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For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?
Ukrainska Pravda reports that Anatoly Matios, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, has said that his office will seek life sentences for Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev – two Russian Spetsnaz soldiers captured near Schastye earlier this year.
Earlier today, Interfax-Ukraine reported that the pre-trial investigation into the two was completed yesterday:
“On Aug 25, with the participation of lawyers, an investigation in regard to these two servicemen – Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov, who are suspected of committing criminal offences envisaged by five articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – has been completed,” the chief military prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoliy Matios said.
As reported, Ukrainian investigators officially notified Alexandrov and Yerofeyev on May 19 that they were suspected of having committed crimes under Article 258-3 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code Article, specifically their involvement in the terrorist activities of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). Kyiv’s Shevchenkivsky District Court ruled on May 22 that the two would be held in detention pending trial.
Matios told Interfax-Ukraine that prosecutors planned to deliver their indictment to the court within 10 days.
Having said that his office would be seeking “the maximum punishment,” Matios was asked whether this meant life imprisonment.
He replied (translated by The Interpreter):
“Yes, this could be life imprisonment, that is the maximum punishment on the statute for terrorism.”
Novaya Gazeta‘s Pavel Kanygin interviewed Aleksandrov in June, you can read our translation here:
Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, has announced that two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 10 wounded over the last 24 hours, reports Ukrainska Pravda.
According to the ATO Press Centre, Russian-backed forces conducted 92 attacks yesterday, a rise from the rate seen over the last few days.
The Press Centre reports intense fighting in the Donetsk area.
From 18:00 to midnight on August 26, the situation was tense in the Donbass conflict zone. In the area of the militant-controlled city of Donetsk, at about 20:00 Kyiv time, the militants started firing 120mm mortars on our fortified position in the village of Peski in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport, as well as twice on ATO forces in the village of Opytnoye. They also used 122mm artillery systems to shell the Ukrainian troops in the town of Avdeyevka.
At about 21:00 Kyiv time, the occupiers started firing 152mm artillery systems and rocket-propelled grenades on our fortified positions in the village of Troitskoye, and 122mm artillery systems on the town of Marinka. In the evening, the mercenaries were firing artillery systems on the village of Novoselovka Vtoraya. At midnight, enemy infantry fighting vehicles attacked ATO forces in the village of Opytnoye and the town of Krasnogorovka. In addition, cynically upping the escalation in the region, the criminals shelled residential areas of Avdeyevka with 122 mm artillery.
Donetsk news site 62.ua reports citing residents on social media, that apartment blocks and a kindergarten in the 9th Quarter, an area on the south-western edge of the town, had been struck by shells.
This area, which faces onto open fields, across which lie separatist-held positions, has been a regular target for shelling.
One video, recorded on July 18, shows spotters, inside an apartment in the quarter, directing shelling:
The separatist-backed Donetsk City Administration reported yesterday that one civilian had been killed at around 15:30 in the western suburb of Staromikhailovka by Ukrainian shelling.
In the south of the Donetsk region, Russian-backed forces mounted 11 attacks over the last 24 hours, claimed the Mariupol Defence Headquarters this morning.
According to their report, Russian-backed forces used heavy, self-propelled artillery, mortars and anti-tank missiles against Ukrainian positions in Novogrigoreyvka, Starognatovka, Granitnoye, Sopino and Lebedinskoye. In addition, the ATO Press Centre reports that Novoselovka Vtoraya was shelled last night.
Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five wounded in this sector.
On the Donetsk-Mariupol highway, a sabotage and reconnaissance team of five Russian-backed fighters, moving from separatist-held Dokuchaevsk, attempted to penetrate the Ukrainian lines near Novotroitskoye, using the lay of the land to conceal themselves. However they were detected and repelled by Ukrainian troops.
Yaroslav Chepurnoy, press officer for the Ukrainian military in Mariupol, told 0629.com.ua that there had been no attacks recorded since midnight.
“This makes us very uneasy.”
Meanwhile the Lugansk Regional Military-Civil Administration reported today that Russian-backed forces had continued their attacks on Stanitsa Luganskaya, north-east of Lugansk city.
According to the report, Russian-backed forces fired on the town from 20:45 until 23:55 with 82 mm mortars, grenade launchers and small arms.
— Pierre Vaux