Saturday, September 06, 2014

Ukraine Deal Imposes Truce Putin Devised

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR, NYT
SEPT. 5, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — After five months of intensifying combat that threatened to rip Ukraine apart and to reignite the Cold War, the Ukrainian government and separatist forces signed a cease-fire agreement on Friday that analysts considered highly tenuous in a country that remains a tinderbox.

Previous attempts to stop the fighting have failed. But the prime difference this time was that the main thrust of the plan was not just endorsed, but laid out, by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whom Western leaders accuse of stoking unrest to prevent Ukraine from slipping out of Russia’s orbit.

Whether a cease-fire persists will probably be determined by negotiations over the political future of the southeastern region, where rebel separatists have been fighting the government since April.

The cease-fire was agreed to after a two-week rebel counteroffensive backed by Russian troops, armor and artillery that threatened to roll back most of the gains the Ukrainian military had made. Russia has not acknowledged the presence of any of its military units on Ukrainian soil, and there was no mention of their removal as part of the agreement.

(More here.)

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