Russia continues to pedal the theme of "civil war" in Ukraine and the need for "direct dialogue" with the Kremlin’s puppets in Donbas. So, the newly-appointed representative of the aggressor state in a Trilateral Contact Group, Boris Gryzlov, said in an interview with the Russian media that there were only two negotiating parties: “Donbas and Kyiv."
In understanding of Gryzlov (read - Putin) Russia is a mediator, just as Germany and France, in resolving the internal Ukrainian conflict. That’s what Russia seeks to be perceived like, strongly promoting this idea in the information space, not just within the former Soviet Union). At the same time, the main message is continuation of the Minsk meetings in the search for "compromise" between Kyiv and Moscow-invented "people of Donbas" along with its "representatives."
OSCE SMM produces reports on violations of the silence regime on the part of Moscow-controlled militants on a daily basis.
That is why Gryzlov repeats the Russian propaganda’s traditional mantra about Ukrainian volunteer battalions breaking the ceasefire in the east of Ukraine. He couldn’t care less about the veracity of such statements, as the volunteer battalions have long ceased to exist, having become part of the structure of the Interior Ministry or the Ministry of Defense). The Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE produces reports on violations of the silence regime on the part of Moscow-controlled militants on a daily basis, informing the representatives of the Minsk talks.
That is why Gryzlov voices Putin’s wishlist which includes “agreeing” constitutional amendments and the law on elections with “Donbas representatives,” without going into the nuances of Ukrainian legislation and forgetting that in November 2014, these very “representatives” had carried out their own "elections," agreeing them with no one, thus wrecking Minsk-1 deal. By the way, Russia, which, according to Gryzlov, made "a Herculean effort to rescue and support” the Russian-speaking population of Ukrainian Donbas, did not recognize those “elections.”
Besides, interestingly enough, the Russian officials, including representatives to the Minsk Contact Group, are willfully naive in avoiding the subject of anti-Russian sanctions. Really, if Russia is not a party to the conflict, but only a mediator, helping to establish a dialogue between Kyiv and Donbas, a logical question arises: why are the sanctions introduced against Russia?
Actually, if talking about reducing the number of negotiators, then there really should be just two of them. It’s Russia - the occupier and aggressor state, longing to get rid of Western sanctions, while not leaving Ukraine alone and continuing to destabilize Donbas, Crimea and, if possible, the other "Russian-speaking" Ukrainian regions. And it’s Ukraine - a victim of the Kremlin’s irrepressible imperial ambitions, expecting support of the West in the fight against the aggressor.
Putin’s "talking heads" have not yet picked up in their public addresses the idea of reconciliation of the two "fraternal" nations.
Not surprisingly, in this situation, Moscow is not ready to admit that the Minsk-2 is a stillborn agreement, which is not implemented by either party. That’s because this would mean new negotiations, where Russia (who knows?) may be officially called a party to the conflict. Putin’s "talking heads" have not yet picked up in their public addresses the idea of reconciliation of the two "fraternal" nations. But judging by the way they are tripping over themselves to turn from aggressors into peacekeepers acting as intermediaries between “Kyiv and Donbas,” this day is coming.