Five years ago the Minsk Protocol — also known as Minsk-2 — was signed on February 12 to bring the fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region to a halt. The peace agreement’s 13 terms, however, were never properly implemented. To this day, fighting continues to rage in the Donbass region. While the advance of Russian-backed separatists came to a standstill, Ukrainian forces and separatists continue to engage in limited trench warfare at flashpoints along the former frontline. And the clashes go largely unnoticed by international media. Russia’s Vladimir Putin (left) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) were joined by their French and Ukrainian counterparts for peace talks in Minsk in 2015 Merkel’s cautious optimism Minsk-2 followed the Minsk-1 agreement, which was negotiated in September 2014. Talks got underway after Russian-backed separatists launched an offensive that could have led to the encirclement of Debaltseve, a strategically important transport hub between the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French president at the time, Francois Hollande, had traveled to Kyiv and Moscow for emergency talks, and subsequently to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. This is where, after 16 hours of negotiations, both leaders hammered out the Minsk peace plan together with Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko and… Read full this story
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