Under normal conditions, the time leading up to a peace of war would encompass non-lethal actions in preparation of a much desired and wishful peace. But not in Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine's east have escalated fighting ahead of the zero-hours on Sunday ceasefire agreed at the Minsk II talks.
Eight Ukraine solders were killed and 34 wounded in rebel attacks in and around the Donetsk town of Debaltseve in the past 24 hours. In another Russian-backed rebel escalation of violence, two civilians were killed and six injured earlier this morning in the town of Shchastya, near the city of Luhansk, when rebels shelled a cafe and other positions around the town.
It is apparent that pro-Russian separatists have embarked upon a violent last minute territory grab in Ukraine's east since the Minsk II agreement failed to address lines of demarcation. And if the recent events of violence in Ukraine are indicative of the attitudes that will carry over into the scheduled ceasefire, what are the chances of a real ceasefire taking effect?