Sep 08 2014

Ukraine and Russia Sign Tenuous Ceasefire Potentially Ending Months of Conflict

Feature Stories | Published 8 Sep 2014, 9:44 am | Comments Off on Ukraine and Russia Sign Tenuous Ceasefire Potentially Ending Months of Conflict -

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Details are slowly emerging of the terms of a ceasefire signed on Friday between Ukraine and Russia over a conflict that had killed over 2,500 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. A twelve point road map for peace requires Ukraine to pass a law that confers special status on the pro-Russian dominated regions of Lugansk and Donetsk that will include them holding early elections and offer fighters in those areas, amnesty from prosecution.

Representatives from Lugansk and Donetsk, which have declared themselves autonomous republics, were present at the meeting in Minsk, Belarus. The ceasefire document also requires Ukraine to promote an “inclusive nationwide dialogue,” and create a “safety zone” on the border with Russia.

Many challenges remain. Just hours after the ceasefire was signed, several firefights broke out in Donetsk on Sunday threatening to undermine the agreement.

And, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko faces an uphill challenge to sell the deal to his constituency. Some liken the divisions it will create in Ukraine to the separation between West Germany and East Germany.

GUEST: Katrina Vanden Huevel, editor and publisher of The Nation, a long time expert on US-Russia relations.

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