Ukraine Live Day 528: Nadezhda Savchenko Brought To Court In Donetsk, Rostov Region

July 30, 2015
Police convoy moving Nadezhda Savchenko from Novocherkassk to Donetsk. Photo:

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Civilian Casualties In Dzerzhynsk And Marinka

UNIAN reports that the Donetsk regional branch of the Interior Ministry (MVD) has announced that two civilians were killed by shelling in the early hours of this morning in Ukrainian-held Dzerzhynsk, north-west of Gorlovka.

According to the report, the centre of the village was shelled at around 3 am today. The two fatalities were men, born in 1982 and 1956.

Power lines in Dzerzhynsk were knocked out by the shelling, leaving two mines without power. The MVD claim that more than 200 miners were stuck underground as a result. They were, at the time of the announcement, being evacuated.

Meanwhile Nataliya Shiman, a press officer for the Donetsk MVD, told Ukraine’s 112 television channel that a woman was wounded in Marinka, a Ukrainian-held suburb to the south-west of Donetsk.

According to Shiman, the civilian, born in 1962, sustained shrapnel injuries after Marinka was shelled at 22:00 last night.

The Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Centre claimed today that Russian-backed forces had conducted 82 attacks yesterday.

UNIAN translates and reports:

From 18:00 on July 29 to midnight on July 30, the illegal armed groups fired on ATO forces near the city of Donetsk and the town of Artyomovsk.

“From 17:45 to 20:30 on July 29, the enemy was firing 120mm mortars on our fortified position near the village of Peski [close to the destroyed Donetsk airport]. At 21:00 and 22:00 Kyiv time, the Russian mercenaries fired tank shells from the town of Gorlovka on ATO forces near the village of Leninskoye. At 21:35 Kyiv time, the enemy’s tank attacked our positions in the village of Triokhizbenka in Luhansk region. In addition, they three times fired 120mm mortars on the town of Krasnogorovka and the village of Mayorsk,” the report says.

According to the press center, the enemy continued using large-caliber artillery systems.

“At 22:15 Kiev time, the militants fired 152mm artillery systems on the village of Yasnobrodovka in Donetsk region. At 22:35 Kiev time, they shelled ATO forces again near the village of Leninskoye, using 152mm and 122mm artillery systems. At 23:45 Kiev time, the positions of the Ukrainian armed forces near the village of Starognatovka in the Mariupol sector were under tank and artillery fire,” the report reads.

After midnight, the Kremlin-backed mercenaries continued their armed provocations mainly in the directions of Artyomovsk and Donetsk.

— Pierre Vaux

Nadezhda Savchenko Brought To Court In Donetsk, Rostov Region

Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian military officer who was captured by separatist fighters and illegally transported to Russia, where she has been charged with the murder of two Russian state journalists, has arrived at a court in the Russian border town of Donetsk in the Rostov region.

Translation: Nadezhda Savchenko has been transferred from Novocherkassk to Donetsk in the Rostov region

Mark Feygin, one of Savchenko’s lawyers, tweeted: 

Translation: We’ve met Nadezhda. She was driven for 12 hours to Voronezha. She then spent 4 days in pre-trial detention (SIZO) in Voronezh. Then in Novocherkassk. She is all right.

Translation: The conditions of her detention in SIZO-3 in Novocherkassk were fine. Nadezhda isn’t complaining. She was driven from Novocherkassk for 1.5 hours.

Translation: Nadezhda Savchenko is already in the court – she was brought from the Novocherkassk SIZO around an hour ago. This jail is 150 km from the Donetsk court.

Security around the court is tight. Before Savchenko’s arrival, her lawyers tweeted:

Translation: The perimeter of the court in Donetsk is surrounded by police, people are not being allowed into the court. Looks like the security of the trial is completely guaranteed.

Translation: We’ve been placed in the lobby of the court to wait for Nadezhda. An officer recommended against sitting by the window.

Translation: I’ve gone to the court in Donetsk. I’m bringing a bulletproof vest. We’ve lived to see this…

When it was first announced that Savchenko would be tried in Donetsk, rather than Moscow, where she has been held, the Ukrainian prisoner wrote a letter appealing to the Secretary-General of the United Nation and the president of the Parliamentary Association of the Council of Europe (PACE), of which she is a member, asking for help in having her case returned to a Moscow court.

She wrote that, as one of the main crossing points for fighters into Ukraine, Donetsk is an unsafe location for her family to travel to, noting that her lawyers have received threats from supporters of the separatist ‘republics.’ Savchenko’s sister, Vera, is one of her main defence witnesses.

Savchenko also noted that the FSB may simply refuse access to the sensitive “border zone” to Ukrainian and foreign MPs.

The location, she wrote, has been chosen in order to hinder her defence team and prevent media coverage of the trial.

— Pierre Vaux