As of today the situation in the Ukraine is deceptively calm.  If the Novorussians have completed the withdrawal of their heavy weapons, the junta forces by all accounts did not: they did withdraw some, but most if it was not so much a case of withdrawal as a case of relocation and even rotation of forces.  The OSCE knows about it, but there is nothing which they can do.  Furthermore, there has been a flurry of behind the scenes contacts between the Hollande, Merkel, Putin and Poroshenko, and between Kerry and Lavrov but with nothing substantial revealed, at least not to the general public.  It is hard for me to believe that the junta is preparing a “Spring offensive” after being so thoroughly thrashed last summer and this winter, but then this begs the question of what is really worse for the freaks in power, a military defeat or a peace which would leave them one on one with their extremely dissatisfied population.

Speaking of the Winter Offensive, “Uncle Martin” has posted an English translation of Colonel Cassad’s detailed analysis of what happened near Donetsk and Debaltsevo and it shows that things were not nearly as picture perfect as some might have supposed.  Check out the article here, it is a very interesting read: The battle for Debalcevo. Results.

In them meantime, in the junta-controlled part of the Ukraine the persecution of the Orthodox population by Uniate thugs continues unabated.  In the latest case, Human Rights activists from Kiev have reported that Orthodox Christians were assaulted and threatened inside their church during a religious ceremony.  You can access the machine translated version of this article by clicking here.

US and EU leaders have declared that they are looking into more sanctions against Russia if the Minsk-2 Agreement fails in Novorussia.  Apparently, they are assuming that this could only happen by the fault of the Novorussians and Russia.  In the meantime, the Internet domain names registered in Crimea are being removed by ICANN (see here for details).

Bottom line: the situation appears calm, but since nothing has really changed, this calm is probably temporary at best.

The Saker

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