Russo-Ukraine War - 2014
The annexation of Crimea violated the pledge that Russia made in 1994 — along with Great Britain and the United States — “to respect the independence and sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine," as a precondition to Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.
Obama said, “Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea."
President Putin signed an amendment on 28 May 2015 adding to what Russia classifies as "state secrets" any "information revealing losses of personnel... in peacetime during special operations." On 12 May 2015 a report by Russian opposition activists said Moscow spent more than $1 billion supplying a separatist rebellion in east Ukraine and at least 220 Russian soldiers had been killed there. The report was the last project of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, who used open source information and interviews with families to paint a picture contradicting Moscow's argument that no serving Russian troops were fighting in Ukraine.
Business Life (Delovaya Zhizn), which usually writes about markets, finance, entrepreneurship and leisure, published a report in August 2015 entitled "Increases in Pay for Military in 2015", which observers believed revealed the numbr of Russian troops killed or maimed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Russian government approved compensation for families of military personnel who were killed taking part in military action in Ukraine of three million rubles (about $50,000). In all, as of February 1, 2015, monetary compensation had been paid to more than 2,000 families of fallen soldiers.
In a June 2015 interview with Charlie Rose, Putin laid out clear and reasonable conditions for making the Minsk accord stick: "The elements of a political settlement are key here. There are several. . . .
“ The first one is constitutional reform, and the Minsk agreements say clearly: to provide autonomy or, as they say, decentralization of power. . .
“The second thing that has to be done – the law passed earlier on the special status of . . . Luhansk and Donetsk, the unrecognized republics, should be enacted. It was passed, but still not acted upon. This requires a resolution of the Supreme Rada – the Ukrainian Parliament – which is also covered in the Minsk agreements. . . .
“The third thing is a law on amnesty. It is impossible to have a political dialogue with people who are threatened with criminal persecution. And finally, they need to pass a law on municipal elections on these territories and to have the elections themselves. All this is spelled out in the Minsk agreements. . . ."
Since the Minsk cease-fire went into effect on February 15, 2015, thousands have been killed in fighting in the Donbas. Russian fighters were supposed to begin leaving eastern Ukraine, despite Kremlin claims that its troops were never in the Donbas in the first place. The Minsk agreement was fatally flawed from the outset. It was flawed because it was negotiated, signed, and implemented based on the fiction that Russia was a mediator in a conflict in which it was, in fact, the aggressor and the instigator. It was flawed because it placed impossible demands on Ukraine to implement constitutional reforms with a gun to its head. And it was flawed because it established an internationally recognized political mechanism for the Kremlin to continue meddling in Ukraine's affairs.
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