Nevertheless, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Prystayko said there was agreement on the so-called Steinmeier formula: a 2016 proposal by the german foreign minister at the time, according to which the special status law would enter into force provisionally at the time of the municipal elections, was confirmed only after OSCE observers found that the vote was free and fair. Another condition of a summit is supposed to be the withdrawal of troops from certain hot spots around the “contact line” (which Minsk says should have happened a long time ago). In a sign of the decline in the credibility of the agreements, one of the original authors withdraws from his performance. Much of what ultimately emerged from the Minsk agreements came from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko`s June 2014 peace plan, on which he campaigned and won elections, at a time when peace was still popular and was not yet seen as an additional instrument for Moscow to destabilize Kiev. But now Poroshenko is publicly distancing himself from the agreements. In 2018, he reassured the nationalists by saying: “There is no Minsk… Only in Normandy.┬áIn early 2019, Poroshenko again publicly sided with the ultranationalists, agreeing that donbass should never be given special constitutional status, even though he had spent four years renewing that status in Parliament. While Russia called Minsk-2 a diplomatic victory, the Ukrainians were more skeptical and unsure of the improvements the agreement would make. They feared that the agreement would give the separatists broad autonomy and allow them to deepen their relations with Russia. It was feared that Kiyv would take all political gaze into the Donbass – while leaving it to pay the bill. Five years ago, the Minsk Protocol – also known as Minsk-2 – was signed on 12 February to stop fighting in Ukraine`s eastern Donbass region. However, the 13 conditions of the peace agreement were never properly implemented. The first agreement to end the crisis in Ukraine was signed in early September 2014.

Two years later, with more than 9,500 dead, the conflict continues to escalate. The last ceasefire attempt on 1 September failed after just over a week. On 13 September, separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine raised hopes by announcing a unilateral ceasefire, their first such offer.