A new outbreak of violence in Donbas

The Minsk agreement was designed to end the conflict with separatists in Ukraine, but can not break the deadlock two years after their signing.

Now, when in the Donbass observed the worst in a year and a half, violence arises more and more doubts about the viability of the Minsk agreements. They were signed in the night from 11 to 12 February 2015, to end the conflict between Ukraine and separatists, supported by Moscow. Anyway, the number of human lives since the beginning of the conflict in 2014 comes to 10 thousand mark.

In the period from January 29 to March 5, the loss may reach a few dozen people on both sides of the front. From the Ukrainian side military sources called the 27 dead soldiers, including two captains of the 72nd and 80th brigades. The separatists acknowledged the death of the commander of the battalion “Vostok”, one of the main Pro-Russian groups. Civilians in Donetsk and Avdiyivka also have to pay a high price: was damaged dozens of homes (200 in the town), has died (three in the town) and many wounded. Fragile lull after the battle is deceptive. “They are not in order to fry the kebabs, and to prepare for new clashes,” says a diplomatic source.

For two years the second Minsk agreement is the only framework for the settlement of the conflict, which was imposed on Ukraine and Russia, with behind-the-scenes presence of representatives of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk national republics. “There is no alternative,” claimed to have visited Kyiv French and German diplomats… But if you put aside the self, it is impossible not to admit that most of the items of the Treaty were never implemented.

The tension in the society

Despite the progress made on exchange of prisoners, the main components of the package are only the visibility of the cease-fire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from both sides of the front, the restoration of the Ukrainian border, the withdrawal of foreign troops (Russian — both regular and not) from Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine, for granting special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions…

In the French foreign Ministry is still confident that the implementation of the agreements constitute “the only possible way of resolving the conflict.” Anyway, the fatigue from the Ukrainian crisis is felt in all the capitals and last week, Kiev’s Ambassador to Germany, informally spoke about the possibility of holding elections in the Donbass before the withdrawal of Russian troops. All this caused a sharp reaction of the Ukrainian diplomacy, then as the Deputy of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko wrote the word “Nein” in Ukraine presented a piece of the Berlin wall.

Only one 2016 the average number of ceasefire violations was 44 on the day, while was killed in battle 217 the Ukrainian soldiers. This situation creates tensions in the society. According to a recent poll, only 9% of Ukrainians believe the results of the Minsk agreements positive, and 30% have a negative attitude towards.

At the scene, and the movement of troops is observed more often, and a number of points indicate that the parties no longer consider themselves bound by the accords. “I think that Russia wants to escalate the situation to see the reaction of the new American administration,” — says the diplomatic Advisor Alexei Makeyev.

However, Ukraine also has a dangerous game with the advancement of troops in the North from Debaltsevo. “We need to get back on the line of contact in 2014, and Debalcevo must again move to Ukraine”, — said the Advisor Petro Poroshenko Konstantin Eliseev about the city, which was taken by the Russian army the day after the signing of the agreements in Minsk.