Immediately after the entry into force of another “indefinite” truce in Donbas, Ukraine recorded two violations of ceasefire by pro-Russian militants. In general, it is difficult to talk about any truce, especially, if we remember that it is twenty-ninth ceasefire in Donbas, if memory serves. Thus, the “statistics” are the best evidence of the real desire to stop the shelling. The shelling of Ukrainian positions continues although the telephone conversation between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Volodymyr Putin preceded the “truce.” The Office of the president of Ukraine informed, “Interlocutors congratulated each other on reaching agreement on comprehensive and inclusive regime of ceasefire in Donbas.” The Ukrainian party initiated the telephone conversation, because Kyiv needs to impose its strategy of Donbas de-occupation. It is explained by the fact that if there is not such a strategy, it will appear somewhere else – in Moscow, Berlin, or Paris. Thus, the efforts made to stop shelling and its support by international partners were proper. Instead, Russia continues to push its own ideas how to handle the conflict. Firstly, the Kremlin is interested in breaking the truce for any reason. After all, it will once again enable us to talk about the need of a direct negotiation between Ukraine and representatives of so-called L/DPR. Secondly, in Russia, they make it clear that they are not satisfied with the resolution of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which states that the election on the occupied territory of Donbass is possible only in case when “Russian occupation troops and equipment” are withdrawn.

For Moscow, it is important to hold elections without the process of disarmament, as the Kremlin needs to legitimate the occupation power as soon as possible, and then discuss the issue of sanctions lifting. However, the slogan “peace at all cost” should not lead. The situation needs wide perspectives: where the Kremlin has ever deployed its aggression (in the former Soviet republics), conflicts remained frozen. So it is convenient for Moscow to control the “uncooperative.” Russia has done, continues doing, and will do it. Now, the Kremlin is concerned over one thing - the legitimization of the occupying power. That is why the truce is not going to be held in Bilokamiania. They need to put Kyiv at the same table with the militants. Therefore, in fact, not following the regime of a ceasefire is a great opportunity for Kyiv to recall those who it really needs to talk to.

Taras Semeniuk, an analyst of Kyivstratpro

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