Both sides claim that the other side has become more belligerent than during these months of regeneration, although everyone is probably asking a little. Reports from the press service of the operation of the Joint Forces of Ukraine, as well as the often cited data on victims dependent on the separatists, indicate a slight decrease in the number of deaths on both sides at the end of the year. [fn] Crisis group data from reports of the joint force operation found on [Cargo 200`s] website. „61 soldiers died in 2020 in the Donbass: list of names,“ 24 channels, 28 June 2020.Hide Footnote A Ukrainian commander, who described the withdrawal as „unnecessary,“ told the crisis group that the ban on the ceasefire from opening fire on all forms of weapons, including small arms, in July 2019 has resulted in greater casualties in Ukraine, as snipers, who normally protect military units, have found their hands tied. But the agreements provoked a strong negative reaction within Ukraine, mixed reactions from western supporters and silent opposition from Russian partners in separatist regions. In Kiev, well-organized activists are dissatisfied with Russia`s heavy grip on the second Minsk agreement and its inability to compel its deputies to comply with The Minsk Conditions. Some also see the Minsk as a further step into Moscow`s orbit if they prefer to align it with the EU. Western supporters in Kiev have sent mixed signals, with Germany and France apparently willing to compromise in the interests of a deal, and the United States appearing to see a reason for conscience in an unstable status quo that is causing headaches in Moscow. Representatives of The Russian separatist elected officials are publicly attacking Minsk, but make no secret of their contempt for Kiev and their desire to integrate with Russia. Achieving these man-centered departures does not require technical or logistical know-how that the parties do not yet have.
It will, however, require them to separate themselves from their long-term political objectives. Previous efforts have failed because the parties have attempted to use or obstruct the process in the service of broader agendas. Now they must dissociate themselves to save and improve lives, even if they seek a long-term political solution to the conflicts in the Donbass. Another reflection in considering how to proceed with withdrawal is how it will play on the front. There, views on the withdrawal of civilians are closely linked to a broader attitude towards reintegration. The inhabitants of the front who support withdrawal may see it as a step towards a normal life without soldiers and/or as a prelude to the restoration of social and economic relations with neighbours and the family on the other side. [fn] Crisis Group interviews, Lysychansk employees, Kiev, October 2018; Journalist, Kiev, October 2019; Journalist, Kiev, December 2019.Hide Footnote Those who strongly oppose it may view the dividing line as a sanitary cord to push it away from people with whom they do not want to interact. [fn] Talks of the Crisis Group, Sievierodonetsk resident, Kiev, October 2019; Selydove Resident, by phone, October 2019; Humanitarian workers, Svyatohirsk, November 2019.Hide Footnote separatist and pro-Kremlin news sources claimed that Kiev was using ceasefire violations as an alibi, and that the national body had effectively blocked the withdrawal, a claim reiterated by members of the body. [fn] See, for example, the telegraph message of [Khroniki Ridika/The Ridik Chronicles], 14:34, 17 October 2019.Hide Footnote At the same time, several groups of civil society activists demonstrated in Zolote for and against the withdrawal, with opponents aloud supporting the National Corps campaign.