So did anybody notice that meeting in Minsk this week on resolving the conflict in the Donbas?
No? I didn't think so. But don't worry, you didn't miss much.
They didn't make any progress, of course. They never do.
But hey, at least the cease-fire is holding, right?
Well, I guess. In one 24-hour period this week, pro-Moscow separatists reportedly attacked Ukrainian forces 24 times.
That sure is some cease-fire!
Isn't it time to admit what's long been painfully obvious? The Minsk agreement is dead in the water.
It's dead because the cease-fire is a fiction. Russia's proxies are attacking Ukrainian positions pretty much daily.
It's dead because the deadlock over its political provisions is irreconcilable.
Russia continues to insist that Ukraine grant the Donbas special status and hold elections in the occupied areas before pro-Moscow forces lay down their arms and return the border to Kyiv's control.
It's dead because these things are not going to change.
But mostly it's dead because it'ss based on a big illusion.
It allowed Russia to present itself as a peacemaker in a conflict in which it is, in fact, the aggressor.
Ukraine viewed the Minsk agreement, as flawed as it was, as a way to end the fighting.
Russia viewed it as a way to continue its assault on Ukraine by other means.
Which is exactly what they've been doing.