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Marathon talks produce Ukraine peace deal; cease-fire Sunday

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By YURAS KARMANAU and JIM HEINTZ

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Russia has won.

Russia never wanted the breakup of the Ukraine, what they wanted was federalization, and that's inevitable at this point.

Kiev’s price for regaining control of the border with Russia is to grant significant new power to the east.

This refers to the constitutional reform that will give the East a veto over major government policy, effectively keeping Ukraine out of the EU and NATO forever.

BTW, roadblocks are going up in Kiev.

The far-right in Ukraine will see this as total capitulation. The Azov battalion is battle hardened, armed and unemployed. Kiev has to order them to disband and go home. They won't.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Russian President Vladimir Putin plays the roulette Stalin could have won, too bad he's coming to the table five decades too late.

Admirable and foolish, Putin parades his failures as someone else's doing and pockets the profits from the adventure?

Sounds strangely familiar to another recent past President.

On with the game, Putin thought he could dictate a Ukraine invasion and found out he's not in the world of horse drawn carriages any more.

For a guy with immense experience and knowledge, Putin has bungled his Russian leadership fantasy for the past decade. Time for another election, Putin's already sucked the juice out of this ripe fruit of Russian potential. Sad, really sad. When's the next power station failure scheduled? Or heavy oil spill into the Black Sea? Yeah, Putin, he's got it beat.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@BB

Indeed a very precarious situation. If indeed the choco-king puppet intends to pursue peace as outlined in these latest talks, he's looking at a good chance of being ousted by the U.S.-backed neo-Nazi forces. Add in a collapsed economy and a currency that has devalued by half, and I don't see a peaceful ending to this--I hope I'm proven wrong.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The situation is fluid and will be for some time. This is just round 1.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So sorry Bush, but you are sorely deluded in your points. I don't blame you, though because you are in Putin Bizarro World and losers are going to celebrate losing.

This refers to the constitutional reform that will give the East a veto over major government policy, effectively keeping Ukraine out of the EU and NATO forever.

It does no such thing. The agreement from yesterday doesn't even mention "federalism". It only mentions "decentralisation". There is no mention of NATO and the EU in the agreement, whatsoever. You can opine all you want about how "this gives the East a veto" but it does no such thing. The whole reason for the Euromaidan was to join the EU, and the people in Kiev have not forgotten and neither has Merkel and Holland. Also, according to this, Ukraine would have control of its border with Russia again, which means the next time even shameless Putin won't be able to get his tanks in fast enough for there not to be a ton of evidence of Moscow's involvement. You've won nothing. QED.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good for Putin. He is just like Asad, doing what is best for his country but the greedy bankers want it all. Burning Bush is really ahead of the average news reader who believe in everything is posted. Check these links.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h4-j9Jsjag

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km5CJo9JkDI

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

"Russia never wanted the breakup of the Ukraine, what they wanted was federalization" - comments

Ukraine has fought for one hundred years (1917) to exist as an independent nation.

Let Russia leave her in peace, Russia has taken so much for so long, let the Ukrainians go.

These are peaceful people, farmers and providers for all, please let our brothers in Ukraine have the dignity of self rule. Putin caused the turmoil with his invasion and how many Ukrainians lost their lives?

Enough is enough, let Ukraine be Ukraine, not another rendition of a Russian satellite in the vogue of Stalin.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Avigator

Good for Putin. He is just like Asad, doing what is best for his country

Oooookaaay. I guess when your bar for success is that low, every world leader can be a winner.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is just round 1.

Actually this is round 2.

Round 1 was the failed Orange revolution in 2004 in which Russia out maneuvered the US.

Since then the Kremlin has been preparing for round 2 and the events of last year are the culmination of that. Moscow knew that the US would try a Maiden type coup in Kiev so the Russians prepared a trap for the US and NATO in order to federalize Ukraine.

Note the following;

The Yanukovych government "collapsed" on cue the day after Sochi ended. Yanukovych quickly and inexplicably disappeared into the ether never to be seen or heard from again.

In the ensuing chaos, the new government, formed quite possibly of KGB agents attempted to legislate a totally draconian law banning Russian as a language in the Ukraine. A law that of course the Russians in the East could not accept and could only lead to revolt. Supporters of the coup in the West were totally dumbfounded that the new Kiev government would propose such an obviously provocative and inciteful law.

The Russians then swoop into Crimea in a textbook operation that clearly was meticulously pre-planned and very well rehearsed.

Revolt begins in the East and the Ukrainian army is so completely incompetent in fighting the rebels that the only possible explanation is intentionally poor leadership.

Poroshenko, who has a history of being tight with the Kremlin suddenly emerges as a supposed enemy of Moscow and drags the conflict further into stalemate.

Poroshenko then sells out the Ukraine, setting the stage for a perfect situation for Russia.

Consider the situation:

Russia has the Crimea, lock stock and barrel Ukraine will end up as a federation, with the East getting constitutional guarantees (a veto), thereby ensuring a mechanism for the Kremlin to keep the Ukraine out of NATO and the EU forever. Russia will get full price for gas going to the Ukraine and control the crucial coal supplies in the East. Sanctions will be lifted soon.

Well done Comrade Poroshenko, Well done! You'll get your villa on the Black Sea next to your old buddy Yanukovych.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Burning Bush making some good points here.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I don't think Putin got his veto. The sovereignty issues deal with trade, elections, and laws/judges. As for the Russian language ban, we should hereafter call it "The Law That Never Was that Stared a War".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Burning Bush

Sooo, Putin effectively invades (whether just with arms or with soldiers too is up for debate) a neighboring friendly region. And that is his sole move of any consequence. This shows of the tactical skill of a fat man that sits down and takes up two seats on a bus. Yeah, no one can make him contain himself properly. Forgive me if I consider that pathetic rather than skillful.

2.Ukraine will end up as a federation, with the East getting constitutional guarantees (a veto), thereby ensuring a mechanism for the Kremlin to keep the Ukraine out of NATO and the EU forever.

Keep selling that line. Not a federation. Nothing is fixed forever or even for tomorrow.

3.Russia will get full price for gas going to the Ukraine and control the crucial coal supplies in the East.

If by control you mean pay full price, yeah. You think your fellow Russians in Donbass don't want to make as much as possible?

4.Sanctions will be lifted soon.

We will see my dear friend, we will see. I think it is more like Russia will be under these sanctions for a long time to come. France and Germany may have opted for peace talks rather than weapons at this point, but that doesn't mean they are dumb enough to just give Putin things for reprehensible behavior.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Momma Merkel walked in and put Porkoshenko in the "time-out" corner. lol

Merkel: "Listen Porko, I'm not gonna let you and your nazi friends start a world war for Obama in my backyard. Now sit down and SHUTUP!"

Still, Merkel said, in the end, Putin exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.

What! The evil, despicable, criminal, thug, Putin helped stop it? Oh my god! I need to go watch FOX news now to tell me what to think.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

kcjapan Ukraine has fought for one hundred years (1917) to exist as an independent nation. Let Russia leave her in peace, Russia has taken so much for so long, let the Ukrainians go. These are peaceful people, farmers and providers for all, please let our brothers in Ukraine have the dignity of self rule.

Do you agree that good education - key factor in life success ?

First studying - than discussing . What's happens in 1917 ? Russia has 2 Revolution in one year - so as a result Russian Empire was in full disorder and can't support Army.

So German Army go ahead and occupied part of Russian Empire

And on part of this territory "Ukraine" was formed by German Obercommando

Exactly in 1917.

And on this territory as I said many times - living not only Ukrainian. In 1917 Ukrainian were a minority on the territory

of German territory Ukraine...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The east being granted autonomy while maintaining the territorial integrity of the country means federalization. That's the only possible outcome. As with any federation, regions are granted a veto over constitutional changes. Since joining NATO or the EU would require a change in the constitution, the Eastern regions, who answer to Moscow, will have veto over that decision.

The rule will be enshrined in the constitution and changing it would be akin to Canada changing the constitution to limit Quebec's power,

Notice that Poroshenko never mentions the right to join NATO or the EU.

Russia has won and the Europeans know it, that's why they scurried off to Moscow to end what they know is a lost battle. Hotels in Paris are empty and Hollande's getting nervous.

Washington is awfully quiet about this new peace deal, it's almost as if they're bewildered.

The Pentagon spent billions on Ukraine and they ended up handing the Crimea to Russia and giving Russia an eternal hand in Ukrainian politics. Plus Washington will have to bail out Kiev for the next 10 years, and all that money will go directly to pay the gas bill to Russia.

Corks are popping in the Kremlin tonight.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Corks are popping in the Kremlin tonight.

lol

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@Burning Bush Keep up that fiction. I'd rather be in the country with billions to spend (and yes we can spend even with our government debt to the Chinese) then be in a country to poor to spend. Too bad Russia ain't got no friends. So sad.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Burning Bush Corks are popping in the Kremlin tonight.

Not shure , this conflict will be long and complicated..

But in winter 2013/14 West try to expel Russia from Ukraine and change political system in Ukraine by force

Quick and effective

One year later you see the result

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Whatever to think of the participants, what we are seeing, this quick peace deal, is extraordinary. Significantly, this was carried out by Europeans and without the presence of the U.S. the U.K. This was no doubt a good thing as they would have derailed the whole business with demands for weapons for Kiev or more sanctions.

Putin surprised me. Until now I saw him as a smooth operator when dealing Russians and the Chinese but a klutz when dealing with the West and East European allies. I now must seriously reassess the man.

Putin, for now, did get his own back at the motley crew that snubbed him in Australia and stuck sanctions on Russia. But that is secondary.

What is most important is that this peace deal was struck when the rebels were on the verge of victory and Kiev had lost the hearts and minds of East Ukraine and was losing the patience and support of West Ukraine. Kiev's conscription of young men to fight in the civil war has become very unpopular. There are reports of massive draft dodging and desertions. There have been demonstrations in Kiev. This is meagerly reported or neglected by the Western media.

Dispute what you will, but one thing no one in his or her right mind can dispute in Kiev's alienation of the people of East Ukraine. After shelling them, withholding their salaries and pensions this is what you should expect.

Putin could have done nothing and watched the central Kiev government become dysfunctional and East Ukraine become a big question mark. That he chose this decisive step shows he has no interest in seeing disorder in Ukraine. With good reason. Ukraine is a steady gas customer. A prosperous customer is good for business while a dysfunctional customer is bad for business. It is that simple.

War is bad for Russian business, while it may be good for the U.S. military-industrial complex. Though I believe that this peace deal, if carried to the end with intelligence, should create a win-win situation. America has too many enemies and one less (Russia) can only be a good thing. The end of sanctions will not only benefit Russia but also Europe.

What needs to be done?

Bare minimum, East Ukraine must be given independence. That is the only way Ukraine as a whole can deal with the damage that has been done by the civil war and the years of conflicts between Kiev and Eastern Ukraine.

After that, something should be done about Crimea. Since it is too late to return it to Kiev, Russia can compensate Kiev either with money or goods.

Finally, the Kiev government should resign en mass and a new government elected (preferably one free of neo-Nazis).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Kabukilover

How you get a thumbs down with no comment for that well thought out analysis escapes me. Just goes to show you "there be trolls here Captain!" (Best Scotty voice)

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Corks are popping in the Kremlin tonight.

Don't see any reason for celebration anywhere. All that was accomplished was for the two sides to agree to a cease-fire that will not even begin for several days - if ever. Then we're back to where we were after the first cease-fire, and what happened to that is history. I am afraid that the gap between the two sides is too broad to be bridged. It certainly won't be bridged by starry-eyed Putin-worshipers' dreams of a federal Ukraine with the east given veto power over constitutional changes. It will also not be solved through military aid to Ukraine from the US. There is not a smidgen of light signaling the end of the tunnel as far as I can see.

And that is too bad for Putin and Russia - a country in which bananas have become a luxury, just like in the good ol' Soviet days. Get used to it; it will be the new norm for perhaps the rest of the decade.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kabukilover Whatever to think of the participants, what we are seeing, this quick peace deal, is extraordinary.

Thank you - good analisys.

Laguna Don't see any reason for celebration anywhere.. I am afraid that the gap between the two sides is too broad to be bridged

Yes it is so. Situation is very complicated. German security estimated losses in South-East of Ukraine

about 50 000. So it should be done something.

West made a huge political mistake year before ignoring interests of Donbass.

Dialog - always better than brute force

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The first test will be implementation and monitoring of the cease fire. President Putin has finally been put on the spot. Failure to remove his insurgence force and withdraw Russian heavy weapons will gift US Republican's the means to justify providing lethal defense. Republican Senator John McCain gave a taste of what's to come, after arguing forcefully lethal defensive aid be delivered to Ukraine, describing Merkel’s efforts as 'Foolishness'. This is President Putin last chance to withdraw and take stock of the situation. Federalization of Ukraine is economically and politically unworkable.

The annexation of the Crimea is a example of Moscow insipid soviet style grip of economic reality. The invasion of little green men was not preceded by legal and organizational preparations. Only after the Kremlin annexation did Moscow instruct the Ministry of Regional Development to prepare the ‘Programme for Development of the Republic of Crimea’. The necessary investments in infrastructure and other sectors of the region’s economy was never fully quantified in a budgetary or fiscal structure, subsequently the process of integrating the 'Republic of Crimea' with Russia’s institutions highlighted the full implications, costs and folly after completely severing economic and institutional ties with Ukraine.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The annexation of the Crimea is a example of Moscow insipid soviet style grip of economic reality.

Really. And what do you call the US's coup in Kiev? A great leap forward? Amazing people are trying to re-write history before it's even history. What do we call them? Looosers!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Russia's economy sucks and it's going to suck worse before it sucks better.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And what do you call the US's coup in Kiev?

Lots of loose words being tossed around. FizzBit, if you have a smidgen of evidence to back up your claim, please make it public - you'd undoubtedly win a Pulitzer. Logically: with Iran, Iraq, Syria and the ISIS - all of which would benefit from Russian cooperation - the last thing that the US needed was Ukraine. I don't know if you're parroting this from some far-right Website, but please source.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Russia's economy sucks and it's going to suck worse before it sucks better.

The Russians alive today lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the economic meltdown of 1998.

A 1% drop in GDP is nothing for the Russians, they'll take it in stride, sip some vodka and cheer as Putin wrestles a Siberian Tiger to the ground on Russian TV.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I am afraid FizzBit, a lot more objectivity over rhetorically regurgitating Moscow's propaganda and soundbites will provide the 'leap forward' required for a peaceful settlement. A decentralized political structure along the lines of culture, adoption of Russian language , planning of regional development, renewed transportation infrastructure and common ownership of the territorial communities of a region over a unworkable federalist agenda could provide a positive starting point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Crimean status referendum, 2014:

Join the Russian Federation: Votes, 1,233,002; % of registered voters, 80.42%;

Restore the 1992 constitution and remain as a part of Ukraine: Votes, 31,997; % of registered voters, 2.09%

insipid [in-sip-id] adjective

without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid

Hmmm, the yea vote to rejoin Russia seems pretty distinctive to me. If only voter turnout and yes votes for U.S. presidents were as distinctive.

In the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld: "Democracy is messy!"

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

laguna

No parroting here. Just my own crazy ideas.

From your simple Wiki source:

"In the recording, Nuland makes an obscene reference to the European Union.[11] After discussing Ukrainian opposition figures Nuland states that she prefers the United Nations as mediator, instead of the European Union, adding "F*** the EU," and Pyatt responds, "Oh, exactly ...."[7][12]"

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

who do you trust more to keep their word-

Putin or Obama ?

It has a bearing on world events.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imanishi E, I respect both, trust in our political leadership to fulfil basic promises detailed in their election manifestos is so often sadly absent in government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmmm, the yea vote to rejoin Russia seems pretty distinctive to me.

Yup, quite distinctive, particularly as the vote was organized and held within ten days under an atmosphere of "little green men" (Russian military troops sans insignia) occupying all public spaces and the third, important choice not on the ballot . as Wikipedia notes, "The available choices did not include keeping the status quo of Crimea and Sevastopol as they were at the time the referendum was held."

No doubt Putin would honor such a referendum if one were held in, say, Dagestan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I thought of a good analogy for the current situation. Imagine a table that is Ukraine. It belonged to Russia for a long time, but due to general moral bankruptcy or whatever, it has been repossessed and given to the EU. How that happened is another tale, but it's got the EU's name written on 3/4 of it. Now Russia does not accept this of course and so it sits down and places its massive gut on the edge. Now the few people that could push Russia aside don't really want to because it will start WW3 and get everyone killed. So that is where we are. The repo truck is here but a huge fat man is blocking everything. Now I say that the EU should just cut off the part under the giant gut, but Poroshenko doesn't want the table damaged anymore. Sound about right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't see how Putin will be able to stick to the deal. He needs that veto.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Complete and total Russian victory: a frozen conflict in Ukraine that prevents a border with NATO outside the Baltics.

The first year of the Eurasian Union is off to a roaring start.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Steven C. Schulz I see you are another master comedian. If by roaring start you mean the Russian collapse, you might be correct. People will be fleeing that "union" like a sinking ship.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But the truth is that the more the sanctions hurt ordinary Russians, the more they rally behind Putin. They're willing to suffer the pain to restore Russia's position in the world - a poor great power is still a great power.

The ceasefire line is the line of control between the Ukrainian military and the rebels - so now the rebels can fortify their positions, leaving Ukraine to watch and do nothing.

The rebels have their statelet, Putin has his Abkhazia in Ukraine, and without continued violence, European support for sanctions will fade. It may not be his ideal, but Putin's plans for the Russian Empire have borne their fruit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't see how Putin will be able to stick to the deal. He needs that veto.

It's embedded in the framework of the agreement.

https://euobserver.com/foreign/125642

Notice how Poroshenko is constantly harping on about territorial integrity, but he himself never mentions NATO.

The Russians have cleverly solidified a suspension in all EU related agreements, they're all getting pushed back a year or so. And for a very good reason.

The Russians are working off a playbook, just like in Bosnia, which can't join the EU or NATO because of the Serb minority veto, the Ukraine will be left in limbo forever, or it could drift back into Russia's orbit.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm not seeing anything about it there. And that article is 6 months old.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I thought of a good analogy for the current situation. Imagine a table that is Ukraine. It belonged to Russia for a long time, but due to general moral bankruptcy or whatever, it has been repossessed and given to the EU. How that happened is another tale, but it's got the EU's name written on 3/4 of it. Now Russia does not accept this of course and so it sits down and places its massive gut on the edge. Now the few people that could push Russia aside don't really want to because it will start WW3 and get everyone killed. So that is where we are. The repo truck is here but a huge fat man is blocking everything. Now I say that the EU should just cut off the part under the giant gut, but Poroshenko doesn't want the table damaged anymore. Sound about right?

I like it. But this is not 1960 anymore, and NATO has no purpose. NATO (the US) is manufacturing this. The "table" is not in Ukraine, but the offices of the petroleum and gas industry.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

IT will Not Work!! In the way of speaking of North American natives US government speaks with two thongs, or the way we Europeans say they are saying one thing while thinking another. US is very unhappy about any deal in Ukraine and they are doing all possible behind the curtain games to derail it. Their proxy the extreme right Nazi Azov Battalion has been instructed to keep fighting. Since they pretend not to be under control of the government they can do that without the west accusing Kiev while any response from the freedom fighters will be blamed on Russia. That is the plan and Kiev is the partner in it as well. I do not know if Germans and French really want the peace, they seem to but surely Poles, Lithuanians and Brits are not impressed. Lithuanians are very racist and pro Nazi Russophobes, British are in bead with Americans for Colonial aspirations while Poles are to the Christendom equivalent of Islamist extremists, they hate any Orthodox Christians the Russians most It is a Pole on the helm of EU and he is openly foaming on the mouth against Russia. So this great peace deal will be derailed before it gets very far.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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