“Fool me twice…”–Kiev Asks for a Ceasefire.



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Kiev Proposes a Ceasefire and to Sign the Schedule for Implementing the Minsk Agreement


Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

The schedule that was agreed upon on November 13 includes
three stages: ceasefire (two days), withdrawal of heavy armaments (5 days) and
withdrawal of forces to the line of demarcation specified by the Minsk
Memorandum (21 days).

Kiev proposed to sign the implementation schedule for the
Minsk Agreements and to implement a ceasefire starting on November 19. This was
announced by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Moscow consistently stated that it is not a party to the
intra-Ukrainian conflict, and called all outside parties to influence Kiev to
implement the Minsk Agreements. However, Russia and OSCE acted as
intermediaries in negotiations between Ukraine and the self-declared republis.

On Sunday, January 18, Donetsk and Gorlovka came under heavy
Ukrainian artillery fire.  DPR head
Aleksandr Zakharchenko said that Ukrainian military action killed or wounded
more than 30 people in Donetsk, including children. Zakharchenko, moreover,
said that Ukrainian aircraft dropped 500kg bombs on Gorlovka.

Translator’s Note: Kiev’s evidently not feeling all that
confident about the prospects of its counteroffensive. DPR muscle-flexing along
the entire frontline suggests any Kiev offensive could result in a repeat of
the Ilovaysk debacle. On the other hand, given Poroshenko’s unwillingness
and/or inability (for it is genuinely difficult to tell) to even attempt to
implement the Minsk Agreements makes the acceptance of his proposal rather
doubtful. Besides, if DPR forces are on the verge of taking Avdeyevka and
Mariupol, why stop now? To give the Kiev-loyal forces yet another opportunity
to go back on their word? Furthermore, the “international community” is yet to
weigh in on the new round of fighting. The usual “Russia must get out of
Ukraine” calls are noticeably quieter, or altogether absent, this time.

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