Fighting has been flaring up sporadically over the weekend in eastern Ukraine, the Washington Post reports:
Firefights broke out near the rebel-held city of Donetsk as well as east of the key port city of Mariupol, eyewitnesses said. Yet Ukrainian officials maintained that in general, the truce, which went into effect Friday evening, was holding.“The Ukrainian government still believes in the cease-fire despite the violations,” said Volodymyr Poleviy, deputy spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security Defense Council.
Putin keeps running circles around the West. The cease-fire deal is identical in its terms to the plan proposed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in late June, but Putin has set up a narrative for himself in which he appears as an irreplaceable peace broker—even as he still denies his soldiers are a part of the uprising. Furthermore, just as in June, there are indications that the ceasefire is being used to consolidate gains until the next act of aggression: Ukrainian intelligence is reporting that the flow of arms from Russia into eastern Ukraine continues unabated.Putin appears to be distinctly unimpressed by Western efforts to scare him into ceasing to do whatever he pleases. It’s far past time that Western leaders figure out that Putin is going to keep being Putin until and unless someone puts more than a symbolic obstacle in his way.