Phew! A major war is averted for now. Europe, and the world held their breadth as the Normandy 4 “concluded” a 16 hour grueling marathon meeting in Minsk. The decision was to implement a ceasefire starting midnight 15 February 2014. Why wait till 15 February and not now? Three more days to unload all the shells and kill a few more fellows. Three days is a long time for those living in areas where bombs are dropping all around. Beggars can’t choose. For those in East Ukraine, it had been a year of hell. At least now, there is hope. Three more agonising days before the promised peace returns. It is the day worth waiting for.
According to early reports, the agreement that the Normandy 4 agreed on is really nothing new. It is just another regurgitation of what was supposedly agreed in last year’s truce. So will this “new agreement” hold is yet to be seen. RT News reported the gist of the outcome:
A compromise decision was taken over the disengagement line, which was the biggest stumbling block in the negotiation. Putin said Kiev’s troops would pull back heavy weapons from the current frontline. The rebels would pull back from the line as it existed in September, when the previous ceasefire agreement was signed.
The security zone separating the warring parties must be at least 50km wide for artillery over 100mm caliber, 70km for regular multiple rocket launchers and 100km for heavier weapons with a longer range, like Tochka-U ballistic missiles, the document states.
The weapons pullout must start on Sunday and be completed in no longer than 14 days. The OSCE is charged with implementing the ceasefire on the ground and will use its drone fleet and monitors to verify that both parties are sticking to the deal.
After 15 February, there will be a East Ukraine and a West Ukraine so it seems. A country divided and torn apart, just as in Korea, Vietnam and Germany. Korea’s division was “brokered” by Russia and the USA as a result of the 1945 Allied victory in World War II. Vietnam was divided in the aftermath of French occupation in the territory “following the 1954 Geneva Conference at the end of the First Indochina War, when the country was partitioned at the 17th parallel. The DRV became the government of the North while the State of Vietnam retained control in the South (Wikipedia)”. The Vietnamese War followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States and other anti-communist allies. The separation of Berlin began in 1945 after the collapse of Germany. The country was divided into four zones, where each superpower controlled a zone. In 1946, reparation agreements broke down between the Soviet and Western zones. Response of the West was to merge French, British, and American zones in 1947 (coldwar.org).
History is now repeating itself in Ukraine. The same players are once again at the centre of the acrimony and purported truce. It is just another cyclical event. Will it ever stop. History says no.
And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.