: Ukraine makes masses of accusations against us, I don’t even rule out that somewhere, at sometime, our fighters, infuriated, could have treated someone a bit indelicately. But what can you expect form an army that consists of partisans? We are already doing a lot now so that the fighters become accustomed to military discipline and so that all their actions meet the requirements of the law. We have created a ministry of security for this. We catch looters, we punish them, whoever displays aggression to civilians, even if they provoke dislike…

Kanygin: But those executions that Girkin sanctioned in Slavyansk with Stalin’s order of 1941 — what’s that about?

Boroday: We have a tribunal in operation — a military field court which periodically sanctions sentences of execution. Why? Because we have martial law declared in the republic with all it entails. Yes, some looters and deserters, thank God, there are few of them, were executed. Or are you interested as to why we are basing ourselves on Stalin’s order?

Kanygin: What to do with “political criminals”?

Boroday: We have a minister of security, but I do not know of a single person arrested or jailed for political reasons. And I would know.

Kanygin: But wait, there are those cases of the activists. Plus, Donetsk colleagues recounted how armed DPR fighters some time ago went around to editorial offices and persuasively asked them to cover events in the right vein. What do you say to that?

Boroday: I only know of one case when one of our commanders did not get along with his acquaintance from the media, they had a political disagreement, and a rumor spread and was distorted. And then it began. Of course, organizational measures of persuasion, so to speak, were applied. Now both are fine and feel just fine. That’s essentially it.

Kanygin: So you have freedom of speech?

Boroday: Well, look, you, a representative of hostile media, are sitting here, and getting an interview, no one is touching you, no one is arresting you, no one is dragging you away in a van. Tell me, does the principle of freedom of speech operate for you or not?

Kanygin: In this office now, yes.

Boroday: All Ukrainian journalists are accredited now with us, they all work, whoever wants to. What else do you want?


Ukraine Liveblog Day 182: Russian Aid To Enter Ukraine With Kiev’s Approval

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

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View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.


Ukraine Liveblog Day 181: Ukraine’s Military Advances Despite Russian Support of Separatists

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.


The Interpreter Ukraine LiveBlog Archives


(August 27) Ukraine Liveblog Day 191: Fighting In Ilovaisk, Amvrosievka and Novoazovsk
Moscow ‘Checking’ Information on Soldiers’ Deaths; Reinforcements Not Arrived in Ilovaisk
Kommersant Reporter Describes Separatist Occupation of Novoazovsk
State Department Warns Russian Troops Have Pushed 30 Miles into Ukraine
Russian Troops Threaten Mariupol and Volnovakha By Offensive in Novoazovsk
Ukrainian Government Announces Russia Has Invaded
Russian Newspaper Asks Whether Russia is At War In Ukraine
Pictures Reportedly Show Russian Armored Convoy Destroyed Near Donetsk
- Government Claims Reinforcements In Ilovaisk, Semyonchenko Denies This As Protesters Call For Action
Nadezhda Savchenko To Be Transferred To Psychiatric Hospital
Ukrainian SBU Holds Press Conference with Russian POWs
Russia Accuses NATO Of Destabilizing European Security As Russian-Backed Troops Capture Ukrainian Towns
Large Russian Military Column Reportedly Heading Towards Telmanovo
Red Cross Representative In Ukraine Resigns
Savchenko In Court In Voronezh
Decisive Day In Ilovaisk – Semyonchenko
The Battle For Novoazovsk Continues

(August 26) Ukraine Liveblog Day 190: Russian Paratroopers Captured In Ukraine
What Happened at the Minsk Talks?
Ukrainian CNSD Refutes Claims of Russian Incursion, But Confirms Russian Military Convoy at Gukovo
Russian Troops Taking Over Ukrainian Border Towns: Eye-Witnesses
Intense Shelling Reported In Novoazovsk, Where Russia’s ‘Invasion’ Was Reported Yesterday
Video Shows Column of Russian Vehicles, Manned By Chechen Fighters, On Ukraine’s Border
Powerful Russian Armored Convoy Spotted In Ukraine Headed Toward Lugansk – Complete With T-72 Tanks
Relatives of Russian POWs Gather in Kostroma; Further Details on Capture by Ukrainians
Artillery Fire Near a Russian Cross-Border Incursion Could Only Come From Russian Territory
Russian Peacekeeping Forces Reportedly Ready For Both Humanitarian And Combat Missions
Russia Will Take ‘Measures’ If Ukraine Enacts EU Association Agreement
Ukraine Doesn’t Believe Russian Troops Captured Across The Border Were ‘Lost’
Reports Of Paratroopers’ Deaths Spread In Russia
Putin Says Military Escalation Can’t Solve Crisis In Ukraine
US Ambassadors Slam Russian ‘Counteroffensive’
Poroshenko And Putin Meet In Minsk
Woman Accused Of Being Ukrainian Spy Tied To Pole And Humiliated In Donetsk
Ukraine Claims Russian Helicopters Attacked Ukrainian Border Guards, Killing 4
Russia Admits Troops Entered Ukraine… ‘By Accident’
Russian Paratroopers Captured In Ukraine
Transcript of Interrogation of Russian Paratrooper Captured in Ukraine

(August 25) Ukrainian LiveBlog Day 189: Is There a Russian Invasion?
AP Journalists See Russia Moving Convoys Into Ukraine
Ukraine’s Parliament Dissolved Ahead of Schedule
Rada Dissolved And New Elections Scheduled
OSCE Visits Besieged Rebel Stronghold of Lugansk
Red Cross Says Ukraine Conflict Is War, MH17 Could Be A War Crime
So Far, No Visual Confirmation Of Russian ‘Invasion’ Near Mariupol
Picture Reportedly Shows Russian Tank Destroyed Near Mariupol, Ukraine
Panic Reported In Mariupol After Reports of Nearby Russian Invasion
Russia Pledges To Send Another Aid Convoy to Ukraine
Russian Foreign Minister Finds Nothing Humiliating About Separatists Parading POWs
Is There a Russian Invasion?

(August 24) Ukraine LiveBlog Day 188: Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day; Separatists Parade POWs
Russian-Backed Separatists Parade Ukrainian POWs
Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day

(August 23) Ukraine Liveblog Day 187: Convoy Begins To Return To Russia
3 Killed By Shelling In Donetsk
First 34 Trucks In Convoy Return To Russia

(August 22) Ukraine Liveblog Day 186: Russian Aid Convoy Enters Ukraine
Russian UN Ambassador Invokes Syria Resolution to Justify Aid Convoy’s Invasion of Ukraine
OSCE Confirms Russian ‘Aid’ Convoy Left Without ICRC Escort
GRU Soldier Spotted in Ukraine?
Moscow Says It’s Kiev And Washington Pushing For War
NATO Says Russia Deploys Artillery Units Against Ukraine
Lithuania’s Honorary Consul Kidnapped And Murdered In Lugansk
Report of Possible Remains of Missing Russian Photojournalist
Reports Of 8 Wounded Russian Paratroopers Being Treated In Lugansk
Russian Aid Convoy Flying Illegal Flags And Transporting Fuel Into Ukraine
Convoy Reportedly Arrives In Lugansk
NATO Raises Alarm About Russia’s Intentions In Ukraine
Amidst Broken Promises And What Kiev Calls An ‘Invasion’ More Russian Armor Spotted Headed Toward Ukraine
Red Cross Issues Warning On Russian ‘Aid Convoy’
Video Of Convoy Inside Ukraine
Reports Suggest Entire Convoy Of Over 200 Trucks Has Entered Ukraine
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Statement
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry On Today’s Events
Russian Foreign Ministry Statement On Departure Of Aid Convoy
Ukraine Says Only 34 Of 90 Trucks Were Cleared By Customs
SBU Chief – Entry Of Russian Aid Convoy Is A Direct Invasion
Russian Aid Convoy Enters Ukraine

(August 21) Ukraine Liveblog Day 185: Russian Airborne Forces Reportedly Captured In Ukraine

Russian Airborne Troops, Rinat Akhmetov, coal mine, Russian armor, painters, Saur Mogila, Petro Poroshenko, 76th Guards Air Assault Division, Pskov, border, Russian humanitarian convoy, aid, capture, IFV

-Akhmetov Coal Mine Re-Opens After Damage from Shelling
-New Video Shows Russian Military Hardware Moving Toward Ukraine
-Pro-Ukrainian Mystery Painters Strike Again in Moscow
-Saur Mogila War Memorial In Eastern Ukraine Destroyed By Months Of Fighting
-Poroshenko Will Ask Putin To Urge Militants to ‘Withdraw’ From Ukraine
-Evidence of Russia’s 76th Guards Air Assault Division in Southeast Ukraine
-Despite Move Towards Border, Russian Aid Convoy Likely To Cross Into Ukraine Tomorrow
-Russian ‘Aid Convoy’ Prepares To Cross Into Ukraine
-IFV From Russian Airborne Division Captured In Ukraine

(August 20) Ukraine Liveblog Day 184: Fighting Continues in Ilovaisk and Lugansk
Ilovaisk, Lugansk, Russian humanitarian convoy, aid, border, shoot-down aircraft, food sanctions, Russian presence, Richard Branson, negotiations, Saur-Mogila

Russian Humanitarian Cargo Still Not Crossing Ukrainian Border: ICRC
Ukrainian Separatists Reportedly Shoot Down 1-3 Aircraft
Russian ‘Aid Convoy’ Will Cross Into Ukraine Late Tonight
Russia Weakens Food Sanctions But Closes McDonald’s
‘We Fight Russia. We Don’t Fight Separatists, We Fight Russia’
Russia Works To Find New Sources And New Markets For Food
Richard Branson Launches Peace Initiative With Ukrainian And Russian Businessmen
Separatist Attempt To Retake Saur-Mogila Reportedly Repelled
Battle To Retake Ilovaisk Continues

(August 19) Ukraine Liveblog Day 183: Ukraine Fights to Retake Ilovaisk

Lugansk, Ilovaisk, American killed, Donetsk, shelling, artillery, Russian armor, Russian TV, Russian humanitarian convoy, shelling from Russia, IDPs, refugees, Crimea, civilian deaths, Slovakia

Lugansk Streets Empty, Dire Conditions Reported
American Killed Fighting in Ukraine
Ukrainian Military Expert Warns That 1,200 Russian Troops Have Entered Lugansk
Donetsk Rocked By Gunfire And Artillery, But Who’s Shooting?
Separatist armor, Russian armor, Donetsk, Rostov, Novoshakhtynsk
Ukraine Bans 14 Russian Television Channels
Churkin: Russian Aid Delivery May Commence In Next Few Hours
Ukraine Claims More Than 30 Incidents Of Shelling From Russia In Last Week
Latest OSCE Report Stresses The Plight of IDPs and Migration To Crimea
Separatists Reportedly Firing Artillery Out Of Central Donetsk
Ukraine Can Only Guarantee Security For Aid Convoy On Government-Held Territory
15 Bodies Recovered From Shelled Refugee Convoy
Slovak Citizen, Fighting For Separatists, Reportedly Detained in Ilovaisk

(August 18) Ukraine Liveblog Day 182: Russian Aid To Enter Ukraine With Kiev’s Approval

Armored Convoy Geolocated Headed From Russia to Lugansk
Ukraine Says Intercepted Phone Call Proves Rebels Killed Dozens of Civilians
Ukraine’s Injured Rebels Travel To Russia And Are Greeted By FSB Officers
Russian Military Vehicles Seen On Move Just Inside Ukraine
More Russian Vehicles Cross Into Ukraine, More Tanks Headed To The Border
Vostok Battalion Using T-72 Tank Near Yasinovataya
Fleeing Civilians Hit By Shells On Road Where Aid Convoy Expected To Travel
Russian Military Trucks Reportedly Spotted Returning From Ukraine
Ukraine Says Separatists Using Uragan MLRS
Heavy Shelling Reported Near Makeyevka As Fighting Intensifies
Ukraine Says Separatists Shelled Refugee Convoy
Russian Aid To Enter Ukraine With Kiev’s Approval

(August 17) Ukraine Liveblog Day 181: Ukraine’s Military Advances Despite Russian Support of Separatists

Russian armor, Donetsk, separatist armor

Russian Armored Vehicle Convoy Seen in Rostov, Novoshakhtynsk
Rebel Armor Rolls Into Donetsk As Fighting Intensifies
Ukraine And Russia Playing A Game Of ‘Chicken’ But Who Will Change Course First?

Ukraine Liveblog Day 180: The Battle For Lugansk Begins (August 16)
Lugansk, Chechens, Dmitrievka, Snezhnoye, Zhdanovka, SBU, Buks, Russian armor, tanks, border, shelling, break-out

Separatists’ Videos from Break-out of Blockade near Snezhnoye
Ukraine Claims Retaking Of Zhdanovka While Separatists Claim Advances Near Snezhnoye
SBU Suggests MH17 Buk May Have Been Manned By Ukrainian Defectors
DNR Leader Says They Have Received 1,200 Troops, 30 Tanks And 120 Armoured Vehicles From Russia
Russia Continues To Send Forces Towards Border
Ukrainian Forces Enter Lugansk Suburb

Ukraine Liveblog Day 179: Russian Build-Up Continues At Border As Armour Enters Ukraine
(August 15)
Russian armor, border, Lugansk, humanitarian convoy, Russian Defense Ministry, Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Policy, aid, Yenakievo, Debaltsevo, Petro Poroshenko, Russian ambassador, invasion, FSB, Izvarino, artillery, Donetsk

Russian Build-Up Continues At Border As Armour Enters Ukraine
Reports Of Ukrainian Forces Moving On Lugansk
Russia Tries To Explain Why The Aid Trucks Are Empty
Russian Defense Minister Says There’s No Military Soldiers In ‘Aid Convoy.’ He’s Lying
More Russian Armored Vehicles Moving Near Border Crossing Right Now
What Is Shaping Putin’s Foreign Policy?
Why Are Russian ‘Aid Trucks’ Mostly Empty?
Russia Says The Aid Convoy May Be Attacked – Justification For Invasion?
Ukraine Says Several Villages Near Yenakievo And Debaltsevo Retaken
UK Speaks To Poroshenko, Summons Russian Ambassador Over Border Incursion
Kiev Says It’s Destroyed Part of Russian Invasion Convoy On Ukrainian SoilRed Cross Sending Additional Staff to Ukraine And Russia
Russia Will Do ‘Everything Within Our Power’ To Fix Ukraine
Journalist Tweets Picture of Russian Armor Headed Towards Ukrainian Border
NATO Spots Russian ‘Incursion’ Across The Border
Russian Paratroopers Now 10 km From Border
Journalist Witnesses More Russian Armor Headed To Ukraine Border
Lysenko: Liberation Of Donetsk And Lugansk Has Begun
Ukrainian Aid Arrives In Lugansk Region
FSB Claims Russian Vehicles Did Not Enter Ukraine
Russian Military Build-Up Near Izvarino Crossing Continues
Russian-Supplied Artillery On Move In Donetsk

Ukraine LiveBlog Day 178: Russian Aid Convoy on the Move Again
(August 14)
humanitarian convoy, aid, military convoy, Lugansk People’s Republic, Igor Strelkov, OSCE, Russian armor, border, Buk, ICRC, border guards, lustration, Rostov, Izvarino, Lysenko

Russian Troops Cross Into Ukraine, Large Military Convoys Spotted Just Hours Away
Russian Troops Cross Into Ukraine, Large Military Convoys Spotted Just Hours Away
A New Defense Minister and a New ‘Strelkov’ in the DPR
Russian Armor with Peace-Keeping Symbol Spotted in Rostov Region
More Russian Tanks Reported Far From The Aid Convoy But Deep In Ukraine
More Journalists Spot Russian Armor On Ukraine Side of the Border
Intense Fighting in Donetsk Claims At Least 2 Lives
More Information On Russian APCs Crossing Into Ukraine
BREAKING: Reporters Witness Russian Crossing Into Ukraine
More Russian Armor Spotted Moving Toward Ukraine
Armored Military Convoy Spotted Headed Toward Ukraine From Russia
Head of ‘Lugansk People’s Republic’ Resigns
What’s In Russia’s ‘Aid Convoy’ And Who Is It For?
Separatists Say Military Leader Strelkov is ‘Fine,’ But Is Stepping Down
US Mission to OSCE: ‘Russia’s Commitment To Peace Will Be Judged By Actions, Not Words’
More Aid Trucks — And Military Hardware — Arriving on Ukraine’s Border
Russian Military Traveling With Aid Convoy On The Same Route As the Buk Which Shot Down MH17
Lysenko – Russia Ignoring Demands, Cargo Must Be Handed To ICRC And Inspected By Border GuardsRada Approves Sanctions And Lustration Bills
Russian Convoy And Military Forces Drawing Up Near Izvarino Crossing
Russian Aid Convoy Takes Off Again Toward Rostov

Ukraine LiveBlog Day 177: Russian Aid Convoy Approaches Ukrainian Border (August 13)
border, humanitarian convoy, OSCE, Russian Foreign Ministry, Igor Strelkov, separatists, aid, ICRC, Right Sector, Donetsk, VoronezhSevastpool, Russian Security Council, Ukrainian government, Gorlovka, volunteer battalion, military helicopters, Belgorod

Former Separatist Leader Says Reports of Strelkov’s Wounding Unconfirmed, But He Trained Replacements

No Russian Humanitarian Convoy But Russian Armored Vehicles Reported in Belgorod
OSCE Witnesses Increased Russian Military Activity On The Border
Russian Foreign Ministry Denounces Australia After Criticism of Russian Aid Mission
Pro-Russian Separatists Deny Col. Strelkov is Wounded
Russian State Media Says Strelkov Seriously Wounded
Will An Aid Convoy Bring Hope Or War To Eastern Ukraine – Our Newest Podcast
Ukraine Says Russia Is Blocking Red Cross Aid To Lugansk
Pravyy Sektor Fighters Killed Near Donetsk
Further Confirmation That Russia’s Aid Convoy Never Left Voronezh
Convoy, Or At Least A Large Part Of It, Still In Voronezh
Putin Arrives In Sevastopol For Russian Security Council Meeting
General Breedlove – Humanitarian Mission Into Ukraine Without Kiev Backing Would Be Attack On Sovereignty
1 Killed And 3 Wounded In Separatist Grad Attack On Volunteer Battalion Outside Gorlovka
Russian Military Helicopters Flying Ahead Of Convoy Near Belgorod
Avakov: Putin can take these 30 tons of salt that he’s bringing and pour them on his…
After Night in Voronezh, Russian Aid Convoy Proceeds to Belgorod

Ukraine Liveblog Day 176: Russian Aid Convoy Bound For Kharkiv Border (August 12)
humanitarian convoy, aid, border, Kharkiv, Voronezh, ICRC, Lugansk, buses, Belarus, Russian armor

Russian TV Claims Convoy, Now in Voronezh, Flying Flags of ICRC
Russian Humanitarian Convoy Spotted Going Through Tula
Evacuation Efforts In Lugansk Lack Buses
New Russian Official Statements On Aid Convoy Don’t Answer Key Questions
Red Cross Says It Still Does Not Know What’s In Russia’s Aid Convoy
Red Cross Confused About Russian Aid Convoy Though It’s Marked With Red Cross Flags
Russian Armored Convoys On The Move In Belarus
Russia Delivering Aid To Relieve a Crisis They Created
Reports That Separatists Have Forbidden Residents To Leave Krasny LuchICRC Still Lacking Key Information On Convoy
Russian Convoy To Halt At Border, ICRC To Distribute Aid Inside Ukraine
Kuchma – Aid Convoy To Enter Ukraine Via Kharkiv
Is the Russian Army or Emergencies Ministry Handling Humanitarian Convoy to Ukraine?

Ukraine Liveblog Day 175: An Aid Mission For Eastern Ukraine (August 11)
Russian Army, Emergencies Ministry, humanitarian convoy, escaped convicts, Russian military, anti-aircraft missiles, Russian journalist, missing journalist, ICRC, humanitarian aid, EU Association Agreement, Donetsk, Lugansk, Vladimir Putin, NATO, shelling

Is the Russian Army or Emergencies Ministry Handling Humanitarian Convoy to Ukraine?
Russian Humanitarian Convoy Leaves Military Base for Southeast Ukraine
Claims That Russia Deploying Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles On Border
CPJ Says Russian Photojournalist Missing In Ukraine
Contradictory Statements On Russian Involvement In Aid Mission To Lugansk
Kiev Reportedly Denies That Russian Convoys Will Be Part of ICRC Aid Mission
Is Russia Sending An ‘Aid Convoy’ Into Ukraine?
Deputy Foreign Ministers To Discuss Association Agreement Implementation In Moscow
Ukraine Calls For Civilians To Leave Donetsk And Lugansk
Does Putin Believe He Can Win a War with NATO?
Heavy Fighting Between Donetsk and Lugansk
Reports Of Cross Border Shelling Last Night
106 Convicts Escape Donetsk Prison During Shelling

Ukraine Liveblog Day 174: No Ceasefire Without ‘White Flags’ (August 10)
cease-fire, artillery, Donetsk

Artillery North of Donetsk
Will There Be a Ceasefire?

Ukrainian LiveBlog Day 173: Battle for Krasny Luch Continues
(August 9)
Krasny Luch, encirclement, Cossacks, Donetsk, Gorlovsk, Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, ceasefire, Russian armor, border, Russian military convoy

Is There a Struggle for Power in the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic?’Is Separatist Prime Minister Zakharchenko Really Ready for a Ceasefire?Russian Separatists Claim to Re-Take Krasny Luch
Donetsk and Gorlovka Surrounded by Ukrainian Forces; Cossacks Flee Krasny Luch
CORRECTION: Further Reports of Russian Armor on the Move Near Ukrainian BorderRussian Military Convoy Nearly Entered Ukraine Last Night

Ukraine Liveblog Day 172: Ukrainian Forces Break Out Of Encirclement But Leave Border Vulnerable
(August 8)
plane shoot-down, MiG-29, Russian stock market, Ukrainian economy, border, Russian military exercises, Vladimir Putin, kidnappings, Russian armor, Investigative Committee, POWs, Western military aid, Canada, break-out, encirclement

Separatists Shot Down a MiG-29 Yesterday
Russia’s Stocks Bounce Back, Ukraine’s Economy DropsRussia Finishes Drills Near Border With Ukraine‘What’s Putin’s Endgame in Ukraine?’
Artist Reportedly Abducted By Separatists In Donetsk
Separatists, Backed By Russian Firepower, Make New Gains On The BorderRussia Confirms Detention of 5 Ukrainian Officers
32 Tonnes Of Canadian Military Equipment To Arrive In Borispol
Explosion In Kiev Injures Two
5 Ukrainian Officers Reportedly To Be Tried In Russia
Ukrainian Forces Break Out Of Encirclement But Leave Border Vulnerable

Ukraine Liveblog Day 171: Barricades Burn Once Again As Authorities Try To Clear Maidan (August 7)
Russian invasion, Maidan, Russian bombers, airspace, Ukrainian plane, Donetsk, podcast, Russian armor, Donetsk People’s Republic, prime minister, Transdniestria, Chernihiv

Could a Russian Invasion Come Via Chernihiv Region?
Russian Bombers Have Violated US Airspace 16 Times in 10 Days
Ukrainian Jet Shot Down Northeast of Donetsk – Reportedly By a Buk
Will Russia Invade Ukraine? New Interpreter Podcast
Russian Armor Gifted to Separatists Passes Through Krasny Luch?
Self-Declared Prime Minister of ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ Leaving His Post
Russian-Backed Separatists In Transdniestrian Escalate Rhetoric on Ukraine
An Emergency Speech Scheduled By Putin?
Barricades Burn As Authorities Attempt To Clear Maidan

Ukraine Liveblog Day 170: Heavy Fighting Overnight On Western Edge Of Donetsk (August 6)
Donetsk, ICRC, sanctions, OSCE, shelling, peace-keeping forces, Grads, Russian Defense Minister, Buk, Buk truck, Gukovo, Ukrainian soldiers, border, invasion, aid, training center, Gorlovka, air strike, humanitarian convoy

Separatists Reportedly Detain Three Members of the Red Cross
Russia Passes Its Own Sanctions and Shoots Itself In The Foot
OSCE: Shells Fall In Russia, Fighters Cross Into Ukraine
Videos Show Russian Vehicles Marked With ‘Peacekeeping’ Insignias On Ukraine’s Border
Videos Show Separatists Conducting GRAD Attacks Near Lugansk
Russian Defence Minister Tells Peacekeepers To Maintain Combat Readiness
The Truck That Moved The Buk Missile Possibly Spotted Near Donetsk
Ukrainian Journalist Says Servicemen In Gukovo Are On Hunger Strike
NATO: Russia Has 20,000 Troops On Border And May Invade Under Humanitarian Pretext
Separatists Seize FC Metallurg Donetsk Training Centre
Donetsk Mayor’s Office Reports Air Strike Last Night
Footbridge Blown In Gorlovka
Heavy Fighting Overnight On Western Edge Of Donetsk

Ukraine Liveblog Day 169: 195 Ukrainian Troops Return From Russia, Attacked By Militants
(August 5)
Vitaly Churkin, UN Security Council, airstrike, Donetsk, separatist gains, civilian deaths, Yasinovataya, Russian troops, border, medical, kidnappings, Japan, bomb, Ukrainian troops

Churkin Speaks At Emergency Meeting Of UN Security Council
Airstrikes Reported In Donetsk
Timelapse Map Of Separatist Territory in Eastern Ukraine
Heavy Fighting In Western Donetsk – 2 Civilians Dead
Ukrainian Forces Withdraw From Yasinovataya
Near Doubling of Russian Troops by Ukrainian Border
HRW: Separatists Disrupting Medical Services
UK Student Reportedly Freed After Being Held By Separatists
Japan Approves Further Russia Sanctions
8 Separatists Injured By Bomb In Donetsk On August 4
195 Ukrainian Troops Return From Russia, Attacked By Militants

Ukraine Liveblog Day 168: Ukrainian Troops Forced To Retreat Into Russian Territory (August 4)

Sanctions On Russian Grounding Oligarchs and Airlines
Russian ‘PeaceKeepers’ Moving Toward – And Across – Ukraine’s Borders
Ukrainian Army Not Assaulting Donetsk, But Is Preparing To
Germany Blocks Rheinmetall Exports To Russia
Russia Holding War Games Near Ukraine
Andriy Parubiy Reportedly To Resign
Germany Blocks Rheinmetall Exports To Russia
Russia Holding War Games Near Ukraine
Andriy Parubiy Reportedly To Resign
FSB: Over 180 Ukrainian Servicemen Returning Home
Over 400 Ukrainian Soldiers Now In Russia After Fleeing Gunfight
Investigators Resume Work At MH17 Site Today
Ukraine Tells Civilians To Leave Areas Under Separatist Control As They Move on Donetsk
Boroday Returns to Donetsk
Ukraine Says Troops Did Not Request Asylum in Russia
Ukraine Claims To Have Liberated Yasinovataya
Ukrainian Troops Forced To Flee Into Russian Territory

Ukraine Liveblog Day 167: Ukrainian Military Closes In On Donetsk And Lugansk (August 3)

More Russian Armor Reported Today In and Around Ukraine
Ukrainian Military Closes In On Donetsk And Lugansk

Ukraine Liveblog Day 166: Ukraine’s Borders Are Attacked Overnight (August 2)

Russian Armoured Column On Move Near Nizhnyaya Krynka?
Separatist Show of Force on VDV Day in Lugansk
Pro-Separatist Rally in Moscow Today
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Wins a Political Game of Chicken
Russia Is Ready To Invade, But Will They?
‘Prepare For War’ Says Russian Tabloid as Reservists Called Up
Separatists Claim to Have Downed Ukrainian Drone
Ukrainian Border Guards Report Multiple Attacks Overnight

Ukraine Liveblog Day 165: 21 Ukrainian Soldiers Reported Dead in Ambush In Shakhtyorsk (August 1)

Obama And Putin Speak But Take Away Different Messages
The Tatars Are Again Oppressed, And Their Anger Is Palpable
Has A Full-Scale Cross-Border War Already Started?
Russian Airborne Units Prepare To Expand Beyond The Borders
Ukraine Says Russia Positioning Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles On The Border
International Forensic Experts Finally Reach MH17
Top Separatist Leader Killed While Delivering ‘Humanitarian Aid’
Ukraine Reports 21 Dead in Separatist Ambush Near Shakhtyorsk

JULY 2014

Ukraine Liveblog Day 164: Rada Rejects Yatsenyuk Resignation (July 31)
separatist leaders, chemical plant, Russian armor, border, separatist ambush, MH17, Buk, Stary Oskol, Russian invasion, Russian aid to separatists, separatist tanks, Russian airborne, ceasefire, anti-aircraft missile, Russian tanks, Russian military, logbook, Izvarino, Arseniy Yatsenyuk resignation, humanitarian corridor

Separatist Leaders Fear Blame for Possible Chemical Plant Mishap; Ukrainian Defense Minister Says Rebels Mined
Russian Armor Documented Only 2000 Meters From Ukraine
Russian Military Convoy Reportedly Crosses Border Into Ukraine in Lugansk Region
Separatist Ambushes Near MH17 Crash Site Destroy Ukraine Convoys And Civilian Vehicles
Buk In Russia Has Similar Markings as Rebel Buk, Different from Ukraine’s
Buk Spotted In Stary Oskol, Russia, Moving Toward Ukraine’s Border
Russia Could Invade Ukraine And Win Right Now
‘No Hard Evidence’ Russia Is Supporting Separatists?
Video Shows Separatist Tanks – Marked With Russian Airborne Insignia
International Experts Reach MH17 Crash Site During Humanitarian Ceasefire
Logbook May Prove Anti-Aircraft Missile In Ukraine Belongs To Russian Military
Russian Tanks on Move Near Izvarino Border Crossing
Rada Rejects Yatsenyuk’s Resignation
Ukraine Announces Humanitarian Corridor and Claims Separatists Violating 1 Day Ceasefire

 Ukraine Liveblog Day 163: Belarus To Host Talks Between Ukraine and Russia (July 30)
separatist convoy, Makeyevka, Shakhtyorsk, bus, refugee, children, EU sanctions, Russian armor, MH17, intercept, Russian artillery, US, Russian Grads in Ukraine, Russian sanctions, Russian stock market, Avdeevka, ballistic missiles, SAM, Ukrainian aircraft, talks, Belarus

Separatist Convoy Reported In Makeyevka
More Heavy Fighting Reported in Shakhtyorsk
Opposing Accounts of Bus Shot with Refugee Children, 1 Killed
EU Passes New Sanctions Targeting Putin’s Friends
The Battle For Shakhtyorsk – Supported By Russian Armor And Artillery
Ukraine Says Rebels Planted Mines Near MH17 Crash Site
Intercept Reveals Separatist Leader’s Admission of Russian Artillery Back-Up
Russia Says US Is Punishing Moscow For Its ‘Inconvenient’ And ‘Independent’ Policies
SBU Releases Images It Says Show Russian Grads Firing From Within Ukraine
Moscow Bans Polish Fruit And Ukrainian Cheese
Russian Stock Market Rallies Because New Sanctions Are Weak
Ukrainian Military Retakes Avdeevka North Of Donetsk
Did Ukraine Fire Ballistic Missiles?
Ukraine Claims Buk SAM Targeted Aircraft Today
Belarus Agrees To Host Talks Between Ukraine and Russia


(work in progress)

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Ukraine Liveblog Day 180: The Battle For Lugansk Begins

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Russia This Week: Strelkov’s Followers in ‘Prostration’: Interview with Gubarev (August 11-17)

Updated Daily. Prime Minister Medvedev’s Twitter account was hacked with a claim he was resigning in shame and protests against the Crimean annexation and robbing of pensions to pay cost of forcible annexation. Following confusion and wishful thinking that new regulations regarding Internet access will not be so restrictive, Russia’s Minister of Communications clarifies that ID of some form if not a passport will be required to access wi-fi and will be recorded.

Last week’s stories: Ultranationalist Zhirinovsky threatens annihilation of Poland, Baltics if West retaliates against Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sprang two restrictive Internet decrees on providers and users this week, one requiring presentation of domestic passports to use public Internet cafes or wi-fi, and the other mandating operators of social media to collect more user data and make it available to Russian intelligence agencies. Russian leakers’ site blocked after hackers exposed hardliner’s emails. Russia offers bounty for cracking Tor, Snowden’s favorite tool. Snowden’s resident permit was extended, but it’s not political asylum and he must rely on the kindness of strangers. Mysteriously, a group calling itself the “Initiative Group of Moscow Students” gained access to the heavily-guarded area by the US Embassy in Moscow — and also got on the roof of the Kiev Station — to unfurl racist and obscene banners against President Obama and Ukrainian President Poroshenko. Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes installed two Russian businessmen as “honorary citizens” by a city council decree, sparking concerns of instability as Russian troops mass nearby on the border. A Moscow ultranationalist who tried to join the separatists in the “Donetsk People’s Republic” was jailed and tortured on suspicion that he was a spy, but still supports the cause. Aleksandr Prosyolkov, a long-time Russian ultranationalist activist from Rostov-on-Don was killed outside Krasnodon in Lugansk Region by separatists he was trying to help with a load of humanitarian aid. The roots of the pro-Russian separatist leaders fighting in southeastern Europe actually go back to ultranationalist groups in Russia active in the last 20 years, says Russian expert Vladimir Pribylovsky.

Stories in the previous week’s issue: A group seeking greater autonomy for Siberia found its web page, VKontakte community and Twitter account censored as well as an interview with its leader in A rally organized by Russian ultranationalists in support of the separatists fighting in southeastern Ukraine had a very low turnout. Young Russian men cheered a Russian tank convoy on its way to the Ukrainian border. Opposition leader Alexey Navalny expressed intolerance for Muslim labor migrants in Russia. Muslims in Russia celebrated the end of the holy fasting period Ramadan, with plenty of police in attendance. The British government announced the opening of a Public Inquiry 31 July into the poisoning death of defector Alexander Litvinenko.

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Ukraine Liveblog Day 179: Russian Build-Up Continues At Border As Armour Enters Ukraine

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

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View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.