‘Cease-fire’ play

UKRAINE - In Brief 05 Sep 2014 by Dmytro Boyarchuk

Ukrainian authorities signed cease-fire agreement with separatists. The main question for how long that will last. In our opinion it has poor chances even to start.

From the info we see one of the main conditions was withdrawal of Russian military from eastern Ukraine. That could hardly happen because separatists will become ‘naked’ in this case. Thus the whole story is the following: both sides will show to public that they strive for peace, conditionality will not be implemented, Russia will blame Ukraine (or even make some provocations) and fights will continue.

Why that move was done then? Moscow wants to show (for domestic public) that it wants to de-escalate the conflict. Russians believe that Ukraine is the bad guy and Kremlin needs to generate correct messages to maintain this belief. As regards to Ukrainian authorities, it looks like after NATO summit it was necessary to make last attempt for making peace which is also important for image. Also it is important to stall some time to prepare for more decisive actions against Russians (dozens of battalions are in training camps and need time to get prepared for actions, weapons supplies also need time).

Against this backdrop we should not have illusions about this ‘cease-fire’ agreement.

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