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The Daily Vertical: War Without End (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

Well, it turns out that July wasn't just the deadliest month in a year for Ukrainian soldiers.

According to statistics released this week by the United Nations, it was also the deadliest month in a year for Ukrainian civilians as well.

Eight civilians were killed and 65 were wounded in July, according to the UN. June wasn't much better, when 12 were killed and 57 wounded.

So in case anybody hasn't noticed yet, you can pretty much stick a fork in the Minsk cease-fire agreement -- because it's done.

The conflict in the Donbas is shaping up to be a war without end.

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It's a war without end because Vladimir Putin's regime is not going to accept any settlement that does not give Russia a de facto veto over Ukraine's future political direction.

It's a war without end because the authorities in Kyiv and the Ukrainian people -- quite sensibly and reasonably -- aren't going to accept any settlement that does give Moscow a veto over Ukraine's political future.

It's a war without end because there is just no way to reconcile these two positions.

And most importantly, it's a war without end because it is in the Kremlin's interest for it to be a war without end.

The war in the Donbas represents Moscow's only leverage over Kyiv.

And if it ended on any terms other than those Russia is demanding, then Moscow would stand to lose all of its leverage.

So the Kremlin keeps the conflict simmering.

And as they do, Ukrainian soldiers and civilians keep dying.

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