The Conflict in Ukraine: Regional and Global Contexts – A Perspective from RussiaJournal: Policy Perspectives (Vol.19, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2022-06-30
Authors : Ivan Safranchuk;
Page : 1-5
Keywords : Ukraine Conflict; Russian Perspective; Minsk Accords;
The political context of the current war crisis in Ukraine has at least three layers. To start from the bottom, the first layer is the crisis of the Minsk Accords. After the anti-Russia coup in Kyiv in February 2014, pro-Russia popular movements consolidated in several regions of Ukraine. In Crimea, this developed into separating from Ukraine and integrating into Russia. In several other regions like Odessa and Kharkov, such movements were forcefully suppressed. But in the two regions, Donetsk and Lugansk, they managed to survive as de facto, unrecognized states, fighting Kyiv. To stop that war, two Minsk accords were concluded with the mediation of Russia, France, and Germany. The accords provided ceasefire and political reform, including constitutional amendments, to give these pro-Russia regions special status within Ukraine. However, these accords were never fully implemented. Kyiv temporized because the nationalistic movements in Ukraine strongly opposed their implementation. One of the central elements of Volodymyr Zelensky's presidential campaign in 2019 was the promise of peaceful reintegration of Donetsk and Lugansk separatist regions, which implied implementation of the Mink accords. After his election, however, President Zelensky came to the position of denying the Minsk agreements. Now Russian officials claim that Ukraine was preparing for a military assault on the separatist regions in 2022 to reintegrate them by force rather than through the implementation of the Minsk Accords. The sabotage and finally denial of the Minsk Accords logically implied the return to warfare, which these accords put an end to in 2014.
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