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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 31 January. [Ukrainian sources]

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:32 am
TUESDAY

Scroll to view news added during the day.

NEWS:
Peskov claims militants retook ground near Avdiivka.  "Terrorists shell residential area, people have no access to water and electricity for two days," - Avdiivka.  US Ambassador Yovanovitch "very concerned for Avdiivka residents".  "We demand from the Russian Federation to cease hostilities immediately," - Yelchenko sends letter to UN secretary general.  Juncker: Lifting Russia sanctions still premature.  Three Ukrainian soldiers killed, 20 wounded, four traumatized yesterday.  UK to deploy its warship in the Black Sea first time since Cold War. Over hundred Russian militants confirmed killed in action over last two days, - 72nd Brigade.

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"Terrorists shell residential area, people have no access to water and electricity for two days," - police special force to aid Avdiivka residents. VIDEO

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:36 am
"Terrorists shell residential area, people have no access to water and electricity for two days," - police special force to aid Avdiivka residents. VIDEO

Fighters of special operations police battalion KORD have been dispatched to Avdiivka.
They will keep around the clock guard in the town sprayed by heavy artillery for second day on end, Censor.NET reports citing the Interior Ministry press service.

Wounded civilians and destruction to residential area are reported, the town has been de-energized.

Viacheslav Abroskin, Donetsk region police chief, ordered the officers to protect public order, prevent looting and help local residents.

The shelling has damaged Avdiivka's vital utilities leaving the town without electricity and water, outside temperature being 18 degrees [Celsius - ed.] below zero. If the power outage persists, the heating of residential buildings and social facilities will fail.



With artillery strikes underway and emergency situation declared, police reinforcement has been deployed to the town.

All fighters are trained to operate under combat conditions and provided with special transport.

ua.censor.net.ua(PHOTOS) , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Three Ukrainian soldiers killed, 20 wounded, four traumatized yesterday, - ATO Staff

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:40 am
Three Ukrainian soldiers killed, 20 wounded, four traumatized yesterday, - ATO Staff

Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 20 wounded and four traumatized in combat on Jan. 30.
Censor.NET reports citing the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) Staff press service.

"Unfortunately, three our soldiers were killed, 20 wounded and four traumatized," the message notes.

As previously reported, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded more than 2,300 explosions in the Donetsk region on Jan. 30, most of which occurred in the area of Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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UK to deploy its warship in the Black Sea first time since Cold War. PHOTOS

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:48 am
UK to deploy its warship in the Black Sea first time since Cold War. PHOTOS

HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer with anti-aircraft rockets is part of the biggest British military build-up on Russia’s borders for decades.
As reported by Censor.NET citing The DailyMail, Britain is sending one of its most advanced warships to the Black Sea - the first time the Royal Navy has deployed there on an operational mission since the Cold War.

In a dramatic show of strength by Theresa May, HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer equipped with the latest anti-aircraft rockets, will set sail for Ukraine carrying up to 60 Special Boat Service and Royal Marine commandos.

The move is part of the biggest British military build-up on Russia's borders for decades, and comes after British PM told U.S. politicians that Britain and America should stand up to President Vladimir Putin.



 
ua.censor.net.ua (VIDEOS), In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Over hundred Russian militants confirmed killed in action over last two days, - 72nd Brigade

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:51 am
Over hundred Russian militants confirmed killed in action over last two days, - 72nd Brigade

Members of the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade say the Russian occupying forces have more than a hundred personnel killed over two days of battles in the Donbas.

Censor.NET reports citing a statement by the press office of the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade.

The statement reads: "According to confirmed reports, the enemy lost more than a hundred soldiers in two days of fierce battles. About 60 members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are in the morgue of the Kalininskyi district of Donetsk (according to the source, no one there counts local militants killed in action)."

As reported, the militants launched offensive operation in the vicinity of Avdiivka's industrial zone on the morning of Jan. 29. Ukrainian soldiers managed to take militants' positions and gain tactical advantage at this section of the contact line after two days of battles.

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Peskov claims militants retook ground near Avdiivka

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:52 am
Peskov claims militants retook ground near Avdiivka

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says "DPR" militants have managed to bring the situation near Avdiivka back to the state preceding the escalation of hostilities in the area.

"As far as we know, insurgents have brought the situation back to the state that preceded the spike in aggression," Peskov told journalists Tuesday, answering the question who controlled Avdiivka, Censor.NET reports citing Russian Interfax.

"As a result of the launched offensive, part of the territory of the unrecognized republic has been retaken by the attackers. And a counterattack helped restore the situation that preceded the operation," Peskov said.

en.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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US Ambassador Yovanovitch "very concerned for Avdiivka residents"

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:55 am
US Ambassador Yovanovitch "very concerned for Avdiivka residents"

The United States Ambassador in Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch says she is concerned for residents of the Donetsk city of Avdiivka.

She wrote on Twitter, Censor.NET reports.



ua.censor.net.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Russian militants fire Grad rockets from Donetsk residential area. VIDEO

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:57 am
Russian militants fire Grad rockets from Donetsk residential area. VIDEO

A video of a Grad rocket system firing from a residential area of Donetsk has been released online.
As reported by Censor.NET, the author of the video claims the attack was committed on the night of Jan. 31. Judging by camera angles, the video was shot from a balcony of an apartment building.



ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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"We demand from the Russian Federation to cease hostilities immediately," - Yelchenko sends letter to UN secretary general

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:02 am
"We demand from the Russian Federation to cease hostilities immediately," - Yelchenko sends letter to UN secretary general

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has addressed U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres with a letter in connection with the escalation near Avdiivka.
As reported by Censor.NET, Yelchenko has published the text of the letter on his Twitter page.

"We demand from the Russian Federation to cease hostilities immediately and to comply strictly with the cease-fire," the letter reads.

For the last two days, the document notes, Russian occupation forces have carried out massive attacks along the demarcation line, using Grad rocket systems, 152 mm and 122 mm artillery, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, tanks, all of which are prohibited by the Minsk agreements, as well as small arms.

More than 400,000 civilians have no access to water, electricity and heat, the Foreign Ministry stresses.




As previously reported, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry appealed to international partners and called on the Russian Federation to cease hostilities.

The fighting in the vicinity of Avdiivka has been underway since late Saturday, Jan. 28. Ukrainian soldiers bravely hold their lines, according to the military sources.

Three days into fighting, Ukrainian soldiers have managed to take enemy positions and improved their tactical set-up in the area. Unfortunately, casualties were reported among the military.

On Jan. 30, enemy strikes left the government-controlled town of Avdiivka without electricity, water and heat.

In the evening of Jan. 30, a state of emergency was declared in Avdiivka.

ua.censor.net.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Juncker: Lifting Russia sanctions still premature

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:04 am
Juncker: Lifting Russia sanctions still premature

The time for canceling EU's restrictive measures against Russia has not come yet.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday in Brussels, Censor.NET reports.

"We have taken our decisions, these decisions are valid, and when we have to come back to this decision we will do so. But this is not the time for change," the head of the European Commission said at a joint press point with Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev.

In 2014, the European Union, the United States and several other countries imposed sanctions against Russia following its occupation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine. These restrictive measures were repeatedly extended and expanded. In particular, the talks on visa waiver and a new basic agreement on cooperation were suspended; several Russia's officials were banned to travel to the EU while their assets were attached. Trade, financial, and military restrictions were introduced.

The sanctions list included a total of 151 individuals and 37 entities. The sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil-producing and defense companies.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові



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Former Ukraine finance minister to CNN: Russia wants to upend Western democracy

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:06 am
Former Ukraine finance minister to CNN: Russia wants to upend Western democracy

Russia's interference in the U.S. election was but the latest and most audacious episode in Moscow's ongoing effort to destroy liberal democracy and the Trans-Atlantic partnership, Natalie Jaresko told David Axelrod on The Axe Files podcast, a joint production of CNN and the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.

"The information attacks, the propaganda, the cyberattacks ... We've lived through all the things they tested first in Ukraine," Ukraine's former finance minister said, according to CNN. "It's shocking that they would take the risk of doing that in the United States. And now it appears -- I've seen reports -- Germany, France and elsewhere."

Jaresko, who was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago by Ukranian-American parents, says Russia's goal is to boost nationalist candidates who will turn away from global alliances. "It surprised me only because I didn't expect that it could be possible in the United States," she said. "But this is about the Kremlin wanting to destroy the Transatlantic Partnership, wanting to destroy... the liberal post-World War II international order, which is based on democracy, human rights, territorial integrity, sovereignty of nations.".............

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Russian Foreign Ministry accuses Ukraine of escalation in Donbas: "Ukrainian authorities trying hard to solve conflict militarily"

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:39 pm
Russian Foreign Ministry accuses Ukraine of escalation in Donbas: "Ukrainian authorities trying hard to solve conflict militarily"

The Russian Federation accused Ukrainian authorities of escalating the conflict in the Donbas.

Censor.NET reports citing a statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry posted on the agency's official website.

"We witness that the south-eastern Ukraine, which is already suffering from the economic blockade initiated by Kyiv, is again on the verge of true humanitarian and environmental disaster. All of this is a direct consequence of the ongoing violations of commitments assumed by Ukraine under the Minsk agreements, which no one in Kyiv is going to fulfill. Ukrainian authorities are trying hard to solve the conflict militarily instead of making efforts to achieve sustainable peace," the statement reads.

Russian Foreign Ministry calls on the Ukrainian authorities to "immediately stop military provocations in the Donbas, observe the existing cease-fire agreements and finally start responsibly fulfilling all the provisions of the Minsk action plan, including those relating to the political aspects of the existing problems."

The fighting in the vicinity of Avdiivka has been underway since late Saturday, Jan. 28. Ukrainian soldiers bravely held their lines, according to the military sources.

Three days into fighting, Ukrainian soldiers have managed to take enemy positions and improved their tactical set-up in the area. Unfortunately, casualties were reported among the military.

On Jan. 30, enemy strikes left the government-controlled town of Avdiivka without electricity, water and heat.

In the evening of Jan. 30, a state of emergency was declared in Avdiivka.

As reported by the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) Staff press center, militants carry out not stop attacks on Ukrainian positions near the town.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Toner: US deeply concerned with recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:44 pm
Toner: US deeply concerned with recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine

The United States is deeply concerned with the recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine around Avdiivka-Yasynuvata.

Censor.NET reports citing the statement by a cting spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Mark Toner.

"Since January 28, the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission has reported a dramatic increase in fighting, including with heavy artillery and other weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements," he said.

"The fighting has caused dozens of Ukrainian military casualties and 10 civilian casualties. It has also left 17,000 civilians, including 2,500 children, without water, heat, or electricity," Toner said.

"To avert a larger humanitarian crisis, we call for an immediate, sustained ceasefire and full and unfettered access for OSCE monitors. We also reaffirm U.S. support for full implementation of the Minsk agreements," the official said.

Earlier, United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch expressed concern about Avdiivka residents.

The fighting in the vicinity of Avdiivka has been underway since late Saturday, Jan. 28. Ukrainian soldiers bravely held their lines, according to the military sources.

Three days into fighting, Ukrainian soldiers have managed to take enemy positions and improved their tactical set-up in the area. Unfortunately, casualties were reported among the military.

On Jan. 30, enemy strikes left the government-controlled town of Avdiivka without electricity, water and heat.

In the evening of Jan. 30, a state of emergency was declared in Avdiivka.

As reported by the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) Staff press center, militants carry out not stop attacks on Ukrainian positions near the town.

ua.censor.net.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Russian representatives to Trilateral Contact Group ignore videoconference convened over escalation in Avdiivka

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:10 pm
Russian representatives to Trilateral Contact Group ignore videoconference convened over escalation in Avdiivka

The representatives of the Russian Federation ignored Skype conference of the Trilateral Contact Group to resolve the situation in the Donbas, which was convened at the initiative of the Ukrainian side due to sharp deterioration of the situation in Avdiivka.

Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

"Russian officials have thwarted today's Skype conference convened at the initiative of the Ukrainian side in connection with the failure to maintain cease-fire in the vicinity of Avdiivka," a source told the news outlet.

According to him, the Russian side initially confirmed its readiness to take part in such talks, but later said that they were meaningless.

Eventually, Ukraine and the OSCE held talks without Russians.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові



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Terrorist Girkin confirms mass desertion of "DNR" militants deployed at Avdiivka

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Terrorist Girkin confirms mass desertion of "DNR" militants deployed at Avdiivka

Ex-leader of the so-called "DNR" Igor Strelkov aka Girkin reports about mass desertion of "DNR" militants from the 11th motorized rifle regiment involved in battles near Avdiivka.

Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote on Facebook referring to Strelkov's post on a social media.

"A member of the Russian Federal Security Service and ex-Defense Minister of the "DNR" Igor Girkin (Strelkov) told about panic among the militants near Avdiivka: "Mass exodus of "fifteen-thousanders" from the 11th regiment is underway under the slogan 'I'll gladly take the military ID but will never fight.' Say hello to the boneheads!

"The Russian mercenaries call fifteen-thousanders the residents of the occupied Donbas who have lost their jobs and become employed in the only place in the "DNR" where the Russian invaders consistently pay wages - the army of the "DNR". A mercenary receives squarely 15,000 RUB (about $250) per month there," the journalist explained.

"Our 72nd Mechanized Brigade is currently opposed by the 11th motorized rifle regiment deployed near Avdiivka. According to the enemy reports in social media, commander of the 3rd battalion of this regiment Ivan Balabay, call sign Grek, and company commander with call sign Konsul were killed in battles of Jan. 29-31. Girkin tells about heavy losses sustained by the mercenaries, but he is just afraid to tell exact figures.

"The Russian command completely classified any information regarding the gross losses while the casualty figures were previously voiced. The reluctance even to publish the number of killed-in-action shows that Russian 1st Army Corps has actually sustained significant losses. It is noteworthy that Girkin started telling bogeyman story about "the offensive operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Donetsk, Horlivka, Debaltseve" following three days of battles at a narrow section of the forefront," Butusov wrote.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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These Refugee Grandparents Were Finally Allowed To Flee Ukraine. Then Trump’s Order Stopped Them

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:37 pm
These Refugee Grandparents Were Finally Allowed To Flee Ukraine. Then Trump’s Order Stopped Them

Yuri Karpenko expected his wife’s parents to arrive in Seattle from eastern Ukraine in two weeks’ time.
Instead, on Monday, he got a phone call that George and Larisa Gabliya, granted refugee status by the US in November 2016, would not be coming. They, like an estimated 20,000 others, had been blocked from entering the country by President Donald Trump’s executive order halting the refugee program for 120 days.

“It’s awful, especially because they are older parents, they are not young anymore. They want some kind of security in their life, and right now they don’t have any security, or even a place to live,” Karpenko told BuzzFeed News.

Karpenko said his father and mother-in-law were granted admission into the US as refugees in November 2016, fleeing religious persecution and the conflict in Ukraine.

They began to prepare, and as required by Ukrainian law, they gave up their Ukrainian identification — and were left with their passport — resigned from their jobs, and sold their apartment before their anticipated departure. They are now stuck in Kharkiv, Ukraine. They’re jobless, without a place to live, and without the ability to travel outside of the country. They will be without these safeguards for at least the next four months until — and if — the ban is lifted.

“My wife was crying the whole day yesterday. It’s hard, especially because it was just two weeks away. It’s like a stab in the back,” Karpenko said.

In addition to the seven Muslim-majority countries listed in the visa ban and halt of the refugee program, many more people from countries around the world have also been adversely affected. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but on Monday the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said that up to 20,000 people have been affected by Trump’s executive order.

Rudenky called 36 families on Monday, informing each one that their loved ones would not be arriving in February. Some took the news calmly, others cried, and asked who they could complain to. By the end of the day, she said, she had lost her voice.

“Honestly, I could not speak, and I could not sleep last night,” Rudenky said, her voice distraught and trembling, on the verge of crying. “It affected me so much.”

Access complete text of the editorial:  buzzfeed.com In English


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Terrorist leader of LPR Bolotov's wife suggests poisoned coffee murder, in Moscow

on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:17 pm
Terrorist leader of LPR Bolotov's wife suggests poisoned coffee murder, in Moscow

Elena Bolotova, the wife of Valerii Bolotov, the first leader of the self-styled "Luhansk People's Republic," alleges her husband died after drinking a cup of coffee at a business meeting in Moscow.

As reported by Censor.NET referring to Life, the woman said that the day before her husband died, he met with two men in The Red Machine cafe in the CSKA Ice Palace. According to her, after the militant returned home, he complained about feeling bad.

"He kept repeating the whole evening: 'I shouldn't have drunk the coffee.' The next day he stayed home, said he would have some rest," she said.

Elena was concerned about her husband's condition and went to the hospital to ask for help. Having returned home, she found Bolotov already unconscious and immediately called an ambulance. By the time it arrived, the terrorist was already dead.

"He has not particularly complained about his health and we have never gone to a medical institution neither here [in Russia] nor there [in Ukraine]. He only occasionally said his heart tingled... Immediately after the incident, it dawned upon me he had been poisoned," the wife said.

On Jan. 27, former "LPR" leader Valerii Bolotov died suddenly at the age of 47.

ua.censor.net.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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