Join 10,000+ Kyiv Independent members today Support our reporting
Skip to content

News Feed

Wednesday, March 29
Subscribe to Ukraine Daily
Top News
in Your Mailbox
10:13 PM
France recognizes Holodomor as genocide against Ukrainians. President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked France on March 28 for recognizing the Holodomor as a genocide against the Ukrainian people. One hundred and sixty-eight deputies of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, voted in favor of the resolution. Two voted against it.
7:18 PM
Russia launches missiles at Kharkiv Oblast, injuring 1. Russian forces launched two S-300 missiles at the city of Bohodukhiv in Kharkiv Oblast on March 28, the Prosecutor General's Office wrote. As a result of the attack, a 73-year-old man was injured and is currently being treated in the hospital for a concussion.
1:05 PM
Military: Russia's activity in Ukraine's south declines. Russia's combat activity in Ukraine's south has decreased as its troops have lost many warehouses and can't arrange resupply of weapons and ammunition, Ukraine's Southern Command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk said on national television on March 28.

watch us on facebook

Edit post

Sources: Germany, France ask Zelensky to comply with Russia’s spin of Minsk Agreements

by Oleksiy Sorokin February 15, 2022 8:59 PM 3 min read
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a joint press conference on Feb. 8, 2022 in Berlin. (AFP via Getty Images)

The leaders of France and Germany tried to push Ukraine to comply with the Russian spin of the Minsk Agreements during their recent visits to Kyiv, sources in the Ukrainian government and foreign emissaries told the Kyiv Independent.

The diplomatic efforts to resolve the ongoing security crisis came as Russia massed 140,000 troops near Ukraine and in the Russian-occupied territories.

On Feb. 8, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to persuade President Volodymyr Zelensky to hold direct talks with Russian-controlled militants, an idea that would effectively echo the Russian-promoted fake narrative of a “civil war” in Ukraine.

Macron asked Zelensky to conduct direct talks with the militants, to which Zelensky said no.

Macron discussed the idea of holding direct talks with Russian proxies in the region with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 7.

When talking about his meeting with Macron, Putin said that the talks were useful and that some of Macron's ideas were "realistic" and could form a basis for further joint steps.

A day later, Macron brought up this proposal in his talk with Zelensky in Kyiv, according to two sources.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who traveled to Kyiv on Feb. 14, tried to talk Zelensky into granting Russian-occupied regions autonomy, which is one of the key demands made by the Kremlin.

On Feb. 15, Russia’s parliament voted to ask Putin to recognize Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine’s Donbas as independent states. If Putin signs the bill, this will effectively cancel the Minsk Agreements, which, according to Ukrainian officials, isn’t what Russia desires.

The day before, Scholz said that Zelensky agreed to present a plan to introduce “special status” for occupied Donbas. Zelensky didn’t comment publicly on the issue.

During his visit to Moscow on Feb. 15, Scholtz called recognizing the independence of Russian-occupied regions a “political catastrophe.”

Why Minsk Agreements?

The demand for the autonomy of Donbas comes from the peace agreement signed in Minsk in February 2015 following the Battle of Debaltseve, which was devastating for Ukraine.

Back then, Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE, and the Russian-led Donbas militants, signed what is now known as the second Minsk Accords, formally aimed at stopping the war in eastern Ukraine.

Before being signed, the Minsk Agreements have been approved by the leaders of the Normandy Format countries – a group created to bring peace to Donbas that includes Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia.

Since the documents were signed as a result of major Ukrainian military defeats due to Russia’s military involvement, many provisions demanded significant concessions from Ukraine.

In particular, the Minsk Accords stated that Ukraine must pass a bill granting “special status” to the Russian-occupied parts of Donbas. This legal framework stipulates very broad autonomy, potentially even semi-independence, for the region.

This special status would provide the Russian-occupied territories with a full amnesty for all combatants, the right to appoint their own prosecutors and judges and to develop their own political and economic ties with Russia.

Knowing that the militants are fully controlled by Russia, Ukraine demanded that local Donbas elections be held in compliance with Ukrainian legislation, under OSCE standards and supervision, and only after all militant forces and paramilitaries are withdrawn and disbanded, and the eastern border is back under Ukrainian control.

Explainer: Why Russia wants autonomy for occupied Donbas (and why Ukraine doesn’t)

Russia did not rush to withdraw its formations and hardware from Donbas. The Kremlin demands the “special status” and elections before withdrawing from the region, meaning that it could influence the elections.

Ukraine’s parliament had passed a law on special status for the occupied territories back in 2015. The law is also designed to grant some autonomy to the region, but only after Ukraine re-establishes control over the Russian-occupied territories. Ukraine has prolonged the law every year since then.

The leaders of the Normandy Format countries have not met since December 2019. Both peace negotiation formats – the Normandy Format and the Minsk Trilateral Group – are stalling.

The last two meetings of representatives of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany on Jan. 26 in Paris and Feb. 11 in Berlin brought no result.

Russia’s representative Dmitry Kozak said after the January meeting that “all agreed that as long as there are differences in the interpretation of the Minsk Agreements… the Normandy format is unlikely to play any significant role in resolving the conflict.”

We serve no one but our common values
“We truly need popular support, especially during wartime. Being not dependent on a single money bag telling journalists what to do has always been quite a task in Ukraine. In wartime, that’s even more important.”
Illia Ponomarenko, defense reporter
visa masterCard paypal

Editors' Picks

Support us


Please, enter correct email address


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required