VIDEO: Fighting in Debaltsevo threatens ceasefire in Ukraine

The head of the Center of Military Forecasting, Anatoly Tsyganok, also notes the positive role of the OSCE in the context of the current crisis. "The OSCE is rather skilful at predicting the situation and making its reports. The role of the organization has grown significantly over the past six months," he said in comments to RBTH, attributing this to a shortage of other tools for resolving the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

According to Tsyganok, a representative of the organization played a positive role in persuading the rebels to sign the agreement in Minsk.

Debaltsevo and the withdrawal of heavy weapons

Observers are divided on how the situation around the "Debaltsevo pocket" will affect the fate of the ceasefire.

According to Sivkov, what is happening in the area of Debaltsevo was not specified in the Minsk agreement, and therefore anything could happen there. The Ukrainian troops will probably make attempts to break through, but eventually they will give up, he said.

The existence of the pocket will not affect the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line in other areas, Sivkov said.

At the same time, Tsyganok believes that the factor of the encircled Ukrainian troops will "play a negative role in the implementation of the agreements in Minsk."

According to him, the pocket may make it impossible for the rebels to withdraw heavy weapons. There are only two kilometers between the "pocket" and the contact line, from where the artillery and rocket launchers should be removed, Tsyganok pointed out.

At the same time, according to Institute for Political and Military Analysis deputy director Alexander Khramchikhin, "it is still not clear who and how will control the removal of heavy weapons."

"Even if it is removed, to return it to its original location is a matter of just a few hours," he said in comments to RBTH.


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