As we begin 2019, I’d like to give a quick update on the Ukrainian situation. Already there are several reports coming out of the Donbas region with Russian back separatists continuing to violate the Minsk II agreement.

“The number of Ukrainian positions came under fire from grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms.”

Russian hybrid military forces mounted at least four attacks on Ukrainian army positions in the Donbas on January the 7th, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action.

Across the entire front line stretching from the Luhansk region, the Donetsk sector and the Mariupol sector came under small arms engagements from Russian forces. Follow reports from the OSCE and the Ukrainian military forces: they continue to monitor the engagement along the contact line. It’s believed Ukrainian troops are adhering to the terms of a complete ceasefire.  The situation in the joint forces’ operation zone is under the control of these troops and the Ukrainian government.

“‘Russian forces violated the ceasefire in Donbas four times from 00:00 to 18:00 Kyiv time. As a result, one serviceman of the UA joint forces was wounded,’ the press centre of Ukrainia’s joint forces operations said in an update on Facebook as of 18:00 of time Monday.”

Once again, this doesn’t surprise me. There will be daily violations–some more serious than others–and this war has already dragged on long enough with no clear end in sight. I do think this will continue for years to come. Eventually, at some point the Ukrainian population will lose interest in the region, and with no clear signs of international backing, I wonder at this point what the Ukrainian government has in store for the Donbas region.

It could be argued that the Ukrainian government will use this Russian aggression and the ongoing war to ramp up interest in the country. Or, more precisely, to generate interest in whatever political party is ruling at the time to obtain more money in order to become a rich and more powerful pro-Western state.

Ukraine has every right to take back that piece of land–after all, it’s a sovereign state. How it intends to take back the Donbas region, I don’t know. If it’s by military intervention, I think the loss of life would be on a Biblical scale–not just to troops but also to civilians, and on both sides.

OPINION: The Ukraine War Continues

I hope this war and the situation in East Ukraine can avoid further conflict. I’ve spent enough time there to know that if it does indeed end in military intervention, the loss of life will be something Ukraine would never be able to fully recover from. The stakes are just too high. Its government, along with the international community, should do their best to solve this diplomatically through talks and dialogue.