Ceasefire or Not?
Earlier today Putin outlined a 7-Point Peace Proposal.
The primary conditions on Mr. Putin’s list are that the separatists halt all offensive operations and that Ukrainian troops move their artillery back out of range of cities and large towns in the rebel-held area.What’s Not to Like?
Mr. Putin also called for Ukraine to cease airstrikes; the establishment of an international monitoring mission and humanitarian aid corridors; an “all for all” prisoner exchange; and “rebuilding brigades” to repair damaged roads, bridges, power lines and other infrastructure.
Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, said separately that Russia could not negotiate a cease-fire because it was not a party to the conflict, but that the opinions of the two presidents overlapped.Rebel Response
“Putin and Poroshenko did indeed discuss steps which could facilitate a cease-fire between the militias and the Ukrainian military,” Mr. Peskov was quoted as saying by the news agency RIA Novosti. “Russia cannot physically agree on a cease-fire, as it is not a side in the conflict.”
Vladislav Brig, the head of the political department for the rebels’ Ministry of Defense in Donetsk, said in a telephone conversation that combat operations were continuing as usual on Wednesday.Has Anything Changed?
“Nobody is holding negotiations about a cease-fire with the representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Mr. Brig said. “As long as there are Ukrainian soldiers on our territory, there will be no cease-fire.”
According to Valentina Melnikova, head of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers, the main organization representing the troops’ families, between 10,000-15,000 troops have been deployed to Ukraine in recent weeks. “I am convinced I am right,” she said, adding that her calculations were based on information from families whose husbands and sons were sent on drills close to the border, but had subsequently gone incommunicado.
President François Hollande halted the delivery of the first of two warships to the Russian navy on Wednesday, the clearest sign yet that the west was preparing to take further punitive action against the Kremlin despite claims by Vladimir Putin he was pursuing a ceasefire in Ukraine.Apparently they did not cancel the deal, they just won’t fulfill it. This one could be headed to court. Given that Russia does not need more warships, Putin would be wise to take the fine (if he can get it) and cancel the deal himself.
French officials emphasised they had not cancelled the deal, a move that could lead to as much as €1.1bn in fines for breaking the contract.
And just as we never accepted the occupation and illegal annexation of the Baltic nations, we will not accept Russia’s occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea or any part of Ukraine. As free peoples, as an alliance, we will stand firm and united to meet the test of this moment, and here’s how.History Questions
First we will defend our NATO allies, and that means every ally. In this alliance there are no old members or new members, no junior partners or senior partners. They’re just allies, pure and simple, and we will defend the territorial integrity of every single ally.
We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania. You lost your independence once before. With NATO, you will never lose it again.
This is important to know for sure in the coming days:
"A major component in the latest western government and media claims of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is protests of the various Russian “Soldiers’ Mothers Committes” over the supposed disappearance of their soldier sons in Ukraine. Absent compelling visual evidence of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, these NGOs are said to provide the evidence that, as NATO claims, 1,000 young Russians have been forced to go fight in Ukraine.
The US government has in the past been generous in funding the Russian Soldiers’ Mothers Committes. In a 2011 report of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, we learn that the US government granted the Committees more than $150,000. In 2010 they received approximately the same amount from the US government, and in 2009 they received nearly $200,000.”