Reports on increasing Russian activity in Syria are covered by rumors about reducing support for separatists from Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Vladimir Putin most likely will not risk the game on two fronts and will shift his military attention to the Middle-East. He does so not only due to threats related directly to Islamic State (IS) and to eventual downfall of Bashar al-Assad, but also because of the fact, that the road to a victory in Ukraine leads through Damascus and Latakia.
Since September 1st the ceasefire in the eastern Ukraine has been broadly respected by both sides of the conflict. However, reported single incidents of violation have been pointed out each other by rebels1 and Ukrainian army2. Also Contact Group failed so far to agree on the pullback of heavy weapons3. Quarrels on elections in Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’e Republic4 also show that political confusion will not be stopped.
Inconsistent statements of separatists leaders regarding local elections cast doubts, though. They are beating about the dates of elections, not knowing if October/November term would be better or February 21st 5. It could be a symptom of sliding ground from under feet, because Russia seems to leave the Ukraine conflict for now. Of course, political pressure will not be diluted – quite the reverse!