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Bringing Displaced Persons into Peace Processes: Good for Them, Good for Peace
Bringing Displaced Persons into Peace Processes: Good for Them, Good for Peace
Visualising the Dynamics of Combat and Negotiations in Donbas
Visualising the Dynamics of Combat and Negotiations in Donbas
Speech / Global

Bringing Displaced Persons into Peace Processes: Good for Them, Good for Peace

Presentation by Donald Steinberg, Deputy President, International Crisis Group, at launch of UN Guidelines for Integrating Internal Displacement in Peace Processes and Agreements, Brussels, Belgium, 26 April 2010.

I’m pleased to welcome you to Crisis Group headquarters for the launch of the new guide, “Integrating Internal Displacement in Peace Processes and Agreements.” These guidelines are the result of a unique collaboration between the office of the UN Representative of the Secretary-General for the Human Rights of Internally-Displaced Persons Walter Kaelin, the UN Mediation Support Unit, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, and the U.S. Institute of Peace, and were drawn together under the leadership of Gerald McHugh.  I was pleased to serve on the steering committee for this process.

The guide’s launch could not be more timely.  From Sudan to Sri Lanka, from Haiti to Myanmar, from Colombia to Congo, some 26 million people have been driven from their homes and forced to live in makeshift camps, abandoned buildings, forests, and shanty towns. Outcasts in their own countries, they are unprotected by international refugee conventions and subject to the whims of their own governments and domestic and international humanitarian agencies. Frequently, they’ve endured sexual violence, including rape used as a weapon of war, and struggle to find food, shelter, health facilities, and basic security.  

While some displacement results from natural disasters or “development” projects, most internally displaced persons (IDPs) are the victims of armed conflict. Yet when parties come together to negotiate the end to conflict, the displaced and the issues that affect them most directly – such as return or resettlement, rebuilding of basic infrastructure, provision of social services, and clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance – are given short shrift by armed combatants in the talks.  There is likely to be little domestic pressure for the inclusion of IDPs in these processes, and thus it often falls to the international community to ensure their participation.

This is what makes these guidelines so significant.  They represent a two-year commitment to bring together best practices and ground truths from around the world.  They go beyond theory and generalities, providing a “how-to” guide for mediators and peace process participants alike.  The guidelines highlight the need to: (a) assess the causes, dynamics, and characteristics of internal displacement in armed conflict; (b) create space within peace processes for participation of IDPs, either at the table or through close consultations; (c) identify IDP-specific human rights and interests that should be reflected in peace agreements; and (d) empower “legitimate” representatives of IDP communities, including in urban and other non-camp settings.

A Seat at the Table for IDPs and Their Interests

The guidelines start from the premise – consistent with my own experience in peace processes over three decades – that the exclusion of IDPs from peace processes is both unjust and unwise. In modern warfare, some 90 percent of the victims are now civilians, and internal displacement generally occurs against powerless groups already subject to exploitation. Sexual violence; theft of property; trafficking in women and girls; and similar abuses are common among individuals who have lost their homes and identities. Abuses occur at the hands of rebels, criminals, and even government security forces who are charged with their protection. IDP camps are often sites of domestic violence, trafficking in persons, drug and alcohol abuse, disease and crime.

But displaced persons are far more than simply victims of armed conflict.  They are often key to the success of peace efforts.  Including IDPs in these processes raises the likelihood of peace agreements holding.  The return of IDPs to their places of origin or resettlement elsewhere helps re-establish a sense of normalcy, rule of law, economic recovery, and extension of state authority throughout the national territory. The repeated failure to draw on the wisdom and ground truth of displaced persons reduces the odds of a successful return and resettlement program.

Further, returns are often pushed by impatient negotiators seeking good news and tangible signs of progress from stalled processes.  But the premature return of displaced persons to their homes, in the absence of security and sustainability, can lead quickly to new displacement and new instability.  Displaced persons themselves are best positioned to know when it is wise and safe to return to their homes, and their voices on this crucial question must be heard and respected.  Further, they must be allowed to advocate for fair treatment, including generous compensation packages: why should ex-combatants be the only ones receiving assistance packages, training opportunities, and government employment?

A particularly disturbing problem occurred in Angola while I was serving as U.S. ambassador and a member of the Peace Commission. In our rush to return four million displaced persons to their homes in a country plagued by landmines, we focused primarily on demining major roads. Regrettably, our humanitarian demining efforts in local fields, forests, and lakes were given secondary priority. When the displaced returned to their homes and started to plant fields, collect firewood, and fetch water, there was a rash of tragic landmine accidents. Had IDPs been at the table, this tragedy might have avoided.  The principle must be: “Nothing about us without us.”

More broadly, excluding IDPs and other civil society groups from a peace process means that they come to view the peace process as belonging to the armed combatants, not to them.  There will be little civil society pressure on the combatants if the peace process falters.  For example, the exclusion of IDP representatives – as well as women, Arab tribes and others – from the Darfur peace talks in Abuja in 2006 was a key factor in creating an unsustainable and unworkable peace agreement that lacked local “ownership” and was quickly repudiated.

Who Speaks for the Displaced

Yet the exclusion of IDPs persists, leaving the odd specter of maniacal and homicidal combatants such as Angola’s Jonas Savimbi, Sierra Leone’s Foday Sankoh, and Uganda’s Joseph Kony claiming to represent IDPs in their respective negotiations.  This is particularly pernicious, given that these leaders are themselves perpetrators of actions that caused displacement and cynically use IDPs as leverage to gain greater concessions. Too often, peace processes begin with these individuals and their government counterparts granting amnesties to each other for crimes committed during the conflict.  While there is scope for limited amnesties in pursuit of national reconciliation, amnesties often mean that men with guns forgive other men with guns for crimes against powerless civilians, including the displaced.  Perpetrators of such crimes must be held accountable after the guns go silent, lest we undercut the re-establishment of rule of law.

Even if the principle is established that IDPs and their issues need representation, the question remains: whose voices are “legitimate”?  There are rarely clear leaders of the displaced: leaders of the communities from which the displaced came may have been killed, displaced elsewhere, or discredited, and IDP camps lack stability to elect their own leadership.  Further, individuals in IDP camps themselves may be far from innocent victims, but actual perpetrators of the violence, such as in the case of IDPs in the secured areas of Rwanda following the 1994 genocide.

Further, legitimate voices of the displaced are often ill-prepared to argue their cases in formal peace processes.  Many lack formal training and education, are restrained by traditional and cultural practices, or are subject to threats and intimidation from powerful forces within their communities.  This is particularly true for women daring to step forward in these settings.  The displaced typically come from marginalized and disadvantaged groups, such as the Afro-Colombian community in Colombia or the Acholi population in northern Uganda, where the skills necessary to participate in diplomatic negotiations must be fostered and nurtured. Training for their participation is essential, as is financial support and physical protection and security.

Again, given the lack of interest from the negotiating partners in engaging displaced persons in the process, these questions often fall to the international or domestic mediator and the commission implementing the agreement.  These individuals should be guarded in large part by consultations with credible human rights and governance bodies, taking into account previous leadership patterns and the structures that may have emerged in IDP camps or communities.

Mediators must also be sensitive to questions of timing.  Issues surrounding displacement are particularly sensitive, including questions like accountability for human rights abuses, financial compensation for displacement, security sector reform, and restoration of land rights. Emotions can run high as the abused and abusers confront each other, even in polite conference rooms. These questions can be so disruptive to a fragile peace process that there is an argument for delaying their consideration and resolution during the initial stages when the principal issues is negotiating a ceasefire or permanent cessation of hostility. Still, nothing should be agreed to in those initial contacts that will jeopardize the full engagement of displaced persons in the subsequent broader peace negotiations and implementation bodies.

Ideally, implementation of a peace process can help rebuild local capacity of civil society groups that have been destroyed or polarized during conflict. The displaced should be a principal target of these efforts. As the priorities move from humanitarian relief to reconstruction and development, the resources flowing to the country progressively diminish.  Using return and resettlement resources to engage IDP groups as planners and implementers of projects is preferable to relying solely on foreign entities such as the International Organization on Migration and international NGOs.

The International Role

The international community has a legitimate right to insist that displacement issues are addressed in peace processes mediated by the United Nations, the African Union, individual countries, or “track two” processes.  States like Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Myanmar that protest against interference in their internal affairs ignore hide the fact that in our interconnected global community, the line between domestic and international crises has been blurred, if not obliterated. Conflicts and the waves of instability flow easily across borders. Today’s IDP is tomorrow’s refugee, as the four million Zimbabweans now taking refuge in South Africa and elsewhere in the region demonstrate.  And failed and fragile state threaten international peace and security by serving as breeding grounds for pandemic disease; transit sites for trafficking in arms, persons, and drugs; and launching pads for terrorism and piracy.

It is vital that the full expertise of the UN and other international bodies on displacement is incorporated into peace processes and that these issues are “mainstreamed.”  It is not enough for a well-meaning UN envoy to be sensitive to these issues.  Mediators must have the full backing of the UN Security Council, including specific references to IDP participation in the mandate for UN peacemaking and peace enforcement missions. Mediators must draw on the experience of the UN Special Representative for the Human Rights of IDPs; High Commissioner for Refugees, especially given its role as IDP cluster lead on protection; Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs; International Organization for Migration; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; World Food Program; UNICEF and UNDP – in addition to representatives of civil society and private humanitarian/development NGOs.   

Beyond Victimhood

Many in the international community view internally displaced persons as mere victims of conflict and extol their remarkable capacity for survival. But let me repeat that displaced persons are much more: they are an essential piece of the puzzle in making and building sustainable peace.  A mediator ignored their knowledge of local conditions, their power to generate civil society support for agreements, their willingness to return home and rebuild stable societies, and their commitment to the future of their countries at his or her peril. In the pursuit of peace, we must make displaced persons part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Boys stay on top of the war memorial complex Savur-Mohyla, damaged in the recent conflict, outside the rebel-held city of Donetsk, Ukraine 8 September 2020. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Visualising the Dynamics of Combat and Negotiations in Donbas

Efforts to bring peace to Ukraine’s Donbas region have been deadlocked for years. The steps the belligerents take to de-escalate violence can save lives, but people still die on the front lines and beyond. Crisis Group’s new visual explainer puts these dynamics in stark relief.

The war in eastern Ukraine began in March 2014. It pits separatists backed by Russia against the Ukrainian government in two industrial regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, which are part of an area known as Donbas. The war was ugliest in its first year, when battles raged for territory and strategic position. Two peace agreements – known as the Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015 – put an end to the major fighting. They also laid out a roadmap for the reabsorption of the separatist-controlled regions into Ukraine, which calls, among other things, for Kyiv to grant these areas limited self-governing status. Implementation has stalled, however, and in the meantime some 75,000 troops – mostly Ukrainian citizens on both sides – still face off along a 450km front that cleaves Donbas in two. Some 800,000 civilians also live in the line of fire, while several million others reside in areas ridden with mines and unexploded shells. The death toll for the conflict creeps upward nearly every week and is now over 14,000.

Crisis Group’s new interactive feature, “Conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas: A Visual Explainer”, maps both military and civilian casualties and illustrates the links between ceasefires and lulls in combat. It shows that ceasefires work – until they crack under the weight of deadlocked negotiations. It further shows that civilian casualties from live fire clearly correlate with intense combat in urban and suburban areas, falling to almost nil when ceasefires are in place. Civilian casualties from mines, however, do not correlate with whether or not a ceasefire is in place and have lately risen, likely due to increased foot traffic through heavily mined areas.

Taken together, the data presented by this new explainer indicate that in the absence of a durable political solution, if the parties want to honour their stated intent to limit civilian casualties, they should commit to disengagement from high-traffic areas and to comprehensive demining. Both of these steps are hard sells to field commanders, for whom holding territory generally takes precedence. But disengagement is the only way to bring casualty rates reliably down, short of the impractical exercise of relocating civilians away from danger.

Combat Kills Civilians

The geography of the Donbas war all but guarantees civilian casualties. The front, known as the line of separation or line of contact, runs right through what was once the most densely populated part of Ukraine. Its central segments curve around coal mines, coke foundries and steel plants, while the southern and northern ends cut through farmland and picturesque meadows previously used for recreation. Dotting the combat zone on either side of the front are apartment blocks and weekend homes with garden plots. Today, industries are functioning at a fraction of their former capacity. Fields lie fallow, littered with mines and shells, while fighters on both sides have taken over vacation and retirement homes. Most families with the means to do so have left.

But some have stayed. Roughly 200,000 residents remain within 5km of the line of separation on the government-controlled side, while their neighbours just over the trenches number roughly 600,000. Any exchange of fire endangers the lives and disrupts the livelihoods of large numbers of people, a significant portion of them elderly.

Crisis Group’s visual explainer tracks civilian and combatant casualties, differentiating them by cause. It shows, for instance, that the vast majority – roughly 80 per cent – of live-fire (shelling and gunfire) civilian casualties occur in areas controlled by Russian-backed separatists. The ebb and flow of civilian casualties in these areas largely tracks with those of military casualties. The higher civilian casualty rate in non-government-controlled areas is due to the fact that these places are more urban and populous. Users of Crisis Group’s map can see that these casualties are concentrated around the front’s central section near the separatist-controlled cities of Donetsk and Horlivka, but also bleed across the line into the former Donetsk suburb of Mariinka, which Ukrainian government forces hold. Horlivka and the Donetsk suburbs are fairly densely populated. The high civilian casualties there may also be related to the position of combatants: troops on both sides are posted in residential streets or very close to them.

Civilian casualties are heavily concentrated in the most populous, urban areas of the front line, near Donetsk and Horlivka.

In Hirske and Kadiivka districts, where combatant deaths since the start of 2020 have been highest, civilian casualties from live fire also closely track combatant casualties, in that they go up and down in tandem. But civilian casualty numbers are also lower than in Donetsk or Horlivka, likely because most troops are dug in farther away from large towns. Together, the numbers suggest that neither side is trying to hit civilians but also that combatants are not doing all they can to avoid collateral damage.

Ceasefires Save Lives

To assess the impact of ceasefires on casualties, Crisis Group charted the latter over time, noting each ceasefire agreement on a line graph. This simple analysis indicates that whatever else they do, and however short-lived they may be, ceasefires do save lives: each ceasefire is closely correlated with a reduction in casualties, and the stricter its provisions, the fewer the casualties.

Levels of violence in the combat zone drop after ceasefires are in place.

The most recent ceasefire, which had particularly strict provisions, had the greatest effect. Commencing in July 2020, it banned combatants from initiating firefights for any reason and imposed strict limitations on return fire, as well. In the seven months that followed the agreement, combatant fatalities dropped to less than half the number in the seven months prior (82 killed by live fire between January and July 2020, and 36 between August 2020 and February 2021), while civilian deaths and injuries from live fire fell from 50 to 5 in the same period, with almost no civilians hurt from August 2020 to 30 January 2021 (two civilians suffered hearing loss due to an explosion on 12 November). As further evidence of the agreement’s effectiveness, in comments to Ukrainian media and to Crisis Group, front-line dwellers spoke of improved security after it was signed.

Although the visual explainer covers only the period from January 2020 to the present day, data from 2019 tells a similar story. Then, too, a ceasefire went into effect in July. Of the 56 casualties from live fire that UN monitors recorded between 16 May and 15 August 2019, all but one occurred before the ceasefire.

New Casualty Trends

The data breakdown also shows that while both civilian and combatant casualties from heavy weaponry in the past seven months remain lower than before the July 2020 ceasefire, small arms fire during this period accounts for a larger portion of casualties. The use of heavy weaponry like artillery and mortars is prohibited by the Minsk agreements and has in fact declined.

But both sides are still using these weapons on occasion, so the reduction of casualties also suggests that they have been able to better calibrate their fire using drones and other modern equipment in order to lessen collateral damage. Civilian casualties from heavy weapons declined fivefold year-on-year in the first six months of 2021, while casualties from small arms held steady. Combatant casualties from heavy weapons also fell, albeit less dramatically, even as deaths among Ukrainian government troops from small arms – and sniper fire, in particular – have risen from eighteen in 2020 to 24 in 2021 to date. This uptick is consistent with Crisis Group interviews and Ukrainian media reports pointing to increased activity by Russian-backed (and allegedly Russian) snipers.

A breakdown of civilian casualties by cause and type. Casualties from live fire have decreased, while those from mines and explosive objects have increased.

Additionally, as civilian casualties from live fire have fallen in the past year, deaths and injuries from mines and unexploded ordnance have crept up: these accounted for one fourth of casualties in 2020-2021, but doubled year-on-year in the first half of 2021. Throughout the eighteen-month period, the bulk of such casualties have occurred along the banks of the Siversky Donets river, which divides the government-controlled part of the Luhansk region from the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic. The forests through which the river runs are heavily mined but see almost no live fire. More people than usual may be tramping through the forests because economic decline associated with COVID-19 is forcing them to collect firewood for fuel. Many are also fishing in the river for sustenance. Reports also suggest that residents are smuggling food and other goods across the river, which puts them at risk, though it is not clear whether they have stepped up this activity recently or not. Meanwhile, in other areas, the drop-off in live fire may simply mean that residents feel comfortable wandering farther from home, increasing their chances of tripping mines.

Map showing the geographic distribution of mine-related incidents over time. The worst-affected areas flank the Siversky Donets river in Luhansk region.

Why Do Ceasefires Fail?

The July 2020 ceasefire was perhaps the sole diplomatic success in a period otherwise marked by deepening acrimony between the two sides. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the parties undertook a series of tit-for-tat measures that have made the Minsk agreements’ eventual implementation look less and less likely. In June 2020, the parliament in Kyiv passed a decree stating that Ukraine would recognise elections held in areas controlled by Russia-backed separatists only after the government had regained control of the eastern border, contradicting a controversial provision of the agreements. The separatist regions’ de facto authorities retaliated by holding up progress in fulfilling commitments to prisoner exchanges, sectoral military disengagements and enhanced civilian freedom of movement. In September 2020, the sides fell into a bitter dispute over an attempt at joint inspection of troop positions near the city of Horlivka, as well as later efforts to establish a joint mechanism for monitoring ceasefire violations. Three months later, in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference that Kyiv had almost given up on the Minsk accords – and promised to increase Moscow’s support for the de facto republics, which also undercut the deal.

From that point onward, violence increased steadily. From August through November 2020, the average day saw fewer than ten explosions along the front, but December saw several days with more than 100, with the total sometimes nearing 200. At least eight combatants were killed that month, followed by another seven in January and 21 in February. April 2021 was the deadliest month for combatants since January 2020, with 22 fatalities on both sides combined.

Combat casualties declined in the first months of the July 2020 ceasefire.

That month, Russia massed troops near Ukraine’s border in numbers not seen since 2015, when its forces had helped wage a series of devastating battles on Ukrainian soil. It did so on the pretext of a spike in ceasefire violations at the front, although the separatists it backed were just as responsible as Ukrainian forces for the infractions.

Increasing violence does suggest ... that when peace talks lose momentum, both parties see diminishing incentives to exercise restraint

Moscow’s troop build-up was likely about geopolitical signalling rather than a prelude to a possible incursion. But if, on this occasion, violence in Donbas provided the Kremlin with a convenient, if dubious, alibi for its aggressive behaviour, it does not follow that every uptick in fighting stems from a particular side’s pursuit of political goals. Increasing violence does suggest, however, that when peace talks lose momentum, both parties see diminishing incentives to exercise restraint. As a Ukrainian commander told Crisis Group in 2020, the army needs to either fight or disengage: along the Donbas front lines, troops can hold their fire for only so long in the absence of steps toward peace. Yet, as the April scare demonstrates, any escalation at the front risks handing Moscow an excuse to further threaten Kyiv.

Obstacles to Protecting Civilians

Both sides claim to be defending the lives of their Ukrainian compatriots, suggesting that they should be motivated to agree to better protect civilians. In practice, however, things are not so simple, and military calculations generally prevail over humanitarian concerns.

Separatist leaders have shown themselves more than willing to use civilian casualties for propaganda purposes. Noting that the de facto republics’ constituents make up the majority of live-fire casualties, they cite the numbers of dead and wounded as proof of Kyiv’s villainy. They have also been known to spread highly dubious reports of civilian deaths, possibly to garner greater support from their patrons in Moscow. For example, in April 2021, as Russia was deploying troops to areas bordering Ukraine, they announced that a Ukrainian drone strike had killed a five-year-old boy in a Donetsk suburb. In fact, the boy had died some 15km from the front, out of the Ukrainian drones’ range, possibly by setting off an unexploded shell he found in his yard. (Indeed, Crisis Group data shows that 75 per cent of incidents in which children were killed or injured by unexploded ordnance in 2020-2021 occurred in separatist-held areas, pointing to a genuine problem that de facto authorities should confront.) Meanwhile, de facto officials tend to be unwilling to admit that shooting from positions in areas like the Donetsk suburbs can provoke return fire and lead to civilian deaths. They have baulked at suggestions that they move their troops to keep locals out of the line of fire.

On the other side, public figures in government-controlled Ukraine sometimes overlook or minimise the problem of civilian casualties from live fire. Losses among civilians frequently do not make it into Ukrainian news reports, partly due to journalists’ lack of access to reliable sources in areas across the line; media tends to focus on the heroism of government troops. Some Ukrainians sticking up for the military imply that civilians, particularly in the separatist-controlled areas, are themselves to blame for their fate, having stubbornly remained in their homes while soldiers, as the troops’ defenders see it, are risking life and limb for a greater cause. “Do you think we didn’t have grandmothers when we went off to die? Maybe these are people, but they are not citizens”, a renowned veteran told Crisis Group in 2019, while expressing frustration at President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s promises to wind down combat in Donbas.

Efforts to limit civilian casualties through stricter ceasefire provisions have also triggered backlash against Ukrainian officials. In mid-2019, Kyiv proposed a ban on return fire. President Zelenskyy’s press secretary defended the proposal, arguing that when government troops shoot back at opponents positioned in populated areas, “our people die, our Ukrainians”. Opposition politicians accused Kyiv of ignoring the imperatives of fighting an invading force; high-ranking military personnel accused the press secretary of defamation, activists said she was echoing Russian propaganda and Ukraine’s prosecutor general summoned her for questioning on the grounds that she was assisting the enemy. The proposal was dropped for the time being, and the sides struck a more lenient agreement. But that 2019 agreement proved weaker, shorter-lived and less clearly beneficial for civilians than the one that followed in 2020, which did integrate a ban on return fire. If avoiding the issue of return fire may have short-term tactical and political benefits, the consequences of doing so deepen resentment among civilians on both sides and only make Kyiv’s climb toward reintegrating its lost territories steeper.

What to Do

The steps that would save lives are evident but difficult. Crisis Group has in the past recommended pursuing mutual disengagement in areas of high civilian traffic. Demining would also help. But international observers with knowledge of the negotiations say combatants are unlikely to disengage from high-traffic areas – which happen to be where the worst fighting of 2014-2015 occurred, as both sides consider them strategically and symbolically significant – without a comprehensive peace settlement. Nor do specialists think that either side – particularly not the de facto republics – will pursue demining as long as fighting continues.

As neither disengagement nor demining is likely, and neither military will move the trenches away from inhabited areas, a few Kyiv lawmakers have proposed relocating inhabitants of those areas as a way to save civilian lives. The idea has many downsides, among them its impracticability in the highly populated non-government-controlled areas. In government-controlled Ukraine, it may be more feasible, and perhaps more acceptable to the population. According to aid workers and staff at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ceasefire monitoring mission, more front-line dwellers are seeking to move away than in previous years. Those who stayed to be closer to loved ones on the other side of the line of separation can no longer see them anyway, due to COVID-19 restrictions, even as lockdowns have deepened the economic woes of cities and towns along the front.

The two sides will need to decide that costs of a simmering conflict outweigh the risks of compromise

In any case, none of these measures – disengagement, demining, or relocation – will bring the region the peace that it truly needs. For peace to come, the two sides will need to decide that costs of a simmering conflict outweigh the risks of compromise and an imperfect solution. Crisis Group has developed the visual explainer to illustrate the costs both sides are incurring, as well as the unpredictability and volatility of military activity at the Donbas front lines. The explainer also demonstrates that diplomacy – including that aimed at ceasefires – reduces the level of combat and saves lives. Breaking ceasefires, conversely, gives no one an advantage. In 2020-2021, a period during which a ceasefire was instituted and then fell apart, the two sides appear to have suffered a comparable number of deaths – 146 among the separatists and 112 in the Ukrainian army. Collapsed ceasefires favour neither side; they just lead to a bloodier stalemate.