A building shows signs of heavy shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Semenivka, September 18, 2014. (Flickr/UN Ukraine)
The Europe-Asia Summit in Milan, Italy, delivered little, if any, tangible progress to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Relations between Russia and Ukraine’s major European allies remain just a few degrees above a new Cold War-style ice age. And with only a preliminary gas deal achieved between Kiev and Moscow, this may be quite literally true for Ukrainians as winter approaches.
Agreements achieved in Minsk between Russia and Ukraine and between Kiev and the separatists over a military de-escalation, the withdrawal of combat troops, and the establishment of a buffer zone have made some incremental progress, but a cease-fire that was meant to have been in force since September 5 has been frequently breached—in particular during the protracted battle between separatists and Ukrainian forces for the airport in Donetsk.