Rebel commander Eduard Basurin of the pro-Russian separatist forces fighting in east Ukraine has said that beginning today, the rebels will start a two-week process of removing heavy weapons from the front line in Ukraine, Reuters reports this morning. This action is part of the required Minsk II ceasefire agreement signed between the rebels, the Ukraine government and Russia.
However, for the pro-Russian separatists, to honor this portion of the ceasefire agreement is most fitting at this time since they have gained additional territory while fighting under a ceasefire. To now adhere to a key element of the ceasefire, runs true to the character of the Moscow-sponsored rebels, who have repeatedly broken agreements, gained more territory in the interim, then to obey the terms of peace only once they have gained an advantage. With such tactics, and in lieu of Western arms to the Kiev government, Vladimir Putin's rebels could be in the capital of Ukraine by Spring.
But anything is better than nothing. And if the rebels do live up to the terms of withdrawing heavy weapons from the front lines, some measure of peace, though it may be temporary, could come to Ukraine.