JRL NEWSWATCH: “Rebels without a Cause: Russia’s Proxies in Eastern Ukraine” – International Crisis Group

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Russia and the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s east are no longer quite on the same page, especially since the Kremlin abandoned ideas of annexing the breakaway republics or recognising their independence. The rift gives the new Ukrainian president an opportunity for outreach to the east’s embattled population, including by relaxing the trade embargo. … * * * Resolving the Donbas conflict requires … Russia and Ukraine to carry out the Minsk agreements in full or … find another way forward. … each has insisted that the other take the first step: Russia wants Ukraine to offer autonomy to the Donbas; Ukraine wants Russia to cease its military involvement and ensure that the forces it backs disarm. But even if Moscow and Kyiv concur on … initial moves, Ukraine faces an additional challenge. Reintegrating separatist-held areas will require Kyiv to persuade the people who live there that their future is Ukrainian. This process is unlikely to be rapid or smooth, but outreach is the place to start….”

Click here for: “Rebels without a Cause: Russia’s Proxies in Eastern Ukraine” – International Crisis Group