Activists Release Second Batch Of Surkov Emails; Intense Shelling In The Donbass

November 3, 2016
Aftermath of shelling in Vinogradnoye, on the outskirts of Mariupol. Photo: Donetsk police

Ukraine Day 990: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.

The number of attacks on Ukrainian positions decreased today, November 1, but heavier artillery was used, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Reported. There were no Ukrainian casualties reported and one Russia-backed fighter was killed.

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


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Activists Release Second Batch Of Surkov Emails; Intense Shelling In The Donbass

Ukrainian activists have released another batch of emails relating to Vladislav Surkov, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most important advisers.

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Ukraine crisis: Hackers claim huge Kremlin email breach – BBC News

Two Ukrainians have given details of emails they helped to hack belonging to top Russian officials at the Kremlin. Several emails they claim to have cracked are linked to Vladislav Surkov, one of the architects of Russia's current political system, He is also a key Kremlin figure in Moscow's intervention in Ukraine.

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Nov 03, 2016 18:36 (GMT)

The first batch, containing emails received by Surkov’s office between September 24, 2013 and November 25, 2014, was released last week. 

Today’s emails come from another email account – This time hosted on the popular free mail client, in contrast to the previous batch, which was from an inbox on a Russian government server.

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab has concluded that emails contained in both releases are genuine, although we not that this does not discount the possibility that some emails have been edited or withheld. 

Their analysis indicates that the second inbox was handled by the same two assistants, named Maria and Yevgenia, who dealt with the office account.

The emails were published by the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance, comprising the “hacktivist” groups FalconsFlame, CyberHunta, Trinity and RUH8.

The Ukrainian investigative blog InformNapalm presented a brief summary of initial findings:

We will be reporting in greater detail on the content of the emails in due course. But for now, InformNapalm highlights several interesting findings, not least the regular reports on attempts to agitate anti-government unrest in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and supplies of fuel to separatist-held territories in the Donbass.

The Ukrainian military reports that Russia-backed forces used heavy artillery and Grad rockets yesterday in the Donbass.

According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, Russia-backed forces conducted 47 attacks yesterday.

Grad multiple-launch rocket systems were reportedly used, in addition to 152 and 122 mm artillery and 120 and 82 mm mortars, to bombard Ukrainian positions near the village of Krymskoye, on the southern banks of the Seversky Donets river in the Lugansk region. 

The use of such a range of heavy weaponry in one area is a very worrying sign. Krymskoye is one of the more vulnerable areas of the front line, trapped as it is between the river and enemy-held territory.

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2016-11-03 17:50:35

The Lugansk Regional Administration reported that the neighboring villages of Orekhovo-Donetskoye and Tryokhizbenka, both on the northern banks of the Seversky Donets, also came under fire from self-propelled artillery and grenade launchers.

Elsewhere in the region, the Administration reported that positions near Stanitsa Luganskaya, northeast of separatist-held Lugansk city, had been attacked with 82 mm mortars, infantry fighting vehicle cannons and grenade launchers. In addition, clashes were reported between Ukrainian and Russia-backed troops near Novozvanovka.

In the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian military reports attacks across most of the front line.

Some of the worst took place near Mariupol, on the Azov coast, with shells falling on the village of Vinogradnoye, right on the outskirts of the port city.

The Donetsk regional police reported that four homes in the village had been damaged, while a ruptured gas pipe had left 600 homes without heating – a serious issue as the first snows have fallen in the Donbass.

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2016-11-03 17:59:47

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2016-11-03 17:59:46

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This video recorded the sound of shells falling near Mariupol last night:

While the residents of the village escaped injury, Mariupol news site reports that a dog was killed by shrapnel.

The military also reports that mortars were used in attacks near Shirokino, Gnutovo, Talakovka, all east of Mariupol, as well as Taramchuk, on the highway to Donetsk.

To the west of Donetsk, the government-controlled suburb of Krasnogorovka was shelled with 82 and 120 mm mortars, while positions near Maryinka, just to the south, came under fire from armored vehicles, grenade launchers and small arms.

One Ukrainian soldier was wounded by enemy fire near Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, where positions were shelled with mortars.

— Pierre Vaux