Shaky Ceasefire Declared
I've been reading this morning about the Minsk-2 negotiations on the civil war inside Ukraine. A deal has been partially agreed upon - emphasis on the word partial. What is most interesting is that Washington was excluded from the negotiations - it's a simple admission that the US has been a major instigator of this whole mess and the more they are kept out of the negotiations the better.
The primary aspect of the deal calls for a ceasefire to begin at midnight of February 15 and a pull back of heavy artillery from both sides. (The last time a ceasefire was agreed upon at Minsk-1 the Kiev puppet government constantly violated the agreement by continuing to shell eastern Ukraine.)
The real sticking points in the negotiations are about autonomy for eastern Ukraine - some sort of federalization. (It's real important to note here that Putin has said over and over again that Russia does not want to annex these break-a-way eastern provinces. Putin has always maintained that they should be given more political and economic self-control within the framework of the Ukrainian state. This is usually not reported in the western media because it runs counter to the US-NATO narrative that Russia is out to "expand their empire".)
Some agreements appear to have been made around more local self control such as local election of political leaders rather than appointment by Kiev. (Local democracy, what a concept.) But these ideas are still not yet firmly agreed upon and could fall by the wayside.
You can see the full text of the agreement here
In the end Ukraine's puppet President Poroshenko remains a key obstacle and the day before the Minsk-2 meeting he threw more red meat to the 'nationalists' in the western part of the county by declaring that they are the "true" Ukrainians. (Ethnic/social purity kind of trash.) So even in the midst of negotiations Poroshenko (carrying water for US-NATO) still found a way to stir up hatred.
The only reason that Minsk-2 was happening at all is because of recent military progress by the self-defense forces in the east as they consolidate control over their own lands. That, and the growing fierce opposition to the recent troop mobilization Poroshenko called throughout the country, indicates that Kiev's war project is in deep trouble.
Most commentators I read this morning are skeptical that Washington will allow this ceasefire to really work. Time will tell. The way the EU goes on this will be important to follow.
In video below the two leaders of the eastern self-defense forces react to the ceasefire agreement.