There is little political space for de-escalation in Ukraine, but also little chance of escalation. No senior Ukrainian official really believes he can win a war against Russia. The problem is that some do not believe that Russia can also win, which leaves a false hope that Ukraine can somehow impose itself in the deadlock. From 2015 to 2018, I interviewed hundreds of Ukrainians and international experts on conflict scenarios in the Donbass and used these results to map the results of crisis management by the government, humanitarian aid and the Peacebuilding Organization. I have come to the unpleasant conclusion that Putin`s Russia is gaining all the variants: the status quo, de-escalation and escalation. In view of the MH17 crash, which was not explicitly mentioned in Minsk II, and the paragraph on the amnesty of participants in the „ORDLO events”, the Dutch parliamentarians sought to clarify the text of the treaty and ensure that it would be able to prosecute the perpetrators. For these reasons, the suspicions of the agreements are profound, with allegations that the former KGB, who still works for the Kremlin, wrote the special status and amnesty of Minsk to provoke the patriotic pride of Ukraine and force the country to federalize or break. Negotiations loaded with loaded names only fuel such speculation; These include controversial former President Leonid Kuchma and oligarchs, who are also said to be close to Putin, such as Viktor Medvedchuk and Nestor Shufrych. The viability and credibility of the whole process is weak. Successive attempts to resolve the ongoing war in Ukraine`s Donbass region had not been successful until early February 2015.  While the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014 significantly reduced fighting in the conflict zone for many months, minor skirmishes took place.
In early January 2015, separatist forces from the Donetsk People`s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People`s Republic (LPR) launched a new offensive on Ukrainian-controlled territories, causing the total collapse of the ceasefire in the Minsk Protocol.  After heavy fighting, DPR forces captured the iconic Donetsk International Airport, the last part of the Ukrainian-controlled city of Donetsk, on 21 January. Following the victory, the separatists insisted at the end of January on the important railway and road node in Debalzewe. The new violent fighting has raised serious concerns in the international community.