Dmitry Tymchuk: Military update 1.24 #FreeSavchenko

information_resistance_logo_engDmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Operational data from Information Resistance:

The situation in the conflict zone in Donbas remains extremely tense. After unsuccessful assaults and losses incurred on the Krasnohorivka Avdiivka stretch, the Russian-terrorists forces command moved their efforts to the north of the stretch, attacking from the Ozeryanivka – Mykhailivka line in the direction of Troitske. As a result of the battle, the enemy moved forward and occupied the settlement of Krasnyi Partyzan, but was unable to advance to Troitske, having found itself under the fire of the Ukrainian artillery.

At the same time, the enemy is amassing its forces in the area of Yasynuvata. In particular, a task group of Russian-terrorist troops arrived (according to our preliminary data, a combined BTG [battalion task group] with a reinforced tank company from the one of the mechanized infantry brigades of the RF Western Military District) in the area (between Yasynuvata and Panteleimonivka). The task group includes up to 25 combat fighting vehicles (CFVs, including BTR-80 and BMP-2), as well as a two-battery mixed artillery battalion (6 D-30 howitzers and 6 MLRS units of BM-21 “Grad”).

As a result of intense artillery fire, Russian-terrorist artillery groups operating in Donetsk and north of the city have expended a substantial portion of their ammunition. Based on our observations, some of these units are changing firing positions, and all are actively receiving supplies of munitions, delivered from Russia to Donbas by railway and then, by motor transport, directly to the [enemy] positions.

On the Krymske Slovyanoserbsk stretch, fighting has continued throughout the past 24 hours – between advance units of Ukrainian troops who are defending the Siverskyi Donets river line and springboard, and formations of insurgent and Russian troops who attempted attacks. Both sides actively exchanged artillery fire. We observed extensive use of armored vehicles and artillery by the enemy. Namely, up to 25 tanks and 40 other armored vehicles are operating in the area between Novotoshkivske and Smile settlements, as well as a Russian-terrorist artillery group consisting of 35 artillery units (including 12 units of the BM-21 “Grad” MLRS). In this area, the enemy prefers to operate with several small maneuverable strike groups, trying to bypass and block the positions and checkpoints of Ukrainian troops. In turn, Ukrainian troops are delivering a heavy barrage of artillery fire, and repel any enemy groups attempting to pierce the Ukrainian lines with brief and powerful counterattacks.

After regrouping formations operating in the seaside sector, the command of Russian-terrorist troops has [once] again attempted to initiate active offensive operations north and northeast of Mariupol, with the primary focus on the stretch between the settlements of Chermalyk – Pavlopil – Sartana [Donetsk region]. The enemy strike task group operating in this area uses a single control center to coordinate its activities with a tank group operating directly in the Mariupol direction. The control center in question is located north of Novoazovsk. On the advanced positions, the enemy amassed about 30 armored vehicles (including 8 tanks) in the area of Pavlopil, and up to 15 armored vehicles (including 6 tanks) near Mariupol. Overall, between 800 and 1,000 insurgents and Russian mercenaries operate in the Mariupol direction.

Directly on the Ukrainian-Russian border in the vicinity of Novoazovsk, is a concentrated reserve of Russian-terrorist forces intended to replenish any potential losses in the event of an offensive and to resupply advancing task groups (including the [already] deployed additional artillery systems, armored vehicles and “infantry” units – mostly insurgents, who recently underwent training in Crimea and Russia). The overall capacity of this reserve approximates the size of a combined motorized battalion task group.

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB


Posted in Dmitry Tymchuk, English, English News, South&Eastern Ukraine, War in Donbas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nadezhda Savchenko: “I am on hunger strike to get some common sense out of the Russian government and conscience from the Investigative Committee #FreeSavchenko

By Zoya Svetova, Russian journalist, writer, producer and human rights activist
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

The Ukrainian pilot, who for 26 days now is on hunger strike in a Moscow SIZO–6 [detention center #6], described to Zoya Svetlova how she spent New Year’s and Christmas, her unanswered requests to investigators and how she has not received any letters for over two months now.

A freshly-painted green four-person cell in a special block of a women’s detention centre in Pechatniki District. In the cell there is 24-hour video surveillance. Here for over three months Nadiya Savchenko sits in solitary confinement. She is on the 26th day of her hunger strike; she drinks only tea and water. A few days ago the doctors put her on a drip with glucose.

-       How do you feel?

–       OK. Every day a doctor comes to me, weighs me, takes my blood for sugar levels, measures blood pressure. Today it was 110 by 70. Usually I have the same blood pressure. During the hunger strike I have lost 10 kg [approx. 22.5lbs]. Now I am drinking tea – the water has acquired a strange taste.

-       Why have you declared a hunger strike and how long are you planning to keep going?

–       I am on hunger strike to get some common sense out of the Russian government and conscience out of the Investigative Committee. I feel sorry that you have such judges who make such decisions: in the presence of evidence of my innocence, they leave me in custody.

-       When I was talking to the Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov in Lefortovo prison, he gave you his greetings and said that he does not understand why you are starving yourself. He does not believe that a hunger strike can achieve anything.

–       Pass on to Sentsov that it is better to do at least something than not to do anything.

-       If the prison doctors feel that your life is in danger, they may begin to force feed you…

–       I wrote to the head of the detention facility, to the Prosecutor General, to the Investigative Committee: if they force feed me, I will consider the force feeding to be torture.

-       You underwent a psychiatric examination in the Serbsky Institute. What were the results of the examination?

–       The examination showed that I am mentally healthy. I was surprised that the psychiatrists, during the examination, used an interview of a priest who accuses me of wanting to sell the organs of prisoners. I first saw this priest on television. How can a man of God lie like that? If they take such witness testimonies into account, then a person can be kept in custody their whole life.

-       Why are they not transferring you back to the Voronezh cell? Is there some investigative work being carried out with you here, in Moscow?

–       For the duration of the investigation I will be in Moscow, after all the case is being run by the Investigative Committee of Russia, and it is more convenient for them if I am here. First they wanted to hide me in Voronezh, but nothing came of that. Now they are conducting examinations: an examination of my clothing, they want to find traces of mortar on it. In vain: they won’t find any traces on it. Another examination: they found some maps of the local area with some notes. Wanted to take samples of my handwriting, trying to prove that these were my notes. Let them show me these maps, then, maybe, I will show them samples of my handwriting.

-       How did you spend the New Year and Christmas?

–       I cut out snowflakes and hung them on the walls. Made a Christmas tree out of cardboard (from the toilet paper roll – OR). I’ve only removed it today. [I] Drew some pictures for the New Year: a tree, a snowman and a sheep. For Christmas – a landscape: a house, people walking around and angels in the sky. Remember how Gogol described yuletide in “Evenings On a Farm Near Dikanka”? On television, some fragments of information. Today I found out about the terrible events in Paris. The people who did this have no sense of humour.

-       Do you receive letters from home?

–       I have not received any letters for two months now (RosUznik, a volunteer initiative designed to offer assistance to detainess, told the members of ONK [Public Oversight Commission] Moscow that several letters have been sent to Nadezhda Savchenko to detention center #6, and from the detention center at the end of December there was an answer that the letters were given to her – OR). Before the New Year I sent several e-mails to Russian people I don’t know who wrote to me. I don’t know whether they received my e-mails.

The main thing that worries me: the investigator does not let me call my sister Vera. She is forbidden entry into Russia. On January 12 it is her birthday. I would want to call her and congratulate her: with the New Year, and Christmas, and her birthday. I have seen my mum for 20 minutes in the Serbsky Institute. But my sister – no. I have written many times already to the Investigative Committee, asking that they let me call my sister. There is no answer.

Nadezhda Savchenko. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/AFP

Nadezhda Savchenko. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/AFP

Source: OpenRussia


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Hope for Nadiya Savchenko: Global Action January 26 #FreeSavchenko

By Voices of Ukraine

“This is not suicide but the only method of fighting available to me.” –Nadiya Savchenko

Yesterday (Jan. 11), Mark Feygin, the attorney for Nadiya Savchenko–a former Ukrainian pilot and now Member of Parliament who was kidnapped and abducted to Russia and is being illegally held on false charges as a Russian captive (perhaps hostage is closer to it)–tweeted an open call for worldwide participation in the January 26th global campaign to support Savchenko, now on her 31st day of a hunger strike in a Russian prison. 4 days ago she was put into solitary confinement for continuing her hunger strike. She takes only warm water and recently a glucose drip, adding only a cup of tea for Ukrainian Christmas. Today (Jan. 12), her lawyer Mark Feygin finally got a chance to meet with Savchenko with an intention to try to get her to stop the hunger strike, as she’s stated she wants to continue until the 26th. Previously, such entreaties by Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko were not heeded by Savchenko. And today, she reiterated that she will continue her hunger strike until she is on Ukraine’s soil or dies in a Russian prison. “I have given my word that ‘Until the day I return to Ukraine, or until the last day of my life in Russia!’ and I will not back down, otherwise what value would my words have?! - she writes in her letter today. (Full translation of her letter here).

Nadiya Savchenko is an elected member of Parliament (Batkivshchyna Party), the hope is that with full delegate authority in PACE she will gain diplomatic immunity and the government of the Russian Federation should release her from custody. This was announced by her lawyer. However, that immunity may only exist for the delegate’s country of origin and not extend to Russia as Russian authorities are claiming. PACE President Anne Brasseur is visiting Kyiv on January 15-16 and perhaps some possibilities may still be worked out.

Mark Feygin also wrote on his Twitter:
“On January 26, the opening day of the PACE session, [I] call to enter the global rally in support of Savchenko, around the world.”

In a separate tweet he also wrote that for the January 26th action there are “no chiefs, no organizers, and so on.” “Coordinate yourselves, organize yourselves” – the lawyer added.

On January 5, social networks launched an online action in support of Savchenko. Activists created and disseminated materials with information about the Ukrainian pilot/MP in Twitter and Facebook networks, with the hashtag #FreeSavchenko. Actions under this hashtag are initiated by British activist Alex King @Glasnost Gone who’s been working very hard to get the word out and to compile statistics and videos on some key Ukrainian issues, Savchenko’s imprisonment being one of them. He is joined by many others including Voices of Ukraine ( and EuromaidanPress (@EMPR), Digital Maidan was asked by the lawyers to help put a twitter storm together as well, and so on outward through the networks of contacts everyone has, in a rhizomatic fashion. Multitudes of other activists have been working enthusiastically on Twitter and in letter writing to media, politicians and PACE members as well. The idea being that a lot of smaller community organizations are now beginning to unite across borders to combine efforts and speak as one united powerful voice for Ukraine on pressure point issues. Please continue to do so within all of your organizations for this action! As Alex King says:

“I joined twitter to try and unite people; to get us all shouting with one voice. Ukrainians all over the world now feel part of something and can help Ukraine. We fight for Nadiya, but by doing so we fight for Ukraine and keep her in the news.”

Currently, there have been around 150,000 tweets since #FreeSavchenko was started on November 19, 2014 and by the 26th this should increase to 200,000. The goal is to reach 1 million tweets on January 26th. As King states, “Much of the media ignore Twitter, campaigns/trends come and go, but its hard to ignore 1 Million Tweets. Also its impossible for the Kremlin to discredit, as the proof is there for all too see. The aim is to get Nadiya front and center in the world news on Jan 26th.

Other goals are to raise global awareness of her plight as her hunger strike continues, to put pressure on media and politicians to raise their voices in outrage over her continued imprisonment under falsified charges and that of other Ukrainian political prisoners of war being held illegally by Russia (it is said that Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is supposed to be released sometime this month by RF authorities but it is entirely unclear when). The Ukrainian captives are unable to get POW status because they are caught in a loophole without an official declaration of war or invasion by either side in this situation. This would de facto make them hostages, even though they are clearly POWs and political prisoners.

On January 26th:
Please have a selfie image like the ones below holding up the #FreeSavchenko hashtag sign prepared to tweet on or before January 26. Take it to hold near something iconic where you live, use your own language as well as the hashtag, let us know where you’re from in the world! Put it on your puppy or cat. The purpose of this kind of photo is to give the media some human interest images to show if they report on the action (and we want to encourage them to report as much as possible as one of the goals of the Twitter storm), so remember to also tweet it to your local or favorite media people. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #FreeSavchenko for every single tweet! We need to take the total tweets to 1 million together! And keep tweeting and retweeting the ones at #FreeSavchenko.

If you don’t use Twitter, please feel free to send your images here or post them to our Voices of Ukraine–Official FB page.

Jarema and Veronica Polataiko. Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Jarema and Veronica Polataiko. Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Ewa Janowicz: Poland is here. I`m with you, I'm with Nadiya. Use my pic if you want

Ewa Janowicz: Poland is here. I`m with you, I’m with Nadiya. Use my pic if you want

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

 “But I want to reassure you that I have never been weak and never will be! They cannot break my spirit, and I’m not going to get into battle with the prison guards!  The main thing is to hold out in spirit, and my physical strength will recover. .. And if God has need for something else, then so be it … the loss of one fighter is a very great loss, but it is in no way a lost war!  Ukraine will win!” –Nadiya Savchenko (January 12 letter from prison)


Kharkiv Human Rights Group: Nadiya Savchenko will not end her hunger strike nor let them break her spirit

Kharkiv Human Rights Group: Write to PACE: Nadiya Savchenko has been on hunger strike for 29 days

Washington Post, UA News: Russia’s illegal prisoners of war 


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#FreeSavchenko #サフチェンコ に自由を

ウクライナの女性戦闘機操縦士・ウクライナ国会議員ナディア・サフチェンコ(33歳)が、2014年6月上旬ウクライナ・ルガンスク州で拉致され現在法的根拠なくロシアにて監禁されています。本日1月26日の欧州評議会議員会議に際し、彼女の自由を求め 「100万 #FreeSavchenko ツイート」などのキャンペンが各SNS上で行われています。

Continue reading

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Docutoloka: Snow bent bamboo #FreeSavchenko

By Docutoloka, an association of young artists for the joint creation of modern Ukrainian art and its presentation in the world.
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Snow bent bamboo,
As if the world around him
–Matsuo Basho 

The original Basho, as per David Landis Barnhill’s translation (2004), is:

withered and bent over,
the whole world upside down:
bamboo in snow

shiore fusu ya/ yo wa sakasama no / yuki no take

Written in 寛文7年, Basho age 24.
Most probably he had been to the funeral of a friend’s child. The poor parents are devastated and bend like the bamboo in snow.

Source: Docutoloka
About Docutoloka:
“Dokutoloka” – an association of young artists for the joint creation of modern Ukrainian art and its presentation in the world.

Toloka is an old Ukrainian tradition. The village would organize it to perform urgent work that required a lot of people – harvesting, logging, the construction of buildings, creation of a common grazing pasture for livestock, and more. Sometimes Toloka is used for public works (building churches, schools, reading rooms, roads, etc.). Villagers participated in the toloka, that is, they worked tolokoyu (meaning: cooperatively, together), voluntarily and for free, and without requiring payment for their work. Usually, a toloka ended in festivities – dancing and singing.

We mourn with Ukraine.

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Die Tragödie in Mariupol

Die pro-russischen Separatisten beginnen die Schlacht von Mariupol mit dem Beschuss einer Trabantensiedlung.
Am 24.1.15 um 09:00 wurde die Siedlung Schidny am Rande von Mariupol unter Beschuss genommen.
27 Tote davon 2 Kinder. 97 Verwundete, davon 5 Kinder, die sich im kritischen Zustand befinden.

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Resident report from Mariupol: No panic in the city. #FreeSavchenko

‪Vasissualiy Nechiporenko, Mariupol resident
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

The ENTIRE “Vostochnyi” neighborhood [of Mariupol] has been shelled. “Grad” shells landed into the yards of [residential] nine-story [apartment] buildings, striking almost all residential floors [in the process]. The Eastern walls of the buildings are damaged. Take a map and see for yourself from where the strikes came. [Ed. Note: According to the Azov Battalion, they came from Novoazovsk.]

Detached single-family homes got hit as well.

Early morning. The merchants were laying their goods out on the shelves, waiting for their first customers. Their wait is over. Among the dead are a loader and a young salesclerk.

[I] saw six bodies, stopped shooting after the third, I was not feeling well. [People say] that ten [people] were killed in the streets. In addition, there are also dead and wounded in the high-rises. [Ed. Note: Radio Svoboda reports there are 20 dead and over 80 people wounded.]

The rotten city government is now in a meeting at the Ordzhonikidze Executive Committee, working on another prickly statement. [I] don’t see a single representative of the city executive at the scene. Many ambulances, [officials from] the MES [Ministry for Emergency Situations], a semblance of HQ has been formed (there are photos). Police and firefighters are at work. Business as usual, no fuss. Don’t think that [we are] in panic and everyone is on the run. Next to the covered corpse is a line [to buy] bread at a half-destroyed store.

Source: ‪Vasissualiy Nechiporenko FB
Source: Azov Battalion FB 

[Ed. Note: According to Euromaydan initiative, [Stepan] Poltorak [Defense Minister of Ukraine ] announced at a meeting [today] that [Ukrainian troops] were able to destroy four of the six “Grads” that shelled Mariupol.]


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