I’ve got bad news: Peace is not on the horizon in Ukraine.
Most sources seem to believe that an unheralded group called the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has devised a diplomatic solution that’ll appease both sides in the conflict.
But in reality, the crisis is quickly escalating, and neither Ukraine’s interim government nor the pro-Russian separatists are interested in the OSCE’s plan.
Meanwhile, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists recently ambushed an armored unit, killing seven soldiers and wounding at least seven others. The attack highlights the increasingly bloody nature of the Ukrainian crisis.
A Messy Situation
At the moment, fears of a civil war are spreading, especially after referendums in Donetsk and Luhansk showed that a vast majority of voters favor state sovereignty.
The aggressive stance of the separatists – who ignored even Vladimir Putin’s call to delay the referendum – shows that a fairly milquetoast OSCE proposal is unlikely to solve the crisis.
For the sake of argument, though, let’s take a look at the OSCE plan.
The initial goal is to host a series of talks between the Ukrainian government and those who “feel alienated from government,” especially the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. On top of that, the plan calls for an end to violence on both sides, and protestors who are currently occupying buildings will be offered amnesty in exchange for turning over their weapons. Finally, no more referendums will be allowed.
According to The Washington Post, the plan aims to “decentralize Ukraine’s government and maintain the status of the Russian language, which is commonly spoken in Ukraine, especially in the areas where opposition to the Kiev government runs highest.”
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But will it really work? Most parties remain skeptical, including the United States, the Ukrainian government and the separatists.
In fact, the only parties who truly support the plan are Russia – in part because the plan is extremely forgiving to Moscow – and the EU, because it’s easily in Europe’s best (economic) interest for the fighting to come to an end.
For its part, the United States is disappointed that Russia didn’t carry out any of its obligations under earlier agreements, and it rightfully doesn’t want to let Putin off the hook with few, if any, consequences.
Ultimately, what does that prove, and how does it prevent the Russian president from taking similar action in the future?
Making matters even more difficult is the fact that the Russian separatists in Ukraine don’t plan on attending the talks. The group lacks a single leader, as they’ve disregarded even Putin at this point, and it doesn’t appear that the separatists have a singular goal, either. On top of that, they feel that the government in Kiev has no interest in hearing them out, thus they see no reason to attend the talks.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine that the OSCE plan – despite good intentions – will actually halt the crisis in Ukraine.
In Pursuit of the Truth,