Earlier this week the cease fire between the Ukraine and the Russian separatists officially took effect. Shortly after this Ukrainian forces decided to pull their troops from the occupied town of Debaltseve leaving the town in the hands of the Russian Separatists and leaving many civilians to trapped within their battered homes. However even though Ukrainian Soldiers have forfeited the town gunfire and shelling can still be heard throughout the small town leaving many to believe that there are still some Ukrainian troops near the outskirts of Debaltseve. According to the Ukraine they were able to withdraw from the town in a “strategic and organized” manner although due to the gunfire it is believed that the better armed Russian Separatists could have cut them off while the Ukrainian forces were in retreat. The Ukraine has accused Russia of arming and training the separatists although Russia has been very quick to deny these claims. According to Ukraine's Poroshenko "The whole world saw that Russia doesn't adhere to its commitments." The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is responsible for monitoring the ceasefire, has criticized the separatists for not allowing OSCE's monitors into Debaltseve although the Separatists have claimed that it is not yet safe enough for them to grant them passage. Not long after Kiev pulled their forces from Debaltseve and recived word that the separatists were not willing to do the same they asked the UN to help with the conflict, a proposal that Russia quickly shot down claiming that the Minsk agreement was the basis for the ceasefire and that no outside help was required. Many were skeptical about whether or not this new ceasefire would work or not but as of right now the agreement's future looks bleak.
William A. Bullard