The pause in the Ukraine war is not Putin’s victory

This picture from Ilovaisk captures the fragility of and the desperate need in the ceasefire.


The tragic battles around Donetsk and Luhansk (collectively known as the Donbas region) have taken a pause, and as civilians try to rebuild a semblance of normal life, leaders are figuring out how to now move forward. In his first 100 days, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has shown the ability to absorb hard blows, but now he needs to find both resolve to rebuild confidence in his shell-shocked country and caution to avoid a full-blown war with Russia. It is, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin who is finding himself in an impossible and entirely self-made jam. He has avoided a humiliating defeat in eastern Ukraine by sending in thousands of Russian troops and has effectively dictated the terms of the ceasefire. But now he has to balance these slim gains against heavy and mounting losses (, September 10). What aggravates this negative balance is Moscow’s complete lack of achievable aims and sustainable strategy.

For more look in the Eurasia Daily Monitor, 15 September 2014.

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