Ukrainian ceasefire comes into effect promising only brief peace

Ukrainian ceasefire comes into effect promising only brief peace

With the backing of France and Germany, Ukraine and Russia have agreed to a renewed ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine effective

ukrainian-fighter-stands-in-building

Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

With the backing of France and Germany, Ukraine and Russia have agreed to a renewed ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine effective today.

The Ukrainian conflict in the Donbas region, which abuts Russia, has raged on since February 2014 in the aftermath of Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula. Pro-Russian rebels hold significant territory in Donbas, including a major airport. While Kiev claims the rebels are armed by Moscow, the Kremlin vehemently denies involvement.

Now in its fifth year, the conflict has claimed upwards of 10,000 lives, including 2,800 civilians. Just last Thursday, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a clash with rebels, the day after today’s ceasefire deal was announced.

The signatories of the latest peace agreement hope to reemploy the second Minsk Agreement—a 2015 ceasefire attempt that sought to establish rule of law in Donbas. While the Minsk Agreement did de-escalate the heaviest fighting, approximately 1,000 deaths have still been reported since 2015, indicating that skirmishes like the one last week have remained the norm. Thus, expect the deep-seated conflict in Eastern Ukraine to calm only briefly before more violent clashes.

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