Russia’s intervention in Syria is distracting the public’s attention away from Ukraine, but the war for the East rages on. Where is the conflict headed, and what is Russia planning?
Fighting continued well past the start of the ceasefire agreed upon in Minsk II. However, the real test to building a lasting peace and negotiated settlement is the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front lines; violations on this issue are the main indicator of a Minsk II failure and will precipitate a resumption of conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Today's Minsk negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France are a last ditch attempt at a brokered ceasefire before the conflict's stakes are raised by the United States' prospective arming of Kiev; is this a repeat of the failed accords in September or a genuine effort to marginalize the fighting?