Ukraine Day 1400: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Eight civilians were injured in a Grad attack by Russia-backed forces yesterday, December 17.
Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlinâs Dirty War in Ukraine
Car damaged by Russia-backed shelling in Novoluganskoye. Photo by Ukrainian military
Eight civilians were wounded in an attack by Russia-backed forces on Novoluganskoye yesterday, December 18, Liga.net reported.
“Among them was a small girl who fortunately didn’t suffer injuries although it is possible she sustained psychological trauma,” said the physician.
The Anti-Terrorist Operation [ATO] headquarters said 37 single-and two-story homes were damaged and 10 five-story buildings.
Shells fell on a school, day care center and walk-in clinic. Half the town is now without electricity.
Translation: Ukrainian investigators found shards of Russian shells in Novoluganskoye.
Russian officers of the JCCC who were withdrawn by Moscow were to depart through the Mayorsk checkpoint near this area, but Ukrainian authorities closed the checkpoint due to the shelling and postponed the Russians’ crossing until tomorrow.
Pavel Zhebritskiy, head of the Donetsk Regional Military and Civil Administration said there was a likelihood of a repeat attack, and citizens had gone into shelters, Liga.net reported.
Both Ukrainian and Russian representatives in the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination left the areas occupied by Russia-backed forces, Liga.net reported, citing Yuzef Venskovich, press officer.
The Ukrainian side of the JCCC has relocated to Soledar where the headquarters are located and will go on working with the OSCE mission to monitor the situation.
It is not clear if the Russians will return or will be replaced. The JCCC was originally created under the auspices of the Minsk agreements to monitor compliance with the ceasefire at the front line.
Much has been made in the Russian media about the departure of the Russian members of the JCCC, with blame of Ukraine.
As a regular war blogger explains, however, the reason has to do with requirements for
Translation: Here is the reason why Russians are leaving the JCCC — it’s just that someone has grown accustoed to traveling on “fake” documents. And all these stories about officers forced out are hypocritical.
@666_mancer cites a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry complaining about the issue which reveals the problem:
“Moreover, starting January 1, 2018, Kiev plans to introduce a new procedure for entry and stay of citizens of Russia on their territory, under which they must provide their detailed personal data well in advance to Ukrainian authorities.”
Translation: Oh, come on. Those “officers of ours” in fact who were “asked” to remove their chevrons and shoulder boards did this in 2014 and did not leave.
Here @666_mancer cites a tweet by pro-government journalist Aleksandr Kots of Komsomolskaya Pravda:
Translation: Tomorrow our officers are leaving the JCCC. This story is reminiscent in a way of the saga with the Russian Olympics athletes only with the difference that the military refused to suffer humiliation and forcing out, not waiting to be asked to remove first their chevrons and then their shoulder boards.
The reference is to the fact that Russia has been banned from the Seoul Olympics as a country due to systematic doping, although some athletes will be allowed to compete without the Russian flag or insignia.
Evgeniy Marchuk, representative of Ukraine in the Minsk group on security, said that negotiations were to start for a New Year’s ceasefire, but this has been hampered by the departure of the Russian members of the JCCC, Liga.net reported.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick