Ukraine’s Deputy Information Policy Minister Resigns In Protest Against Failure To Protect Journalists

August 3, 2016
Tetiana Popova

Ukraine Day 898: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.

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


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


3 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded; For First Time, Russian JCCC Admits Russian-Backed Militants Shelling

The Ukrainian ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported on its Facebook page today that Russian-backed troops were making a minimum of attacks on Ukrainian positions during the day for tactical reasons, then firing more at night. 

Nevertheless, the ATO spokesman for the presidential administration said 3 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded.

During the day-time hours of August 3, 11 incidents of shelling were recorded with 82-mm and 120-mm artillery and grenade-launghers on Avdeyevka and Mayorsk. Large-caliber machine guns wer used on Nevelskoye and Troitskoye. On the Mariupol line, militants fired on Krasnogorovka and used 82-mm artillery in Talakovka, and firearms in Starognatovka.

Shirokino and Maryinka were fairly quiet today, as was the Lugansk Region. 

The ATO also documented shelling of civilian areas, such as Kolosova Street in Avdeyevka, where people are still living, with 120-mm artillery. 

The ATO said that there was a significant announcement today: observers in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC), staffed by both Russian and Ukrainian military, acknowledged for the first time that shelling was coming from the side of the “unlawful armed formations” of the “pseudo-republics” including use of weapons barred under the Minsk agreement.

The ATO also noticed that as a result of the Ukrainian JCCC’s inspection, a determination was made that no shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Kadiyevka (Stakhanova) with 152-mm weapons took place on August 2 as claimed. The ATO expressed the hope that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission would note this.

UA Crisis reported a number of developments based on a briefing today by Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the ATO in the presidential administration:

The reference is to the Caucasus region, which could mean either the North Caucasus of Russia or the region of the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the unrecognized territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia).

Meanwhile DAN, the news service of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” reported that a civilian was wounded, citing Ivan Prikhod’ko, the “mayor” of the city of nearby Gorlovka.

Novosti Donbassa, citing DAN, said shelling by Ukrainian forces of Zaytsevo began yesterday at 20:00 and ended about 2:00 am oday; a man born in 1984 was injured. Two homes on Revolyutsionnaya Street were damaged. The flames were unable to be doused.

Set as default press image
Home on Revolyutsionnaya Street in Zaytsevo said to be struck by Ukrainian shells August 3, 2016
2016-08-03 15:58:26

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Ukraine’s Deputy Information Policy Minister Resigns In Protest Against Failure To Protect Journalists

Tetiana Popova, deputy minister for information policy, has announced her resignation in protest at attacks on journalists.

Popova has been a prominent critic of the Myrotvorets (Peacekeeper) website, which leaked journalists’ personal details in several dumps earlier this year, branding them “scoundrels” for working in occupied regions of Ukraine.

In May, Yuriy Stets, the minister for information policy accused his deputy of attacking Myrotvorets in order to enhance her public image, apologising to “patriots and volunteers” who found Popova’s comments “disparaging.”

Popova, who says she has received numerous threats, had suggested that the leaks had in fact been instigated as a provocation.

“The information was provided to representatives of the patriotic movement who are not very well-versed in how the international media operate, and who decided, on the basis of what they had in their database, to accuse foreign correspondents of being “supporters of terrorism.”

“And it therefore seems to me that the letters filled with curses that I get are written both by actual, real people, who don’t get the situation, and bots inside Ukraine and outside. And if there is to be some sort of provocation or attempt to realise these threats, they will be inspired from outside.”

Today Popova wrote on her Facebook page:

I am resigning. I don’t agree with attacks on journalists and attacks on freedom of speech by political organizations and individual political officials. I can’t tolerate the absence of proper reaction to that kind of attacks.

As a protest, I am leaving the government, but will continue fighting for the Maidan ideas, for freedom and democracy as a citizen and a volunteer. I’ll continue fighting for everything our patriots are fighting for at the front line.

— Pierre Vaux