Snippets of recent news.
What’s happening with the Steinmeier Formula peace plan?
Nothing is the short answer. To kick things off, both sides had agreed to withdraw their forces from two front line hot spots. The withdrawal areas are located near the villages of Zolote in the Luhansk province and Petrivske in Donetsk. Regrettably, with the continuation of heavy firing by Russia’s forces, Ukraine rightly refused to pull its troops back. Before they do anything, Ukraine’s demanding a period of time without any firing. As you might expect, Russia’s propaganda has been having a right royal hissy fit about this.
Currently, there’s no renewed withdrawal agreement, but as the below video indicates, Ukraine had prepared to pull back. Also, the daily OSCE reports detail both sides digging new fortifications behind the proposed withdrawal areas and clearing mines and defences within it. So, it’s probably just be a matter of time before both sides get around to pulling back.
Oct 8th video. Residents in Ukraine held territory express their fears about Ukrainian forces pulling out. Once the army has withdrawn, Ukraine’s police will patrol the (Ukraine held) demilitarized areas.
My Google search of which countries Russia’s invaded.
Good to see Ukraine & Crimea listed, not to mention Georgia.
Time for Putin going to jail.
Oct 15th: In one of the more comical posts by Russia’s Donetsk republic, they inform us about their desire for “disciplinary measures” to be taken against those who break the ceasefire. This poses the question, when are they going to punish Putin?
In addition to this unintended humour, the below web post gives us an insight into the Kremlin’s negotiating tactics. Increased firing by Russia’s forces = more death and destruction. This = the peace plan negotiating countries of France and Germany (and Ukraine) forever agreeing with Russia on short-term measures to stop the current fighting, rather than the trickier problem of pressuring the Kremlin into stopping its occupation of eastern Ukraine.
An upsurge in fighting means representatives from Russia and its sham Donetsk & Luhansk republics can endlessly play “the situation along the contact line is becoming more critical everyday” card. Five years on and apart from numerous, short-lived agreed ceasefires, Germany and France have achieved little in their discussions with Russia to end the conflict. In this respect, they’ve let down both Ukraine and Europe.
Now some good news.
Things are moving on at Stanytsia Luhanska. Below images & videos show the temporary pedestrian bridge (on the left) is now operational and repairs to the old bridge are well under way. From the looks of the scaffolding in the centre, the damaged bridge section is to be replaced by only a small pedestrian crossing, similar to the temp one. If correct, this will help allay concerns that Russia’s forces would be able to advance across a fully reconstructed bridge.
Oct 6th video on the opening of the temporary bridge.
Video image showing the bridge today.
Picture from a few days ago. It shows the concrete foundations for the main bridge section under construction. Russia’s forces control the side of the bridge seen above and the land behind the Siverskyi Donets River.
Live video camera from the Ukraine held side.
To enable the bridge construction & substantial improvements to the crossing area to take place, both sides have agreed and kept to a long-term ceasefire. Which only goes to show, it’s possible to stop the firing when each sides military forces choose to do so.