Kyiv, November 17, 2014. The current format to restore peace to Ukraine, the Minsk Protocol, is failing to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity and bring peace to the country. Instead, the peace plan is attractive to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and does not contain a real roadmap to stop hostilities in eastern Ukraine. This was stated at Ukraine Crisis Media Center by Mykola Malomuzh, a Ukrainian army general, ex-chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine.
“We need to give a realistic assessment of what’s happening,” said Malomuzh. Putin is re-enforcing Russian troops and pro-Russian militants in the Donbas for the purpose of grabbing roughly eight strategic objects, including the Donetsk airport and the port city of Mariupol, which are still in the hands of the Ukrainian government. He believes the militants appealed to Putin for more support after repeatedly failing to seize these objects since the cease fire agreement was announced in early September. Recent “humanitarian deliveries” from Russia have not only included humanitarian goods such as food and clothing, but also ammunition and weapons. According to the Ukrainian general, there have been nearly 3000 violations of the ceasefire from the militants since September 5. “In some places, the militants have advanced 20, 30, and even 70 kilometers forward from the demarcation line of September 5,” he said.
Malomuzh believes that much of the fault for the failure of the ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk lies with Ukraine’s Western partners. “This was a big mistake not just of our [Ukrainian] leadership, but also the miscalculation of our Western partners,” he stated. The Minsk format for peace is in fact Putin’s plan for Ukraine, and may allow the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine to extend their control in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and perhaps even further afield. The Western plan to prevent this escalation and the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity is limited to the OSCE and two drones.
In this environment, the Ukrainian general believes that a new format for peace must be created, preferably involving the cooperation of the G7 or G20. Russia is trying to make Ukraine accept a new status quo along the lines of Abkhazia, Transnistria, and other frozen conflict zones. A new format for peace in Ukraine must necessarily demand that observers “monitor every meter of the [Russia-Ukraine] border and call for the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” he said. Putin understands force, and only under strong pressure and arguments, will he accept that a different peace format for Ukraine is in his interests.