Since the Minsk agreements there never really was a real peace in the battlefields of eastern Ukraine. Fighting continued though in a decreased intensity.
In the recent months and weeks fighting in the Donbass region has intensified again, claiming a growing number of victims on both sides. The death toll has increased to at least over 9,000 on both sides (including civilians) with more than 1,000,000 IDPs. In the West the conflict has been mostly only covered as minor news during the last 12 months.
The OSCE reports a sharp rise of “cease fire” violations and looking at their table of “cease fire” violations it becomes evident that there is a war going on despite any Minsk agreement. Also weaponry that is according to the agreement not supposed to be in the area is still being used as for example in Avdeevka (see video below). As usual both sides accuse each other for the escalation, a now well known strategy in this conflict.
It’s obvious that the people living in the war zone are the ones that suffer the most. It seems like an open question when this war will end. The Kremlin supports and fuels the war with troops and military support (this no reasonable person can deny) while the Ukrainian government under Poroshenko seems as corrupt as ever in the light of the revealed Panama Papers.
Fact is that the Donbass region is a playground for not only Russia’s geo-strategic interests. It seems that peace can only be achieved with a major and real pull-back of the political powers which can not happen without at least someone loosing his face. And this makes it quite unlikely that there will be peace in Donbass soon.