1 Ukrainian Soldier WIA; 1 Concussed; Italian Police Arrest Ukrainian National Guardsman for Murder of Journalist and Fixer

July 6, 2017
Military ID of Ageyev, a Russian soldier taken captive by Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine Day 1235: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action and one suffered a concussion.

Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.

An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


1 Ukrainian Soldier WIA; 1 Concussed; Italian Police Arrest Ukrainian National Guardsman for Murder of Journalist and Fixer

Photo: Andrei Mironov (L) and Andrea Rocchelli, killed in 2014. Photo by Anachron 

There were 13 attacks from Russia-backed separatists in the last day, Gordonua.com reported, noting that the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Organization] says there has been a trend to less intensive fighting since the harvest ceasefire was declared on June 24.

One Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action and one suffered a concussion. Both were taken to a clinic and are in satisfactory conditions.
On the Maritime line, Russia-backed fighters fired grenade-launchers at Lebedinskoye and Shirokino.
On the Donetsk line, militants fired 120-mm mortars, grenade-launchers, heavy machine guns, small arms and anti-aircraft systems on Ukrainian positions at Avdeyevka and Peski.

On the Lugansk line, separatists fired 82-mm mortars and small arms at Stanitsa Luganskaya and Krymskoye.

In other news:

o Military ID Shows Captured Russian Soldier on Active Duty 

The 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which captured a diversionary and reconnaissance group earlier this month including a Russian soldier said that in fact his military ID does not show him to have been discharged to the reserves, as claimed by the Russian Defense Ministry, Gordonua.com reported.
The 93rd Brigade posted a copy of the page of the military ID to refute a claim by Russia that Ukrainians were refraining from posting the page of the document because it would show the discharge.
Ageyev said he had served in the city of Bataysk in Rostov Regio, where the 22nd Brigade of the General Staff Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) is deployed.
In an interview with Novaya Gazeta, Ageyev’s mother said she had believed official statements that there were no Russian troops in Ukraine — until her own son was captured. She said that while the Defense Ministry denies he was on active duty, in fact he was a contract soldier. She hopes with press attention and the help of human rights activists that she can obtain her son’s release in exchange for a Ukrainian POW.

o Notorious Russian Fighter Milchakov Charged 

The military prosecution of Ukraine has charged Aleksey Milchakov, a notorious Russian fighter in the Donbass, with the murder of 40 Ukrainian soldiers, Gordonua.com reported.
Milchakov, known by his call sign “Rusich,” has been reported for his cruelty multiple times.
The prosecutor said on September 5, 2014 near the village of Privetnoye in Slavyanoserbsky District of Lugansk Region, Milchakov and others in the “Batman” brigade organized an ambush, killing  40 soldiers from the Aidar Battalion and the 80th Separate Assault Paratroopers’ Brigade. The prosecutor charged Milchakov and another separatist, Yan Petrovsky, with participation in a terrorist organization.
The two are believed to be hiding in Russia after being declared wanted in Ukraine.

Milchakov, originally from St. Petersburg, where he was notorious for posting photos of his cruel acts to animals, announced in January 2015 after the assassination of Aleksandr “Batman” Bednov that he would no longer submit to the leaership of the self-declared “Lugansk People’s Republic” and would fight both Igor Plotnitsky, the LNR leader, as well as Ukrainians.

o Italian Police Arrest Ukrainian National Guardsman for Journalists’ Murders 

Italian law-enforcers have arrested a former Ukrainian National Guardsman, Vitaliy Markiv, charging him with the murder of Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli and his  fixer, Andrei Mironov, a Russian human rights activist, outside Slavyansk in 2014, Gordonua.com reported.
Markiv had left Ukraine in 2013 to live in Italy, then returned to fight in the war on the Ukrainian side. 
Ukrainian authorities said that Rocchelli and Mironov were killed by Russia-backed separatists because they had not obtained press credentials from the DNR.
A French journalist was said to provide a video showing evidence that implicated Markiv shooting from a hill.
It is odd that a soldier alleged to be involved in a murder of an Italian citizen would risk returning to Italy; Rossiya 24 reported that he came to visit his mother who had settled there.
The French journalist is not named, but at the time the journalists were killed, as we reported, a woman French journalist gave an interview describing her arrest and imprisonment along with her crew by the DNR. At one point her captors implied that she could end up like the other foreign journalists if she did not cooperate. 
At the time, there were some reports that the Italian journalist and his assistant were killed by shelling in crossfire between Ukrainian and separatist forces. But their driver, who survived, testified that his car had been riddled with machine guns bullets that appeared to be targeted shooting.

A French reporter who witnessed the attack and the driver left the pair for dead and their bodies were recovered the next day by separatists.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

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