Economic ministers of the European Union are at the moment weighing more sanctions for the East as an aggressive Russia continues its supply of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. They will meet Thursday and are looking to implement restrictive measures, which will force Russia to pull back its hand. Eye witnesses and Ukrainian intelligence account for the fact that Russian hardware has illegally entered Ukraine since the start of January. With the 2015 Russian recession already in full swing, this second set of sanctions may be too much for the country to endure.
In the past 24hrs, 9 soldiers in the Ukrainian army have been killed. The town of Debaltseve and city of Mariupol have also been shelled heavily by the insurgents these last few days. Outfitted with a new arsenal of Russian weaponry, the rebels and their cause look revived, hence the step up in attacks.
Before the ministers convene, they issued a final ultimatum to Putin to observe the ceasefire agreement that was signed in Minsk and put into effect on September 5th 2014. Under the outlines of the Minsk protocol, there is a demarcation line that ensures Donetsk’s (a break away republic) autonomy from Kiev. Unfortunately, almost all of the parties involved with the creation of the document have abandoned its outlines as skirmishes resume in Eastern Ukraine. Judging from what is actually happening on the ground, the understanding now is that the ceasefire (which was fragile to begin with) is over.