DPR: Kiev understates army losses in Ilovaisk battle

2015/04/19

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The losses of the pro-Kiev’s forces reported by the Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office in the Battle of Ilovaisk in east Ukraine in August last year are considerably smaller than they really are, Representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Commission for Prisoners-Of-War Liliya Rodionova said on Sunday.


Fierce battles erupted between Donetsk militia and pro-Kiev forces near the town of Ilovaisk in the second half of August - early September 2014. The Ukrainian troops were able to take control of a part of the town after fierce fighting but they were eventually encircled by the self-defense fighters. The Ukrainian military sustained big losses when retreating from Ilovaisk.


Ukraine’s Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios earlier said the Ukrainian army had lost 459 servicemen in the second half of August 2014 near Ilovaisk.


The DPR representative said, however, this figure should at least be doubled. "According to preliminary estimates, over 900 Ukrainian soldiers were killed near Ilovaisk," the Donetsk News Agency quoted her as saying.


The Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office reports losses based on the number of servicemen who were identified. However, the DNA studies of the remains of Ukrainian soldiers who were killed near Ilovaisk are not yet over, she said.


Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation conducted since mid-April 2014 to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.


Minsk accords on Ukraine


The Belarusian capital of Minsk hosted on February 12 summit talks of Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


The over 16-hour marathon summit negotiations ended in a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.


Prior to the summit talks Minsk also hosted the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, who both acted as mediators.


As a result of the meeting, it was announced that an agreement was reached on the ceasefire in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the heavy weaponry pullout and measures on a long-term political settlement of the crisis.




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Donetsk Republic transfers bodies of 11 Ukrainian servicemen to Kiev

2015/04/19

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have transferred the bodies of 11 Ukrainian servicemen to Kiev, Representative of the DPR Commission for Prisoners-of-War Liliya Rodionova said on Sunday.


"We have transferred the bodies of 11 Ukrainian servicemen to Ukraine’s side. The bodies were delivered to Ukraine through the territory of the [self-proclaimed] Lugansk People’s Republic," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Rodionova as saying.


Overall, the DPR has transferred the bodies of over 80 Ukrainian servicemen to Kiev, she said.


Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation conducted since mid-April 2014 to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.




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Over $1.8 mln spent on Russian soldier memorials in China

2015/04/19

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russia has spent over $1.8 million on repairing and restoring the burial sites in China where more than 24,000 Soviet and Russian soldiers were buried, Deputy Defense Minister, Army General Dmitry Bulgakov said on Sunday.


The deputy defense minister’s statement comes in the wake of the first Russian-Chinese expedition that started on Sunday to search for the remains of Soviet servicemen who died during the liberation of China’s northeast regions from the Japanese military in 1945.


"According to available data, there are 74 registered memorial sites on the territory of China where 24,136 servicemen were buried, of whom the names of 18,030 soldiers [mostly from the period of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905] remain unknown," the general said.


"Large-scale work is underway to establish the names of the soldiers who perished and restore war cemeteries that disappeared," the general said.


"In 2014-2015 alone, 13 soldier burial sites received their identification documents and 1,346 names of soldiers who had died on the territory of China were established," he said, adding these were largely the servicemen who perished during the liberation of northeast China from Japanese invaders when the Soviet troops carried out the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation on August 9 - September 2, 1945.




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Hundreds feared dead as migrants’ boat capsizes off Libyan waters

2015/04/19
A rescue operation is under way after a boat carrying an estimated 700 migrants capsized at midnight in Libyan waters, 120 miles south of Lampedusa, the Times of Malta reports.

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North Pole-2015: Russia launches drifting Arctic station

2015/04/19
Russia has inaugurated the North Pole-2015, a new scientific drifting station designed to maintain the presence of Russian researchers in the Arctic Ocean for months.

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