MOSCOW, Russia (PNN) - July 22, 2019 - A deal negotiated last week and put into effect on Sunday, Russia and Ukraine have negotiated, along with Europe’s OSCE, a comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass (Eastern Ukraine). The deal intends to extend the ceasefire indefinitely.
The deal is being negotiated by Russia on behalf of Ukraine’s eastern separatist movement, and obliges both sides to move heavy weaponry away from the front line, as well as banning attacks and attempts at forward movement by either side.
OSCE officials say this deal, with its open-ended term, is going much further than previous ones, and followed with a joint statement from both Russia and Ukraine. This commits both sides more fully to abiding by the deal.
This is particularly important because in the past, smaller factions on both sides have felt entitled to simply ignore the deals, arguing they weren’t personally party to the pact. With both governments committed, dishonoring the pact comes at a much bigger price.
The civil war in East Ukraine has been ongoing for five years, though in states of ceasefire for most of it. The rebellion in Western Ukraine, which ousted a pro-Russia government, led to harsh measures against ethnic Russians living in the east, and fueled calls for them to separate into an autonomous region or outright independent nation.