Ceasefire in Ukraine holds, but soldiers and residents doubt it will last

Despite assurances from President Petro O. Poroshenko that the agreement would keep Ukraine whole, there was concern that Russia, after using its army to deal a military blow against Ukrainian troops, was dictating terms that would keep a significant portion of the country under its sway. It will largely be up to Mr. Poroshenko — who was elected in May on a platform of ending the war in two weeks and who faces parliamentary elections on Oct. 26 — to rapidly convince Ukrainians that negotiating with the separatists was their best choice.

“Ukrainian public opinion is not ready for a peace that does not reflect Ukrainian aspirations,” said Mykhailo Minakov, a professor at the University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy and a civil rights activist. “They are not ready to respect an agreement that would respond to the demands of the separatists or the Russians.”…

Many believe that he seeks to create a frozen conflict — much as Russia did in Georgia and Moldova — to keep Ukraine permanently destabilized with a breakaway region in its southeast corner. Since March, Moscow has demanded that Ukraine put in place a federal system that would give regions significant autonomy, including the ability to establish their own foreign policy.

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