I mentioned Russell "Texas" Bentley, an American living in Donbass last bread (>>39047) as a source of intel on the breakaway Republics in Ukraine. He brings a unique perspective to the recent Normandy Four meeting and Zelensky's subsequent rejection of the Minsk/Steinmeier agreements, and also speculates about what could happen before the next Normandy meeting. Here is an excerpt from a post of his from 3 days ago, with one from yesterday to follow.
Normandy 4 and the Real War
Thursday, December 12, 2019
> The first Minsk Agreement was September 5th, 2014, when the ukrop army was reeling from defeats all along the Front. According to Poroshenko, at the time of the ceasefire, the ukrop army had lost 60 to 65 percent of all its operational heavy equipment, and around 100 ukrop soldiers were dying daily.
> The second agreement, "Minsk II" was signed February 12th, 2015, at a time when a major portion of the ukrop army was surrounded and helpless near Dabaltesve. Though both agreements led to temporary reductions in the fighting, and Minsk II did allow the surrounded ukrop military units to evacuate, the war has continued for over 5 years now, with no real end in sight.
> The Steinmeier Formula, first proposed in 2016, is based on Minsk II, and was recently signed by Zelensky and representatives of the Donbass People's Republics on October 1st of 2019, is a plan for peace that encompasses four steps to be taken in a specific, pre-determined and logical order.
> 1) Elections to be held in DPR and LPR, under Ukrainian law and OSCE observation and verification.
> 2) Upon OSCE verification of the elections, immediate implementation of special status for Donbass.
> 3) Amendment of the Ukraine Constitution confirming and codifying the special status of Donbass.
> 4) Ukrainian control of Russian border crossings in Donbass that are currently not under their control.
> The Steinmeier Formula delineates these four steps, in this exact order. That is what Zelensky signed in October, and the recent Normandy Four meeting was for the specific purpose of bringing these steps about. However, the chances of any of this ever actually happening, are, as they say, "wafer thin".
> At the recent Normandy Four meeting, Zelensky attempted to basically rewrite the entire agreement, by insisting that Ukraine take control of the border as the first step instead of the last, and by saying there was no way the Constitution of Ukraine could be amended or changed. On this basis, the Steinmeier Formula and the Minsk Agreement are dead in the water. It is as if the Normandy Four met to discuss the purchase of a house and Zelensky showed up trying to sell them a bicycle.
> So, if Steinmeier and Minsk are moot, what is the alternative? It appears Zelensky and his US/NATO masters still intend to maintain the military option. And indeed, from here in Donbass it continues to appear that this war will not end without one last major battle that will result in the complete destruction of the military power of one side or the other. There are other possible scenarios, including a "frozen war" that can continue almost indefinitely, but the Steinmeier Formula is not among them.