Following the 22nd July agreement between Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Ukraine and Russia a ceasefire was put in force over the Donbas region on 27th July. The Ukrainians demand the implementation of an absolute ceasefire treaty in order to finally conclude the Minsk 2015 treaty. The effects, however, are far from being visible with apparent violations of the trilateral treaty occurring daily.
The rules for the ceasefire, concluded by the 22nd July agreements, are as follows:
- A ban on offensive, reconnaissance and subversive activities, as well as a ban on the use of any types of aircraft
- A ban on the use of fire, in particular, sniper fire
- A ban on the deployment of heavy weapons in populated localities and the surrounding area, in particular at civilian infrastructure: schools, kindergartens, hospitals and facilities with public access
- The effective use of disciplinary measures for violations of the ceasefire and reporting them to the coordinator of the TCG, who will inform all its participants;
- The creation and engagement of a coordinating mechanism to respond to violations of the ceasefire regime with the assistance of the Joint Center on Control and Coordination of the ceasefire and stabilization of the contact line (JCCC) in its current composition
However, on the 11th August, two violations of the ceasefire were reported. Near Maryinka under-barrel grenade launchers were heard, while in the village of Shyrokyne Ukrainian forces took small arms fire.
On the 12th August, the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation HQ reported on the enemy losses, claiming nine killed and 15 wounded on the rebels’ side. On 19th August, two violations of the treaty took place near the village of Luhanske and town of Popasna, with no casualties reported.
On 23rd August, Ukrainian website 112.international reported on more than 600 violations since the implementation of the truce on the 27th July. The activities recorded by the OSCE declare that the main issue was the small arms fire, mines detonations, and minor explosions.
On the 1st September, after a month of implementation of the treaty, defence24.pl reported that the of OSCE‘s Special Monitoring Mission were aware of 800+ violations since the beginning of the ceasefire. Including 148 explosions, two unidentified projectiles, 12 signal flares, 667 incidents of small arms fire. With 42 violations being recorded between the 28th to 29th August alone.
The restrictive measures agreed by the OSCE ceasefire treaty and undertaken by the Ukrainian government, in the hopes of restoring peace in the region, seem to be unable to end the stalemate. The discipline amongst the rebels seems to be non-existent in terms of respecting current efforts to bring peace to the region. Will that change in the foreseeable future? Considering ongoing Russian interest in weakening Ukraine, it is highly doubtful.