By IVAN ZHYKARIEV
Ukraine is witnessing the most important political and diplomatic process since The Treaty of Pereyaslav in 1654, when the Ukrainian state signed a treaty with Mosckovia, what is now Russia, on its territorial and political integrity.
It was Bogdan Khmelnyskiy, leader of Ukrainian Cossacks, who initiated talks over the status of Ukrainian lands and the creation of Cossack Hetmanate, the young Ukrainian country.
Today, Ukraine is facing a similar challenge in order to unite the country, which is so divided on its political future.
In February of 2014, Ukraine showed the new government being established after bitter fighting on the streets of the Ukrainian capital. Immediately, Ukraine’s new leaders declared their intention to join NATO and sign the EU agreement.
Lynn senior Francesco Oberrauch has been following the events in Ukraine.
“I was baffled by what I saw on the streets of Kiev that winter of 2014. People went to protest against the corrupt government, which replied with excessive force and bullets,” said Oberrauch. “I thought that after [Former Ukraine President] Yanukovich fled the country; the situation would change, but it became worse.”
Putin had to act quickly as Russian endorsed fighters seized control over a dozen cities in Eastern Ukraine, only a few weeks after Crimea was annexed. Russian separatists are well trained and well-equipped battalions who operate artillery and tanks. There are reports that Russia has been supplying the rebels with the newest military equipment as well as financing the Chechen mercenaries fighting in Ukraine.
On Sept. 5, 2014, the first peace talks took place on the neutral ground in Minsk, Belarus. After hours of talks conducted between OSCE, former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and rebel leaders of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “Republics” the ceasefire was reached.
However, it only lasted for a few months as heavy fighting continued, mostly around the area of Donetsk where Ukrainian forces were fighting for a strategically important International Airport of Donetsk.
The UN reports that at least 5,486 people were killed in the conflict, which also took the lives of 298 passengers of a Malaysian Airliner, which was hit by a missile. More than 5.2 million people live in the conflict-affected areas, while 978,482 were internally displaced due to the conflict. An estimated 600,000 people fled to neighboring territories and 75 percent of refugees crossed Russian border.
Oberrauch believes that the current situation in Ukraine threatens the whole system of European values.
“Russia violated the international law and took over Crimea, they definitely stand behind Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. Western society and the world is ran in accordance to the international laws since the end of the WWII,” said Oberrauch. “People die in Ukraine because someone doesn’t play by the rules of democracy.”
New talks in Minsk are designed to regulate a situation, which is pronounced to be the biggest humanitarian crisis in years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are leading the peace talks in Belarus, which is not exactly a beacon of democracy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko discussed a peace initiative, allegedly approved by Barack Obama and Putin himself.
All four leaders were present at the talks that could change the political landscape of Europe and bring peace to Eastern Ukraine, drained in blood and tears of those who do not care for political promises of neither Ukraine nor pro-Russian rebels.