Crimean Tatar Representative Ilmi Umerov Released From Psychiatric Hospital

September 7, 2016
Ilmi Umerov leaves the psychiatric hospital in Russian-occupied Simferopol with his family this morning. Screenshot from video by Ayshe Umerova.

Ukraine Day 933: 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


Ukraine’s Inter Releases Footage Of Sunday’s Attack On Their Offices

Security camera footage of Sunday’s attack on the offices of Inter, Ukraine’s largest television broadcaster, has been released.

The footage shows masked men enter the building, using fire extinguisher spray to stun workers.

The video does not capture the moment that a fire broke out in the studio, although we can see the security desk burst into flames near the end of the video.

Several members of staff were admitted to hospital in the aftermath, one suffering spinal injuries after falling while fleeing.

Notably, the group of ten men, wearing white hard hats and face masks, appears to arrive shortly before a group of activists, some of them in camouflage, set up a picket with tires outside the building.

Last night Inter denied claims from activists who had been blockading their office, that they had agreed to demands that they remove Russian-made content and dismiss the controversial news chief, Russian citizen Igor Shuvalov. 

According to the channel, no such negotiations took place.

Instead, Inter released a statement condemning what they claimed was political persecution by the Popular Front party, the interior minister, Arsen Avakov, and his associates.

At the end of last month, Avakov had publicly called on the security services to take action against Inter, which he said was acting in the interests of the Kremlin. 

Earlier this week, Avakov claimed that the security camera footage of the incident had been destroyed as a result of water damage to the recording servers.

Meanwhile the Council of Europe today demanded that the Ukrainian authorities conduct a thorough investigation into the attack on the channel’s offices.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that the Council issued a statement stressing the “responsibility of all member states of the CoE, including Ukraine, to ensure media freedom and the safety of journalists.

However, despite his equivocal statement, in which he condemned the attack but implied that Inter was acting on behalf of Russia, the channel thanked President Poroshenko in their statement for his support.

— Pierre Vaux

Four Crimean Tatars Sentenced By Occupying Authorities

Ukrainian Soldier And Civilian Wounded Yesterday Despite Ceasefire Agreement

Despite the ceasefire agreement that came into effect on September 1, one civilian and one Ukrainian soldier were wounded yesterday in the Donbass.

The Donetsk regional police report that a civilian woman received gunshot wounds yesterday evening in Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk. 

According to the police, the incident took place on Metallurgov Street, near the industrial park which has seen some of the worst fighting of the past year. The police claim the gunfire came from the direction of territory controlled by Russian-backed forces.

At noon today, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a Ministry of Defense spokesman, told reporters that a Ukrainian soldier had been wounded in combat near the Bakhmutka highway in the Lugansk region.

According to the Ukrainian military, Russian-backed forces violated the ceasefire 21 times yesterday, with most attacks occurring in the south, near Mariupol. 

The ATO Press Center reports that Ukrainian positions along the front line between Shirokino, on the Azov coast, and Talakovka, just northeast of Mariupol, were shelled with 120 and 82 mm mortars.

The military claims that attacks in the Avdeyevka area were conducted with grenade launchers, machine guns and small arms.

Small-arms and sniper attacks were also reported in Maryinka, west of Donetsk.

In the Lugansk region, Russian-backed fighters reportedly opened fire with small arms near Popasnaya and Novozvanovka, where the military recorded the flight of an enemy drone.

Meanwhile the deputy commander of the armed forces of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Eduard Basurin, claimed today that the number of attacks by Ukrainian forces had doubled yesterday compared to the previous 24 hours.

According to Basurin, Ukrainian troops violated the ceasefire 102 times over the course of the day, using 122 mm artillery, mortars and infantry fighting vehicles to shell the outskirts of Donetsk and Gorlovka, as well as the southern villages of Kominternovo, Leninskoye and Sakhanka. 

Basurin’s separatists counterparts in Lugansk reported one ceasefire violation. According to the “People’s Militia” of the self-declared Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR), Ukrainian troops fired on one of their positions near the village of Lozovoye with an automatic grenade launcher.

— Pierre Vaux

Crimean Tatar Representative Ilmi Umerov Released From Psychiatric Hospital

Ilmi Umerov, the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar mejlis, has been released from a psychiatric hospital in Russian-occupied Crimea.

Last month the occupying authorities moved Umerov, who was arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in May, to a psychiatric hospital in Simferopol, despite objections from his lawyers that such a move was illegal.

Umerov has been charged with “public calls to action aimed at violating Russian territorial integrity” for saying, during a television interview, that Russia should withdraw from Crimea and the Donbass, both which were occupied by Russian armed forces in 2014. 

Today, Umerov’s daughter, Ayshe, posted a video on her Facebook page, announcing that her he had been released following the illegal psychiatric “analysis.”

Ayshe Umerova – Забрали Ильми Умерова из психиатрии после… | FacebookDetails… →
Sep 07, 2016 09:04 (GMT)

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Umerov has been released on condition that he does not leave the occupied peninsula.

According to Ayshe Umerova, the medical commission in Simferopol ruled that her father’s mental condition was healthy, but did not issue a copy of their assessment to the family.

Immediately after release, Umerov had to travel to court to attend a hearing in the trial of another Mejlis member, Akhtem Chiygoz.

The date of the next hearing in Umerov’s own trial is yet to be announced.

On September 13, Umerova wrote, the court will consider the appeal against the forced psychiatric analysis, which was lodged by her father’s lawyers on August 15.

Despite this appeal, the occupying authorities moved Umerov to the psychiatric hospital on August 18 without considering the appeal. It is on these grounds that his family and lawyers consider the assessment illegal.

Umerov has now given an interview to Ukraine’s 112 news channel, in which he said that he feels fine and that he had not taken any food or medication during his stay except that brought in by his family. He thanked Ukrainian journalists and officials for their support and pressure on the occupying authorities, saying that his release would have taken much longer without the attention.

— Pierre Vaux