Ukraine Day 982: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Nadiya Savchenko returned to Russia today for the first time since her release from captivity in May this year to attend a hearing in the trial of two Ukrainian citizens accused of killing Russian soldiers during the First Chechen War.
Translation: Savchenko has come to the appeal hearing at the Supreme Court on the Karpyuk-Klykh case.
Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh were detained in Russia in 2014 and accused of fighting with Chechen separatists in the winter of 1994-5 and killing Russian servicemen.
Marina Dubrovina, one of the lawyers defending Klykh, a history lecturer from Kiev, said last year that her client had been tortured in order to extract confessions and testimony incriminating not only Karpyuk, but the former Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the leader of the far-right Svoboda party, Oleh Tyahnybok.
Karpyuk and Klykh were convicted in May this year, and sentenced to 22.5 and 20 years in prison, respectively.
Today, Russia’s Supreme Court in Moscow upheld the sentence handed down to the two in May by the court in the Chechen capital of Grozny, rejecting an appeal from the defense teams.
Savchenko, a Ukrainian military officer was captured in fighting in the Lugansk region in June 2014, and subsequently illegally abducted to Russia where she underwent a show trial and was jailed on bogus charges of killing two Russian journalists. She was returned to Ukraine in May this year as part of a prisoner exchange in which two GRU officers captured by Ukrainian forces on the battlefield were returned to Russia.
She travelled to the court hearing today, accompanied by Ukrainian embassy staff, to support the prisoners. Her former lawyer, Ilya Novikov, is defending Klykh.
Yesterday Novikov called on Yatsenyuk to lead the campaign for Karpyuk and Klykh’s release.
He also posted a photo of an extract from trial statements made by Karpyuk, in which he denied that Yatsenyuk or Tyahnybok had ever been members of the Ukrainian nationalist group UNA-UNSO, or had ever fought in Chechnya
The Ukrainian military reports 34 attacks by Russia-backed forces in the Donbass yesterday. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded.
According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, Russia-backed forces concentrated their shelling in the Mariupol area, where positions near the villages of Shirokino, Vodyanoye, Gnutovo and Taramchuk were shelled with mortars.
Shelling was also reported in Krasngorovka, west of Donetsk, and Avdeyevka, to the north.
There are also reports from locals on social media that Russia-backed forces shelled the Maryinka suburb, just south of Krasnogorovka, with 120 and 82 mm mortars last night.
Photos of the destruction were posted on VKontakte:
In the Lugansk region, the military claims that 122-mm artillery was used to shell positions near the village of Boguslavskoye.
Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Andriy Lysenko told reporters at noon today that one Ukrainian soldier had been wounded yesterday by an explosive device in the Donetsk area.
Meanwhile Eduard Basurin, military spokesman for the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), claimed today that two civilian women had been wounded by Ukrainian shelling in the Trudovskiye neighbourhood in western Donetsk.
— Pierre Vaux