Ukraine Live Day 349: More Russian-Backed Separatist Victories Near Debaltsevo

February 1, 2015
Ukrainian military's "situation map" on February 1, 2015

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Death Toll Mounting As Plans For Peace Fall Apart

The death toll is rapidly rising in Ukraine as Ukrainian soldiers, Russian-backed fighters, and innocent civilians are hit by the increasing violence. Meanwhile, peace talks have fallen apart since the Russian-supported separatists show no signs of desiring a negotiation at the moment. Reuters reports:

Thirteen government soldiers and at least as many civilians have been killed in the past 24 hours in eastern Ukraine’s separatist conflict after the collapse of peace talks, Kiev authorities said.

Hopes of easing the situation evaporated on Saturday with Ukraine’s representative and separatist envoys accusing the other of sabotaging negotiations.

“Fighting continues across all sections of the frontline,” Kiev military spokesman Volodymyr Polyovy said in a briefing.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which took part in the talks in Minsk, Belarus, along with envoys from Ukraine and Russia, said rebel delegates had not been ready to discuss key points of a peace plan.

“In fact, they were not even prepared to discuss implementation of a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons,” the OSCE said in a statement.

As we’ve been reporting, one area where there is heavy fighting is Debaltsevo, where residents are stuck and those who flee are in great danger:

James Miller
UK Government: Russia Flew A Nuclear Missile Into The English Channel

Last week the British government raised an alert that they had scrambled jets in order to escort a group of Russian nuclear-capable bombers out of the English Channel:

Now the British government is saying that one of those bombers was equipped with a nuclear missile, a weapon designed to destroy enemy submarines. The Sunday Express reports:

Sources within the Ministry of Defence last night revealed that one of the two long-range bombers was carrying at least one air-dropped “seek and find”d nuclear warhead-carrying missile, designed to seek and destroy a Vanguard submarine. 

Both Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon were alerted after cockpit conservations confirming the bomber’s nuclear payload were intercepted by a Norwegian military listening post, and shared with the Ministry of Defence. 

The missile was not armed, and the aircraft’s crew would have required a direct order from President Putin before making it live. 

It’s worth noting, however, that the Sunday Express is the only newspaper we’ve found thus far that is carrying this story, and there has been no official comment from the British Government.

James Miller

Ukraine Loses More Ground Near Debaltsevo
The Russian-supported forces continue to increase their control over the area around Debaltsevo today:

Nikishino (map) is southeast of Debaltsevo:


Kyiv Post editor Maxim Tucker reports:

James Miller