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Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Pervomaiskoye was shelled with 82-mm non-targeted fire as well as positions at Optynoye and Luganskoye, the ATO reported. Snipers also fired on Zaytsevo. The area near Talakovka as well as Gnutovo, Vodnyanoye, Marinka and Shirokino along the Mariupol line were subjected to enemy fire from firearms, machine guns and grenade-launchers. There was no fighting along the Luganskoye line.
One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another was wounded after mines was tripped near Novotoshkovskoye and Shtormovoye, respectively, 112 Ukraine reported, citing Aleksandr Motuzyanik, spokesman for the presidential administration on ATO issues.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Mark Feygin, a lawyer defending Nadiya Savchenko, now says that the letter received by the Ukrainian consulate in Russia, which purported to be from President Petro Poroshenko, addressed to Savchenko, was a forgery.
Earlier today Feygin published a photo of the letter, which went as far as inviting Savchenko to join Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers. Feygin said that Savchenko had now started drinking water again.
But within the last hour Feygin has said that the letter was a fake, concocted by the Russian security services.
On his Facebook page, Feygin wrote:
I must report the following immediately. Over the course of this morning, the Consulate General of Ukraine and I became the target of an utterly shameless special operation. In order to discredit Nadiya by her termination of her dry hunger strike, a forged letter from the President of Ukraine to Nadiya was delivered.
Yesterday evening the Consul General of Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don, Vitaliy Moskalenko, received a telephone call from the Ukrainian Presidential Administration with a request for my number to send over a letter to Nadiya Savchenko from P.O. Poroshenko. Said individual sent me the letter that I gave to Nadiya today.
The Kremlin is as intent on discrediting Savchenko herself and her lawyers, as the voters of Ukraine. Rather than resolving the issue of her exchange, the security services are playing with Savchenko’s life, misleading the Consul General of Ukraine, the press office of the President of Ukraine and me.
Earlier Savchenko received pleas to stop her hunger strike from everyone who supports her. Among these people was Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko. Nadiya stopped her hunger strike, having heard the extent of the support she has across the world.
What this means for Savchenko herself and the status of her hunger strike is uncertain.
— Pierre Vaux
Lawyers defending Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian military officer abducted to Russia and currently awaiting a verdict in a show trial for murder, have announced that she is ending her dry hunger strike.
Savchenko, who had already been refusing solids for 78 days, began refusing water on Saturday, after she was cut short by a judge while giving her final speech to the court.
Six days later, her lawyers Nikolai Polozov and Mark Feygin say that she has agreed to start drinking water again after an intervention by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Savchenko finally gave her last statement to the court in the Russian border town of Donetsk yesterday:
President Poroshenko wrote a letter to Savchenko, a copy of which was published online by Feygin, calling on her to abandon her hunger strike and even saying that he wanted her to take a place in the Cabinet of Ministers.
Been to see Nadiya. She has ended her hunger strike on the request of President Petro Poroshenko and her fellow citizens.
In comments to Interfax-Ukraine, Feygin specified that Savchenko is has resumed drinking water, but is still not accepting food.
She will not do so, he said, until the 21st or 22 of March, when the judge will announce a verdict.
— Pierre Vaux