All's Not Quiet on the Eastern Front in Ukraine
Peace and freedom come with a price. Though presumed as inalienable rights, they are never easily won or achieved. Yet, to accomplish them, nationalities and peoples throughout the advent of human history, have had to fight and render heart wrenching sacrifices.
The young Ukrainians who demonstrated their aspirations at the Maidan two winters ago for peace, the rule of law, democracy and freedom from Russian domination, are still seeking realization of their dreams. Three ceasefire agreements between the Kiev government and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine have failed to win a peace.
Hope that the most recent agreement - Minsk II, would bring peace to Ukraine, is fading with each passing hour. And despite claims from rebel forces that all is calm on the eastern front in Ukraine, servicemen of the Kiev government continue to die from shelling by pro-Russian forces intent on grabbing more of Ukraine's territory to add to Vladimir Putin's sphere of influence.
Reuters reported earlier today that the Kiev government could not remove its heavy weapons from the eastern front as part of the Minsk II agreement because of continuous shelling from pro-Russian rebels. A Ukrainian military spokesman confirmed that two of its servicemen died and ten were wounded in the past 24-hours in 27 events of shelling from rebels.
"The fighters have not stopped their attempts to storm our positions in Shyrokyne, in the directions Mariupol," Ukraine's Anatoly Stelmakh reported. He said rebels attacked the town of Shyrokyne which is located along the coastal road leading to the strategic port of Mariupol.
While Germany's government describes as "not satisfactory" the implementation of the Minsk II ceasefire, reality infers that there is no peace in eastern Ukraine. Kiev's warning that rebels are intent on taking the city of Mariupol appear evident as separatists and their backers in Moscow attempt to create a "New Russia" linking rebel held eastern Ukraine with Crimea, consuming more of Ukraine's territory.
Thus, all's not quiet on the eastern front in Ukraine. Kiev's government will continue to yield territory to pro-Russian separatists until those at the decision-making level of the European Union(EU), recognize that Ukraine could become an important laboratory to diffusing and voiding Vladimir Putin's loft ideas of empire building and agitations to Europe.