Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Russian news: Novorossiya Stabilises as Ukraine Disintegrates - Russia Insider

The EU-Asia Summit in Milan, Italy, delivered little, if any, tangible progress to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Relations between Russia and Ukraine’s major European allies remain just a few degrees above a new Cold War-style ice age. And with only a preliminary gas deal achieved between Kiev and Moscow this may be quite literally true for Ukrainians as winter approaches.

Agreements achieved in Minsk between Russia and Ukraine and between Kiev and the separatists over a military de-escalation, the withdrawal of combat troops, and the establishment of a buffer zone have made some incremental progress, but a ceasefire that was meant to have been in force since September 5 has been frequently breached – in particular during the protracted battle between separatists and Ukrainian forces for the airport in Donetsk.

The official death toll of the conflict now stands at almost 4,000 (the real figure is likely to be significantly higher), while refugees and internally displaced people number in the hundreds of thousands.

To all intents and purposes, Ukraine has quickly become Europe’s most fragile state. Unable to exert effective control over its two easternmost regions, and with a free-falling economy heavily dependent on IMF support (projected to be US$19 billion over the next year), the country is now heading into parliamentary elections scheduled for October 26.

In advance of the polls, a lustration law (which seeks to “purify” Ukraine from any remnants of the past) has just come into effect, and tensions between the various contending parties are increasing as voters become more and more disaffected.

All this shows how, instead of helping to resolve Ukraine’s long crisis of state weakness, the events of the past year have greatly exacerbated it.

Complete story at - Russian news: Novorossiya Stabilises as Ukraine Disintegrates - Russia Insider

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