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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vladimir Putin is simply biding time in the Ukraine.He's an evil man consumed with ambition.

In my opinion, Vladimir Putin is on a quest to fulfill Russia's ambitions to control the world. He will continue to pursue this ambitiion, regardless of how it harms other nations or, even, if doing so imposes economic stress on his own nation.

“We have no illusions,” she said, “A great, great deal of work still needs to be done. But there is a real chance to turn things around toward the better.” (Chancellor Angela Merkel)

Dear Chancellor Merkel, don't trust Vladimir Putin!

The New York times reports:

Ukrainian leaders caved to achieve a cease fire because Vladimir Putin showed up to a marathon meeting, essentially holding his diplomatic breath until he got a cease fire of his own design.  

Putin's designed cease fire won't last. Nevertheless, while some peace exists between Russia and the Ukraine, Putin will allow his own troops to rest up for the next volley.

MINSK, Belarus — A renewed cease-fire and an overall agreement to end the war in Ukraine were announced here on Thursday by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France after marathon overnight bargaining that nearly collapsed at the very end.

The cease-fire is scheduled to begin at midnight on Saturday, but the 13-point compact appeared fragile, with crucial issues like the location of the truce line and control of the border with Russia left unresolved. Over all, there seemed to be no guarantee that the problems that marred the cease-fire agreement reached here in September had been ironed out.

The very fact that it took more than 16 hours of intensive negotiations to reach an agreement, and that the leaders announced the accord in three separate news conferences, seemed to highlight the differences that remained.

But after so many hours spent in the grandiose Independence Palace in Minsk, the Belarussian capital, all four leaders emphasized that the agreement should be given the chance to quiet the nearly year long conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“It consisted of a long night and a long morning, but we arrived at an accord on the cease-fire and the global end to the conflict,” François Hollande, the French president, said at a news conference in a joint appearance with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“What we have on the table today gives us great hope,” said Ms. Merkel, who unexpectedly began a mediation effort with her French counterpart last week. 

However, she added, that there was much work ahead.

“We have no illusions,” she said, “A great, great deal of work still needs to be done. But there is a real chance to turn things around toward the better.”

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine, in their separate briefings, highlighted those parts of the agreement that matched their demands, while noting crucial outstanding questions.

“Despite all the difficulties of the negotiating process, we managed to agree on the main things,” Mr. Putin said. Those issues included the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, a promise for constitutional change and “special status” for the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, he said.

Mr. Poroshenko, for his part, emphasized humanitarian issues, like the release of all prisoners, including Nadiya V. Savchenko, a female helicopter navigator who was elected to the Ukrainian Parliament while facing trial in Moscow. All foreign troops, military equipment and mercenaries should be withdrawn from Ukrainian territory, he said.

But the plan also included some tripwires, not least the questions about the truce line and the fate of the village of Debaltseve, an important railroad hub that has been the site of fierce fighting in recent weeks.

The deal calls for heavy artillery to be withdrawn at least about 15 miles from each side, and the biggest missiles even farther. The withdrawal is scheduled to start two days after the cease-fire and to be completed within two weeks.
Continue reading the main story

Mr. Putin said that Mr. Poroshenko refused to acknowledge that the separatist forces had surrounded up to 8,000 Ukrainian soldiers in Debaltseve, but the Russian leader said he hoped that consultations between military commanders would settle that matter.Continue reading the main story

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