Why Ukraine is trapped in endless conflict

This is eastern Ukraine. Conflict broke out here in 2014 and it hasn't ended. There about 100,000 fighters
stationed here, which makes it one of the most heavily militarized areas on Earth.
There are Ukrainian forces to the west and Russia-backed separatist militias to the
east. Fighting between the two groups occurs here along the contact line. In 2015 after nearly a year of deadly fighting, a peace agreement called for a
ceasefire creating this security zone. The agreement was supposed to stop the
fighting and resolve the conflict between Ukraine and the separatists, but
three years later the security zone remains the most violent place in
Ukraine. The ceasefire is violated almost every single
day in East Ukraine, which reportedly puts about 100,000 civilians
in the constant danger. Over 10,000 people have died since the conflict in
Ukraine began and about 1.5 million have been displaced, while both sides continue
to build up their forces.

The conflict began at the end of 2013,
when the Ukrainian government rejected an association with the European Union
in order to build stronger ties with Russia. The pro-Moscow move led to
massive protests in the capital Kiev, which turned deadly by 2014. Russia took advantage of the chaos and sent its military in to annex Crimea in March.
A month later pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass seized the cities of
Luhansk and Donetsk and declared them independent from Ukraine. The Ukrainian army moved to take the region back, but Russia covertly joined the separatist
rebels, which led to fierce fighting for several months. In February 2015
both sides settled on a peace agreement called Minsk II. The deal laid down
conditions for a ceasefire in the security zone, where heavy artillery
tanks and mortars were banned. Foreign militaries, meaning Russia, had to leave
Ukraine. It also recognized the two separatists areas the Donetsk People's
Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic and outlined how they could be
reincorporated back into Ukraine, but despite the agreement none of that has
happened.

In order to understand why, you have to know what Ukraine means to
Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Last one out of the Soviet Union please turn
out the light. The vitally important Ukraine announced independence for the
Republic, the people there are more Russian than Ukrainian. Much to fear, a separate
Ukraine would be a catastrophe. Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire in the
19th century and the Soviet Union in the 20th, when the Soviet Union dissolved in
1991 its western territory broke into independent states including Ukraine.
They formed a buffer between Russia and Western Europe, but in the 90s and 2000's
these countries started drifting westward and many joined the EU. By invading Ukraine, Putin was able to destabilize and stop it from developing
a stronger relationship with Western Europe.

Russia continues to fuel the
fighting by supporting the separatists and keeps its own military at the ready. Meanwhile Ukraine's government is forced to devote resources to its defense. Both sides have ignored the ceasefire so far and a closer look at the frontlines
reveals just how unstable the region is. The separatist rebels in the LPR and DPR
have funding, weapons, and the assurance of thee massive Russian military behind
them. They are responsible for the majority of the ceasefire violations. On the Ukrainian side, the forces are a mix of Ukrainian army soldiers and volunteer
militias. These militias are funded by Ukrainian oligarchs and members of
parliament. Some have far-right views and even have
attacked the Kiev government, but Kiev continues to fund and arm these groups
anyway.

It's their only defense against the Russia-backed rebels in the east. So despite a cease-fire that could have ended the conflict, there's an active war
on the ground. Both sides continue to fire a heavy artillery on a daily basis
as a show of strength. Power, water, and supplies are common targets and the
heaviest price is paid by the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the
crossfire..

As found on YouTube