As details of the ceasefire agreed in Minsk filtered through to the winter chilled streets of the Ukranian capital, Kyivites gave their reactions. Optimism was thin on the ground.
Political analyst Yevhen Mahda gave his view on why the Kremlin is compromising: “Now it’s a tactical move. Because of the threat of a new phase of sanctions against Russia the Russian economy may survive, they have big gold and foreign currency reserves, but social unrest in the country may become a second front against the Kremlin, and Putin certainly cares about that.”
The gloom and doom surrounding the potential breakthrough seems to be all pervading. “I think there will be no truce, because when there was a previous ceasefire, too many people died. I think, the separatists will just take a break for something,” said one woman.
One man in the capital who euronews spoke to gave his pessimistic response, which is the ceasefire won’t last: “I doubt it. Nobody believes it. Even if Putin puts his signature on it and we withdraw our troops, who will pay damages? Someone must pay!”
Our correspondent in Kyiv Maria Korenyuk concluded: “This new Minsk agreement is almost identical to the one signed in September. However, previous arrangements existed only on paper. There is a hope that this time, because of the Russian leader’s participation, the agreement will finally work.”