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Welcome to A Closer Look On Syria

For a word on our approach and how you can contribute to the project, continue here. On the Main Page below are general news and some select incidents studied at ACLOS since its creation in 2012. For more current analysis, check "Recent changes" or "New Pages" in the menu to the left, or use the search box.

Syria News

16 Sep. Erdogan, Rouhani and Putin meet in Ankara to discuss Syria under the Astana process and release a joint statement.

15 Sep. USS Ramage docks in Lebanon (either amid regional tensions or as a goodwill visit).

13 Sep. Lavrov: "The war in Syria has really come to an end. The country is gradually returning to a normal, peaceful life. Some hotspots of tensions remain in the territories that are not controlled by the Syrian government, such as Idlib and the eastern bank of the Euphrates."

The re-opening of the al-Qa'im border crossing between Syria and Iraq near al Bukamal, planned for today, has been delayed for the second time.

11 Sep. Bashar al-Assad turns 54 years old.

Adrian Darya-1 outside Tartus Naval Base

6 Sep. According to Middle East Eye in an "exclusive" based on "two sources", the famous Iranian tanker that was seized by the UK in Gibraltar has anchored and unloads at "a Syrian port".

Later John Bolton tweets a satellite picture allegedly showing the tanker two miles offshore of Tartous (a version is also posted on Cassad).

5 Sep. The Russian and Syrian joint coordination headquarters make another statement on problems hindering the restoration of peaceful life in Syria.

Frontlines Idlib pocket

31 Aug. 06:00 o'clock on August 31, 2019 at the initiative of Moscow and Ankara, the Syrian Arab army unilaterally announced a ceasefire in the entire Idlib de-escalation zone

On or about 15:00, officially acknowledged US strike on rebels commanders gathering in northern Idlib.

30 Aug. Reports on a successful operation in southern Idlib attributed to Russian forces.

25 Aug. 5 Turkish generals stationed in northern Syria resign

23 Aug. The SAA command announces that it has taken over a number of towns and villages in the new pocket south of Khan Sheikhoun, the list of which - including Latamina, Morek and Kafr Zita - sounds like the whole pocket is already in their hands.

21 Aug. According to reports, the SAA has taken Khan Sheikhoun from the "rebels" during the day and connected their forces from west and east, building a cauldron around the towns and villages south of Khan Sheikhoun including the Turkish observation post at the M5 south of Morek.

20 Aug. While "rebels" are fleeing Khan Sheikhoun, the SAA is entering the northern parts of the city.

Putin expresses Russia's full support for the actions of the SAA, saying that Turkey failed to live up to the Astana agreements and stop the "rebels" from constantly attacking targets outside the "deescalation zone", including the Russian airforce base which has been under (failed) attack several times in recent weeks.

19 Aug. Al-Nimr checkpoint on M5 road, north of Khan Sheikhoin, at elevated position over the city, is under SAA control, cutting Maarat-an-Numan to Khan Sheikhoun road and supplies and creating an operative cauldron; - collection of photos, maps and videos by Cassad. Turkey tried to send in a military hardware convoy, said to travel from checkpoint 7 to checkpoint 9 (towards Khan Sheikhoun); its movement was stopped by Syrian airforce strike near the convoy (TV Zvezda; TASS). Turkey's foreign minister said that 3 were killed and 12 wounded by the strike. According to SouthFront, Turkey sent F-16 jets to protect the convoy but the Russian airforce was hovering the region, so they retreated. (Details are disputed)

18 Aug. "On the road to Khan Sheikhoun", ANNA News / Cassad.

15 Aug. Moon of Alabama publishes a summary of the recent developments in and around the Idlib pocket.

14 Aug. Rebels' "headquarters of joint operation al-Fatah al-Mubin" claimed that they shot down a Su-22 of Syrian AF on the border of Hama and Idlib and captured the pilot (report and some videos, Rus.; i24 news, Eng.)

13 Aug. Over the weekend, the SAA has continued their advances at the southern fronts of the Idlib pocket. After taking the towns of Hobit and Sakik, they are now approaching Khan Sheikhoun from both the west and the east. Meanwhile, there has been infighting at a "rebel" meeting in Idlib city between Al Nusra and other gangs and it is reported that a number of leaders have fled to Turkey.

8 Aug. The SAA captures the strategic hill Tal Zakhar and the village of the same name in northern Hama at the south-western border of the Idlib "deescalation zone".

Turkish state media reports that some US-Turkey agreement about a "safe zone" along the Turkish border was reached. The Syrian Foreign Ministry categorically rejects any agreement reached "by the US and Turkish occupations". Later, the Turkish foreign minister claims that Trump has promised Erdogan in a phone call to withdraw troops from the planned "safe zone" area and that Turkey would under no circumstances allow the US to "delay".

6 Aug. Syrian and Iraqi troops meet in Al-Bukamal at a new border crossing a bit south of the old one and outside populated areas. The crossing's official opening is planned for the near future.

US "defense" secretary Esper says that unilateral actions by Turkey in northern Syria are "unacceptable" and that the US has no "ambition" to abandon the SDF.

5 Aug. Erdogan threatens again to invade east of the Euphrates soon, claiming the US and Russia are informed, while the Kurds are not amused, still feeling backed by the US, and Emirate media leaking alleged documents about a Saudi "strategic plan" to take down Turkey.

4 Aug. In an interview with Syrian TV, First Lady Asma al-Assad shows herself for the first time in over a year without headscarf and declares her victory over cancer.

25 Jul. US-Turkey talks on Syria safe zone end without agreement

22/23 Jul. Rebels' night-time rocket strike on Aleppo - a video report by ANNA news; 7 killed and 22 wounded.

22 Jul. A US delegation led by James Jeffrey is in Turkey to discuss the issue of a buffer zone at the Turkey/Syria border east of the Euphrates. Metin Gurcan analyses the different issues and positions.

The SOHR and White Helmets-activists accuse the Russian airforce of having attacked the busy vegetable market in Maarat al-Numan town in Idlib province in the morning, killing at least 23 civilians and wounding many more. The Russian defense ministry calls the reports "fake".

19 Jul. Today is the 7th anniversary of the so-called "Rojava Revolution". (YPJ statement)

An SDF commander tells Turkish media that if Turkey attacks anywhere east of Euphrates, the whole 600 km border will turn into a battlefront. He offers Turkey, which wants a 30km buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border, to withdraw SDF/YPG forces 5km from the border and let locals or an international force handle the security there. He says the US has informed Turkey about that offer.

18 Jul. The Russian airforce launches a massive bombing campaign on targets in Idlib pocket, including some near the cities of Jisr al-Shughour and Khan Sheikhoun. This comes among reports that the SAA is about to launch another offensive on the al-Ghaab plains west of Jisr al-Shughour.

Al Monitor takes a look at the latest developments east of the Euphrates and the dynamics there especially between Turkey and the US.

8 Jul. After US Syria envoy Jeffreys visited Germany over the weekend and told German media that they would like the Bundeswehr to replace some US troops on the ground in Rojava and expect an answer before the end of July, German government speakers today tell journalists that the legislative mechanisms won't be able to decide anything before end of October and in addition that nobody plans to expand the current German participation in the "Anti-IS coalition" in Syria.

5 Jul. The Rojava Information Center publishes a report titled "Bringing ISIS to justice: towards an international tribunal in North East Syria".

1 Jul. At least sixteen civilians are murdered in attacks on targets in Damascus and Homs by Israeli jets flying in Lebanese airspace.

27 Jun. A clash between Syrian and Turkish troops is reported. It is claimed that Turkish troops at an observation point in the Sheikh Maghar area in the Idlib de-escalation zone, fired more than 18 mortar shells on the positions of the SAA, which returned fire. It is said that according to Turkish minister of defense one Turkish soldier is killed, 3 others are wounded. It is said that Turksih helicopters entered Syrian airspace to evacuated the wounded, with local sources claiming they were fired on. It is reported that several Turkish military aircraft have been spotted over the north of the province of Aleppo and south of Idlib, both regions controlled by militants. In connection with the incident, the Russian attache in Ankara was called to the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces "to discuss the incident". The Turkish side promised to "respond to such attacks." Turkish coverage of events, e.g here.

25 Jun. Iranian FARS News has for several weeks been quoting Arab news outlets about a "popular uprising" in eastern Deir ez-Zor and southern Hasaka provinces (which are not traditionally Kurdish) against the SDF and its US backers, met with quite violent suppression. Summary from today

Patrushev, Bolton and Ben Shabbat hold tripartite negotiations on Syria (TASS; Atlantic Council).

24 Jun. It is said that a number of Syrian underwater oil pipelines have been sabotaged (Oil and Gas; Rusvesna/photos).

21 Jun. The Syrian foreign minister al-Moallem is visiting North Korea after he had stayed in China for a five-day visit.

Firat News Agency publishes "confessions" by captured Turkish intelligence agents that they carried out terror attacks, abductions and other crimes while posing as SDF soldiers, with the goal to fuel conflict between Arabs and Kurds in Rojava.

After 45 days of trying to conquer the hill town of Kabani from the Idlib "rebels", the SAA gives up for the moment and deploys its elite forces to a different front.

20 Jun. Iranian media reports that US and Saudi efforts to convince tribes in Rojava to separate from Syria have failed.

19 Jun. Al-Ja'afari delivers an update to the UNSC about the situation in Idlib and demands that they take their resolutions "against terrorism" seriously. He specifically points out the role of Turkey in supporting the various gangs of militants in the area.

13 Jun. According to press reports, Iraqi officials complain that the US is refusing to hand over 40 to 50 ISIS commanders of Iraqi origin they/the SDF have captured in the endgame in al-Baghouz.

9 Jun. A funeral ceremony for al-Sarout in the Turkish border town Reyhanli sparks a controversy in Turkish society over the relationship of the state to radical jihadis.

8 Jun. In fights in northern Hama the SAA kills prominent Jihadist leader al-Sarout to the great mourning of the "western" press.

7 Jun. Offensive by the rebels, Idlib-Hama, is reported (1,2).

31 May. According to Al Masdar, both US forces and the SDF attack "Syrian government ferries" carrying oil from the eastern banks across the Euphrates.

Also according to Al Masdar, a Turkish observation post came under cross-fire during fights between the SAA and "rebels" in northern Hama.

28 May. Around 50 activists disrupt the Berlin annual shareholder meeting of Germany's largest weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall and demand a stop of weapon exports to Turkey because of that country's attacks on Rojava. Among many other war machines, the company produces the Leopard II tank. Its' Italian subsidiary RWM Italia continued selling weapons to Saudi Arabia despite a German export ban to Saudi

YouTube bans the ANNA News channel for unspecified "community guidelines violations". A back-up channel is availabe.

26 May. The SAA has reversed the gains of the HTS counter-offensive, reinforced their troops and resumed the northern Hama operation.

22 May. A group of about 700 jihadists starts a counter-offensive in northern Hama and takes several places back from the SAA.

18 May. While the "European Song Contest" is going on in Tel Aviv, Israel attacks Syrian territory with drones and missiles for the second consecutive day.

16 May. Russian reconciliation center said that militants plan to stage a provocation in Idlib to accuse Russian forces of using chemical weapons (Eng.), (Rus).

10 May. Ziad Fadel summarizes the first couple of days of the SAA offensive in northern Hama.

7 May. 'A powerful strike' by the Russian aerospace forces and Syrian government forces on Idlib-based militants is reported, countering their reported preparations for an attack. north of Hama. From May 6, SAA conducts a military operation in north Hama; the settlements of Janabar, Al-Bana and Tel-Osman came under government forces control.

6 May. Russian airbase in Kmeimim was attacked twice with unguided rockets salvos from the area near Zavia settlement in Idlib, with fire correction by drones. It is reported that attacks were repelled with no casualties or damage, and that attackers positions were destroyed. There has been 12 earlier repelled attacks since early April, 8 of those with improvised drone munitions, other attacks with MLRS.

28 Apr. publishes the second, concluding part of their detailed interview with Sharmine Narwani.

26 Apr. In recent days militants in the south-western part of the Idlib pocket have fired Grad missiles at targets in Latakia province including the Russian Hmeimin base but also civilian suburbs. Today the Russian Airforce replies with massive bombardments of where the missiles were coming from.

25 Apr. The 12th round of the so-called Astana Meetings takes place in the Kazakh capital - now renamed Nursultan after the currently resigned long-time president's first name - with delegations from Turkey, Russia, Iran, Syria and the UN.

On Chinese invitation, Syria attents the global summit of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing.

22 Apr. SANA reports that in the last month, Russian and Syrian forces have evacuated around 4,000 civilians from Al Rukhban camp, which is around 10% of those entrapped there due to lacking US cooperation.

21 Apr. The old bridge in Raqqa city is opened after the sustained damage to it has been repaired. publishes part one of a wide-ranging, essential interview with Syria expert and war reporter Sharmine Narwani.

20 Apr. Firat News Agency publishes an interview with a Rojava official about the future of the 11,000 male ISIS fighters and 72,000 family members that are in prison resp. camps after the defeat of the terror cult.

Elijah Magnier reports that Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has told his top commanders that he expects an Israeli surprise war on Lebanon this summer, in which the whole leadership including himself would be targeted for assassination.

19 Apr. A high-level Russian delegation visits Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria with Crown Prince Bin Salman. After that, the delegation heads to Damascus to meet Assad.

17 Apr. After Iranian foreign minster Zarif had a "long" meeting with Assad the day before, he is now in Ankara to brief Erdogan on the results.

16 Apr. Brazil and India reopen their Syrian embassies.

15 Apr. Jenan Moussa publishes an investigative report based on the leaked contents of the smart phone of Tunisian-born German citizen Omaima Abdi, who went to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS, married the most famous German ISIS fighter Denis Cuspert AKA Deso Dogg and is now back in Germany living as if nothing had happened. (in the evening the story is making top news in Germany)

12 Apr. It is reported that differences between "Assad and armed opposition" over composition and nature of the constitutional committee have been narrowed down. The 150-member body would be split equally between representatives chosen by the Syrian government, the Syrian opposition and Syrian civil society, with 50-members each. The Syrian government was not allowed to object to the names of the representatives of the opposition; with the rest of the body, it is said that "Assad's regime has given its consent to all names but four".

7 Apr. The German capital Berlin's district of Kreuzberg - known for its multi-cultural and leftist milieu - starts the first city partnership between a German and a North-Syrian city partnering with the city of Derik, where the Rojava parliament is located. Several other city partnerships are in the planning stages.

4 Apr. The Venezuelan foreign minister visits Assad and Moallem in Damascus.

Archive 2019
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Archive 2018
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Archive 2017
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Archive 2016
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Chemical Weapons (starting late 2012)

Main article: Category:Chemical Weapons
Chem 4-9 A.png

A running theme in Syria news is claims about the use of chemical weapons and the red lines they would cross, if confirmed. Our category on this topic covers most reported incidents, especially all high-profile ones like the one that almost started a world war. In 2013, the allegations mostly involved the use of the nerve agent sarin. Since Syria surrendered its stocks to avert war, the allegations from 2014 to present shifted to use of chlorine gas. In both phases, ACLOS has discovered many problems with the accusation of government CW use, as well as much evidence that opposition forces are the ones actually guilty for many incidents. This trend continued when in early April 2017 the topic hit big news again, just to return once more a full year later.

Aleppo Aid Convoy Attack (September 19, 2016)

Main article: Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra
OFAB-250 bomb in Urm al-Kubra warehouse.jpg

Around 20 or perhaps 30 civilians are killed in in an attack on an aid convoy near Aleppo, destroying more than a dozen trucks hauling medical aid. This is another disputed incident; the West and its sponsored activists alleges a Russian or Syrian air attack is to blame, while Russia and Syria don't seem to know exactly what happened. ACLOS investigates.

And not to be distracted: this came just two days after the US airstrike on SAA in Deir ez-Zor that killed at least 60 Syrian soldiers in a well-known position of theirs, in a rather implausible "accident."

Houla (May 25, 2012)

Main article: The Houla massacre
Ali-Al-Sayed 1.jpg

The initial ACLOS investigation. The murder of around 108 civilians, among them up to 49 children, in the town of Taldou belonging to Houla in Homs province, is maybe the most famous event that happened in Syria in 2012. It was immediately blamed on the government and led to several countries expelling their Syrian ambassadors. Initially attributed to the use of heavy weapons, it quickly turned out that most of the victims were killed by short-distance violence. This led to the blaming of Alawite "Shabiha" militias loyal to Assad. While the UNHRC closed their investigation in mid August stating to be reasonably certain that indeed government loyalists were the perpetrators, a lot of the conflicting evidence collected in our research was either washed away or not considered at all, while contradictions in the testimonies of witnesses backing their conclusion were denied. A central question is who was in control over the area at the time - our attempt to answer this based on all collected evidence can be found here.

Homs Massacres (2011-present)

Main article: Homs Massacres
Homs Districts all labels.png

Although relatively secure by now, the city districts and rural surroundings of Homs were home to some of the most shocking massacres of the Syrian war, especially in early 2012 when rebels had control over most of the city (that was following a short-lived Syrian military withdrawal brokered by the U.N. and Arab Laague). The ongoing ACLOS effort to list and analyze as many massacres as possible, so far includes more than 40, accounting for at least 1,400-1,900 deaths of almost strictly civilians victims. Alleged details are compared with common family names, district demographics, and the usual ACLOS techniques, to establish useable insights. Consider the Khalidiya Massacre of February, 2012, with 138 people killed, rebels said, as family homes were shelled. But the victims were 100% male and 94% adult, pre-segregated just like the prisoners of rebels the other side claimed the victims were. And this one's no fluke; strangely similar patterns repeat over and over in what makes for chilling reading.

Situation in Syria.png

FEATURE: Venezuela coup attempt 2019

Ukraine News

18 Sep. It is reported that Ukrainian military is preparing for the withdrawal of forces and equipment along the entire contact line in the Donbass. This task is set by the Ukrainian chief of the General Staff, the Minister and the head of state. (If that really happens, it will be a major step towards peace. This is long overdue, with so far no signs of progress on the ground. It will require will and ability to carry out those plans).

15 Sep. Former opolchenie member Roman Dzhumaev was shot and killed in his flat in Mariupol. He was a programmer from Mariupol who joined opolchenie in 2014, and then left and was in Russia and Belarus for a while. He was arrested when he crossed to Ukraine to visit relatives, then released under house arrest. Ukrainian mainstream published an opinion praising Dzumaev killers as "the system did not work".... Dzhumaev's mother tells a story of intimidation and threats by nationalist activists preceding the murder.

13 Sep. DPR PMH: DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shellling right after OSCE SMM patrol has left...

Gorlovka: Direct hits of 82 millimeter mortar shells in the morning, 6.15 am, at Chelyuskin Lane, 23. Fortunately two infants were not in the house.

Ushakov: Russia ready for Normandy Four summit under several conditions (disengagement of forces in 3 areas, Steinmeier Formula, preliminary summit agreement agreed). Proceeds to talk about possibility of "Istanbul format meeting attended by Russia, Germany, Turkey and France" on Syria -TASS Eng , Russ.

12 Sep. Mayor of Gorlovka started an English -language telegram channel, hoping to reach Western audience and asking for repost...

Tsemakh daughter is quoted saying that Tsemakh returned to DPR, and that he gave his testimony to "all the sides" and that he has "nothing to hide".

11 Sep. LPR soldier is killed by second Ukrainian mortar strike near Frunze.

Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka, shelled once again, a home is set on fire (report and video).

Some developments regarding separation of forces in Petrovskoe and Zolotoe, attempted many times in the past. DPR and Russian media reports obstacles created by the Ukrainian side. Strelkov says that DPR forces left positions in Petrovskoe held for 5 years. Full situation is unclear.

10 Sep. Two civilians, a man and a woman, are wounded by Ukrainian shelling of western Donetsk.

9 Sep. Opolchenie: Message from military correspondents. "Just yesterday, Ukraine and Russia held an exchange, and today at the checkpoints of Donbass 9 people were arrested, whom Kiev suspects of working for L/DPR. Replenishing the exchange fund, so to speak."

8 Sep. Report and video from Donetskii settlement, LPR. A home is damaged; a man who lives there says that shelling increased, despite 'ceasefire'.

Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights proposed to conclude an interstate agreement on terminating criminal prosecutions on an equal footing. Her Ukrainian counterpart says it will be considered, but there is no proposal via the official channels.

Some details

7 Sep. Planes with exchanged by Ukraine and Russia detainees (including those from Donbass) landed in Vnukovo and Borispol airports -report and livestreams.

Russia released 24 sailors and 11 other persons, Ukraine published the full list of those returned to Ukraine.

Russia explicitly stated that Ukraine released Kirill Vyshinskii, ed-chief, RIA news-Ukraine. Ukraine published a list of 34 they released, which includes Tsemakh, Mefedov (news- 27 May '16, 14 June '16) but apparently Ruslan Gadzhiev remains in Ukraine.

Trump tweets: "Russia and Ukraine just swapped large numbers of prisoners. Very good news, perhaps a first giant step to peace. Congratulations to both countries!"

6 Sep. DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shelling.

Ukrainian shel1ing in the south using 152 mm artillery and mortars is reported. Two civilian women are wounded and hospitalized as a result of shelling of Kachkarskoe, Kazatskoe and Roza settlements, Novoazovsk region; 4 homes are set on fire (report and video). Another detailed video from the scene shows no buildings left standing in Roza settlement; a school nearby has many windows broken. A wounded woman and a school director are interviewed

5 Sep. DPR PMH reports that Ukraine shelled multiple DPR locations, using mortars, grenade launchers, BMP guns, machine guns. An armed Ukrainian drone heading towards OSCE observers is shot down. A group of about 10 people from 35 brigade UAF attempt to penetrate DPR territory. It is said that 3 of them are killed, at least two wounded, and the others dispersed; one DPR soldier is killed and another wounded. While opolchenie sources report 2 killed and (unconfirmed) 3 wounded. It is said that SBU started an investigation into weapons smuggling by 35 brigade UAF, since weapons cache was found in Kharkov and traced to weapons storage of 35 brigade. Those weapons were listed as destroyed by shelling, and ammunition as spent in firefights.

Ukraine has released Tsemakh (see 1 Jul. news), under "personal guarantees".

Putin: Russia and Ukraine "approach finalization" on detainees exchange.

4 Sep. On the day of contact group meeting in Minsk, and despite the ceasefire, Ukraine shelled Zaitsevo, Golmovskii, and Gagarin minepit area. Two DPR soldiers are killed.

3 Sep. LPR PM reports Ukrainain mortar shelling, warns about Ukrainian special operations group planning to shell Ukrainian positions, to justify their shelling of LPR and to discredit LPR internationally

Some progress in Normandy format advisors negotiations is reported on (long overdue) pilot projects on separation of forces and implementation of Steinmeier formula (Rus, Eng), according to Alexey Chesnakov (known for earlier impactful commentary). Date of the announced Normandy summit was not set.

2 Sep. Opolchenie lists their 35 fighters killed in August, 2019 in Donbass; at least 8 are killed on 29 August.

Ukraine fired 120 mm mortars on Kominternovo, 122 mm artillery shells on Gorlovka.

1 Sep. DPR: "From 16.45 for an hour, militants from the 30th brigade UAF and the Nazis from "Azov" fired seven 122-mm artillery shells on the Gagarin mine-pit settlement, fifteen 120 mm mortar shells on Golmovskiy and eighteen mortar shells of various caliber on Dolomitnoe settlements".

DPR accused Ukraine of shelling OSCE and JCCC patrol arriving to inspect aftermath of Ukrainian mortar and artillery shelling a day earlier near Kominternovo.

31 Aug. DPR PMH: A DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shelling.

DPR PMH briefing (via Rusvesna) Ukraine violated ceasefire in numerous areas, including Spartak, Mariupol, Gorlovka. Increased use of drones is mentioned, and linked with reports of Ukraine offering monetary rewards for destruction of opponent's personnel and hardware (despite the ceasefire), with documented evidence. DPR protests those moves and asks for international observers assistance

30 Aug. Viktor Medvedchuk and Vadim Rabinovich are in Moscow to meet with Ukrainian prisoners, in the background of prisoners exchange negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian states -video interview.

Next round of Normandy format consultations with diplomatic advisers is scheduled on September 2 in Berlin. Russia is represented by Surkov.

29 Aug. DPR PMH: One DPR soldier was killed, one seriously wounded, and 3 captured in a firefight with "Azov" battalion near Gorlovka. According to earlier DPR report, Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group made an intrusion on their position. (Ukrainian sources claim that it was the other way around). An account provided by an opolchenie source and published by Strelkov on social media makes it very clear that it was the result of Ukrainian attack on DPR positions from the rear (not DPR incursion which went wrong). It also indicates heavier losses, without providing an exact number. In the opolchenie version of events by Zhuchkovskiy, Ukrainian group attacked using silenced guns and then fired "Shmel"s. Five DPR soldiers were killed (one of those died in hospital), and one was captured; the next day, he claims, DPR staged a revenge attack on UAF barracks near Mayorsk, allegedly killing 14 UAF soldiers; around 1 Sep., Ukrainian media is said to show "staged attacks on the Mayorsk checkpoint, to justify high losses".

DPR PMH: "Instructions to the Ukrainian units in the Donbass were sent on August 19 and 20 by the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak (appointed by Zelesnkii), offering 7,000 hryvnas for the murder of one defender of the DPR"

27 Aug. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. A home on Brusilova, 15 is on fire after a direct hit. Note that the address indicates that the home is close to homes hit on 23 Aug., which was widely reported. It is incomprehensible how it continues despite declared ceasefire, Minsk agreements, announced new Normandy format meeting, etc.

25 Aug. Ukraine reports that 4 of their soldiers are wounded, one of them has died from his wounds. (Rusvesna suggests that this in fact may be misrepresented report on death of Tikhon Kurbatov, below).

At DPR PMQ press conference, it is claimed that on 24 Aug. SBU conducted an anti-drug raid; in 8 cases, that met armed resistance, and in two cases law enforcement had to use weapons. During arrest of Tikhon Kurbatov (call name Tikhii), 24th assault platoon commander of the Aidar battalion of the 53 mechanized brigade of UAF, he and another person (called his assistant) were wounded, and Kurbatov later died. In another case, two militants from the 53 brigade were wounded. 53 brigade zone of operation includes Gorlovka.

23 Aug. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. As a result of Ukrainian shelling, two homes burned down completely (Brusilova 4 and 21) , another had roof damaged (Brusilova 14).

22 Aug. Dutch journalist and academic Kees van der Pijl publishes notes from a MH17 conference in Malaysia, to which he was invited, where the JIT conclusions were rejected and a new investigation demanded.

19 Aug After 5 year behind bars, Russian citizens Sergey Dolzenko and Evgenni Mefedov were released on bail (posted by Ukrainian "Opposition block-for life" party) from a "preliminary detention" facility (СИЗО) in Nikolaev city , Ukraine. They were arrested and placed in preliminary detention after the Odessa Massacre(talk) of May 2, 2014, and found not guilty in September 2017. But immediately after they were re-arrested by SBU on different nonsensical charges.

For the first time anybody could remember, Ukrainian military admitted losses due to careless handling of weapons, 1 soldier died and 3 were wounded.

Putin meets Macron in southern France, with Ukraine as part of agenda.

18 Aug. Ukrainian forces opened mortar fire on Golmovskii and Russkii krai settlements (map) according to Mayor of Gorlovka Ivan Prihodko. Roof damage is reported.

Footage of Israeli "drug lord" Amos Dov Silver escape (1, longer 2) from the Borispol airport, from under the nose of the SBU. He ran to Uman' (known for Hasidic roots, and, some say, drug use among secular pilgrims) but was eventually caught and deported to Israel.

17 Aug. Residential homes are damaged by Ukrainian fire in Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka (169 Rybalko St. and 1 Brusilova St.)

Former Ukrainian Rada MP Alexey Zhuravko published some internal UAF documents detailing major crimes committed by Ukrainian military against civilian population of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, including murder, rape, grand theft. (Noted, one of the documents, report of Krishtun to Poltorak, covers statistics of all crimes, in ATO area and elsewhere in Ukraine)

Netanyahu is to visit Zelenskii tomorrow in Kiev, with an aspiration expressed to contribute to peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass, and Knesset elections approaching on September 17 (and with Russian-speaking voters quite important).

15 Aug. A civilian man working on his plot of land, 212 Rybalko St., Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka sustained shrapnel wounds as a result of Ukrainian fire (report, photo, video).

14 DPR PMH briefing: a DPR soldier is wounded by Ukrainian sniper fire. Ukrainian drone armed with VOG-17 grenade is shot down over civilian area of Petrovskii region of Donetsk.

It is reported that DPR authorities prevented the gathering of a constituent congress of the pro-Russian public movement "Popular Front of Donbass", which was supposed to bring together people who uphold the principles of sovereignty of the DPR and further integration of the DPR in the Russian Federation. DPR official stated that the official DPR course is a special status as part of Ukraine.

11 Aug. DPR says they shot down Ukrainian drone armed with VOG-17 grenade (ammo for AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher). They say it happened deep in their territory near Leninskoe settlement, and they accused Ukraine of planning a provocation targeting civilians

10 Aug. John Solomon's dig on Soros's EasyAccess to Democratic State Department on Ukraine/Russia matters.

9 Aug. DPR soldier who was unarmed as he performed engineering work is killed by Ukrainian large caliber machine gun and small firearms fire near Kominternovo, despite the ceasefire

7 Aug. Putin-Zelenskii phone call. Readouts: Kremlin; Kiev. Both presidents stated that (the latest) ceasefire and separation of forces must be observed (nearly identical top paragraph) Putin said that Ukrainian shelling must stop, and stressed 'exceptional importance' that Minsk agreements are fulfilled following the agreed sequence of steps, and including special status for L/DPR. In Kiev readout, Minsk never mentioned, and the need for constitutional amendments is denied. Prisoners exchange, negotiations format, and blame for some recent episodes (see Aug. 6) were also discussed.

Poroshenko returns to Ukraine, where he is facing multiple criminal investigations, including those targeting his business interests and other charges. It is reported that Poroshenko and Kolomoiskii met in early June, and that Kolomoiskii softened his criticism ("he coped with the main task - he saved the country from you").

6 Aug. Ukraine claims that 4 of their marines were killed near Mariupol by RPG fire. According to DPR source, this happened in the area of settlement Orlovskoe, near Pavlopol', Ukrainian-controlled, due to serious safety violations while unloading anti-personnel landmines. According to DPR source, this occurred some 4 km deep into Ukrainian-controlled territory, well outside RPG range.

5 Aug. Lieutenant-general Vladimir Kravhcenko appointed new head of Ukrainian "united operation forces" (ООС, =ATO-2) fighting in Donbass. Little is known about him; overseeing celebration and reconstruction of historic Konotop battle, 1659 (Wikipedia) where Moscovites were "defeated", and collaboration with Vladinir Vyakovich of the "institute of national memory" are described here. Opponents' commentary on Knotopb battle is here; in 2008, Russian FM characterized it as "a bloody battle due to yet another treason of yet another Hetman", pointing out that this Hetman ultimately failed and was executed by the Poles. Some previous participation in Donbass war, "coordinated withdrawal from Debaltsevo cauldron."

4 Aug. It is reported that Bogdan Yaremenko will be nominated for the head of Rada's committee on foreign affairs. In the opinion of Lev Vershinin, Yaremenko has high professional qualities but is a committed opponent, adherent to Ukrainian nationalism causes, and, in view of Vershinin, is US-backed. He is credited with preventing a deal of exchanging Donbass for recognition of Crimea, by publishing allegations of such a deal between Poroshenko and Putin, subsequently denied.

1 Aug. DPR PMH: Ukrainian shelling near Mariupol aimed to disrupt the ceasefire is reported. It is said that DPR did not respond, but demands that provocation are stopped, and asks for assistance of international observers

31 Jul. Opolchenie report. From Donetsk now. Ukrs begin to ignore this truce as well. Last night they fired on the village Zaitsevo and Dolomitnyy, Golmovsky, Bayrak, Russky Krai, Shirokaya Balka, area of Mine No. 6/7, Yasinovataya checkpoint from 82 mm mortars and SPG. Large-caliber guns were fired on the village Trudovskie.

28 Jul. Poroshenko follows family members and leaves Ukraine towards Turkey, waiving the security detail he is entitled to as ex-President.

27 Jul. Oleg Tsarev: at present it appears that the course is towards piece, as it is too expensive for the West to maintain Ukraine. That would mean return of economic assets to the owners, aka 'transfer of Donbass to Ukraine'. Repeats that the problem with Kolomoiskii is his role in Odessa events, May 2014.

25 Jul. DPR PMH issued a warning after receiving information that despite the ceasefire Ukraine conducted large resupply of ammunition (10,000 120-mm mortar shells -250 tonnes of cargo transported in 150 trucks at night, 20 Jul.). There also has been training exercises and resupply of Ukrainian medical units in the conflict zone.

Ukrainian SBU captured a Russian tanker NIKA SPIRIT in Danube port city of Izmail. After a strong protest by the Russian FM, the sailors were released 1 , 2 after being questioned as 'witnesses', but the ship is not released at present. Is is said that the ship came to Ukrainian port for repairs (!), and that it was earlier used to block Kerch straight passage during the naval Ukrainian provocation, 25 Nov. 2018. Russian law enforcement conducted searches in the offices of the company which sent the ship to Ukraine.

A civilian woman, Menshakova Irina Alekseevna, 1958 DOB, is killed by a landmine explosion when working on her plot of land in Zaitsevo, Gorlovka

22 Jul. Zelenski's party is the clear winner of the parliamentary elections with the chance to get enough seats to govern alone. Far second place is a pro-Russian/pro-peace "Opposition platform-for Life" (Boiko, Rabinovich, Medvedchuk) with over 10% -despite numerous and convincing appearances by Rabinovich and co. on a pro-peace and Zelesnkii-sceptical platform. The parties of Poroshenko and Timoshenko stay under 10% respectively but enter the Rada, as well as the Vakarchuk's "Voice". Other parties, including the eastern/'Russian' leaning "Opposition block" (Kernes, Trukhanov, Vilkul, Muraev, Novinskii, Kolesnikov) and Sharii party are preliminary not clearing the 5% threshold. Voter turnout is at a historical low of slightly under 50%.

20 Jul. DPR soldiers received strict hold-the-fire orders with approaching "time-indefinite" ceasefire, agreed at the contact group meeting in Minsk on July 17 and starting on July 21 (text; video report). Many previous ceasefires were short-lived, despite L/DPR doing all they can to observe those.

DPR PMH: Ukrainian shelling continues, 6 152-mm shells and 88 mortar shells fired in the past day. According to DPR, a civilian, 1958 DOB killed in Krasnogorovka a day earlier, was a result of Ukrainian nationalists shelling from the direction of a tech. college located on the same street, 500 m away, and used by UAF and nationalists as their base. However, according to DPR, Ukrainian JCCC and ATO command are preparing "fake photo and video materials" to accuse the DPR. Ukrainian media news reports are blaming DPR for this incident. Ukrainian 'Joint Forces Operation' also report that two fighters of the Ukrainian "king David" battalion have been killed by sniper fire.

Failed assassination attempt on one of DPR founders, communist leader Boris Litvinov is reported.

Rada elections tomorrow. Blogger Putnik1 comments on the up-coming Ukrainian elections (incl. polls), and chances of the party of Anatoly Sharii in particular.

16 Jul. Award-winning Oliver Stone's documentary "Revealing Ukraine"(video, Rus/Ukr) is released in Ukraine, followed by release on 19 Jul. in Russia. It includes Ukraine-related part of the interview with Putin (Rus),(Eng); interview with Medvedchuk; bits with Kachanovskii telling that protesters are to blame for the Maidan; and some commentary by Lee Stranahan. A brief kneeling episode with Zelensky at the stadium debates is flashed, but no interview, or much said about him.

Nazi weapons and signs confiscated by Italian police.

15 Jul. Italian State Police arrest a group of Nazis who have been fighting with Ukrainian Nazi battalions in Donbass against separatists. A cache of weapons and Nazi paraphernalia was confiscated, including a Matra Super 530 F, a short-to-medium range air to air missile. Western media falsely accused the Nazis of fighting alongside Russia-backed separatists.

12 Jul. Civilian woman, 1949 DOB, is killed by Ukrainian 120 mm mortar explosion near her flat, in Golmovskii settlement, near Gorlovka -report + video from the scene.

DPR ombudsman: in the past week (5-11 Jul) five people were killed (4 soldiers and a civilian woman killed in shelling of Gorlovka); 5 people were wounded (3 soldiers, a civilian man and a civilian woman).

11 Jul. Putin and Zelenskii talked on the phone for the first time- press releases by Kremlin and in Kiev. Also Putin called Zelenskii proposal on extended Normandy format "interesting", to continue that Ukrainian government needs to be formed, elections to Rada completed, and detail of any meetings worked out in advance, for this to be ' more or less' meaningful negotiations.

8 Jul. DPR PMH: Ukrainian shelling continues, including 152 mm artillery. One DPR soldier is killed in the past day. Civilian infrastructure is damaged.

Cassad reviews recent Zelenskii's proposal (=to have a meeting on ownership of Crimea and Donbass, attended by himself, Putin, Trump, May, Merkel, Makron, hosted in Minsk) as Rada elections ploy, not even expected to work. Grossly politically-incorrect response by Strelkov, who imagines himself waking up in Putin's shoes and responding as Putin, mentally "writes back" with a counter-proposal to discus stratus of places like Odessa, with attendees on his side are the likes of Kadyrov, Assad, Kim Jong-un, and with the meeting hosted by Kadyrov in Chechnya.

Peskov declined to provide an immediate answer.

5 Jul. DPR ombudsman: in the past week (29 June-4 July) 7 DPR soldiers are killed, 7 people (6 soldiers and a civilian man) are wounded.

Zelenskii visited Donetsk region 'on the occasion of "liberation" of Slavynsk and Kramatorsk' and introduced (in Russian-video) Pavel/Pavlo Kirilenko, the new governor of the Ukrainian-held part of Donetsk region. Kirilenko parents and his brother live in DPR; he broke up with his brother due to 'political differences', according to Zelenskii. Zelenskii presented a position that there are same people on both sides and talked about stopping fire, but not with enough detail or strength to make it convincing (in the end of the day things on the ground is what matters, and they move towards getting worse, not better).

4 Jul. Putin's answer to a question on conditions to meet Zelenskii (Corriere della Sera).

2 Jul. Security situation remains bad, no stopping to Ukrainian shelling all over the separation line, wounded civilians, houses destroyed.

Trudovskaya minepit area was shelled by Ukraine from Mar'inka, a civilian wounded, 3 homes damaged, a car of one of the residents destroyed. Journalists arriving to film the incident came under Ukrainian fire, apparently to prevent filming -video

1 Jul. Alexandr Kots: 'one Ukrainian channel' claims that Ukrainian special operation forces kidnapped "former head of air defense 1 of Slavyansk brigade Tsemah Vladimir Borisovich", who, they stress, was in Snezhnoe at the time of MH17 crash. It is said that he was drugged and transported in a handicapped trolley via Marinka checkpoint (variant: in his own car, presented as a 'paralized father'). It is feared that he will be further drugged/tortured to give 'evidence' on MH17, there are also fears for his safety and that without publicity he may be disappeared.

  • Strelkov on social media confirms that kidnapping occurred; says that only ZU-23-2 and "Zu 'Utyos' have been under his command.
  • On 4 Jul. , BBC Rus. publishes a story largely similar to the above, quoting attorney defending Tsemakh in Ukraine, who volunteers that Tsemakh was arrested on the Constitution day in Ukraine, but no other info, quoting 'confidentiality of investigation' (and this is the attorney supposedly on Tsemakh side, remember).

It appears that Ukraine staged an attack on its own ambulance vehicle(s) prior to another round of ceasefire and prisoners exchange negotiations. In the first incident, Ukraine published photos of a burnt Hummer vehicle which they (incl. Zelenskii) say is an ambulance hit by DPR anti-tank missile, killing two on board. Subsequently at DPR briefing it was pointed out (video/photos) that this Hummer has a machine gun platform seen on photos (machine gun itself is not); that it lacks (parts of) transmission and wheels, not consistent with anti-tank missile hit; and that the names of those allegedly killed is no in Ukrainian report on daily losses. DPR said it is a not road-worthy vehicle purposely destroyed by a mine explosion to blame DPR. On 2 Jul., another report came that another Ukrainian ambulance was fired on by a sniper, wounding those on board; DPR denied this report as well and called it a provocation. The contact group meeting (2 Jul.) failed to come to an agreement on ceasefire and POWs.

27 Jun. Late evening urgent report by DPR PMQ representative. DPR and Russian journalists filming ceasefire violations and damage of a house in Alexandrovka settlement came under double-tap Ukrainian mortar shelling, and had to seek cover in the damaged house. Another DPR journalist recorded Ukrainian use of banned incendiary munitions near Gorlovka. A civilian man, 1966 DOB, is wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Veseloe settlement.

Civilian woman received shrapnel stomach wounds when Ukrainian mortar shell exploded near her house. She is hospitalized, with positive prognosis (report/video).

Medvedchuk meets L/DPR leaders in Minsk on the issue of prisoners exchange. After the meeting a unilateral release is announced of 4 Ukrainian POWs charged in L/DPR with serious crimes. There is no indication that Medvedchul mission is coordinated with Zelenskii team.

26 Jun. Ukrainian shelling continues, and is reported daily. Today, long -suffering Zaitsevo near Gorlovka was shelled yet again, setting homes on fire. Mayor of Gorlovka Prihodko has been visiting the area when it was shelled again from AGS. Yesterday, 13 years old girl was wounded. On 24 June, 122 mm artillery shelling, and regular targeting of Donetsk water filtering station (storing chlorine) is reported. Opolchenine sources continue to describe clashes and losses caused by Ukrainian forces capturing grey areas, resulting in close proximity of opposing forces.

25 Jun. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has voted to approve Russia's return.

19 Jun. Dutch prosecutors have announced international arrest warrants and criminal charges against three Russians and a Ukrainian whom they accuse of being part of a chain of Russian military and political command leading to the downing of MH17. Among the four is Igor Strelkov. John Helmer: the subjunctive and conditional tenses, plus Ukrainian Secret Service tapes.

16 Jun. DPR People's Militia Headquarters (PMH) representative: we received information from sources "close to Ukrainian MoD" about planned provocation which involves shelling of positions of 93 UAF brigade in Avdeevka, withdrawn in advance, and civilian infrastructure in nearby area, followed by prepared false reporting blaming DPR. This provocation is aimed to disrupt possible peaceful settlement agreements at the next contact group meeting on June 19. (Rus., Robo-Eng.)

In the evening, Ukraine shelled northern Donetsk (including Spartak and Donetsk airport). 82 and 120 mm mortars, SPG-9, ZU-23 were used, and an anti-tank missile was fired, exploding in the backyard of a house on Grekova St. 111. A summer kitchen in another residential house on Baskirskaya St. was destroyed. Luckily, no casualties are reported (DPR PMH)(Cassad).

According to opolchenie sources (Marina Kharkova and social media comments), DPR forces are under strict orders not to respond and to comply with Minsk agreements on heavy weapons withdrawal. They only respond in exceptional cases after numerous verifications with superiors. In the meantime, Ukrainian forces occupied grey area zones and moved their positions right next to L/DPR. There are quite significant military and civilian casualties as a result.

10 Jun. Putin comments on Zelenskii at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (video, Eng. subs).

9 Jun. For the past day, DPR MoD reports (Rus, robo-Eng. Ukrainian shelling by 152 and 122 mm artillery, 120 and 82 mm mortars, BMP guns, grenade launchers, small firearms. Two civilians are wounded, a man 1968 DOB and a woman, 1959 DOB. At least two residential homes are destroyed, and 12 damaged. A 17 years old male is seriously injured, said to be trying to dismantle an unidentified explosive device (report, photos).

6 Jun. Rada voted down removal of heads of FM, MoD and SBU submitted by Zelenskii

5 Jun. Ukraine shelled residential area of Gagarin mine pit, near Gorlovka. In the past day, one DPR soldier was killed and one wounded by Ukrainian shelling. It is said that Ukraine launched an armed drone to attack Islamic holiday prayer gathering in Tekstilshiki, Donetsk, and that drone was shot down; photographs are presented.

Zelenskii is to meet with oligarchs, "one at a time", with a separate meeting on investing in Donbass. He says that Viktor Pinchuk stopped by, "in connection with" Leonid Kuchma, who has been (re) appointed the official Ukrainian negotiator in Minsk, Little progress was achieved with him in his previous informal role at those negotiations; it is unclear whether it will change now. It is noted that Pinchuk is married to Kuchma's daughter. Pinchuk and Kuchma entourages are said to be seen at the president administration offices on 26 May; Kuchma was appointed on 3 June.

4 Jun. It is reported (with photos, video from the scene, and interview with Rashid Bragin, chairman of Muslim community of Donetsk ) that a mosque in Donetsk was shelled today at 7:30 am, on the day of Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) celebration. 4 shells landed in or close to the mosque. That was an hour before the morning prayer. Large number of people were to attend the prayer, coming to Donetsk from nearby places. At the time of the shelling, mosque was being prepared and about 1/3 of expected number were already present, including 10 or so children in the courtyard. Luckily no one was hurt.

(From the horse's mouth'): Zelenskii, in English, at the press conference in Brussels with NATO secretary general.

3 Jun. Eduard Dolinsky: This is the footage of the attack of National Corpus, a political wing of Neo-Nazi military formation battalion Azov, on the office of Ukrainian Jewish Committee in Kharkiv.

2 Jun. DPR MoD: Despite all claims by Zelenskii on peaceful settlement of the conflict, after his visit of the punitive operation zone the shelling by Ukraine considerably increased. Ukrainian military commanders in the 'joint forces operation zone' are totally uncontrolled and obey the old corrupt power. Zelensky as a new commander-in-chief does not command authority of those war criminals. In the last 5 days, victims of deliberate shelling by Ukraine include 7 civilians, 2 of them children.

1 Jun. Civilian man, 1959 DOB is wounded when Ukraine fired 82 mm mortars on Leninskoe settlement

31 May. DPR ombudsman: in the period 24-30 May, 5 DPR soldiers were killed, 5 people (1 soldier, a civilian man, a civilian woman, and 2 children) were wounded. From the start of the year, 80 people were killed (75 of them soldiers) and 81 wounded (58 soldiers).

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad calls the investigation into the MH17 downing "politicized" and complains that Malaysia was not allowed to see the black box data.

30 May. Civilian man, 52 years old, and a girl, 7 1/2 are wounded when Ukrainian -fired anti-tank missile landed in their garden (report and video). Luckily their injuries are quite light, but there is a deep hole in the ground left by the missile.

28 May. Pushilin: to stop the war, Zelenskii needs to do something else. He needs to take tough measures against the Ukrainian radicals, but, in his opinion, "Zelenskii has no such opportunities". There has been no contacts between Ukraine and DPR, and no improvement in fulfilling Minsk agreements.

27 May. Ukrainian drone strike on a residential home in Gorlovka is reported, wounding a 70 years old civilian woman.

DPR MoD: Ukrainian 120 mm mortar fire damaged 3 homes in settlements of Golmovsky, Zaitsevo, Dokuchaevsk. DPR MoD also reports on shelling in other areas, and details about Ukrainian RSG group apprehended earlier, said to be with an assistance from an insider.

26 May. FT: Kolomoiskii urges Zelenskii to reject IMF austerity program and default on debt.

25 May. DPR MoD: 20 ceasefire violations, a lot of shelling, including artillery, in the past day. Ukraine fired a hundred 122 mm artillery shells and 72 mortar shells of 120 and 82 caliber on DPR settlements. BMP and small arms fire also reported.

US gives Ukraine two more firefinder/counter-battery radars AN/TPQ-36, bringing the total to 13 firefinder radars since 2014.

Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch straight of 25 Nov. 2018: UN maritime tribunal orders provisional measures (118, p/29) against Russia. Media coverage: 1, 2, 3). Implementation of the ruling is in doubt. Russia did not take part in the hearing, and rejected the findings, stating that procedures are not applicable. A lone dissenting opinion of the Russian judge on the tribunal here.

24 May. DPR ombudsman: in the period 17-23 May, 2 DPR soldiers were killed, 7 were wounded.

23 May. JCCC reports Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk suburbs, mortars, BMP guns, anti-tank missiles, RPG, AGS, SPG, large caliber machine guns and small firearms.

Journo: Volodymyr Oleksandrovych (Zelenskii), will there be negotiations with Russia? Zelenskii: -Ni- (No).

22 May. New Ukrainian presidential administration chief Andrey Bogdan stated that the government is considering to hold national referendum on peace agreements with Russia (; video).

In a recent poll, majority consider ceasefire in Donbass as very important (88,4%) support direct dialogue with Russia (75%) and L/DPR (55,4%), accept concessions to achieve peace (65,3%). Support for all-Ukrainian referendum on status of Donbass territories not controlled by the government is at 49,2%.

20 May. Zelenskii assumed his duties; announced disbanding of Rada; claimed he would 'do all for peace', with the first step, 'return of all Ukrainian prisoners', second step 'return of our lands', 'Crimea and Donbass are Ukrainian lands'.

Zelenski to Rada (to wild applause turned anxious silence) I very much ask you to adopt a law on the removal of parliamentary immunity, a law on criminal liability for illegal enrichment, a long-suffering electoral code, and please make open lists. And also I ask you to dismiss the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. And this is not all that you can do, but for the beginning it is enough. You will have two months for this. Do it and give yourself the medals, and good points for early parliamentary elections. (As) I dissolve the Supreme Rada of the eighth convocation (video).

Russell "Texas" Bentley publishes his interview with UK journalist Dean O'Brien who has been visiting the DPR for a week after he has reported from Kiev for years.

17 May. Ukraine shelled Pervomaisk, LPR. A male civilian is wounded. Roof of kindergarten no. 4 and a college building are damaged.

According to DPR head Alexandr Pushilin (RIA interview) DPR investigators has found who has organized, ordered, and executed the assassination of the previous DPR head Alexandr Zakharchenko. He did not named those, but indicated that they include 'very high ranking citizens of Ukraine' and 'citizens of other countries which provide support to Ukraine'. In Nov. 2018, Kremlin spokesman Peskov stated that 'there are no grounds not to trust' the DPR investigation.

16 May. After Rada vote, Zelenski's inauguration is set for 20 May.

Ukrainian representative in Minsk negotiations Irina Gerashenko (Wikipedia; not a physical family with Anton Gerashenko; kneeling-on-a-flight at the debates here) announced that she is resigning.

Kolomoiski returned to Ukraine from Israel

12 May .14:20-14:50. Ukraine fired two anti -tank missiles on Dokuchaevsk from their position in Novotroitskoe. This is continuation of shelling of Dokuchaevsk, Gorlovka, and other areas, in continued violations of Minsk agreements since those agreements were signed. See also Strelkov, 8 May

6 May. British ship, HMS "Echo", arrived to the port of Odessa for 3 days, "as a psychological safeguard" for the approaching V-Day, 9 May (the traditional Soviet date). The Hydrographic survey ship was deployed to the Black sea following a November 2018 meeting between UK and Ukranian defence ministers.

5 May. DPR MoD (rext/photo)(video): Ukrainian RSG group was discovered. In the ensuing firefight, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and up to 3 wounded, the rest fled, leaving one wounded soldier behind. That soldier received medical assistance but died of his wounds. Two Kalashnikov guns with silencer were discovered on the battlefield, their serial numbers are shown on photos and video.

2 May. On the anniversary of May 2, 2014 Odessa massacre, UNHR issued a report critical of the official Ukrainian investigation.

Zelensky responds to Putin comments that Russia and Ukraine have a lot in common and a common citizenship (following announced by both sides issuance of passports) is good. Zelensky: (Ukr. ), (Rus.) : "after annexation of Crimea and the aggression in Donbass", the only common thing we have is the border.

Oleg Tsarev: Odessa massacre (2 May, 2014) "organized by Kolomoiskii".

27 Apr. Putin comments on meeting Zelenski at a press conference following his visit to China (Eng. , highlighted)

24 Apr. Putin signed a decree on simplified procedure of receiving Russian passports for Donbass residents

22 Apr. Zelensky promised to 'reset' Minsk process (despite that some of his recent comments raise doubt on whether he has read the agreement -Talk). He also said (Rus. text, video) that his number one task is return of the prisoners (indeed very pressing yet doable matter; treatment of pro-Russia prisoners has been very bad; and this is never a good situation to be in, in any case). He also said that he plans an info-offensive to stop the war in Donbass, and has some creative ideas, asking for journalists to help, and mentioning that his comedy show was once prevented from visiting Mariupol. It remains to be seen whether and how severe problems in Donbass can be resolved by talk-showmanship, but intentions/momentum are so far somewhat more promising than seen on the ground in the 5 years under Poroshenko.

21 Apr. Poroshenko accepted elections loss, with exit polls 73 to 25 in favor of Zelenskii.

DPR medic Lilia Egamberdieva. Killed 19 Apr.

19 Apr. At 18:00, two Ukrainian RSG groups attempted to penetrate DPR defence lines near Oktaibrskoe. They were discovered. Part of the group detonated on a minefield, killing 3 and wounding two. It is said that (overall?) 4 Ukrainian soldiers killed and 5 wounded. DPR losses, 3 killed. A female medic, Lilia Egamberdieva, tried to rescue two heavily wounded DPR soldiers; eventually she called fire on herself firing from a machine gun at a distance from wounded soldiers. All 3 were killed after a massive Ukrainian strike.

Live stream presidential debates, Olimpiisky stadium, Kiev, starting at 19:00 in Kiev (video with Russ. transl.), (Rus. text). Another debate was scheduled at a TV station, 21:00; but Zelensky did not confirmed attendance, and eventually Poroshenko debated himself.

18 Apr. Zelensky interview to RBK Ukraine, discussed in Talk.

Court in Kiev ruled that nationalization of Kolomoiskyi's "PrivatBank" was illegal. Bank of Ukraine disagrees and will appeal.

17 Apr. Ukrainian MP Rybchinsky: "Poroshenko is preparing a coup."

Lutsenko provided details of the meeting with US Amb. Marie Yovanovitch, which he earlier described as receiving a 'do not prosecute list'. In his new detailed version, they had a heated verbal exchange with Yovanovitch, after her comments that prosecution of a certain anti-corruption activist undermines public trust in such activists.

15 Apr. Nadezhda Savchenko and respected Ukrainian negotiator Vladimir Ruban, accused of plotting against the Ukrainian authorities and arrested in March 2018, have been freed by a court decision in Kiev-reports + videos 1, 2, 3.

14 Apr. Poroshenko "debates" himself at the 'Olympiiskii" stadium, as he and Zelensky could not agree on the debate time + venue (stream).

9 Apr. DPR MoD: a soldier was killed by Ukrainian mortar fire. DPR returned fire using 'non-prohibited weapons', destroying firing positions of the adversary. Reportedly 4 UAF soldiers were killed and 3 wounded. It is said that 'Azov' regiment and 'Aidar' assault battalion arrived to Donbass, to the zone of responsibility of 53 mechanized brigade, UAF, near Gorlovka. Those nationalist forces are said to be responsible for the shelling of Golmovsky settlement from BMP which resulted in loss of electric power for 3000 civilians, and damaged a house; a civilian woman was wounded earlier in Zaitsevo.

DPR returned fire and "destroyed the BMP"; it is said that one man called Mikola Nezhivyi is killed and 2 heavily wounded. In Ukrainian version of events (video,, Mikola Nezhivyi was killed near Avdeevka. They were firing on DPR positions from easel anti-tank grenade launcher; DPR responded with anti-tank missile, killing him and wounding two others. Also reported: near Zaitsevo, during de-mining of the area near the water supply of the pump station Seversky Donets - Donbass, one Ukrainian sapper was killed when a mine exploded, two others were wounded.

Poroshenko speaks Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, trying to get reelected (but it is 'too little too late').

8 Apr. DPR MoD: as a result of Ukrainian forces shelling of Zaitsevo and Staromikhailovka, two civilian women are wounded. DPR returned fire using 'non-prohibited weapons'; reportedly 3 UAF soldiers were killed and 1 wounded.

7 Apr. DPR MoD accused Poroshenko and 79 separate paratroopers assault brigade, UAF, of an attempted provocation, aimed to raise Poroshenko's reelection chances. At 8:30, two reconnaissance and sabotage groups, 15-20 men each, advanced in the direction Pishevik-Oktaibr'. One group was tasked in provoking DPR to return fire, while the other group task was to 'ensure' civilian casualties at 'Oktiabr' check-point , with DPR blamed for those deaths. The RSG groups were discovered early and fired on. Losses are being verified.

5 Apr. Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk, Volvo center area, "Trudovskaya" mine-pit, Veseloe settlement. Mortars, AGS, firearms were used. Donetsk city hospital 21 is damaged. A civilian man is wounded,

4 Apr. After floating several excuses not to do it, Poroshenko eventually responded in kind and accepted Zelensky's strongly-presented challenge to debate at a stadium, in a carefully staged video of his own. Drugs/substances test is expected, with details negotiated.

3 Apr. Yesterday Ukraine cut water supply to Dokuchaevsk and Yelenovka, affecting 25,00 people, despite the fact that targeting civilian infrastructure or utilities is a war crime.

Noted, according to a later report, water supply to Dokuchaevsk was restored, at 7 p.m.

NATO sends ships on a visit to Odessa, discuss accompanying Ukrainian ships to stage another provocation in Kerch straights, which may be seen as a fruitless attempt to lift fortunes of the failing Poroshenko reelection campaign with this demonstrative Western backing.

2 Apr. Timoshenko says (1, 2, video) that "Poroshenko falsified elections regarding his result", but she will not challenge the results in courts, as she does not have trust in Ukrainian courts, as they are. With this, Zelensky and Poroshenko advance to the second round. Timoshenko won't back either of them (earlier Zelensky denied reports that negotiations giving Timoshenko a significant role in the government are on-going).

1 Apr. On April's fool day, Ukraine's decision not to renew friendship treaty with Russia comes into force.

Highlights from the past

30 Apr. U.S. Confirms Delivery Of Javelin Antitank Missiles To Ukraine

Poroshenko announced end of ATO and start of 'joint operation of armed forces', which is aimed at 'defending territorial integrity' and will only end 'when the last piece of Ukrainian land is liberated, including Crimea', which is somehow supposed to happen by 'political-diplomatic means'.


More videos on talk page


  • Recent history in a nutshell in those photos to the right:
Poroshenko, Kiska - EU entry at Uzhgorod
Alley of Angels, in memory of killed children of Donbass. Ukraine "über alles"?-Donetsk Partisan
Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev
  • Aftermaths of Ukrainian shelling of the village Zheltoe (Yellow), LPR, 29 Nov. 2016 lug-info.


Note on sources. At present, pro -Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources more often than not offer opposing claims on events, and a choice needs to be made. Currently factual part of reporting by pro-Russian sources appear more accurate, complete, and closer to truth, out of the two available alternatives. It is also less known, as the other side has greater support by the Western mass media. For that reason, a lot of reporting here is based on Russian sources. It is not done for the sake of supporting any pre-determined narrative. If and when Ukrainian sources appear more accurate, they will be used without a reservation.

Some Ukrainian source reporting is very good, for example Tatyana Montyan numerous videos, some of them translated, are spot-on and at times appear closer to reality than any pro-this or that narratives. However the bulk of Ukrainian media is unreliable, and often just unbelievable, not passing cross checks (e.g. as was illustrated numerous times by well-read on both sides Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Sharii); or else, is filled with hate and may cheer more people harmed or killed (any of such sort, from any side, is totally unsupported here).


Official Ukrainian sources

Ukrainian media


Minsk Agreements

Safety zone (no heavy weapons) agreed at Normandy format meeting in Minsk, 12.02.2015. Black: current front line; red-19 September line. At the bottom it says: source: the web site of the President of Russia


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Archive 2017
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Archive 2015
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Ukraine (2014 - Today)

ACLOS has covered events in Ukraine since the 2014 regime change and through the ensuing conflict. Three most important subjects among many considered:

  • Maidan snipers February, 2014 Analyzing the mysterious February, 2014 shootings that helped demonize Ukraine's government at just the right time.
  • Odessa Trade Union massacre May 2, 2014 Analyzing the killing of dozens of pro-federalism activists in Odessa, which the civilized world shrugged at and ignored. (based on numerous videos of the event, documented authorities response, and witness interviews; still mostly on talk pages).
  • MH17 (2014, July - Today)
Followed from the very beginning. However still remains mostly on talk page, sub-pages, and sub-page talk pages.

Kobane (2014, July, September - Summer 2015)

Main article: Assault on Kobane
Kobane water cannon.jpg

A very similar chain of events like years before in Ras Al-Ayn (see below), only this time it made the news (months after we started the article). Not least because this time, the attackers call themselves part of ISIS, the "newly arrived" enemy of all that's good and decent.

Ras Al-Ayn (November 8, 2012 - Summer 2013)

Main article: Assault on Ras Al-Ayn
Sere kaniye burial.jpg

Ras Al-Ayn, directly at the Turkish border in the north-east, early November 2012: The Kurdish dominated and mostly self-governed town gets assaulted by hundreds of Islamist fighters coming across the border from Turkey, under the eyes and with help of the Turkish military. After typical sectarian assaults on the civilian population, Kurdish militia takes up the fight against the foreigners. In the process of the following weeks, the town sees shelling by both the Syrian and the Turkish army, several defeats of the Islamists with retreat behind the Turkish border, and finally a fragile truce. On January 16, again large groups of foreign fighters with tanks cross the Turkish border and heavy clashes break out. After a month of heavy fighting, another peace agreement is signed on February 17. Five months later, following an Islamist attack on female Kurdish fighters, heavy clashes lead to the final conquer of the border station by the Kurds, which leads to increasing tensions in other parts of the region.

Tremseh (July 12, 2012)

Main article: Tremseh massacre
Confiscated tunisian passports.jpg

When news of this alleged massacre reached the media, it came with alarming numbers of up to 300 civilians murdered in the small village of Tremseh northwest of Hama. In the following hours and days, both pro- and anti-government sources helped to clear the picture of what is now mostly called the "Battle of Tremseh" between the army and anti-government fighters who had used the village as their base for operations in the region. The real death toll seems to be some civilians caught in the crossfire and a couple of dozen killed anti-government fighters. In addition, many including foreigners were arrested and their arms and equipment confiscated.

Other research...