“That’s the mountain we go”. Does the withdrawal of troops in the Donbas beginning of the peace process

"Вот за эту гору будем выходить". Означает ли отвод войск на Донбассе начало мирного процесса

Today, Ukraine has begun the troops in the Donbas. For the first time in three years, APU has departed from their positions not forward, but backward.

It happened in Stanitsa Luganskaya village, which is located from the centre of Luhansk is just 30 kilometers and is bordered by the Zhovtnevy district of the former regional capital.

That is, the Village, the nearest point controlled by Ukraine on the way to Lugansk. The border between them runs along the Seversky Donets river, on the banks of which entrenched opposing sides.

Perhaps, therefore, the troops from there, the Ukrainians haven’t taken to the last. And breeding, agreed three years ago, fell about 50 times. Although formally the reason was the attacks.

However, the military context is quite secondary. The disengagement is much more important politically. As long as the albeit weak but a sign of possible progress towards peace. But will there be any further steps or this is just PR before the election Zelensky – versed “Country”.

What happened today near Lugansk

26 Jun Ukraine has officially announced that beginning the withdrawal of forces from the village of Lugansk.

“Today at noon, the Ukrainian military withdrew from a position which was before PPC “Stanitsa Lugansk”. It all happened under the supervision of the OSCE representatives, who were on both sides. In addition, the withdrawal was overseen personally by the commander of the combined forces of Lieutenant General Alexander Syrski. According to him, this is the first stage of withdrawal of the parties from the outskirts of the Village”, – is told in the message of staff of FOS.

It is noted that the Ukrainian military left the position after start-up flares on both sides.

Later in headquarters Operations of joint forces released a video, how did you start breeding. “That’s the mountain we go,” says a military representative of the OSCE on the Russian language.

It is seen that the troops withdrawn from the place where civil cross the line of demarcation – that is, as was said, on PPC “Stanitsa Lugansk”. The video showed how out of the hangar leaving one military vehicle with a covered body. His departure, as well as the movement of other soldiers picturesquely cover the snipers are standing in a half squat right on the open road.

Chapter OOS Alexander Syrski said that his soldiers had gone off the road, which leads from the village of Lugansk. And thus, according to him, was the first stage of breeding.

However, in the comments under the video, the authors of the movie have stipulated that “the process of withdrawal of forces and means does not weaken the defensive capabilities of our units in this area”.

The separatists have confirmed the beginning of the withdrawal of troops. Stating that the first signal flare released they. However, from press reports, “LC” is not entirely clear when and where withdrew their armed forces. However, the light is supposed to shed an official statement of the OSCE, which oversaw the process on both sides.

The report of the monitoring mission at the time of publication of the material yet. But about a week ago, the organization released breathable optimism the statement that Ukraine and the separatists finally ready to implement the decision of the Trilateral contact group, adopted three years ago.

“I have high hopes that this time the parties will perform its obligations and carry out the dilution of forces and means in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska. Hmm OSCE does its job, ensuring monitoring of the process. The parties must now do their part and take necessary steps to prevent dilution of effort and resources have been indefinite with sustainability”, – said the head of the mission of Yasar Halit Cevik, 17 June.

While the first stage of the divorce of the troops took place without disruption. According to forecasts of the military, complete breeding will take at least three days.

And, although the situation can easily reverse itself (as it did many times), the current step Mat – this is huge progress. Especially given the previous failure history of this issue.

Dozens of attempted divorce

The decision about the breeding of forces and means in the Donbass was signed by the Minsk group for a long time – in September 2016.

The document envisaged the creation of security zones in two areas in the Luhansk region – the Golden and the village of Lugansk and in the “DNR” at Petrovsky.

To date, the dilution of forces took place only in the Golden and Petrovsky. At the Village Lugansk troops did not move until today.

All three points were conceived as pilot projects to revive stalled by the time the Minsk 2. After you complete these you can move further.

Judging by the activity of the OSCE, on the early implementation of this plan insisted Europe. She in recent years there were several variants of the conflict settlement “Morel plan”, “formula Steinmeier”, “plan Sajdik,” and others. But to get to them was impossible until they are implemented “pilots” for the disengagement, at least at relatively quiet sites. And there is already possible to speak about more serious things.

The failure of breeding in Stanitsa Lugansk, which is under the control of Ukraine, Kiev accused separatists. Every time when the Ukrainian troops were going to move to the “Minsk” position, they began to fire. So the withdrawal was canceled, said the headquarters of ATO.

The “LC” denied the attacks and stated that they are interested in the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Luhansk and therefore would not have to accompany them with gunfire.

The OSCE has taken a neutral stance. In June 2018, first Deputy head of the mission Alexander hug said that the failure of breeding both sides are to blame.

“There were several seven-day periods of time, during which the SMM has not registered violations of the ceasefire in the area. While the mission did not observe any signs of breeding effort and money in this place – none of the parties is obliged to do it,” said the BBC in an interview to “Kommersant”.

To think that a failure in this regard was one of the reasons why Leonid Kuchma in the fall left a contact group in Minsk. Without dilution at the Village to move forward in the implementation of the Minsk-2 was pointless. Not to mention the fact that the administration Poroshenko on the eve of presidential elections headed for fanning anti-Russian sentiment. And start to close any negotiation formats – how with Moscow, and “republics”.

In these circumstances, the work Kuchma in Minsk was reduced to the role of the wedding General – about what the second President bitterly said recently, after the change of power in the presidential administration. Themselves separatists linked with the solution of the question of the Village and many other topics – for example, the openings punt “gold”.

However, the return of ex-President in the Tripartite group at the invitation of Vladimir Zelensky gave rise to the hope that the process still went. The logic here was simple: unlikely to be Kuchma agreed to play the role of a figurehead. Not otherwise see gave him some assurance that is configured to take steps towards peace.

That hope was nearly broke 10 June when already specified “new” Kuchma divorce forces at the Village was cancelled by Ukraine. However, after two weeks he still was able to begin. What was the reason for the change vector on the Bank?

Turn Zelensky

The change of position in the AP (namely, Bankova decides on Minsk Affairs) may be two reasons.

The first voyage of Vladimir Zelensky in Europe. The President of Ukraine visited Berlin the day before the new meeting of the Minsk group on 19 June where it was, apparently, made the decision to divorce of forces.

So, June 18, Zelensky said about the Donbass with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, and a day earlier, with Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

This is hardly just a coincidence of dates. Moreover, the same macron plain text said that the resumption of the meeting in Normandy format at the highest level possible only after all parties to the conflict make tangible steps towards each other.

We can only guess what the suggestion was trying to do Zelensky in Paris and Berlin. The next day after the meeting with ze Merkel met the Contact group. Release issued on Bankova, and a representative of Kuchma, does not contain a single word about breeding forces. But after a week it suddenly all kicked off.

This is an extremely interesting fact. Such an important issue could not be discussed in Minsk. After all, didn’t breeding itself? However, the Ukrainian side kept the suspense until the end.

By the way, the theme did not comment on even today – neither Zelensky nor Kuchma. This suggests that the breeding went reluctantly – apparently, in Europe, found strong arguments to the case moved from the dead point.

However, this has not stopped supporters of Poroshenko, who had already begun to blame the new President zrade.

The second reason to change course Zelensky – election. Recent sociological surveys show that “servant of the people” is gradually losing rating.

Why is this happening – can only guess. From Zelensky hardly waited from big economic breakthroughs: it is almost no authority. And relatively loyal to the President, the Cabinet will appear not earlier than autumn.

Main expectation from Zelensky was the settlement in the Donbass. To address this issue, the new President just a lot of opportunities now. He commands the army, the security Council, and appoints representatives to the talks in Minsk.

The day of the inauguration Vladimir Zelensky said that the ceasefire will be the top priority. However, on the eve of the second visit of see in Europe began the largest escalation in Donetsk, where APU took part of the “gray zone”. Yes, and in other places, the shelling did not cease.

Even before the new President has dramatically changed his rhetoric, talking phrases Petro Poroshenko. So dramatically that even read a speech of his predecessor at the summit in Brussels.

All this could not cause the outflow of voters, who had hoped to end the war with Zelensky. By the way, parallel to the two percent rating party scored “Appasiona platform For life,” Boyko and Medvedchuk, advocating for peace with Moscow and the implementation of the political part of the “Minsk-2”. The dynamics of growth, which lost the “servant of the people”.

Breeding forces in the village of the Luhansk can be viewed on the Bank as the step, which favorably distinguish Zelensky from Poroshenko. Ex-President delayed this process as I could (and “Parkaboy” today, stressed this in his posts).

However, on account of Poroshenko has its own withdrawal of troops – and yet they are even more than Zelensky. In the end did not prevent Peter Alekseevich head of the Ukrainian “party of war”.

The new President very timidly tries on the robe of the peacemaker. For the same electoral reason: on the other hand, his rating pulls “the Voice” Vakarchuk, which for many voters was the “second Zelensky”, only more westernized.

This is probably due to the deathly silence Bankova about the first many years of break in fulfillment of the Minsk agreements.

But without continuing – this is just pre-election episode. Without the implementation of the political part of Minsk agreements (special status, Amnesty, elections, and peaceful reintegration of the uncontrolled territories) – the war will smolder on and on.