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Ukraine stands firm, but its allies must do likewise


Pressing Kyiv to settle at gunpoint is unlikely to deliver Moscow its desired outcome but will drag both parties into a long conflict at the heart of Europe.

As he tries to assert an even bigger ambition on the European continent, Vladimir Putin appears to be losing patience with Ukraine. The proxy-war in Donbas has inflicted much suffering on its citizens but has not subverted Kyiv’s determination to pursue the Euro-Atlantic integration and reforms which destroy the Soviet legacy Putin cherishes so much.

Ukraine is progressing along the bumpy road of aligning its political and economic system to countries in the European Union (EU), while also successfully building a decentralized nation of strong communities at home. Its economy now survives without Russian energy, and most exports go to China and the EU instead of Russia.

But it pays a heavy price for such determination, with United Nations (UN) estimates of more than 13,000 killed and 33,000 heavily wounded since the start of the military aggression in 2014. And Russia keeps the pressure on by continuing with low-intensity conflict – the six ceasefires negotiated as part of the Minsk Accords have lowered the numbers of victims but never ended hostilities.

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