Janes: Country Risk Daily Report
Interested in some input. Haven't been following the Ukraine situation closely for some time now.
EVENTOn 6 September 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the previous week was the first since the signing of Minsk II ceasefire agreement on 12 February 2015 in which a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine had been implemented.
Ceasefire violations along the line of contact (LoC) in Donetsk and Luhansk regions diminished from an average of more than 150 per day in mid-August 2015 to 10 a day in early September. Both separatist militants and security forces stopped using tank and heavy artillery fire and most incidents involved small arms. This follows an agreement on 26 August between the OSCE, Ukraine, and the separatists to a ceasefire from 1 September for at least a week. At the same time as the de-escalation, on 4 September Andrei Purgin, co-founder of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), was removed from his role as chairman of the "People's Soviet" for alleged anti-DPR activity and put under house arrest. His deputy, Denis Pushilin, a spokesperson of the DPR during Minsk talks, became de-facto leader. Several prominent DPR field commanders reportedly fled to Russia on the same day.
FORECASTThese events indicate the increased likelihood of the conflict in eastern Ukraine moving towards "freezing" or a political solution. Reports from Donetsk and Luhansk suggest the likely withdrawal of Russian political and material support to the local separatist militants in the coming weeks, reportedly in part to be redeployed to Syria. Purgin's removal, almost certainly orchestrated by Russia, is linked to his hawkish stance towards Kiev and, in particular, his insistence on a referendum for the DPR to join Russia. Pushilin announced that he was willing to give Kiev back control over the Ukrainian-Russian border. The self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic announced a similar move on 4 September. A political settlement would require full implementation of the Minsk II ceasefire agreement but a more likely scenario is that the parties fail to fully implement Minsk II, effectively "freezing" the conflict along the current LoC.
Rebels in eastern Ukraine have released a separatist leader from detention after holding him captive for four days.
Andrei Purgin told the Reuters news agency that he was freed by rebel gunmen on September 8 in the Donetsk region.
He said he was kept in a cell at a "security ministry" since being taken at gunpoint on September 4 while travelling in a car after returning from Russia.
Purgin -- who was reportedly dismissed on September 4 as head of the self-declared parliament of the Donetsk People's Republic -- said he did not understand why he was detained. "I haven't figured out what they wanted," he said.
Purgin has been a prominent representative of the rebels since fighting erupted in some parts of eastern Ukraine in April 2014.
He was also involved in peace talks in Minsk involving France, Germany, and Russia.
But Purgin was reportedly considered as hard-line among the separatist leadership and opposed to some of the key points of the Minsk cease-fire agreement.