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Anti-Terrorist Operation: Liveblog (July 8)

Following the refusal of Russian-backed insurgents to lay down their arms or cooperate in a unilateral ceasefire, President Petro Poroshenko announced the resumption of the Anti-Terrorist Operation of the Armed Forces & National Guard on late on June 30.

We will attack and we will liberate our land. – President Petro Poroshenko

Since July 1 the campaign has been ongoing (you can follow our Liveblog series here). The assault by the Armed Forces has concentrated itself in air strikes and artillery, and sources within ATO command have estimated combined losses to pro-Russian forces the first two days to exceed 600, while losses to Ukrainian forces are claimed to have been minimal. Over 100 military attacks were recorded on Wednesday in the renewed offensive. By Saturday, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk were liberated as the Ukrainian military routed Russian forces that had been occupying those cities. Militants are now primarily concentrated in Donetsk while a number of leaders have reportedly fled to Moscow.

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March 15: Approximately 8.6 thousand soldiers of the Russian troops are currently located in Donbas

March 15 – "Approximately 8.6 thousand soldiers of the Russian troops are currently located in Donbas. Together with illegal armed formations of so called People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, the Russian group of troops amounts to more than 43 thousand militants, approximately 780 tanks, 1030 armoured vehicles, 500 artillery systems, almost 420 MLRS, 7 flame throwers "Buratino", nearly 130 air defence systems", – said Deputy Chief of Staff of the ATO in sector C Valentyn Fedychev.

March 15 – After the events at Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv in winter of 2014, Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were ready for any scenario – Moscow was ready to bring its nuclear forces to alert, – stated Russian President Vladimir Putin in a film about the annexation of the Crimea "Crimea. The way home."

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March 15 – To Crimea for the disarmament of the Ukrainainn soldiers, the Main Reconnaissance Department of the Russian Federation was sent. This is presented in the movie about the annexation of Crimea, "Crimea -The Road to the Fatherland", which will be transmitted on the Russian television channel, Russia 1," stated RF President Volodymyr Putin. "In order to block and disarm 20,000 individuals, well armed, it is necessary to have a certain selection of personnel. This means not only in terms of numbers, but also in terms of quality. Professionals were needed who know how to do this. Therefore, I delegated the task and provided directions to the Ministry of Defense what to hide under the guise of increasing the guards for our army objects in Crimea, to send there the special sub-units of the Main Reconnaissance Managers and units of the land navy soldiers, the paratroopers.

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March 11: The US has introduced new sanctions

March 11 – Russia continues to arm and train separatists in eastern Ukraine, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (reports Reuters), while answering questions about the information on Russian tanks arriving in Ukraine over the last few days.

March 11 – Leonid Kuzmin, the organizer of events commemorating the birthday of Taras Shevchenko in Simferopol on March 9, has been threatened with being fired if he doesn't resign "voluntarily". For those of you who are English-speaking and French-speaking – it's like firing someone for being Shakespeare's admirer.

March 11 – Security Service of Ukraine has said that Russian Major General Alexei Zavizion (aka Alagir) is the head of operations of the militants in Donbas. Although there are no Russian troops in Donbas, according to Putin.

March 11 – The US has introduced new sanctions against former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, his Deputy Serhiy Arbuzov, former minister Raisa Bogatyryova, some pro-Russian militants and their Russian supporters, – according to the website of the US Treasury.

March 11 – The threat to Russian oil industry as a result of sanctions and their implications for companies to attract funds are more serious than the risks associated with falling oil prices, – states the review by international rating agency Fitch Ratings "Russian Oil and Gas Under Sanctions: Technology, Funding More of a Threat Than Weak Oil".

March 11 – The US has decided to supply Ukraine with remotely piloted aircraft and armoured military vehicles Humvee, – informed US Vice President Joe Biden in his telephone conversation with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

March 11 – Russian soldiers are participating in the war in Eastern Ukraine beginning with July 14, 2014.

This is stated in the report of the British Kingdom United Institute of Defense Research (https://www.rusi.org/)

According to the document, on that day six reconnaissance detachments, namely: 2nd Brigade of special forces, 10th Brigade of special forces, a group of the 45th Division of Guards special forces of the air assault troops, 173rd Separate Division of Guards Reconnaissance Company, the Reconnaissance Battalion of the 9th Infantry Brigade, the Reconnaissance Battalion of the 18th Infantry Brigade.

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