The longer it goes on the more it poisons relations between Eastern and Western Ukraine, between Ukrainians and Russians, and Russia and the West
This comment originally appeared on her blog.
The longer this senseless war, which should not have been started in the first place, will last, the more hate will be bred between West and East Ukrainians, the more people will die, the more tensions will rise between Russia and the West.
This war should be stopped as soon as possible and there should be international pressure on both sides of the conflict to observe a new ceasefire.
On Tuesday 2nd December, a truce was agreed for Donetsk airport and a ceasefire announcement starting from 5th December was made for the Lugansk province, but the agreement fell apart within hours.
A new truce was announced beginning on 9th December with an agreement that Ukraine would begin withdrawing heavy weapons from the eastern frontline on December 10 – as long as the other side also observed the truce.
There is little hope that this ceasefire will be effective and long-lasting without successful negotiations between Kiev and Lugansk/Donetsk People’s Republics.
Lifting the economic blockade as a measure to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and the question of federalisation should be the main topics of these negotiations.
After all that has happened in the last year Ukraine as a unified centralised nation would not lead to any stability.
Donbass residents have totally lost faith in Kiev’s government, and there is a tense atmosphere of hate and contempt between them and West Ukrainians.
The inhabitants of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are well aware that not only there isn’t a Ukrainian peace movement trying to stop the civil war or socio-economic blockade, but there are many West Ukrainians who actively support the ‘killing of separatists’.
This amoral thinking that ‘territories are eternal values, while people are a secondary and dispensable resource’, has led to civil war, widening the long-existing divisions between West and East Ukrianians.
This divide will take decades to re-bridge again and federalisation can significantly help to dimish these tensions.
Some western politicians, like Germany’s vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, already backed federalisation in Ukraine, as they see it as an important step towards peace. If other western leaders are serious about peace in Ukraine, they should do the same.
Unfortunately, like with any war, there’s always someone who benefits from it, so even the news about a new ceasefire, which gave a glimmer of hope, were followed by intense shelling over the weekend of 6-7 December.
Donetsk City Administration website published that ‘ the whole evening of 7th December and night of 8th December, the sounds of bursts and explosions did not stop’, which left 10 peaceful civilians dead and 13 wounded.
The morning of 8th December the situation was reported as ‘relatively peaceful’ – there was even a Christmas Tree mounted on the central Lenin Square.
However, whether Donetsk civilians will be able to celebrate their New Year and Christmas in peace depends largely on what will happen on the day of the negotiation between the Kiev and Donetsk/Luganks leaders.